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. Whisler, A, Dosani, N, To, MJ, O'Brien, K, Young, S, Hwang, SW et al.. The effect of a Housing First intervention on primary care retention among homeless individuals with mental illness. PLoS One. 2021;16 (2):e0246859. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246859. PubMed PMID:33571302 PubMed Central PMC7877594.
  2. Wang, A, Pridham, KF, Nisenbaum, R, Pedersen, C, Brown, R, Hwang, SW et al.. Factors Associated with Readmission Among General Internal Medicine Patients Experiencing Homelessness. J Gen Intern Med. 2021; :. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06483-w. PubMed PMID:33515192 .
  3. Liu, M, Mejia-Lancheros, C, Lachaud, J, Latimer, E, Aubry, T, Somers, J et al.. Overall and Gender-specific Associations between Dimensions of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Mental Health Outcomes among Homeless Adults: Associations Générales et Sexospécifiques Entre les Dimensions des Expériences Défavorables de L'enfance et les Résultats de Santé Mentale Chez les Adultes Sans Abri. Can J Psychiatry. 2021; :706743721989158. doi: 10.1177/0706743721989158. PubMed PMID:33502253 .
  4. Liu, M, Hwang, SW. Health care for homeless people. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2021;7 (1):5. doi: 10.1038/s41572-020-00241-2. PubMed PMID:33446661 .
  5. Sayani, A, Vahabi, M, O'Brien, MA, Liu, G, Hwang, SW, Selby, P et al.. Perspectives of family physicians towards access to lung cancer screening for individuals living with low income - a qualitative study. BMC Fam Pract. 2021;22 (1):10. doi: 10.1186/s12875-020-01354-z. PubMed PMID:33413135 PubMed Central PMC7791696.
  6. Wiens, K, Rosella, LC, Kurdyak, P, Hwang, SW. Patterns and predictors of high-cost users of the health system: a data linkage protocol to combine a cohort study and randomised controlled trial of adults with a history of homelessness. BMJ Open. 2020;10 (12):e039966. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039966. PubMed PMID:33380481 PubMed Central PMC7780507.
  7. Mejia-Lancheros, C, Lachaud, J, Stergiopoulos, V, Matheson, FI, Nisenbaum, R, O'Campo, P et al.. Effect of Housing First on violence-related traumatic brain injury in adults with experiences of homelessness and mental illness: findings from the At Home/Chez Soi randomised trial, Toronto site. BMJ Open. 2020;10 (12):e038443. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038443. PubMed PMID:33277277 PubMed Central PMC7722391.
  8. Lee, SH, Walshe, M, Oh, EH, Hwang, SW, Park, SH, Yang, DH et al.. Early Changes in Serum Albumin Predict Clinical and Endoscopic Outcomes in Patients With Ulcerative Colitis Starting Anti-TNF Treatment. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2020; :. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izaa309. PubMed PMID:33269403 .
  9. Kirst, M, Friesdorf, R, Ta, M, Amiri, A, Hwang, SW, Stergiopoulos, V et al.. Patterns and effects of social integration on housing stability, mental health and substance use outcomes among participants in a randomized controlled Housing First trial. Soc Sci Med. 2020;265 :113481. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113481. PubMed PMID:33218893 .
  10. Sayal, AP, Popovic, MM, Mustafa, M, Hwang, SW, Lichter, M. The Attitudes of Canadian Ophthalmology Residents and Pre-Clerkship Medical Students at an Ontario Medical School Towards Homeless Individuals: A Cross-Sectional Study. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2020; :1-7. doi: 10.1080/09286586.2020.1846759. PubMed PMID:33208013 .
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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