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.

Please note: Dr. Hwang is not taking any summer students in 2018.

Recent Publications

  1. 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 .
  2. 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 .
  3. 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 .
  4. Stergiopoulos, V, Gozdzik, A, Nisenbaum, R, Durbin, J, Hwang, SW, O'Campo, P et al.. Bridging Hospital and Community Care for Homeless Adults with Mental Health Needs: Outcomes of a Brief Interdisciplinary Intervention. Can J Psychiatry. 2018; :706743718772539. doi: 10.1177/0706743718772539. PubMed PMID:29716396 .
  5. Bekele, T, Globerman, J, Watson, J, Hwang, SW, Hambly, K, Koornstra, J et al.. Elevated Mortality and Associated Social Determinants of Health in a Community-Based Sample of People Living with HIV in Ontario, Canada: Findings from the Positive Spaces, Healthy Places (PSHP) Study. AIDS Behav. 2018; :. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2040-6. PubMed PMID:29557541 .
  6. Mirpuri, S, Gill, P, Ocampo, A, Roberts, N, Narang, B, Hwang, SW et al.. Discrimination and Health Among Taxi Drivers in New York and Toronto. J Community Health. 2018; :. doi: 10.1007/s10900-018-0466-4. PubMed PMID:29368104 .
  7. Katz, AS, Brisbois, B, Zerger, S, Hwang, SW. Social Impact Bonds as a Funding Method for Health and Social Programs: Potential Areas of Concern. Am J Public Health. 2018;108 (2):210-215. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304157. PubMed PMID:29267055 .
  8. Verma, AA, Guo, Y, Kwan, JL, Lapointe-Shaw, L, Rawal, S, Tang, T et al.. Patient characteristics, resource use and outcomes associated with general internal medicine hospital care: the General Medicine Inpatient Initiative (GEMINI) retrospective cohort study. CMAJ Open. 2017;5 (4):E842-E849. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20170097. PubMed PMID:29237706 PubMed Central PMC5741428.
  9. Aldridge, RW, Story, A, Hwang, SW, Nordentoft, M, Luchenski, SA, Hartwell, G et al.. Morbidity and mortality in homeless individuals, prisoners, sex workers, and individuals with substance use disorders in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2017; :. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31869-X. PubMed PMID:29137869 PubMed Central PMC5803132.
  10. 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.
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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