People Directory


Kyle Whitfield, PhD, MCIP, RPP (Reg. Professional Planner)

Associate Professor

Extension | Science | Public Health, School of

Community Engagement

About Me

At the core of my research, teaching and community work are the following areas of scholarship: health service planning, social planning, community development and citizen engagement. Examining the relationships between individual, neighborhood, community, organizational/inter-organizational and policy levels is a framework I use to understand the interconnections among and between such realms. As a qualitative researcher, the methodologies I use most are: individual and focus group interviews, key informant interviews, community studies which includes conducting a community scan, the case study method, document analysis and policy review. Planning, from a theoretical view as well as practice perspective, is central to my work. My work is highly reflective of engaged scholarship; my belief in a strong and interconnected relationship between theory and practice means that my participation in community research, which is often in rural communities, aims to strengthen this relationship.


My research stems mainly from the discipline of planning. At the core of my research are the following areas of scholarship: community planning which encompasses health service and social planning; community development; public involvement in the development of health services such as the role of communities in addressing palliative care needs such as building a hospice; citizenship and social movements; health equality; rural health and issues relevant to women’s health. The thread that weaves through much of my academic inquiries is factors associated with the participation and leadership of community members in planning for and developing improved health conditions. Community capacity building, citizen engagement, quality of life and progress in rural health are highly interrelated.

  • Planning: Health Services; Community; Social
  • Community development
  • Health care services and policy
  • Public involvement in health service development
  • Community health and social impact assessment
  • Hospice care/Palliative care
  • Citizenship and Social Movements
  • Health equality
  • Rural Health: service development, quality of life
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Health determinants
  • Women’s health
  • Aging


I teach the following courses:

  • "Health, Community and Development" SPH 529 (Graduate)
  • "Community Engagement and Consultation" EXLGP 8209 (Certificate)
  • "Community Planning and Engagement" HGP 315 (Undergraduate)