Stephen Hwang


Director, 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. Kouyoumdjian, FG, McConnon, A, Herrington, ERS, Fung, K, Lofters, A, Hwang, SW et al.. Cervical Cancer Screening Access for Women Who Experience Imprisonment in Ontario, Canada. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1 (8):e185637. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.5637. PubMed PMID:30646279 .
  2. Kouyoumdjian, FG, Cheng, SY, Fung, K, Humphreys-Mahaffey, S, Orkin, AM, Kendall, C et al.. Primary care utilization in people who experience imprisonment in Ontario, Canada: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018;18 (1):845. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3660-2. PubMed PMID:30413165 PubMed Central PMC6234797.
  3. Shankar, S, Gogosis, E, Palepu, A, Gadermann, AM, Hwang, SW. "I Haven't Given Up and I'm Not Gonna": A Phenomenographic Exploration of Resilience Among Individuals Experiencing Homelessness. Qual Health Res. 2018; :1049732318798353. doi: 10.1177/1049732318798353. PubMed PMID:30253692 .
  4. Kouyoumdjian, FG, Cheng, SY, Fung, K, Orkin, AM, McIsaac, KE, Kendall, C et al.. The health care utilization of people in prison and after prison release: A population-based cohort study in Ontario, Canada. PLoS ONE. 2018;13 (8):e0201592. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201592. PubMed PMID:30075019 PubMed Central PMC6075755.
  5. Roncarati, JS, Baggett, TP, O'Connell, JJ, Hwang, SW, Cook, EF, Krieger, N et al.. Mortality Among Unsheltered Homeless Adults in Boston, Massachusetts, 2000-2009. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178 (9):1242-1248. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2924. PubMed PMID:30073282 PubMed Central PMC6142967.
  6. Katz, AS, O'Campo, P, Brisbois, B, Zerger, S, Hwang, SW. Katz et al. Respond. Am J Public Health. 2018;108 (8):e6-e8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304549. PubMed PMID:29995466 .
  7. Thulien, NS, Gastaldo, D, Hwang, SW, McCay, E. The elusive goal of social integration: A critical examination of the socio-economic and psychosocial consequences experienced by homeless young people who obtain housing. Can J Public Health. 2018;109 (1):89-98. doi: 10.17269/s41997-018-0029-6. PubMed PMID:29981071 .
  8. Durbin, A, Lunsky, Y, Wang, R, Nisenbaum, R, Hwang, SW, O'Campo, P et al.. The Effect of Housing First on Housing Stability for People with Mental Illness and Low Intellectual Functioning. Can J Psychiatry. 2018; :706743718782940. doi: 10.1177/0706743718782940. PubMed PMID:29916270 PubMed Central PMC6299190.
  9. Baggett, TP, Liauw, SS, Hwang, SW. Cardiovascular Disease and Homelessness. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2018;71 (22):2585-2597. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.02.077. PubMed PMID:29852981 .
  10. Sok, P, Gardner, S, Bekele, T, Globerman, J, Seeman, MV, Greene, S et al.. Unmet basic needs negatively affect health-related quality of life in people aging with HIV: results from the Positive Spaces, Healthy Places study. BMC Public Health. 2018;18 (1):644. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5391-z. PubMed PMID:29783965 PubMed Central PMC5963101.
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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