Associate Professor
Division of Preventive Medicine

Contact Information:

Medical Towers 608
1717 11th Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
Phone: (205) 934-2958 or (205)996-2866
Fax: (205) 934-7959
Follow Dr Kertesz on Twitter:  @StefanKertesz

Research Interests

  • Access to quality addiction and medical care for homeless and other underserved populations
  • Development of health professionals to address unmet health needs among disadvantaged populations
  • Natural history and consequences of substance misuse in adults.
  • Drug policy and opioids (more here)
  • Ending Veteran Homelessness: A Transformational Effort (white paper)

Educational Background

  • Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MSc, 2002
  • Harvard Medical School, Boston, MD, 1993
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, BA, 1988

Professional Activities

  • Board of Directors, Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
  • President, OneRoofAlabama (2009-2012)
  • Field Advisory Committee, Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team Initiative, Veterans Health Administration
  • Board of Advisors, Changed Lives Christian Center, Birmingham, AL
  • Treatment Access Subcommittee of the Alabama Supreme Court Task Force on Drug Courts (named by Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb) (2007-2009)
  • Director and Physician, the Phoenix Clinic, a Homeless Patient-Aligned Care Team at Birmingham VA Medical Center
  • Chair, Alabama Chapter of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
  • Member, Research Council of the National Alliance to End Homelessness (

Selected Recent Publications

  • Kertesz SG. The Unexpected Urine Test: A Matter Far From Simple. J Addict Med (accepted).
  • Kertesz SG. Turning the Tide or Riptide? The Changing Opioid Epidemic. Substance Abuse. Posted online November 18, 2016.
  • Kertesz SG, Baggett TP, O'Connell JJ, Buck DS, Kushel MB. Permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals: reframing the debate. N Engl J Med. 2016;375: 2115-2117. 1056/NEJMp1608326
  • Stringfellow E, Kim TW, Pollio DE, Gordon AJ, Grucza RA, Austin EL, Johnson NK, Kertesz SG. Substance use among persons with homeless experience in primary care. Subst Abus. 2016 Feb 25:1-8. PMC4999348.
  • Kertesz SG, McNeil W, Cash JJ, Desmond R, McGwin, Jr G, Kelly J, Baggett TP. Unmet Need for Medical Care and Safety Net Accessibility among Birmingham's Homeless. J Urban Health. 2014 Feb;91(1):33-45. PMC3907626.
  • Austin EL, Pollio D, Holmes S, Schumacher JE, White B, Lukas CV, Kertesz SG. VA’s Expansion of Supportive Housing: Successes and Challenges on the Path toward Housing First. Psychiatr Serv. 2014;65(5):641-7. DOI: 10.1176/
  • Pletcher MJ, Vittinghoff E, Kalhan R, Richman J, Safford M, Sidney S, Lin F, Kertesz S. Association Between Marijuana Exposure and Pulmonary Function over 20 Years. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. JAMA, 2012;307:173-181
  • Kertesz SG, Khodneva Y, Richman J, Tucker JA, PhD, Safford MM, Jones B, Schumacher J, Pletcher MJ. Trajectories of Drug Use and Mortality Outcomes among Adults Followed Prospectively for 18 years: the CARDIA Study. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2012, In Press.
  • Sloan FA, Costanzo PR, Belsky D, Holmbert E, Malone PS, Wang Y, Kertesz SG. HeavyWang EA, Pletcher M, Vittinghoff E, Kertesz SG, Kiefe CI, Bibbins-Domingo K. Incarceration, Incident Hypertension, and Access to Healthcare: Findings from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Archives of Internal Medicine. In Press drinking in early adulthood and outcomes at mid life. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2011;65:600-605. PMID 20713371.
  • Kertesz SG, McNeil W, Kelly J, Cash JJ, Michael M, Foushee H, Desmond R. Survey Report: Health Care Crisis for Birmingham Homeless (public report). Issued August 27, 2010.
  • Milby JB, Schumacher JE, Vuchnich R, Kertesz SG, Mennemeyer ST. Effects of Sustained Abstinence among treated Substance-Abusing Homeless Persons on Housing and Employment. American Journal of Public Health. 2010; 100(5): 913-918. PMC2853629
  • Kertesz SG, Crouch K, Milby JB, Cusimano RA, Schumacher JE. Housing first for homeless persons with active addiction: Are we overreaching? Milbank Q. 2009;87(2):495-534. PMC2881444.
  • Kertesz SG, Weiner SJ. Housing the Chronically Homeless: High Hopes, Complex Realities. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2009; 301(17):1822-1824
  • Kertesz SG, Hwang SW, Richey FJ, LaGory M. Rising inability to obtain needed health care among homeless persons in Birmingham: 1995-2005. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2009, Jul;24(7): 841-847
  • Pletcher MJ, Kertesz SG, Kohn MA, Gonzales R. Trends in opioid prescribing by race/ethnicity for patients seeking care in US emergency departments. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 299(1):70-78.
  • Milby J, Schumacher J, Wallace D, Kertesz SG, Vuchinich R. Towards Cost Effective Initial care for Substance Abusing Homeless. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2008; 34(2):180-191.
  • DeSalvo KB, Kertesz SG. Creating a More Resilient Safety Net for Persons with Chronic Disease: Beyond the “Medical Home.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2007; 22:1377-1379.


  • 2008 UAB Teaching Award, Division of Preventive Medicine
  • 2007 New Investigator Award, Association for Medical Education and Research on Substance Abuse
  • 2004 Best Scientific Abstract, 2004 Southern Meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine