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. Goligher, EC, Del Sorbo, L, Cheung, AM, Alibhai, SM, Liao, L, Easson, A et al.. Why conscientious objection merits respect. CMAJ. 2016;188 (11):822-3. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.1150113. PubMed PMID:27503992 PubMed Central PMC4978582.
  2. Guilcher, SJ, Hamilton-Wright, S, Skinner, W, Woodhall-Melnik, J, Ferentzy, P, Wendaferew, A et al.. "Talk with me": perspectives on services for men with problem gambling and housing instability. BMC Health Serv Res. 2016;16 (a):340. doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1583-3. PubMed PMID:27485610 PubMed Central PMC4971622.
  3. Jaworsky, D, Gadermann, A, Duhoux, A, Naismith, TE, Norena, M, To, MJ et al.. Residential Stability Reduces Unmet Health Care Needs and Emergency Department Utilization among a Cohort of Homeless and Vulnerably Housed Persons in Canada. J Urban Health. 2016;93 (4):666-81. doi: 10.1007/s11524-016-0065-6. PubMed PMID:27457795 .
  4. Adair, CE, Kopp, B, Distasio, J, Hwang, SW, Lavoie, J, Veldhuizen, S et al.. Housing Quality in a Randomized Controlled Trial of Housing First for Homeless Individuals with Mental Illness: Correlates and Associations with Outcomes. J Urban Health. 2016;93 (4):682-97. doi: 10.1007/s11524-016-0062-9. PubMed PMID:27402549 .
  5. Kouyoumdjian, FG, Kiefer, L, Wobeser, W, Gonzalez, A, Hwang, SW. Mortality over 12 years of follow-up in people admitted to provincial custody in Ontario: a retrospective cohort study. CMAJ Open. ;4 (2):E153-61. Epub 2016/4/27. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20150098. PubMed PMID:27398358 PubMed Central PMC4933645.
  6. Sumalinog, R, Harrington, K, Dosani, N, Hwang, SW. Advance care planning, palliative care, and end-of-life care interventions for homeless people: A systematic review. Palliat Med. 2016; :. doi: 10.1177/0269216316649334. PubMed PMID:27260169 .
  7. 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;31 (9):1011-8. doi: 10.1007/s11606-016-3680-8. PubMed PMID:27197973 PubMed Central PMC4978672.
  8. 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 :156. doi: 10.1186/s12913-016-1407-5. PubMed PMID:27121969 PubMed Central PMC4848852.
  9. 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 .
  10. 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 .
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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