Southgate Institute officially launched

juilletMonique Bégin [pictured], twice Canadian health and welfare minister in Pierre Trudeau’s governments and chief architect of Canada’s Medicare, has launched the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University.

Professor Bégin and Mr David Swan, Executive Director, Operations in the SA Department of Health,  unveiled a banner to mark the official opening of the Institute.

It is the culmination of a public health seminar chaired by Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Michael Barber and featuring distinguished speakers such as Professor Julian Disney, Dr Rosemary Crowley and former Flinders Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Anne Edwards.

The Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity has been established through Professor Fran Baum’s Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship, supported by the SA Department of Health, the SA Social Inclusion Unit and the Premier’s Science and Research Fund.

The Institute is named after the late Associate Professor Deane O Southgate, Head of then Department of Primary Care and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine, Flinders University at the time of his death in 1991.

Professor Baum said the Southgate Institute aims to build on the reputation of Flinders University for conducting policy and practice relevant research on the social and economic determinants of health and health equity in particular.

“The research focus will be on what can be done about the underlying factors that determine the distribution of health and wellbeing outcomes,” Professor Baum said.

“It will have a particular emphasis on labour market, social exclusion, housing, structure of suburban environments; economic, social and structural determinants of risky and unhealthy behaviours (including drug and alcohol and other addictions, interpersonal violence, injuries, low physical activity levels and nutrition); and social, cultural and economic barriers to health and other related service use,” she said.

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