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Naomi Thulien


Dr. Naomi Thulien joined the School of Nursing in November 2018 as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Thulien is a nurse practitioner and researcher committed to tackling the social structural inequities that cause and perpetuate youth homelessness. Dr. Thulien completed her PhD at the University of Toronto where she earned a Dean’s Medal – the highest academic honor offered by the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. While pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto, Dr. Thulien completed the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and obtained a Certificate of Advanced Methodological Training in Qualitative Research from the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research.

Dr. Thulien completed postdoctoral training at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions – a research institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto dedicated to addressing health inequities through scientific excellence. She maintains a part-time clinical practice at Covenant House Toronto and the Youth Wellness Centre (in collaboration with the Shelter Health Network) in Hamilton. 

ORCID ID is 0000-0003-1483-9352

Select Publications

  • Thulien, N.S., Noble, A., Daley, M., French, D., Hwang, S.W., & Kidd, S. (2020). Youth homelessness: Mental health and substance use during COVID-19 (Report). Available at:
  • Thulien, N.S., Kozloff, N., McCay, E., Nisenbaum, R., Wang, A., & Hwang, S.W. (2019). Evaluating the effects of a rent subsidy and mentoring intervention for youth transitioning out of homelessness: Protocol for a mixed methods, community-based pilot randomized controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols8(12), e15557. doi:10.2196/15557. 

  • Thulien, N.S. & Wang, A. (2019). "Some homeless programs treat you like helpless dogs": The importance of identity in socio-economic inclusion and homelessness prevention. Parity, 32(8), 60-63. Available at: 

  • Thulien, N.S., Gastaldo, D., McCay, E., & Hwang, S.W. (201​9). “I want to be able to show everyone that it is possible to go from being nothing in the world to being something”: Identity as a determinant of social integration. Children and Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.11.005.

  • Thulien, N.S., Gastaldo, D., Hwang, S.W., & McCay, E. (2018). The elusive goal of social integration: A critical examination of the economic and psychosocial consequences experienced by homeless young people who obtain housing. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 109(1). doi: 10.17269/s41997-018-0029-6.

  • Thulien, N.S. (2017). Precarious lives: A critical examination of homeless youth transitions to independent housing (Doctoral dissertation). University of Toronto: Toronto, ON. Available at:
  • Lofters, A., Slater, M., Fumakia, N., & Thulien, N. (2014). "Brain drain" and "brain waste": Experiences of international medical graduates in Ontario. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 7, 81-89. doi:10.2147/RMHP.560708.
  • Thulien, N. (2014). Innovative approaches to cervical cancer screening for sex trade workers: An international scoping review. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 36(3), 231-239.
  • Lofters, A., Slater, M., & Thulien, N. (2013). The ‘brain drain’: Factors influencing physician migration to Canada. Health, 5(1), 125-137. doi:10.4236/health.2013.51017.


  • Dean’s Medal Award, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. 2017.
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. 2014-2016, $30,000.
  • Outstanding Nurse Practitioner Award of Merit, Sigma Theta Tau International Lambda Pi-At-Large. 2013.


  • Noble, A. (Nominated Principal Investigator), & Thulien, N.S. (Co-Principal Investigator); Collaborators: Creamer, J., Daley, M., Heineck, K., Raine, L., Smith, L., White, J. Responding to Youth Homelessness in the Midst of a Pandemic: Shifting to Collaborative, Prevention-Based Services in a Large Urban Setting. Making the Shift: Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab (2020-2021; $33,435). 
  • Dej, E. (Principal Investigator); Co-Investigators: Schwan, K., Malenfant, J., Thulien, N.S., Kidd, S.; Collaborators: Hache, A., Redman, M. Understanding Young Women’s Experiences of Loneliness and Isolation During COVID-19 and Beyond: Participatory Research to Envision a Way Forward. Making the Shift: Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab (2020-2021; $39,999).
  • Thulien, N.S. (Nominated Principal Investigator), & Noble, A. (Co-Principal Investigator); Co-Investigators: Hwang, S.W., & Kidd, S.; Collaborators: Daley, M., & French, D. Pandemic-Proof: Synthesizing Real-World Knowledge of Promising Mental Health and Substance Use Practices for Young People Who Are Experiencing or Have Experienced Homelessness During COVID-19. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): Knowledge Synthesis Grant: COVID-19 in Mental Health and Substance Use (2020 – 2021; $49,548).
  • Hwang, S.W. (Program Leader); Program Experts: Aubry, T., Dunn, J., Fabreau, G., Gaetz, S., Heineck, K., Isaranuwtchai, W., Nisenbaum, R., Palepu, A., Raine, L., Richter, T., Stergiopoulos, V., Thulien, N.S., Watson, K. Interventions Research in Homelessness, Housing, and Health. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): Foundation Grant (2019 – 2027; $3,972,033).
  • Begun, S. (Principal Investigator); Co-Investigators: Fallon, B., Gaetz, S., Kidd, S., King, B., Nichols, N., Schwan, K., Thulien, N.S.; Collaborators: French, D., Noble, A., O’Connor, C. An Examination of Homeless Youths’ Longitudinal Aftercare Experiences. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC): Insight Grant (2019 – 2023; $92,979). 
  • Dej, E. (Principal Investigator); Co-Investigators: Kidd, S.,  Schwan, K., Thulien, N.S. Home Alone: Young Women’s Experiences of Social Exclusion for Those Exiting Homelessness. SHRC: Insight Development Grant (2019 – 2022; $69,835).
  • Mejia-Lancheros, C. & Hwang, S.W. (Principal Investigators); Co-investigators: Lachaud, J., Nisenbaum, R., O’Campo, P., Stergiopoulos, V., Thulien, N.S. Toronto At Home/Chez Soi Qualitative Follow-up Study: Understanding the Additional Services Needed to Support People Experiencing Homelessness and Mental Health Problems to Improve Their Overall Wellbeing Outcomes. St. Michael's Hospital Research Training Centre (2019 - 2020; $15,000).
  • Thulien, N.S. (Principal Investigator); Co-Investigators: Hwang, S.W., Kozloff, N., McCay, E., Nisenbaum, R. Transitioning Youth Out of Homelessness: A Mixed Methods Community-Based Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Rent Subsidy and Mentoring Intervention in Three Canadian Cities. St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation (2018-202​2; $​500,000). 
  • Thulien, N.S. (Principal Investigator); Co-Investigator: Hwang, S.W. The Identity Project: An Evaluation of an Identity-Building Intervention for Young People Transitioning Away from Homelessness. Ontario Trillium Foundation: Local Poverty Reduction Fund (2018-2020; $114,900).


For her doctoral work, Dr. Thulien conducted a ten-month critical ethnographic study, examining the experiences of nine homeless young people as they transitioned into market rent housing and attempted to achieve meaningful social integration. Despite appearing “successfully housed” the young people lived a precarious existence, one wrong move away from ending up homeless. Her experience conducting this research has made her an ardent advocate for finding solutions to help facilitate young people’s transition away from homelessness and to prevent homelessness from reoccurring. Dr. Thulien’s program of research focuses on testing interventions designed to improve social integration outcomes for young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. She has a keen interest in critical qualitative research and community-based participatory action research methodology.

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