Louis Hugo Francescutti, MD, PhD, MPH

Professor, School of Public Health

Personal Website: https://www.drlou.ca


Professor, School of Public Health
(780) 932-7187
4-318 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9


Area of Study / Keywords

1. Emergency Department Patients Experiencing Homelessness; 2. Occupational Safety Culture; 3. Loneliness and the Impact on Corporate Performance; 4. Media Advocacy 5. Disaster Management in Healthcare


Professor Louis Hugo Francescutti


Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti’s innovative approach to health care allows him to find unique solutions for improving people’s lives. He has held a number of prestigious appointments ranging from local grassroots organizations to the head of national institutions, resulting in a growing list of award-winning accomplishments that are directly improving the health of Canadians.

Francescutti is a professor in the School of Public Health and an adjunct professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta. He is also a practicing emergency medicine physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and the Northeast Community Health Centre in Edmonton. He has practiced preventive medicine with the Surrey Fire Services in BC. He has a special interest in palliative care and regularly sees patients in the ER with end of life issues.

Born in Montreal, Francescutti began his medical career as an Emergency Medical Technician in Canada’s Arctic. He received his PhD (Immunology) in 1984 and his MD in 1987 from the University of Alberta.

While training as a general surgery resident at the University of Alberta, Francescutti developed a fascination with injury control. In 1994, he continued his medical training at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and received a Master of Public Health degree. Pursuing further studies in injury control and public health, he completed his residency in preventive medicine at the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 1995. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American College of Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Francescutti’s early research focused on hematopoietic stem cells and immunology; however, his interest in injury and accidents became his lifelong passion. One of his first papers in the area of injury prevention, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1991, was titled “Why Are There So Many Injuries? Why Aren’t We Stopping Them?” Since then, he has devoted his career to preventing injury through innovative public education and system-level health care improvements.

Francescutti’s mission to raise awareness of public safety has resulted in the implementation of several public safety initiatives over the past 35 years. Notably, he founded the Injury Awareness and Prevention Centre in Alberta and developed the award-winning multimedia injury prevention program for teenagers called HEROES, which he ran from 1988-1992. He is also former director and a founder of the Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research (2001-2006). In 2005, he established the Alberta Coalition for Cellphone-Free Driving, a groundbreaking program that he developed in response to alarming statistics on injuries and fatalities resulting from cell phone use while operating motor vehicles. Six years after the coalition was founded, the Alberta Government rewarded his work by implementing a ban on driving with handheld phones, which came into law in September 2011.

In the 1990s, Francescutti was a medical reporter for the CBC radio show Health Column. He frequently consults for industry and governments, provincially and nationally, on issues related to injury and wellness. He is well known for delivering provocative and compelling messages to everyone from oilfield laborers to engineering professionals, and he has contributed immensely to the implementation and acceptance of new corporate safety programs. He is a lifelong student of board governance: he has achieved the following recognized designations ICD-D, CCPE.

Francescutti is an internationally renowned medical expert and highly sought speaker for international consulting, mentorship, and seminars. He is a compelling communicator who is not afraid to push his audience beyond their comfort zone. He has delivered countless safety seminars and corporate mentorship sessions to hundreds of companies and tens of thousands of individuals. He has been invited to speak at prestigious national and international events on issues related to workplace safety, wellness, and public health and has given well over 1,500 presentations. He has delivered a dozen named lectures worldwide. He recently co-authored a book with Dr. Robert Barrett: Hardwired: How our instincts to be healthy are making us sick, published by Springer.

When Francescutti was elected President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 2010, he set the tone for moving the organization into new territory. He initiated radically new strategic directions for the College which included physician wellness and accountability; key discussions on residency training, and maintenance of certification; and the establishment of Royal College Canada International.

In 2012, Francescutti was elected to represent and lead the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), making him the first physician in Canada to hold the presidencies of the Royal College and the CMA in succession. As CMA president, he focused on topics such as social determinants of health, medical marijuana, end-of-life issues and health inequities across Canada. He emboldened the CMA to think and act differently.

Francescutti was named one of Alberta's Top 100 Physicians of the Century by his physician colleagues in 2005. He was awarded the Order of St. John by St. Johns Ambulance, and has received countless other awards for his contributions to the fields of public health and safety in the workplace. Some of his most notable awards include a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2007 from the Rotarians of Edmonton, for his sustained efforts in child safety, the Alberta Centennial medal in 2005, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012, the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal in 2022 . In 2011, Alberta Venturemagazine featured him as one of the province’s 50 most influential people. In the same year, Francescutti was appointed the first Honorary Colonel of 1 Field Ambulance Edmonton by the Minister of Defense of Canada and in 2023 was re-appointed as Honorary Colonel of 1 Health Services Group. In 2017, the Governor General of Canada awarded him the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal in the Military Division for promoting and supporting the Royal Canadian Medical Services. In December 2023, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, one the Canada's highest honours.

