SREMI Researcher Profile

Dr. Aaron Orkin


Dr. Aaron Orkin is the newest member of the SREMI team. He is an emergency and public health physician, and a doctoral student in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the University of Toronto. His research is supported by a Fellowship Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Schwartz/ Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute.

Dr. Orkin’s research engages laypeople directly in the delivery of emergency care, especially through innovative first aid programs that target vulnerable and underserviced patients.


Opioid overdose is now a global epidemic, and the third leading cause of accidental death in Ontario. People dealing with drug-related emergencies can face barriers that distance them from emergency health services, with tragic and often fatal results. Dr. Orkin’s  research is about distributing an opioid antidote called naloxone to people who are likely to witness overdose, and equipping them with the life-saving skills that they need to respond to overdose emergencies. Dr. Orkin’s research focuses on community-based and collaborative strategies that involve patients in every step of the research process. His research is reshaping how laypeople respond to everyday emergencies, enhancing the way emergency providers engage with vulnerable populations, and activating the public to respond to complex community health problems.

Dr. Orkin helped pioneer Ontario’s first naloxone distribution program in Toronto. Dr. Orkin developed the first American Heart  Association guidelines for overdose education and naloxone distribution, and was invited to address Canada’s national summit on opioids. His research engages with partners in public health, family medicine, resuscitation, addictions and mental health across Canada, and with community and non-profit agencies including the American Heart Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada, and the Canadian Red Cross. Dr. Orkin’s research and collaborations extend emergency medicine and research beyond hospital doors and into the hands of the patients who need it most.

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