Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Dr Andrew Pinto 20.09.18

Title: Tackling social determinants in health care organizations: Lessons from The Upstream Lab


The publication of the final report of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health in 2008 reignited interest in the role that health care organizations could play in addressing the daily living conditions of patients. National health professional organizations in Britain, Canada, the United States and elsewhere subsequently encouraged members to take up the challenge of addressing social determinants. Yet, the evidence to support interventions based in health settings that tackle the social determinants of health remains limited. The Upstream Lab was founded in 2016 as a space to design and rigorously evaluate such interventions. Based in Toronto, Canada, interventions are grouped into those addressing social determinants at the individual or family level, the health organization level, the community or neighbourhood level, and at the policy level. This presentation will review a number of studies that have examined the impact of interventions to address income security and financial empowerment, precarious employment, housing conditions and community economic resiliency. Methods used include randomized controlled trials, observational studies, community-based participatory research, mixed-methods and systematic reviews. Attendees will also engage in a discussion about the future of such intervention research and examine the role of such research in medical education, quality improvement and building links between primary care and public health.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Andrew Pinto is the founder and director of The Upstream Lab. He is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist and family physician at St. Michael's Hospital. Dr. Pinto completed his residency at the University of Toronto and his Master's in Health Policy, Planning and Financing at the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as a Commonwealth Scholar. Currently, he is a Scientist in the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto.

Andrew Pinto Photo