Phoenix Fellows and Grantees

Dr. Gary Bloch

2018 Phoenix Project Fellow
MD, CCFP, FCFP
Co-sponsor Organization
St. Michael’s Hospital

The Role of Action on Social Determinants of Health in the Culture Shift Toward Compassionate Care

A focus on our ability to directly address the social determinants of health is an oft-overlooked but essential component of providing effective health care and is an under-explored element of the shift toward a compassionate approach to care.  There is a symbiotic relationship between our ability to hear and understand individuals’ life stories (truly grounding ourselves in patients’ needs), our comfort in engaging with the challenges posed by the social threats to health these stories reveal, and our ability to provide compassionate care.  I focus on furthering our ability as health providers, health teams and health institutions to engage with these stories, and to properly understand, relate to, and work with, the complex social contexts in which people live and that determine their health.

As an AMS Phoenix Fellow, and grounded in the structure, support and expertise of my institutional sponsors and partners, I propose to place a critical academic lens on how this project has evolved, ground it in academic literature and related efforts nationally and internationally, support the further development and study of this work, foster a network of champions, and lay the groundwork for a more unified program with its continued sustainability as a primary goal.

This project will have 3 primary objectives:

  • To situate current work on social interventions and Ontario-based attempts to embed equity into norms of primary care practice in the academic discourse in this area, through a literature review, environmental scan, qualitative study of experts, and dissemination through academic publications.
  • To develop a formal network of partners to support next phases in the development and establishment of this work locally, nationally and internationally.
  • To develop a sustainable structure for the ongoing realization of this shift in the norms of primary care.