CHC Programs

Our Programs

Traditional Medicines and Therapies

There are two areas of traditional medicines and therapies that we focus upon in order to create an awareness for health care professionals and the public: Traditional Chinese Medicine and traditional Aboriginal Medicine. The goal of the first is to work with practitioners and universities in China to develop our expertise in traditional Chinese knowledge and to promote the development of traditional Chinese medicines in Canada. In traditional Aboriginal medicines, our goal is to tap the knowledge of traditional aboriginal healers to understand the processes of early medicine in Canada.

Health, Healing and Oral Tradition

The goal of this program area, also referred to as traditional or indigenous knowledge studies, is to work with healers and other knowledgeable people in documenting and supporting oral traditions that are in danger of being lost.

The Dynamics of Disease, Health and Healing

In this area, researchers study the interaction between environmental, biological, sociocultural, psychological, and spiritual factors of disease, health and healing. The studies are conducted at the individual, institutional, and community level, and often involve a range of methodologies, including ethnographic analysis, historical or literary analysis, experiential analysis, and experimental intervention.

Integrative Health Institute

The Integrative Health Institute (IHI) was established in 2014 and is an interdisciplinary and inter-Faculty institute. It's vision is optimal health and well-being by integrating conventional, complementary, and traditional approaches. IHI's mission is research and education to advance health and inform choice. Directors at the Institute include Dr. Steven Aung (community engagement), Dr. Hsing Jou (clinical), Dr. Karin Olson (education), Dr. Makere Stewart-Harawira (traditional medicine), Dr. Sunita Vohra and Dr. Jerry Yager (research). For more information please visit

Multicultural Health and Health Care Pluralism

This program area studies the effectiveness of various programs designed to help health care providers become more aware of the needs of patients from different backgrounds so that health practitioners can provide more culturally appropriate health care. The Centre also studies the effectiveness of collaborative efforts among practitioners of different healing traditions, such as biomedicine and First Nations medicine, or biomedicine and traditional Chinese medicine.

Department Outreach

The Centre for Health and Culture sponsors a monthly lecture series with Le Soleil Health and Wellness held at Roots on Whyte in Old Strathcona: The Town and Gown Series featuring New Modalities of Healing and Community Awareness Initiative-Monthly Lectures on Alternative health modalities.

Institute for Integrative Health

The Institute for Integrative Health is a new structure at the university that recognizes the role of traditional medicines and health. Directors at the Institute are Dr. Earle Waugh, Dr. Steven Aung, Dr. Sunita Vohra, Prof. Hsing Jou, and Dr. Karin Olson.