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Health Sciences Building 155 College street 6th floor auditorium Toronto, ON M5S 1K7
  • January 22, 2020 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm

A lack of affordable housing, access to clean water and nutritious food are conditions of poor social determinants of health (SDOH). These markers, among many others, create systematic inequities, structural barriers and have known health effects.

Being poor means dying sooner and dying sicker, says DLSPH Prof Arjumand Siddiqi. A lack of access to nutritious food leads to poor health and an inability to contribute to other aspects of life such as work or school, say Profs Andrew Boozary and Kwame McKenzie, CEO of the Wellesley Institute.

Recently, Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) has recently announced that a $10M land parcel will be used to create an affordable housing project. Yet, in New York, hospitals are ahead of the game, having already launched similar projects. The University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago’s Better Health Through Housing pilot project just expanded its housing program’s size in 2018. Healthcare costs in the University of Illinois system for that initial cohort fell by 18%.

Despite the perceived differences in our health systems, New York City hospitals also receive public funding and many US health systems receive a government tax exemption, with additional funding from public dollars.

Though Canadians take pride in universal health coverage, it is one of the highest health care spenders among OECD countries according to a recent CIHI study but continues to perform below average in twelve health indicators.

Join us for an enlightening conversation about a tale of two cities: Toronto and New York. Our expert panellists will compare both cities’ health systems outcomes. They will also challenge the evolving role of prominent health care system players and debate whether their influence could and should support healthcare needs and SDOH.


Arjumand SiddiqiCanada Research Chair in Population Health Equity and Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Arjumand Siddiqi is Canada Research Chair in Population Health Equity and Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, where she also holds appointments in the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and the Hospital For Sick Children, as well as at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.


  • Dr. Dave Chokshi, Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals
  • Andrew BoozaryExecutive Director of Health and Social Policy, UHN and Assistant Professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Farrah Seucharan, Patient Advocate and Master’s Candidate in Poverty Reduction Policy at SOAS University of London
  • Nakia Lee-Foon, Moderator and PhD Candidate

Event Details

5:15—Registration and Reception

6:00—Welcome and Introductions


6:35—Panel Discussion

7:30—Audience Q&A