Mary Fontanella Brolin

Scientist and Lecturer

Mary Fontanella Brolin's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 254
Phone: 781-736-5737
Brandeis Directory


Health services research and community-based evaluation with a focus on behavioral health


  • HS 336a - Heller MPP Capstone Seminar


  • Brandeis University
  • University of Chicago
  • Boston College

Mary Fontanella Brolin

Scientist and Lecturer


Mary Brolin, Ph.D., a Scientist within the Institute for Behavioral Health at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, has worked in the substance abuse field for 28 years conducting health services research and evaluating community-based prevention and treatment programs. Her research interests focus on the intersection of substance abuse services with other service systems, including the criminal justice system, systems serving youth and young adults, primary care and housing support systems. Dr. Brolin conducts mixed methods research on substance use disorder services for youth and young adults, low-income people, Medicaid populations, chronically homeless people, and criminal justice populations.

Dr. Brolin is currently leading evaluations of supported re-entry programs, adolescent and transition-age youth treatment services, and intensive case management and support for high utilizers of acute treatment services. She is part of a team studying the implementation of a Hub and Spoke opioid treatment project in Washington State and leading a team studying intensive case management for high utiIizers of emergency room services. She recently completed a CMS initiative to help repeat users of detox reduce their need for subsequent detox services. Dr. Brolin also led the evaluation of the Massachusetts Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (MASBIRT) project funded by SAMHSA, and is currently leading an evaluation of YouthBuild USA’s community-based SBIRT project across 130 sites nationally, funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Dr. Brolin is a lecturer in the Masters in Public Policy (MPP) at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management. In the past few years, she has mentored ten NIAAA trainees on their dissertation and course work. Currently, she advises four MPP students and serves on five dissertation committees.

Dr. Brolin received a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, a Masters in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in sociology from Boston College.

Awards and Honors

  • Section Leadership Award -- American Public Health Association, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Section (2004)
  • Finalist: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Developing Leadership in Reducing Substance Abuse Program (2003)
  • NIAAA Doctoral Training Grant (1995 - 1998)


  • Brolin, M., Torres, M., Hodgkin, D., Horgan, C., Lee, M., Merrick, E., Gewirtz, A., Straus, J., Harrington, J. & Lane, N.. "Implementation of Client Incentives within a Recovery Navigation Program." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 72. January 2017 (2017): 25-31.
  • Quinn, A., Stewart, M., Brolin, M., Horgan, C., & Lane, N. "Massachusetts Substance Use Disorder Treatment Organizations' Perspectives on the Affordable Care Act: Changes in Payment, Services, and System Design." Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 49. 2 (2017): 151-159.
  • Quinn, A., Brolin, M., Stewart, M., Evans, B., and Horgan, C. Reducing Risky Alcohol Use: What Health Care Systems Can. Waltham, MA Massachusetts Health Policy Forum: 2016.
  • Brolin MF, Dennehy K, Booxbaum A, Horgan C.. Improving Access to Substance Abuse Treatment and Reducing Incarceration and Recidivism. Waltham, MA Massachusetts Health Policy Forum: 2015.
  • Shanahan, C.W., Sorensen-Alawad, A., Carney, B., Persand, I., Cruz, A., Botticelli, M., Pressman, K., Adams, W.G., Brolin, M., Alford, D.P.. "The Implementation of an Integrated Information System for Substance Use Screening in General Medical Settings." Journal of Applied Clinical Informatics 5. (2014): 878-894.
  • Davis, Margot, & Brolin, Mary. "Focus Group: Evaluation of Substance Abuse Treatment Program." SAGE Research Methods Cases. (2013)
  • Brolin, M., Quinn, A., Jenna T. Sirkin, J.T., Horgan, C.M., Parks, H., Easterday, J. & Levit, K.. Financing of Behavioral Health Services within Federally Qualified Health Centers. Rockville, MD Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 2012.
  • Brolin, Mary; Davis, M., Larson, M.J. & Cappocia, V.. "Strategies to Close the Addiction Treatment Gap and Resulting Impacts on Primary Care." Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, 34th Annual National Conference. Bethesday, MD. November, 2010..
  • Alford, D.P., Almeida, A.B., Saitz, R., Brolin, M., Kim, Shanahan, C.W., Botticelli, M. & Samet, J.. "Should Adults Who Screen Negative For Unhealthy Substance Use be Rescreened Annually?." Society for General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting, Miami Beach, Florida. May 15, 2009.
  • Pressman, K., Botticelli, M., Alford, D., Girard, C., Brolin, M., Kim, T.. "Massachusett's experience with federal, state, and insurance funded SBIRT projects." American Public Health Association 136th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. October 28, 2008.
  • Alford, D.P., Kim, T.W., Ellenberg, L, Clark, D., Radhakrishnan, N. & Brolin, M.. "Teaching Medical Students How to Perform Screening and Brief Interventions for Unhealthy Substance Use." College on Problems of Drug Dependence 70th Annual Scientific Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico. June 19, 2008.
  • Brolin, M., Novak, S., Mallonee, E. & Garnick, D.. Background Report: Performance Management for Substance Abuse Treatment NOMS. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. Rockville, MD: 2008.
  • Brolin, M.F., Rubin, A., Alford, D., Shanahan, C., Kim, T., Ellenberg, L., Persand, I., Almeida, A., Perloff, J., Pressman, K., & Girard, C.. "Evaluation of Telephone-Based Screenings for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems." American Public Health Association 136th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. October 28, 2008.
  • Trisolini, M., Brolin, M., Garnick, D. & Novak, S.. Background Report for the Benchmarking Technical Consultation Group Meeting. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. Rockville, MD: 2008.
  • Brolin, Mary Fontanella, Horgan, Constance, Amaro, Hortensia, & Doonan, Michael. "Substance Abuse Treatment in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Gaps, Consequences and Solutions." Massachusetts Health Policy Forum, Boston, MA. Massachusetts Health Policy Forum, November, 2005.
  • Brolin, Mary Fontanella, Seaver, Carol, & Nalty, Dennis.. "Performance Management: Improving State Systems through Information-based Decisionmaking." 2004.
  • Brolin, Mary Fontanella, Panas, Lee, Elliott, Elsa, & Shwartz, Michael. "The Effect Of Case Management In Substance Abuse Treatment: Analysis Of Special Populations." 2002.