As a palliative care physician, Dr. Naheed Dosani is passionate about advancing equitable access to health care for people experiencing homelessness. After a transformative experience providing care to a Toronto homeless man, Dr. Dosani was motivated to develop Palliative Education And Care for the Homeless (PEACH). Based at the Inner City Health Associates, the PEACH program delivers community-based hospice palliative care to society’s most vulnerable individuals regardless of their housing status or factors such as poverty or substance use. PEACH brings housing, mental health and healthcare providers together to plan an individual’s care while recognizing, but not judging, a persons’ circumstances.
This care model has inspired similar programs in cities across the continent and the development of Journey
Home Hospice, Toronto’s first hospice for people experiencing homelessness, which opened in May 2018. With COVID-19, Dr. Dosani’s leadership efforts include serving as Medical Director for the Region of Peel’s COVID-19 Isolation/Homeless Program, one of Canada’s hardest-hit communities. A tireless advocate, Dr. Dosani brings attention to the correlation between health and a wide range of social issues through social media, public speaking and national media.
With faculty appointments at the University of Toronto and McMaster University, Dr. Dosani's research interests
include care models for people experiencing homelessness and access to palliative care among culturally diverse communities. Dr. Dosani has received many prestigious honours for his trailblazing work. These awards include the Meritorious Service Cross for Humanitarianism from Canada’s Governor General in 2018, a humanitarian award from the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians in May 2019 and the Early Career Leader award from the Canadian Medical Association in 2020.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Hospice and Palliative Care
Palliative Care Education
Health Care Access
Early Career Leader Award, Canadian Medical Association in 2020.
Humanitarian Award, Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians
Meritorious Service Cross for Humanitarianism, Governor General of Canada
University of Toronto: Residency, Conjoint Palliative Medicine Residency Program 2014
University of Toronto: CCFP, Family Medicine Residency Program 2013
McMaster University: MD, Medicine 2011
University of Ontario Institute of Technology: BSc, Biological and Biomedical Sciences 2008
- Palliative Education And Care for the Homeless (PEACH), Inner City Health Associates : Founder and Lead Physician
- Region of Peel COVID-19 Isolation/Homeless Program : Medical Director
- Kensington Health : Health Equity Lead
- Division of Palliative Care, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University : Assistant Clinical Professor
- Division of Palliative Care, Department of Family & Community Medicine, University of Toronto : Lecturer
Media Appearances (6)
Dr. Naheed Dosani started PEACH to provide palliative care for homeless and vulnerably housed populations
Toronto Star online
A child of refugees who fled war-torn Uganda in the 1970s, a young Naheed Dosani grew up having conversations about social injustice, inequity and poverty at the family’s Scarborough home. “I have always pondered what a life is worth,” he says, “and why our health and social systems are designed to value some lives over those of others.”
‘Completely Inexcusable’: Doctors Slam Alberta Government’s Decision to Lift Health Restrictions as COVID Cases Surge
According to Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care physician and health justice activist based in Ontario, the timing of the decision puts Albertans at risk. “It is quite confusing for me to understand why Alberta is moving in this direction,” Dosani told PressProgress. “Alberta is literally removing masking rules and no longer requiring people who tested positive to quarantine. This is highly concerning and has the potential to cause a lot of suffering.”
Should COVID-19 vaccines be mandatory for healthcare workers? Experts weigh in
Global News online
“It’s really not fair that people go to hospitals or clinics and seek access to health care and their healthcare workers may not be vaccinated,” said Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care physician and health equity lead at Kensington Health in Toronto, Ont. “That puts them in very precarious and unsafe positions”
How Canadians are making sure no one is left behind in the vaccine rollout
CBC News online
While on the ground, the province shifts its strategy to reach those people, Dr. Naheed Dosani has been turning to social media to get the message out. "It's just about meeting people where they're at," said Dosani, who is a palliative care doctor in Toronto. Dosani has been sharing information about vaccines and the pandemic on his TikTok channel, as well as on Twitter and Instagram.
What doctors say Ontario needs to do next to avoid a fourth COVID-19 wave
CTV News online
Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care physician at McMaster University Hospital, said Peel and other hot spots have been hit hard by COVID-19 as many essential workers live in those areas. In addition, many residents also live in multi-generational households. Dosani warned that Peel will suffer again if the province does not change its vaccine strategy. "We know the answers. We've been through this before. It worked when we shifted vaccines to hot spots through an equity-based approach," Dosani said.
'A special gift': Toronto doctor helps grant holiday wishes to homeless facing terminal illness Social Sharing
It was a response to the idea that many of their clients are dealing with not just physical pain, but also emotional pain from social isolation and trauma, he says. "The Good Wishes program meets people where they are at, so emotional pain and suffering are addressed," Dosani said.
Featured Articles (5)
The effect of a Housing First intervention on primary care retention among homeless individuals with mental illnessPLoS One
Adam Whisler, Naheed Dosani, Matthew J To, Kristen O’Brien, Samantha Young, Stephen Wesley Hwang
Retrospective Study of a Toronto-Based Palliative Care Program for Individuals Experiencing HomelessnessJournal of Palliative Medicine
Evan Schneider, Naheed Dosani
The Good Wishes Project: An End-of-Life Intervention for Individuals Experiencing HomelessnessPalliative Medicine Reports
Alissa Tedesco, Leslie Shanks, Naheed Dosani
Perceptions of palliative care in a South Asian community: findings from an observational studyBMC Palliative Care
Naheed Dosani, Ravi Bhargava, Amit Arya, Celeste Pang, Pavinder Tut, Achal Sharma, Martin Chasen
COVID-19 and people experiencing homelessness: challenges and mitigation strategiesCanadian Medical Association Journal
Melissa Perri, Naheed Dosani, Stephen W Hwang