As a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, Francescutti has taught courses on injury control, public health, leadership and advocacy. In 1998, he received an Outstanding Teaching Award, and in 2002, a Clinical Teacher of the Year Award. His exceptional research in emergency medicine and health promotion, as well as his cutting-edge initiatives to reduce accident injuries and deaths, have earned him prestigious grants from a variety of funding agencies, totaling more than several millions of dollars. Concordia University in Montreal named him their 2016 Alumnus of the Year for his significant accomplishments over the course of his career. In 2017, the Governor General of Canada awarded him the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal Military Division for promoting and supporting the Royal Canadian Medical Services.

Internationally, Francescutti has been recognized with Fellowships from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, the Royal College of Physicians of Thailand, and the South African College of Medicine for his consistent and significant career achievements.

In March 2014, Edmonton mayor Don Iveson invited Francescutti to be part of a task force with the goal to eliminate poverty in Edmonton within a generation. The EndPovertyEdmonton Task Force aims to create a city where every Edmontonian has an equal opportunity to live, work, participate and thrive.

During his sabbatical in 2014, Francescutti devoted his attention to palliative care and published his findings in a comprehensive CMA report in 2015, intended as a national call to action for Canadian physicians regarding palliative care. He sits on the Board of the Pilgrims Hospice Society in Edmonton. His interests in palliative care and end of life have continued to flourish. In January 2021, Pilgrims opened a 12 bed free standing hospice after successfully raising 16 million dollars. Louis is also certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in Palliative Care.

Dr. Francescutti has a proven ability to promote positive change across the spectrum of health care and is never afraid to provoke a debate or to challenge physicians to reach greater levels of excellence, always focusing on the needs of Canadians. He is Past President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. He naturally and consistently brings out the very best in those around him.

Louis is at present championing Bridge Healing, a volunteer based initiative trying to immediately house emergency department patients experiencing homelessness and providing them with wrap-around services to help them regain control over their chaotic lives. Bridge Healing recently won the Percy Woods Award from the Building Owners and Managers Association of Alberta.

As a researcher, a teacher, and an advocate Francescutti is one of Canada’s most revered and at times controversial medical figures. He is an agent for change and a tireless activist, recognized worldwide for his unique and effective approaches to poverty reduction, patient safety, end of life care, wellness promotion and injury control.

His latest research and public advocacy interest centres on the impact of loneliness on an individual's health and its impact on corporate performance.


Addressing the issues of emergency department patients experiencing homelessness.

Raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on an individual's health and on corporate performance.

Scholarly Activities

Research - Coalition for Cellphone Free Driving

Principal Investigator
funded by Sterling Crane, Alberta Traffic Safety Fund, Crescent Point Energy

Research - On-line Worker Risk Assessment

Principal Investigator 
funded by Government of Alberta Section 41 Creative Sentencing funding

Research - Students for Cellphone Free Driving

Principal Investigator
funded by ConocoPhillips, Cenovus, Government of Canada

Featured Publications

Michael Sauve, Jared Bly, Louis Hugo Francescutti

Healthcare Management Forum. 2024 March; 37 (2):108-112 10.1177/08404704231219996

Matthew Robrigado, Igor Zoric, David A. Sleet, Louis Hugo Francescutti

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 September; 20 (19)

Combatting Homelessness in Canada: Applying Lessons Learned from Six Tiny Villages to the Edmonton Bridge Healing Program

Anson Wong , Jerry Chen , Renée Dicipulo , Danielle Weiss , David A Sleet , Louis Hugo Francescutti.

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 August;

David A. Sleet, Louis Hugo Francescutti

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 November; 18 (21) 10.3390/ijerph1https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/20/19/6845#82111660

Hardwired: How Our Instincts to Be Healthy are Making Us Sick

Robert S. Barrett, Louis Hugo Francescutti

Springer - Copernicus Books. 2021 October; (ISBN 978-3-030-51728-1):1-164

Natural disasters

Prasad A.S. Francescutti L.H.

International Encyclopedia of Public Health. 2017 June;

Natural Disasters and Healthcare: Lessons to be Learned

Louis Hugo Francescutti, Michel Sauve, Abaya S. Prasad

Healthcare Management Forum . 2017 January; 30 (1)

PALLIATIVE CARE: Canadian Medical Association’s National Call to Action

Louis Hugo Francescutti, Jennie Ding

Canadian Medical Association. 2015 June;