Stephen Hwang


Director, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions


Please note: Dr. Hwang is not taking any summer students in 2019.

Research Interests

Homelessness, housing as a social determinant of health, health care for homeless persons, marginalized populations, inner city health, urban health, socioeconomic status, access to care, community-based primary health care, health services research, probiotics for the prevention of Clostridium difficile infection.

Research Activities

My research focuses on improving the health of people who are homeless or vulnerably housed and deepening our understanding of housing as a social determinant of health. My current research projects include a study of health care utilization in a sample of 1,191 homeless men, women, and families in Toronto; an observational cohort study of health and housing transitions among 1,200 homeless and vulnerably housed adults in Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver; and the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s “At Home” study, a randomized controlled trial of rent subsidies and mental health supports for individuals who are homeless and have mental health issues.


Recent Publications

  1. Thulien, NS, Kozloff, N, McCay, E, Nisenbaum, R, Wang, A, Hwang, SW et al.. 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 Res Protoc. 2019;8 (12):e15557. doi: 10.2196/15557. PubMed PMID:31859688 PubMed Central PMC6942178.
  2. Magee, C, Norena, M, Hubley, AM, Palepu, A, Hwang, SW, Nisenbaum, R et al.. Longitudinal Associations between Perceived Quality of Living Spaces and Health-Related Quality of Life among Homeless and Vulnerably Housed Individuals Living in Three Canadian Cities. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16 (23):. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16234808. PubMed PMID:31795464 PubMed Central PMC6926800.
  3. Stergiopoulos, V, Mejia-Lancheros, C, Nisenbaum, R, Wang, R, Lachaud, J, O'Campo, P et al.. Long-term effects of rent supplements and mental health support services on housing and health outcomes of homeless adults with mental illness: extension study of the At Home/Chez Soi randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry. 2019;6 (11):915-925. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30371-2. PubMed PMID:31601530 .
  4. Richard, L, Hwang, SW, Forchuk, C, Nisenbaum, R, Clemens, K, Wiens, K et al.. Validation study of health administrative data algorithms to identify individuals experiencing homelessness and estimate population prevalence of homelessness in Ontario, Canada. BMJ Open. 2019;9 (10):e030221. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030221. PubMed PMID:31594882 PubMed Central PMC6797366.
  5. Persaud, N, Bedard, M, Boozary, AS, Glazier, RH, Gomes, T, Hwang, SW et al.. Effect on Treatment Adherence of Distributing Essential Medicines at No Charge: The CLEAN Meds Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2019; :. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.4472. PubMed PMID:31589276 PubMed Central PMC6784757.
  6. Zhang, P, Wiens, K, Wang, R, Luong, L, Ansara, D, Gower, S et al.. Cold Weather Conditions and Risk of Hypothermia Among People Experiencing Homelessness: Implications for Prevention Strategies. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16 (18):. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183259. PubMed PMID:31491874 PubMed Central PMC6765826.
  7. Richler, MJ, Yousaf, S, Hwang, SW, Dewhurst, NF. Descriptive study of homeless patients' perceptions that affect medication adherence. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76 (17):1288-1295. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxz139. PubMed PMID:31418791 .
  8. Miller, DJ, Flynn, JJM, Pasha, S, Yaszay, B, Parent, S, Asghar, J et al.. Improving Health-related Quality of Life for Patients With Nonambulatory Cerebral Palsy: Who Stands to Gain From Scoliosis Surgery?. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019; :. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001424. PubMed PMID:31306277 .
  9. Kozloff, N, Pinto, AD, Stergiopoulos, V, Hwang, SW, O'Campo, P, Bayoumi, AM et al.. Convergent validity of the EQ-5D-3L in a randomized-controlled trial of the Housing First model. BMC Health Serv Res. 2019;19 (1):482. doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-4310-z. PubMed PMID:31300051 PubMed Central PMC6626335.
  10. Kouyoumdjian, FG, Wang, R, Mejia-Lancheros, C, Owusu-Bempah, A, Nisenbaum, R, O'Campo, P et al.. Interactions between Police and Persons Who Experience Homelessness and Mental Illness in Toronto, Canada: Findings from a Prospective Study. Can J Psychiatry. 2019;64 (10):718-725. doi: 10.1177/0706743719861386. PubMed PMID:31248276 PubMed Central PMC6783665.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Staff Physician, Division of General Internal Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Director, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto