Stephen Hwang


Director, Centre for Research on Inner City Health


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. Saab, D, Nisenbaum, R, Dhalla, I, Hwang, SW. Hospital Readmissions in a Community-based Sample of Homeless Adults: a Matched-cohort Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2016; :. doi: 10.1007/s11606-016-3680-8. PubMed PMID:27197973 .
  2. Kahan, D, Leszcz, M, O'Campo, P, Hwang, SW, Wasylenki, DA, Kurdyak, P et al.. Integrating care for frequent users of emergency departments: implementation evaluation of a brief multi-organizational intensive case management intervention. BMC Health Serv Res. 2016;16 (1):156. doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1407-5. PubMed PMID:27121969 PubMed Central PMC4848852.
  3. Wise-Harris, D, Pauly, D, Kahan, D, Tan de Bibiana, J, Hwang, SW, Stergiopoulos, V et al.. "Hospital was the Only Option": Experiences of Frequent Emergency Department Users in Mental Health. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2016; :. doi: 10.1007/s10488-016-0728-3. PubMed PMID:26961781 .
  4. To, MJ, MacLeod, A, Hwang, SW. Homelessness in the Medical Curriculum: An Analysis of Case-Based Learning Content From One Canadian Medical School. Teach Learn Med. 2016;28 (1):35-40. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2015.1108198. PubMed PMID:26787083 .
  5. Kouyoumdjian, FG, Schuler, A, McIsaac, KE, Pivnick, L, Matheson, FI, Brown, G et al.. Using a Delphi process to define priorities for prison health research in Canada. BMJ Open. 2016;6 (1):e010125. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010125. PubMed PMID:26769790 PubMed Central PMC4735148.
  6. Poremski, D, Hwang, SW. Willingness of Housing First Participants to Consider Supported-Employment Services. Psychiatr Serv. 2016; :appips201500140. doi: 10.1176/ PubMed PMID:26725296 .
  7. Poremski, D, Distasio, J, Hwang, SW, Latimer, E. Employment and Income of People Who Experience Mental Illness and Homelessness in a Large Canadian Sample. Can J Psychiatry. 2015;60 (9):379-85. . PubMed PMID:26454725 PubMed Central PMC4574713.
  8. Nayyar, D, Hwang, SW. Cardiovascular Health Issues in Inner City Populations. Can J Cardiol. 2015;31 (9):1130-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2015.04.011. PubMed PMID:26321435 .
  9. Stergiopoulos, V, Schuler, A, Nisenbaum, R, deRuiter, W, Guimond, T, Wasylenki, D et al.. The effectiveness of an integrated collaborative care model vs. a shifted outpatient collaborative care model on community functioning, residential stability, and health service use among homeless adults with mental illness: a quasi-experimental study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015;15 :348. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1014-x. PubMed PMID:26315398 PubMed Central PMC4551376.
  10. Figueiredo, RL, Singhal, S, Dempster, L, Hwang, SW, Quinonez, C. The accuracy of International Classification of Diseases coding for dental problems not associated with trauma in a hospital emergency department. J Public Health Dent. 2015;75 (4):343-7. doi: 10.1111/jphd.12115. PubMed PMID:26223987 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of 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