Dr. Michelle Firestone is a Scientist at the Well Living House in the Centre for Urban Health Solutions of St. Michael’s Hospital.  She received her doctoral degree from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and trained as a post-doctoral fellow at St. Michael’s.  Dr. Firestone is also an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Through her doctoral and post-doctoral work, Dr. Firestone has been involved in innovative teaching and research on the social determinants of health, applying interdisciplinary community-based approaches to Indigenous health research and knowledge translation.  As the Assistant Director of the Well Living House, she has developed strong collaborative relationships with Indigenous community partners and has played an important role in the mentorship of an interdisciplinary Indigenous health research team.  Building on her training at Centre for Urban Health Solutions and the Well Living House, Dr. Firestone’s research program focuses on unmasking inequities and developing and implementing culturally validated tools to identify, measure and evaluate best practices in mental health, substance use, healing and well-being in diverse Indigenous populations.

Recent Publications

  1. Kenny, KS, Kolla, G, Firestone, M, Bannerman, M, Greig, S, Flores, BF et al.. Frequency of fatal and non-fatal overdoses and response to grief and loss among people who inject drugs: An unexplored dimension of the opioid overdose crisis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2022;237 :109539. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109539. PubMed PMID:35777172 .
  2. Morton Ninomiya, ME, Maddox, R, Brascoupé, S, Robinson, N, Atkinson, D, Firestone, M et al.. Knowledge translation approaches and practices in Indigenous health research: A systematic review. Soc Sci Med. 2022;301 :114898. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114898. PubMed PMID:35504232 .
  3. Hardy, BJ, Lesperance, A, Foote, I, Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), Firestone, M, Smylie, J et al.. Meeting Indigenous youth where they are at: knowing and doing with 2SLGBTTQQIA and gender non-conforming Indigenous youth: a qualitative case study. BMC Public Health. 2020;20 (1):1871. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09863-3. PubMed PMID:33287787 PubMed Central PMC7720630.
  4. Churchill, ME, Smylie, JK, Wolfe, SH, Bourgeois, C, Moeller, H, Firestone, M et al.. Conceptualising cultural safety at an Indigenous-focused midwifery practice in Toronto, Canada: qualitative interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients. BMJ Open. 2020;10 (9):e038168. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038168. PubMed PMID:32994245 PubMed Central PMC7526316.
  5. Avery, L, Rotondi, N, McKnight, C, Firestone, M, Smylie, J, Rotondi, M et al.. Unweighted regression models perform better than weighted regression techniques for respondent-driven sampling data: results from a simulation study. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2019;19 (1):202. doi: 10.1186/s12874-019-0842-5. PubMed PMID:31664912 PubMed Central PMC6819607.
  6. Kitching, GT, Firestone, M, Schei, B, Wolfe, S, Bourgeois, C, O'Campo, P et al.. Unmet health needs and discrimination by healthcare providers among an Indigenous population in Toronto, Canada. Can J Public Health. 2020;111 (1):40-49. doi: 10.17269/s41997-019-00242-z. PubMed PMID:31435849 PubMed Central PMC7046890.
  7. Firestone, M, Syrette, J, Jourdain, T, Recollet, V, Smylie, J. "I feel safe just coming here because there are other Native brothers and sisters": findings from a community-based evaluation of the Niiwin Wendaanimak Four Winds Wellness Program. Can J Public Health. 2019;110 (4):404-413. doi: 10.17269/s41997-019-00192-6. PubMed PMID:30868415 PubMed Central PMC6964410.
  8. Smylie, J, Firestone, M, Spiller, MW, Tungasuvvingat Inuit. Our health counts: population-based measures of urban Inuit health determinants, health status, and health care access. Can J Public Health. 2018;109 (5-6):662-670. doi: 10.17269/s41997-018-0111-0. PubMed PMID:30302729 PubMed Central PMC6267637.
  9. Beckett, M, Firestone, MA, McKnight, CD, Smylie, J, Rotondi, MA. A cross-sectional analysis of the relationship between diabetes and health access barriers in an urban First Nations population in Canada. BMJ Open. 2018;8 (1):e018272. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018272. PubMed PMID:29358430 PubMed Central PMC5781064.
  10. Rotondi, MA, O'Campo, P, O'Brien, K, Firestone, M, Wolfe, SH, Bourgeois, C et al.. Our Health Counts Toronto: using respondent-driven sampling to unmask census undercounts of an urban indigenous population in Toronto, Canada. BMJ Open. 2017;7 (12):e018936. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018936. PubMed PMID:29282272 PubMed Central PMC5770955.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto