Stephen Hwang


Director, Centre for Urban Health Solutions


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. Stergiopoulos, V, Gozdzik, A, Cohen, A, Guimond, T, Hwang, SW, Kurdyak, P et al.. The effect of brief case management on emergency department use of frequent users in mental health: Findings of a randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE. 2017;12 (8):e0182157. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182157. PubMed PMID:28771524 PubMed Central PMC5542632.
  2. Latimer, EA, Rabouin, D, Cao, Z, Ly, A, Powell, G, Aubry, T et al.. Costs of services for homeless people with mental illness in 5 Canadian cities: a large prospective follow-up study. CMAJ Open. 2017;5 (3):E576-E585. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20170018. PubMed PMID:28724726 PubMed Central PMC5621955.
  3. Jogova, M, Hwang, SW. Fluid-filled striae in a patient with hypoalbuminemia. CMAJ. 2017;189 (28):E942. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.161410. PubMed PMID:28716850 PubMed Central PMC5515648.
  4. Aquin, JP, Roos, LE, Distasio, J, Katz, LY, Bourque, J, Bolton, JM et al.. Effect of Housing First on Suicidal Behaviour: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Homeless Adults with Mental Disorders. Can J Psychiatry. 2017;62 (7):473-481. doi: 10.1177/0706743717694836. PubMed PMID:28683228 PubMed Central PMC5528985.
  5. Stajduhar, KI, Mollison, A, Gleave, D, Hwang, SW. When cancer hits the streets. Curr Oncol. 2017;24 (3):149-150. doi: 10.3747/co.24.3698. PubMed PMID:28680272 PubMed Central PMC5486377.
  6. Persaud, N, Lee, T, Ahmad, H, Li, W, Taglione, MS, Rajakulasingam, Y et al.. Protocol for a randomised controlled trial evaluating the effects of providing essential medicines at no charge: the Carefully seLected and Easily Accessible at No Charge Medicines (CLEAN Meds) trial. BMJ Open. 2017;7 (5):e015686. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015686. PubMed PMID:28611089 PubMed Central PMC5623428.
  7. Smith, OM, Chant, C, Burns, KEA, Kaur, M, Ashraf, S, DosSantos, CC et al.. Characteristics, clinical course, and outcomes of homeless and non-homeless patients admitted to ICU: A retrospective cohort study. PLoS ONE. 2017;12 (6):e0179207. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179207. PubMed PMID:28604792 PubMed Central PMC5467852.
  8. O'Campo, P, Hwang, SW, Gozdzik, A, Schuler, A, Kaufman-Shriqui, V, Poremski, D et al.. Food security among individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness in the At Home/Chez Soi Trial. Public Health Nutr. 2017;20 (11):2023-2033. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017000489. PubMed PMID:28560947 .
  9. Nikoo, M, Gadermann, A, To, MJ, Krausz, M, Hwang, SW, Palepu, A et al.. Incidence and Associated Risk Factors of Traumatic Brain Injury in a Cohort of Homeless and Vulnerably Housed Adults in 3 Canadian Cities. J Head Trauma Rehabil. ;32 (4):E19-E26. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000262. PubMed PMID:28489699 .
  10. To, MJ, Palepu, A, Matheson, FI, Ecker, J, Farrell, S, Hwang, SW et al.. The effect of incarceration on housing stability among homeless and vulnerably housed individuals in three Canadian cities: A prospective cohort study. Can J Public Health. 2017;107 (6):e550-e555. . PubMed PMID:28252374 .
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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