Improving health through upstream social interventions

Research, education, and policy change

Get Involved Impact

The Upstream Lab is a non-profit research lab based at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We are dedicated to improving health and well-being of the population through addressing issues related to social determinants of health.

Who We Are

What are the social determinants of health?

According to WHO, social determinants of health (SDOH) are non-medical factors that have an influence on our health, particularly the social and economic conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age. Some examples include income and social status, job insecurity, food insecurity, and education. SDOH also includes the wider system that can foster health inequity, such as discriminative policies and social norms, and historical trauma.

Our Research Streams

Integrating Health and Social Care

Interventions addressing social needs of individuals in healthcare settings.

Population Health Management

Interventions addressing social needs at community and policy levels.

Data to Enable a Learning Health System

Leveraging data and technology to improve the health systems.

Our Collaborators

Community Members

Our lab works with many incredible and diverse individuals who provided valuable insights on our projects. Get to know some of our wonderful community members.

Deep End Canada aims to improve the collection and use of social data to address social determinants of health at the individual, clinic, and policy levels. Join our next speaker series episode to find out how. Register now:

Our latest study looked at interventions addressing social isolation in adults aged 18 to 64. The results showed that group interventions delivered in primary care and health centers reduce social isolation and loneliness. ⤵️ #LonelinessAwarenessWeek

One week left to register! Our next speaker series episode will discuss the role of primary care and primary care networks in addressing social and structural determinants of health.

🗓️ June 19 🕙 10 am ET

Register now ⤵️

Register now for the @PIHCIN_ISSPLI Learning Series: Connecting Patients to Primary Care.

🗓️June 25 🕛 12 p.m. ET

This session will describe strategies to improve first-contact care and discuss key challenges in implementing Health 811 platforms.


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