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Department of Family and Community Medicine and St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team

Social Determinants Of Health

Social conditions, such as income, employment, education, housing status, gender, race, and early childhood experience have a greater impact on health than genetics or access to health services.

In 2013 the St. Michael’s Hospital Family Health Team created a committee to address these factors. The goal is to improve the health of patients and our community. The Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) committee includes physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, patient advisors, and other members of the health care team.

Our team has built an approach to social risks to health and social inequities into our clinical programs, education, research, and quality improvement. The story of the unique development of our team is told in the booklet below:

SDOH Committee: COVID-19 Working Group


On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic related to coronavirus COVID-19. COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain groups and has widened health inequities in Canada and abroad. The SMH AFHT serves many individuals and communities who are socially marginalized and are expected to be highly impacted by COVID and the consequences of the social and economic responses to the pandemic. The SMH AFHT has a strong infrastructure to cater to the needs of its patients, coordinated by the Social Determinants of Health Committee. In order to address the unique threats posed by the pandemic, a SDOH Committee-COVID-19 Working Group was created.

Provider resources





Faculty within the department are leaders in research and health provider education on the social determinants of health. Learn more about their quality improvement initiatives.


  • Poverty: A Clinical Tool For Primary Care Providers
    Simple tool to guide primary care providers in screening for and intervening in poverty
    Developed by Gary Bloch, in collaboration with the Centre for Effective Practice, St. Michael’s Hospital, and the Ontario College of Family Physicians.