Stephen Hwang


Director, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions


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

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. Mejia-Lancheros, C, Lachaud, J, Nisenbaum, R, Wang, A, Stergiopoulos, V, Hwang, SW et al.. Dental problems and chronic diseases in mentally ill homeless adults: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2020;20 (1):419. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-08499-7. PubMed PMID:32228526 PubMed Central PMC7106680.
  2. Noel, CW, Mok, F, Wu, V, Eskander, A, Yao, CMKL, Hwang, SW et al.. Hearing loss and hearing needs in an adult homeless population: a prospective cross-sectional study. CMAJ Open. ;8 (1):E199-E204. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20190220. PubMed PMID:32184284 PubMed Central PMC7082104.
  3. Liu, M, Mejia-Lancheros, C, Lachaud, J, Nisenbaum, R, Stergiopoulos, V, Hwang, SW et al.. Resilience and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Associations With Poor Mental Health Among Homeless Adults. Am J Prev Med. 2020; :. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.12.017. PubMed PMID:32147372 .
  4. Mejia-Lancheros, C, Lachaud, J, O'Campo, P, Wiens, K, Nisenbaum, R, Wang, R et al.. Trajectories and mental health-related predictors of perceived discrimination and stigma among homeless adults with mental illness. PLoS ONE. 2020;15 (2):e0229385. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229385. PubMed PMID:32106225 PubMed Central PMC7046214.
  5. Gadermann, AM, Karim, ME, Norena, M, Emerson, SD, Hubley, AM, Russell, LB et al.. The Association of Residential Instability and Hospitalizations among Homeless and Vulnerably Housed Individuals: Results from a Prospective Cohort Study. J Urban Health. 2020;97 (2):239-249. doi: 10.1007/s11524-019-00406-9. PubMed PMID:32078728 PubMed Central PMC7101457.
  6. Nasmith, TE, Gadermann, A, Jaworsky, D, Norena, M, To, MJ, Hwang, SW et al.. Clinically significant substance use and residential stability among homeless or vulnerably housed persons in Canada: a longitudinal cohort study. J Public Health (Oxf). 2020; :. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdaa018. PubMed PMID:32076717 .
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 .
  10. 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.
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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