Elaine Hyshka, BA, MA, PhD

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Systems Innovation, School of Public Health


Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Systems Innovation, School of Public Health
(780) 613-5105
4-061 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9




I am currently appointed as an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Health Systems Innovation at the University of Alberta's School of Public Health. My research spans both health services and systems and population health pillars, and focuses on advancing a public health approach to substance use. My program leverages my interdisciplinary background and diverse methodological experience to generate new knowledge that advances health systems innovation and improves health outcomes. My research team 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; and governments at all levels. Our work has three 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. Supporting the spread of evidence-informed health systems innovations addressing substance use

Degrees and Experience

Prior to commencing my faculty position, I completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health Sciences and a CIHR-funded 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 have previously worked in research and policy development for municipal and federal government and within the health system.


My research and public health leadership have been recognized by multiple awards, including a Trailblazer Award (2020) from CIHR's Institute of Population and Public Health, Harm Reduction International’s Brooklyn McNeil Rae of Hope Award (2017), and an Alberta Health Services' President's Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievements in Innovation (2016), among others. Between May 2017 and November 2019, I was appointed Co-Chair of the provincial Minister of Health's Opioid Emergency Response Commission.



I am currently accepting PhD students and MSc students whose interests closely align with my research program. If you are looking for a graduate supervisor in the School of Public Health, please review my publications and email me a short outline of your proposed research topic and a copy of your current CV. More information about my current research is also available here and here.

Featured Publications

Lexis R. Galarneau, Kelsey Speed, Marliss Taylor, Elaine Hyshka

Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2023 October; 10.17269/s41997-023-00803-3

Heather Morris, Hauwa Bwala, Jared Wesley, Elaine Hyshka

Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2023 June; 10.17269/s41997-022-00736-3

Hannah L. Brooks, Ginetta Salvalaggio, Bernadette Pauly, Kathryn Dong, Tania Bubela, Marliss Taylor, Elaine Hyshka

Harm Reduction Journal. 2022 December; 10.1186/s12954-022-00637-1

Kelsey A. Speed, Nicole D. Gehring, Katherine Launier, Daniel O’Brien, Sandy Campbell, Elaine Hyshka

Harm Reduction Journal. 2020 December; 10.1186/s12954-020-00414-y

Elaine Hyshka, Heather Morris, Jalene Anderson-Baron, Lara Nixon, Kathryn Dong, Ginetta Salvalaggio

Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2019 November; 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.06.025

Elaine Hyshka, Jalene Anderson-Baron, Arlanna Pugh, Lynne Belle-Isle, Andrew Hathaway, Bernadette Pauly, Carol Strike, Mark Asbridge, Colleen Dell, Keely McBride, Kenneth Tupper, T. Cameron Wild

International Journal of Drug Policy. 2019 September; 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.12.014

Elaine Hyshka, Jalene Anderson-Baron, Kamagaju Karekezi, Lynne Belle-Isle, Richard Elliott, Bernie Pauly, Carol Strike, Mark Asbridge, Colleen Dell, Keely McBride, Andrew Hathaway, T. Cameron Wild

Harm Reduction Journal. 2017 December; 10.1186/s12954-017-0177-7

Elaine Hyshka, Kamagaju Karekezi, Benjamin Tan, Linda G. Slater, Jesse Jahrig, T. Cameron Wild

BMC Health Services Research. 2017 December; 10.1186/s12913-017-2153-z

Elaine Hyshka, Jalene Tayler Anderson, T. Cameron Wild

Drug and Alcohol Review. 2017 May; 10.1111/dar.12427

Elaine Hyshka, Tania Bubela, T. Cameron Wild

Addiction. 2013 January; 10.1111/add.12064

View additional publications