News and Events

MHC announces new dean

Dr. Harrison Applin, dean of health and community services
July 17, 2020

The newly established School of Health and Community Services at Medicine Hat College (MHC) will soon be under the leadership of Dr. Harrison Applin.

Applin holds a PhD in Nursing, a Master of Education in Educational Policy, and a Bachelor of Science, all from the University of Alberta. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration from the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland.

"Harrison has been described as a change agent and thrives in a creative and innovative environment," says Dr. Vicky Roy, vice-president academic and provost. “Medicine Hat College is fortunate to add a leader with Applin’s depth and knowledge, particularly around Indigenous initiatives and collaborative partnerships, to its leadership team.”

As an Indigenous scholar, academic leader, and healthcare professional and educator, Applin brings a wealth of experience to MHC. Known at the provincial and national levels for his ability to develop and structure high functioning teams and partnerships, Applin has 29 years of leading health (interdisciplinary) and educational change. His collaborative experience spans the provincial post-secondary system, as well as Alberta Health Services, Advanced Education and First Nations and Inuit health and governance organizations.

During his time as Dean of Health at Northern Lakes College, Applin was responsible for numerous campus locations in Northern Alberta throughout treaties 6, 7 and 8. His commitment to establishing collaborative partnerships resulted in strategic and business innovations, and enhanced relationships with peers, funders, regulators, and government representatives.

His role with the “Health and Wellness Community Partnership Strategy” transformed health education delivery by engaging municipal government and Indigenous stakeholders to establish an interdisciplinary health lab for the community of Wabasca, Alberta. He was also involved with international negotiations to implement synchronous and asynchronous nursing curricula throughout China in response to an aging population.

Most recently, Applin served as the director of nursing professional practice with Alberta Health Services. In this role, he provided leadership across the province to 38,000 nursing professionals in strategic and operational planning to support professional nursing practice, evidence-informed practice and patient centered care.

Originally from a remote fishing village in northern Newfoundland, Applin has a passion for rural health and rural education and sees an opportunity to be a bridge between the two while helping to advance post-secondary innovations, equity for all learners and above all, student success at MHC.

“I see progressive leadership happening at Medicine Hat College. Real people doing real work to move the region forward,” says Applin about his decision to move to southern Alberta. “I work as I live - with passion, purpose, courage, truth, and transparency – and want to empower faculty and students to do the same.”

Applin will assume the new dean role on August 17, 2020.