Prof. Mingshan Lu, PhD


Adjunct Professor

Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Community Health Sciences

Faculty member

O'Brien Institute for Public Health

Contact information

Phone number

Office: +1 (403) 220-5488


Office: SS328

For media enquiries, contact

Heath McCoy
Senior Communications Specialist

403.607.8461 (cell)


Educational Background

BEng Management Information System, Tsinghua University, 1992

Doctor of Philosophy Economics, Boston University, 1997

M.A. Economics, Boston University, 1997


Mingshan Lu, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Economics at University of Calgary, where she has been on the faculty since 1997, after earning MA and Ph. D. in economics from Boston University.  She is also an Adjunct Professor at Department of Community Health Sciences at Cumming School of Medicine and a Member of the O'Brien Institute of Public Health at University of Calgary. Dr. Lu has been the Lead of Health Economics at the Methods Hub, Alberta's Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Support Unit, a Fellow at the Institute of Health Economics in Alberta, as well as a Member of Network of Alberta Health Economists (NOAHE).  She served as a member of the Science-Policy-Practice Network in Children’s Mental Health in Alberta, consultant for the World Bank, the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

She has been a Visiting Professor at University of Technology, Sydney, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), as well as Poverty Alleviation Lab at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in China.

Dr. Lu is a health economist with research program spanning the following topics: health care financing and fund allocation, economic evaluation in health care, health care disparities and vulnerable populations, economics of substance abuse and mental health, patient-centered care, Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) and integrative medicine.

Dr. Lu has published widely on a large range of lead economics, health economics, health services research, health policy, and medical journals. She has led an innovative book project funded by the Institute of Health Economics in Alberta. This commissioned volume reviewed theoretical rationales, empirical evidences, and international experiences to bring out lessons about impacts of various financing and payment models that are particularly of interest to health policy makers in Canada. Dr Lu’s level of research achievement is demonstrated by the various research awards and grants she has received.  In addition to two consecutive AHFMR Population Health Investigator awards, she has been successful in receiving various operating grants for her research from provincial, national, and international funding agencies.


Areas of Research

Health Economics

Health Care Financing

Design and Impacts of Health Care Payment Systems

Risk Adjustment in Fund Allocation

Health Care Disparities/Vulnerable Populations

Patient-Centered Care

Economics of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Evidence-based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Economic Evaluation of CAM interventions

Integrative Medicine


Course number Course title Semester
ECON 379 LEC 01 01 The Economics of Health Winter 2022
ECON 679 / MDCH661 Health Economics I Winter 2022


Alberta Complementary Health Integration Project (ABCHIP)

Funded by the Government of Alberta, ABCHIP is a community-based health and research project. This study aims to explore how Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) could help people, especially following challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. CAM treatments—such as acupuncture, dietary therapy, and mind-body exercises— are well-established as reliable and beneficial methods of promoting individual and community health. CAM treatments in this study are structured in accordance with local and international clinical expertise and evidence, ensuring quality and safety of the highest degree.

For project details including preliminary outcomes, see


The Costs and Benefits of Transitioning from ICD-10-CA to ICD-11 in Canada

Global surveillance and monitoring of disease requires the most current and comprehensive system to track and improve the health of individuals worldwide. The International Classification of Disease (ICD) is an internationally adopted system used to code disease diagnoses. Currently, Canada uses the 10th version of ICD to code health information. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently released the 11th version of ICD (ICD-11), which offers current diagnoses codes (e.g. opioid overdose and gaming addictions codes) and user-friendly electronic coding tools. However, urgent questions have arisen about the costs and benefits of implementing a new classification system. The objectives of the proposed study are to develop a framework for estimating the economic impacts of ICD classification system transition, to project the costs of moving to ICD-11 coding algorithms in Canada, to estimate the benefits of moving to ICD-11 coding algorithms in Canada, and to identify implementation issues and specific support needed in each province and territory, and provide unique recommendations to each province for ICD-11 implementation. Our team is ideally positioned to conduct this work, as we are a WHO Collaborating Centre that has been instrumental in the testing and improvement of ICD-11, and have been teaming up with CIHI to develop this proposal, and have built long-standing partnerships with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Canadian Health Information Management Association (CHIMA). This project will provide methodology and critical information for countries worldwide to make a decision on ICD-11 adoption, and offer an opportunity to prepare for the benefits and challenges of implementation (e.g. training and technology).

Societal Health Integration Program (SHIP)

This Societal Health Integration Program (SHIP) proposes an innovative community-based model in which Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) services are provided to help achieve social recovery and improve economic participation.

SHIP aims to develop a cost-effective, scalable and transferrable community-based CAM service model to achieve the following objectives: 

* Mitigate, treat, and prevent the mental health issues that arise in response to or recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and promote development and continued well-being, and in doing so increase community integration and overall productivity

* Increase civic society’s capacity to respond to the mental health crisis that follows the COVID-19 pandemic

* Organize community-based interventional group workshops to promote practical CAM health preservation ways of living to promote better mental health and well-being, and expand recovery capital for those in needs

* Collect and analyze critical information to monitor social recovery and economic participation, as well as program cost-effectiveness

* Share research data and analytic results with the civil society sector to encourage duplications of the community-based model developed