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Biography

A growing body of research is shedding light on environmental factors that negatively impact child and adolescent health. Intrigued by how these factors shape human choices and health outcomes, Caroline Barakat-Haddad, PhD, Assistant Professor in Environmental/Occupational Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is passionate about enhancing community health, contributing to health promotion, and shaping health policy. She is focused on identifying and examining relevant social and physical environmental determinants that influence child and adolescent health. An expert in air pollution and health, particularly the long-term health effects of childhood exposure to air quality, her research aims to develop ways to reduce regular exposure to negative environmental factors by strengthening health protection and promotion. Her research interests also include spatial patterns of health and health care, environmental epidemiology, population health, and health inequities. Before joining UOIT in 2014, she was an Assistant Professor and Discipline Representative for Health Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and an Assistant Professor in Health Sciences at Zayed University, Dubai. While at Zayed, she received the Provost’s Research Fellowship Award for her groundbreaking National Study of Population Health in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): Geographical Differences in Exposures and Outcomes. She examined differences in health status and environmental exposures across the seven emirates and among nationals and expatriates that reside in the UAE. Recently, Dr. Barakat-Haddad has joined forces with some of Canada’s most respected environmental, health, youth and educational organizations to create a Health Canada-funded video project for youth. The EduTox Video Challenge is designed to give youth a leadership voice to promote awareness and action to reduce environmental toxins. Supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Sport Canada, Dr. Barakat-Haddad is also collaborating on research to examine and address constraints to sport participation among ethnically diverse female adolescents. She earned her Doctorate in Medical Geography, and Environmental Health from the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She completed her Master of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, and her Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the University of Toronto.

Expertise


Provost's Research Fellowship Award

June 1, 2009

Notably, Dr. Barakat-Haddad was the inaugural winner of the Provost’s Research Fellowship Award, for her research entitled: 'A National Study of Population Health in the United Arab Emirates: Geographical Differences in Exposures and Outcomes,' while serving as an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences, Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Chair, Geography of Health and Health Care Specialty Group

July 1, 2016

The official study group of the Canadian Association of Geographers, it provides information and support to an active membership of over 100 academic, professional, and student geographers in Canada and beyond.

Editorial Board Member, Universal Journal of Public Health

January 1, 2013

An international peer-reviewed journal that publishes original and high-quality research papers in all areas of public health, and an important academic exchange platform to keep scientists and researchers informed about the current academic trends and seek valuable primary sources for reference.

McMaster University, School of Geography and Earth Sciences

2008
PhD - Medical Geography, Environmental Health

York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies

2003
MES - Environmental Studies

University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

1993
BSc (Honours) -
  • Examining and Addressing Constraints to Sport Participation among Ethnically Diverse Female Adolescents

    $84,642  | January 1, 2017

    Awarded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Sport Canada
    Dr. Barakat-Haddad is a co-investigator of this three-year research project which aims to increase sport participation among adolescent girls, particularly those of ethnic minorities. Sport is associated with better long-term adherence than general exercise or physical activity. Creating an evidence-based program that incorporates the needs of adolescent ethnic minority goals is important to ensure engagement.

  • Examining Constraints to Sport Participation among Ethnically Diverse Female Adolescents from Durham Region, Ontario

    $$14,998  | March 1, 2016

    Awarded by: Women’s Xchange 15K Award
    Dr. Barakat-Haddad is a co-investigator of this one-year research project which aims to increase sport participation among adolescent girls, particularly those of ethnic minorities.

  • EduTox Video Challenge

    $24900  | April 1, 2015

    Awarded by: Health Canada
    This national video challenge creates a platform to raise youth awareness of environmental toxicants found in products they use on a regular basis.

  • Canadian Association of Geographers

  • American Association of Geographers

Involvement


  • Media appearances

    Durham Region planners and health department work to create healthier neighbourhoods
    Port Perry Star print

    August 8, 2016

    A community that is walkable, safe, close to amenities, has lots of green space, and allows for social interaction between residents is considered to be a healthy neighbourhood, and living in one may allow the residents to be healthier too. The idea that where you live affects your health has been growing in popularity, according to Caroline Barakat-Haddad, an assistant professor in environmental and occupational health at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    Why some adolescents don't visit the doc
    Khaleej Times print

    January 13, 2016

    Hint: They just don't have the time! A sizeable number of adolescents in the UAE do not obtain any kind of healthcare because they are too busy, dislike/are afraid of doctors or do not like waiting at hospitals, a study that looks into healthcare accessibility for youngsters in the country has revealed.

    A third of UAE teenagers have abused inhalants, survey finds
    The National UAE print

    June 12, 2015

    ABU DHABI // Nearly a third of all teenagers have tried unconventional drugs, such as inhaling gasoline fumes, glue, correcting fluids or burning black ants, a survey has found. Research published in Journal of Environmental and Public Health in April found that of the 6,363 youngsters aged 13 to 20 surveyed, 14 per cent said they smoked tobacco and 29 per cent had tried the inhalants.

    Unhealthy outlook for the folk of the Northern Emirates
    The National UAE print

    July 18, 2010

    DUBAI // People living in the Northern Emirates are heavy smokers, more prone to respiratory problems due to poor air quality and more likely to suffer from allergies than those in any other part of the country, according to a comprehensive survey of the state of the nation's health. More than 35,000 people - local and expatriate - from the seven emirates were interviewed for the Zayed University study, which aims to determine the geographic inequalities in the population's well-being.

  • Past speaking engagements
    • Injuries, Motor Vehicles, and Adolescence: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

      Doha, Qatar
      January 14, 2016

      The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar

    • Best Poster Award: Primary Healthcare Use and Healthcare Accessibility Among Adolescents: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

      Doha, Qatar
      January 14, 2016

      The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar

    • Factors Linked to Tobacco Smoking Among Adolescents Who Reside in the United Arab Emirates

      Doha, Qatar
      January 14, 2016

      The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar

    • Popping Pills. Over-the-counter Medication Use Among Adolescents: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

      Doha, Qatar
      January 14, 2016

      The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar

    • Environments and Health: Interplay of Biological, Physical, Social, Psychological, and Institutional Determinants Across the Life Course

      Toronto, Ontario
      April 7, 2017

      Humboldt Colloquium “Excellence in Research"

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