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Creating equitable and healthy environments

My areas of interest include community-based research, built and natural environments, critical race theory, public health, social determinants, mental health and wellbeing, equity and anti-racism, intersectionality, and participatory and visual methods.

My research work is situated at the intersections of health equity, social determinants of health, environmental justice and community development - with a focus on understanding the lived experiences of people who face social barriers to health and well-being. I have worked at several research institutions including Public Health Ontario, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), the Wellesley Institute, Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael's Hospital.

Selected Publications

  • Ho J.W., Bellicoso E., Bondy M., Hollness D.L., Muntaner C., Nisenbaum R., Ruco A., Hassen N., Hanna A., Pinto A.D. (2024). A Brief Tool to Screen Patients for Precarious Employment: A Validation Study. Annals of Family Medicine, 22(1), 26-30. Available at
  • Lomax. S., Cafaro, C.L., Hassen, N., Whitlow, C., Magid, K. and Jaffe, G. (2022) Centering Mental Health in Society: A Human Rights Approach to Well-Being for All. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Available at
  • Lemieux, C., Groulx, M.W., Buxton, R. T., Blye, C.J., Reining, C. E., Hassen, N. et al. (2022). The ‘Healthy Parks -Healthy People’ Movement in Canada: Progress, Challenges, and An Emerging Knowledge-Action Agenda. PARKS The International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation. Available at
  • Hapsari, A.P., Ho, J.W. Meaney, C., Avery, L., Hassen, N., Jetha, A., Lay, M.A., Rotondi, M., Zuberi, D. & Pinto, A., (2022). The working conditions for personal support workers in the Greater Toronto Area during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods study. Canadian Journal of Public Health. Available at
  • Hassen, N. (2021). Leveraging Built Environment Interventions to Equitably Promote Health During and After COVID-19 in Toronto, Canada. Health Promotion International, daab128. Available at
  • Hassen, N., Lofters, A., Michael, S., Mall, A., Pinto, A. and Rackal, J. (2021). Implementing Anti-Racism Interventions in Healthcare Settings: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(6). Free access at
  • Pinto, A., Hassen, N. & Craig-Neil, A. (2018). Employment interventions for patients in health care settings: A systematic review and synthesis. Annals of Family Medicine, 16(5), 447-460.
  • Hassen, N, Tyler, I & Manson, H. (2017) Influence of revised public health standards on health equity action: a qualitative study in Ontario, Canada. International Journal of Equity in Health, 16:187-198
  • Hassen, N & Kaufman, P. (2016). Examining the role of urban street design in enhancing community engagement: A literature review. Health & Place, 41, 119-132.

Selected Reports + Papers

Select Invited Talks and Conference Presentations

  • Hassen, N. (2023, Nov 7). Fostering Social and Health Equity in Public Greenspaces.
    Keynote delivered at Green Citizen Symposium. Seneca Polytechnic.
  • Hassen, N. (2023, June 22). Towards racial and health equity in public spaces: The Park Perceptions and Racialized Realities Project. Oral presentation delivered at Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) Conference (virtual presentation).
  • Hassen, N. and the 4theRecord Team. (2023, June 12). “Risk Looks Different in White Queer People Than Brown Queer People”: Intersecting Identities in Shaping the Intimate Experiences of Queer Youth. Oral Presentation at the Graduate Student Symposium, LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, York University.
  • Hassen, N. (2023, June 22). The Power and Politics of Data: Advancing Equitable Futures in Parks and Greenspaces. Panel Speaker at Park People Canada Conference, Toronto, Canada.
  • Hassen, N. and Flicker, S. (2023, May 30). Collaborative “Sensemaking”: Picturing a Feminist, Anti-Racist CBPAR Dissertation [Conference Panel Presentation]. Women's and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (WGSRF), Congress, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • Flicker, S. & Hassen, N. and 4theRecord Research Team (2023, May 31). An Intersectional Feminist Approach to Gathering and Analyzing Stories that Reconsider Risk [Conference Panel Presentation]. Women's and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (WGSRF), Congress, Toronto, ON, Canada.
  • Tenneti, A., Hassen, N., Scott, J.L., and Ponnudurai, R. (2022, Sept 21). Leading Diversity and Equity in Parks: A Field Guide. Panel Presentation at the Park People Canada Conference.
  • Hassen, N. and Flicker, S., (2022, May 19). Racialized realities in greenspaces: Exploring the connections between public greenspace, race and mental health equity in two neighbourhoods in Toronto, Canada. Roundtable presentation at the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Conference.
  • Hassen, N. (2021, February 21). Improving social connections in our communities through the built environment. Keynote delivered at Fit Cities Fit Towns Canada Conference. Housing for Health, University of Alberta.
  • Hassen, N. (2020, November 25). Deepening the conservation conversation: Exploring the connection between biodiversity, wellbeing and inclusion. Park People Webinar Series: 7 Questions: The Future of Parks and Public Spaces.
  • Hassen, N., (2020, October 8). Park Prescriptions: Examining the Link between Urban Green Space and Mental Health and Well-being. Paper presentation at Coming
    Together for Action Conference, Global Alliance for Behavioural Health and Social Justice. (virtual conference)
  • Hassen, N., Knights, C., Lofters, A. & Rackal, J. (2020, October 7). Addressing Racism in Healthcare: Strategies and Lessons Learned from an Anti-Racism Initiative in Toronto,
    Canada. Paper presentation at Coming Together for Action Conference, Global Alliance for Behavioural Health and Social Justice. (virtual conference)
  • Hassen, N. (2019, May 2). Examining the link between urban green spaces and mental health: A scoping review and theoretical framework. Oral presentation delivered at
    Healthy Parks, Healthy People Forum, Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Hassen, N., Workentin, A., Michael, S., Mall, A., Pinto, A., Lofters, A. & Rackal, J. (2019, May 1). Anti-racism interventions in healthcare settings: A scoping review. Oral
    presentation delivered at Public Health 2019, Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Hassen, N. & Pinto, A. (2017, May 31). Employment Interventions in Health Care Settings: A Systematic Review. Oral Presentation delivered at 2017 Trillium Primary
    Health Care Research Day.
  • Manson, H., Tyler, I & Hassen, N. (2016, April 7). Action on Priority Populations. Oral
    presentation delivered at The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC), Post - TOPHC Workshop.
  • Tyler, I. & Hassen, N. (2015, May 26). Priority Populations Project: A Proportionate Approach. Oral presentation delivered at Public Health 2015, Canadian Public Health
    Association (CPHA) Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Hassen, N. Examining the Role of Street Design in Creating Healthy and Engaging Communities. Presentation at Public Health 2015, Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) Conference  (2015, May 26).
  • From Policymaker to Practitioner: Identifying Priority Populations in  Ontario, Canada. Poster presentation at the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) Young Researcher’s Forum (2014, Nov 19).
  • Hassen, N. Addressing the Social Determinants of Mental Health: A Consumer's Perspective.Presentation at the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference. (2014, June 20).
  • Laurin, A., Hassen, N. & Jaffe, G. Removing Tokenism: Meaningful Youth Involvement in an HIV and AIDS Support and Awareness Focused Organization that Teaches, Facilitates and Nurtures Youth Voice - Building a Sustainable Model. Poster presented at the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS2012). (2012, July 25).