Faculty and Staff


Elaine Hyshka, BA, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor

Public Health, School of

About Me

I am a health services and policy researcher focused on advancing a public health approach to substance use by: (1) evaluating novel interventions designed to reduce the health, social, and economic costs of drug and alcohol use; (2) analyzing the social, legal and political determinants of substance use policy and practice; and (3) examining health inequities and service barriers faced by socially marginalized populations experiencing problematic drug or alcohol use. I am committed to engaged scholarship, and my research is conducted in partnership with several local, provincial, and national-level service providers, policymakers, and public health advocacy organizations. 

Beyond my faculty position, I am the Scientific Director of the Royal Alexandra Hospital's Inner City Health and Wellness Program. In this role, I work with affiliated clinicians, senior hospital leaders, and community partners to implement clinical practice and hospital policy changes that redefine the healthcare experience for people living with substance use disorders, and evaluate their impact on both patients and staff. The overall aim of this research program is to reduce health inequities and contribute to development of new standards of care for substance use disorders that are not only ethical and effective, but truly patient-centred. 


Doctor of Philosophy, Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta, 2016
Master of Arts, Sociology, University of Toronto, 2008
Certificate, Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies, University of Toronto, 2008
Bachelor of Arts (with distinction), Sociology, University of Alberta, 2007 


Policywise for Children and Families Early Career Transition Award
Avenue Magazine Top 40 under 40 (Class of 2016)

Research Keywords

Harm reduction
Illicit substance use
Drug and alcohol policy
Substance use services
Health ethics, law, and policy
Engaged scholarship
Health services research
Program evaluation