Collaborative graduate-level teamwork on research: Circulating Health Information (Helping People Make Small, Incremental Lifestyle Changes to Improve their Heart Health)

Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the most prevalent chronic disease in Canada, with four in five Canadians having at least one CV risk factor. C-CHANGE harmonizes multiple guidelines to provide a standardized approach to managing patients at risk for CV disease and those with established CV disease. This project was sponsored by the C-CHANGE/Circulate Health team, including Dr. Sheldon Tobe and Dr. Rahul Jain from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Dr. Karim Keshavjee from Institute of Health Policy. The project focused on clinician and patient education via knowledge translation of the C-CHANGE guidelines. The goal of the project was to improve people heart health by helping them to make small and incremental lifestyle changes.

Collaborative graduate-level teamwork on research: Opioid Crisis

Community Supportive Safe Environment (CSSE) is a pilot project which focuses on the role of a well-informed community in tackling the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) issue through prevention and harm reduction approaches. This proposed intervention is a non-institutional and community-based approach with contextual footing that address the Parkdale area as a hotspot area. This intervention aims to contribute extensively to the opioid discussion, unveiling a new window of addressing the problem, assisting in reducing opioid related deaths, and introducing and redesigning a more adoptable and effective harm reduction unit -Community Supportive Safe Unit (CSSU).

Collaborative graduate-level teamwork on research: Food in Hospital

Comprehensive literature review and research to study the food system and its impacts on food within the hospitals, and also to show how the quality of food can impacts patients’ health and well-being. This research project consisted of different phases, including: literature review, applying different design techniques, specifically different mapping, and creating the synthesis map which was exclusive visualization of our findings.

Research review: Healthy eating & Determinants of healthy eating

A comprehensive literature review and research to study healthy eating as one of the most important global health issues. The study consists of three parts, including:

  • Paper issue which aims to identify different determinants that impact eating behavior, such as; Individual and environmental factors.
  • System map paper which by applying system design methods aims to uncover complex food system, its different domains and levels in order to identify gaps which might be potential intervention opportunities.
  • Innovation proposal paper which explains the food education domain as one of the most important areas of intervention, and propose design ideas that by emphasizing on food education programs and strategies might improve population’s health and well-being.

Collaborative graduate-level teamwork on research, design and prototyping for fall-prevention – Supported by the Providence Healthcare

Comprehensive primary and secondary research, investigation, identification to propose the potential fall-prevention design interventions that address the problem of falls and aim to prevent and mitigate falls among elder patients within the Providence Healthcare in two different settings, including: Rehabilitation Hospital and House of Providence.

Collaborative graduate-level teamwork on research, design and prototyping for cable management involved in operating a defibrillator – supported by the Toronto Paramedic Services

A design that responds to the management issues of numerous cables that are involved in operating a defibrillator by the staff at the Toronto Paramedic Services, resulting in increased stress for paramedics and an increased response time during patient assessment processes during an emergency. The prototype (LE TANGO) consists of a light and flexible comb to keep the ECG leads separated and an unattached coiling system that provides control over the amount of extended cables, easing the storage and removal of the cables in the case.

Collaborative graduate-level teamwork on research, design and prototyping of an Ebola level PPE – supported by the University Health Network (UHN)

A research and design project that improves the safety, comfort and efficacy of healthcare workers (HCW) exposed to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) by focusing on the head and neck portions of existing PPE: The final budget-aware designed prototype (MCKS 2) reduced heat accumulation and condensation in a one-piece shroud with an adjustable face shield and an integrated N95 respirator and adjustable exhaust tube.

Interior Design Gallery

Home-daycare Facility

Converging the interior designs of a home-daycare for children and a living space with ongoing access to the care facility

This project addresses the difficulties of completely overhauling a typical home basement into a space that accommodates a full-time daycare business, in compliance with building code requirements and standards. A key objective was to create a safe, educational, functional and aesthetically pleasing space for children in tandem with the complete design of the main floor of the 2-story home and with special consideration to accessibility, improved usability, access to the business and living functionality.

Residential Renovation

3-story residential design, consultation, construction, procurement, implementation and full-range project management

This feature represents the offering of a full-range sustainable interior design and construction service for a 40+ year old 3-story residential reconstruction project. The high-budget contemporary redesign and implementation was completed on time and below target budget and included all phases of planning, design, user-centred consultations, procurements and purchasing, management of construction contractors and all stages of the final interior decoration process.

Graduate collaborative teamwork on research, design and prototyping of a wearable device and app for Chronic Asthma

A human-centered design process and application of evidence-based research to the design of an integrated functional, reliable and efficient wearable device and app (“Respiro”) that enable the detection, measurement and monitoring of a human’s vital signs and environmental trigger factors, in order to predict and prevent the situations that can be hazardous for a person with chronic lower respiratory disease – asthma and COPD.

Preventing Problematic Substance Use Among Youth Through Enhancing Their Awareness and Resiliency


Problematic substance use is one of the most critical public health issues, which needs a broad national attempt, strong collaboration, and comprehensive research to identify effective tackling solutions that are feasible, comprehensive, compassionate, and evidence-based (HHS, 2016).

Although tackling the substance use issue requires interventions across different areas of prevention, treatment, and harm reduction, evidence-based prevention interventions playing an essential role not only in reducing substance use, also addressing a wide range of potential problems beyond that, specifically among youths (National Report, 2016). It is evident that the youth population (defined in this study as 12-18- years old) is one of the at-risk populations, which needs a special focus and specific prevention strategies. Early experience with substance use not only affects youth population’s current health and well-being, also has several negative outcomes on their future development and life and on the community as a whole (CCSA (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse), 2007).

This study focuses on the potential preventive intervention, which may be an opportunity to prevent, reduce, or delay problematic substance use among youths. This paper describes the development of a prevention toolkit model, which is based on the Risk & Resiliency theory and aims to reduce risk-taking behavior (focused on Substance use) in the youth population by enhancing their awareness and resilience. Resiliency is an important aspect of mental well-being, which enables young people to manage their lives well and positively, in spite of any trauma or adversity that they have experienced. The development of resilience is associated with not only the prevention of problematic substance use, also other problematic behaviors that put young people at risk, such as: bullying, violence, mental health problems, early sexual activity, depression and suicide. Investing in the resilience is seen as a powerful promoting step, which is not only a powerful skill to overcome different types of adversities, also has a huge impact on youth’s promoting academic success, better mental and physical health, and more socially responsible lifestyles (Rudzinski, McDonough, & et al., 2017).


Problematic substance use, adolescents, youth population, risk & resilience theory, prevention, substance use management, strength-based skills

Maryam Mallakin, 2020. Preventing Problematic Substance Use Among Youth (defined here as 12-18 years old) Through Enhancing Their Awareness and resiliency.