Elaine Hyshka, BA, MA, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Public Health


Associate Professor, School of Public Health
(780) 613-5105
3-256 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 - 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9




I am currently appointed Assistant 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.


SPH 546 - Public Health Leadership and Professional Practice II



Currently accepting MSc and PhD students.


Patient characteristics associated with being offered take home naloxone in a busy, urban emergency department: a retrospective chart review

Author(s): O’Brien, D. C., Dabbs, D., Dong, K., Veugelers, P. J., & Hyshka, E.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: BMC Health Services Research
Volume: 19
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 1-12
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4469-3

Patient perspectives on a harm reduction-oriented addiction medicine consultation team implemented in a large acute care hospital

Author(s): Hyshka, E., Morris, H., Anderson-Baron, J., Nixon, L., Dong, K., & Salvalaggio, G.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Drug and Alcohol Dependence
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.06.025

Principles, practice, and policy vacuums: Policy actor views on provincial/territorial harm reduction policy in Canada

Author(s): Hyshka, E., Anderson-Baron, J., Pugh, A., Belle-Isle, L., Hathaway, A., Pauly, B., … Wild, T. C.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: International Journal of Drug Policy
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.12.014

Uptake into a bedside needle and syringe program for acute care inpatients who inject drugs

Author(s): Brooks, H. L., O’Brien, D. C., Salvalaggio, G., Dong, K., & Hyshka, E.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume: 38
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 423-427
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.12930

Implementing managed alcohol programs in hospital settings: A review of academic and grey literature

Author(s): Brooks, H.L., Kassam, S., Salvalaggio, G., Hyshka, E.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume: 37
Issue: Suppl 1
Page Numbers: s145-s155
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.12659

Harm reduction in name, but not substance: a comparative analysis of current Canadian provincial and territorial policy frameworks

Author(s): Hyshka, E., Anderson-Baron, J., Karekezi, K., Belle-Isle, L., Elliott, R., Pauly, B., … Wild, T. C.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Harm Reduction Journal
Volume: 14
Issue: 50
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-017-0177-7