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Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis
Elizabeth Alvarez

Elizabeth Alvarez

Assistant Professor, Public Health, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact
Member, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis


T: (905) 525-9140 ext. 22248

Communications Research Lab (CRL) 2nd Floor
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON
L8S 4K1

Elizabeth Alvarez, MD, MPH, PhD, CMCBT, is a licensed physician in both Canada and the United States, and is an assistant professor in McMaster University’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact. After completing her medical degree and family medicine residency at the University of Toledo in Ohio, she earned a master’s degree in public health through the Northwest Ohio Consortium for Public Health, and a PhD in Health Policy at McMaster University. She also holds a certificate in medical cognitive behavioural therapy (CMCBT). She has worked in multiple healthcare settings in Canada, the US, and Honduras, including as the Associate Medical Officer of Health in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and now teaches in McMaster’s Master of Public Health Program. 

Her recent research has focused on developing and evaluating the use of a workbook for contextualizing health systems guidance. As part of this work, Alvarez helped develop contextualized evidence briefs around the topic of increasing access to key interventions to improve maternal and newborn health in two countries: Peru and Uganda. She is also working on projects focusing on public health system strengthening, defining quality of care in an urban maternity unit in Mexico City, developing a healthy lifestyles program that also includes family and community engagement strategies, analyzing the role of physician assistants in health promotion, and the use of theories of health behaviour for health promotion and chronic disease management. She was on the Scientific Advisory Group for the Supervised Injection Site Study to provide scientific and technical advice on the conduct of the needs assessment and feasibility study on supervised injection sites (SISs) in Hamilton, being conducted by Hamilton Public Health Services. Dr. Alvarez is also working with the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) to explore the role of exercise and nutrition on mobility in older adults.


  • Contextualizing health systems guidance
  • Strengthening public health systems
  • Chronic disease self-management strategies
  • Health promotion and other public health topics


Alvarez E, Lavis JN, Brouwers M, Schwartz L. Developing a workbook to support the contextualisation of global health systems guidance: A case study identifying steps and critical factors for success in this process at the World Health Organization. Health Research Policy and Systems. 2018.16:19. 

Richardson E, Alvarez E, Ifafore-Calfee T. Lessons from Zika policies to improve gender equity. The Lancet. Submitted.

Elzibak O, Dang A, Alvarez E, Smith B, Qutob M. Physician Assistant Involvement in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: A Systematic Review. CMAJ. In review.

Jarvis T, Alvarez E, El-Jardali F, Scott F. A protocol for defining public health systems: a critical interpretive synthesis of how public health systems are defined and classified. PROSPERO database. 2016registration number: CRD42016049967.

Carmona G, Aspilcueta J, Cárdenas U, Flores S, Álvarez E, Solary L. Intervenciones para optimizar la oferta de métodos modernos de planificación familiar en la región tropical de Loreto, Perú. (Interventions to Optimize the Modern Family Planning Method Supply in the Loreto Tropical Region, Peru) Rev. Ger-enc. Polít. Salud. 2016. 15(30): 142-158.

Alvarez E. Developing and evaluating the use of a workbook for contextualizing health systems guidance. Health Policy PhD dissertation. 2016. McMaster University, Hamilton.

Alvarez E, Lavis J. Implementing health systems guidance: A workbook to support the contextualization of recommendations at the national or subnational level. Hamilton, Canada: McMaster Health Forum. 2016.

Moat KA, Alvarez E, Lavis JN. Dialogue Summary: Improving Leadership Capacity in Primary and Community Care in Ontario. Hamilton, Canada: McMaster Health Forum. 2015.

Gauvin FP, Wilson MG, Alvarez E. Knowledge Synthesis: Identifying Optimal Treatment Approaches for People with Multimorbidity. Hamilton, Canada: McMaster Health Forum. 2013.

Lynch D, McGrady A, Alvarez E, Forman J. Recent Life Changes and Medical Utilization in an Academic Family Practice. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 2005. 193(9):633-635.


  • Foundations of Public Health
  • Public Health Policy
  • Implications of Infectious Diseases
  • Theories of Health Behaviour


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