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 27 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, and primary care systems. Dr. Brolin conducts mixed methods research on substance abuse services for youth and young adults, low-income people, chronically homeless people, and criminal justice populations. Dr. Brolin is leading the evaluation of the Massachusetts Access to Recovery project which targets a re-entry population and the Worcester Initiative for Supported Re-entry. Dr. Brolin is the lead evaluator for Massachusetts’ State Youth and Young Adult Treatment Improvement and Dissemination (SYT-I) grant funded by SAMHSA, which assesses statewide system and policy changes, as well as provider level implementation and outcomes. Dr. Brolin was an evaluator for the Massachusetts Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (MASBIRT) project, the Open Society Institute’s Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap, involving 8 sites nationally and the Grants to Benefit Homeless Individuals funded by SAMHSA, involving 25 sites nationally.

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 e-pub ahead of print. March 28, 2017 (2017): 1-9.
  • 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.