Faculty and Staff


Elaine Hyshka, BA, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor

Public Health, School of

About Me

My research spans health services and systems and population health pillars and is focused on advancing a public health approach to substance use.

Prior to joining the School of Public Health as a faculty member, I completed a Doctor of Philosophy in health promotion and socio-behavioural sciences and a studentship in health services and policy research (University of Alberta). I also hold a Master of Arts in Sociology and Certificate in Addiction Studies (University of Toronto), and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (University of Alberta).

My commitment to high-quality research and public health leadership has been recognized by several awards, including Harm Reduction International’s Brooklyn McNeil Rae of Hope Award (2017), a Policywise for Children and Families Early Career Transition Award (2017-2018), a University of Alberta Community Scholar Award (2017), and an Alberta Health Services' President's Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievements in Innovation (2016). 


My research program leverages my interdisciplinary background and diverse methodological experience to generate new knowledge that advances health systems innovation and improves health outcomes. My research group has a core engaged scholarship orientation and our work is conducted from start to finish in partnership with people with lived experience of substance use, poverty, and homelessness; healthcare providers; health authorities; civil society organizations; governments; and other key stakeholders. 

We are embedded at the Royal Alexandra Hospital—one of Canada’s largest and busiest acute care facilities—where I am Scientific Director of the Inner City Health and Wellness Program and lead its research arm. Our work spans health services and systems and population health pillars, and has four complementary foci:

  1. Evaluating health systems innovations designed to reduce substance use morbidity and mortality
  2. Understanding determinants of public health policy change and critically analyzing substance use policy
  3. Developing pathways to health equity for structurally vulnerable people who use substances
  4. Supporting the spread of evidence-informed health systems innovations addressing substance use


SPH 546 - Public Health Leadership and Professional Practice II

SPH 500 - Introduction to Health Policy and Management