David McCann


David McCann (’10) is the full-time academic family physician and disaster medicine specialist on faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Q: Why UMass Amherst Online MPH PHP?

A: It was my keen interest in disaster preparation and response that caused me to pursue an MPH. Disaster medicine is, in large measure, part of public health and the UMass Amherst Online MPH Public Health Practice program is fortunate to have Dr. Linda Landesman teaching the public health approach to disasters. Linda’s book on the subject is a well-known classic in the field. In fact, it was the opportunity to take Linda’s excellent course that attracted me to the program in the first place. I also appreciated the distance-learning aspect of the UMass Amherst Online MPH Public Health Practice program, which allowed me to pursue graduate studies while practicing in Georgia.

Q: How has your UMass Amherst MPH PHP helped you?

A: I just completed my MPH in 2009 and immediately put what I learned into practice when I deployed to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 devastating 7.0 earthquake. My UMass Amherst training helped me coordinate and provide medical and humanitarian relief for over 7,500 Haitians in two weeks through the U.S. Embassy. Also, my MPH PHP came in handy during the H1N1 pandemic. My training allowed me to become the deputy incident commander for the health sector of the City of Hamilton, a position I continue to fill today. I was recently named a senior policy fellow in the Public Policy Institute at George Mason University in Washington, DC, and a charter faculty member of the Palm Beach Medical College in West Palm Beach, Florida.