The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Welcome to the Institute for Behavioral Health

Constance Horgan

Since the Heller School began, both faculty and students have studied mental and substance use disorders. Formalized in 2003, IBH focuses on the intersection of health, behavior, and systems of care, with an emphasis on their linkages. Its underlying premise is that these systems can be better used to promote healthier lifestyles and assist individuals to engage in behaviors which lead to better health.

Our focus is broadening to include other issues that are affected by behaviors which can be targeted by interventions and have an impact on health and wellness. In addition to studying systems of care, we investigate health outcomes that are associated with behaviors, and also develop and test methods to evaluate the effects of behaviors on health.

We consider a variety of systems of care, including health care delivery, as well as criminal justice, education, social services, housing, military and the workplace.

We hope that you find this site useful as you learn more about our research staff and our activities in behavioral health.

Constance M. Horgan, ScD, Director

Look for us at upcoming conferences

Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR)

2019 Addiction Health Services Research (AHSR) Conference

October 16-19, 2019 
Park City, Utah                                                                                                                                       

American Public Health Association (APHA)

APHA 2019 Annual Meeting 

November 2-6, 2019 
Philadelphia, PA                                                                                                                        

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)

The ASAM 51st Annual Conference - Innovations in Addiction Medicine & Science

April 2-5, 2020 
Denver, CO

IBH Activities

Rachel S. Adams, PhD'13, Scientist

Health Affairs special Issue on the Military Health System

Rachel Sayko Adams, Erich J. Dietrich, Joshua C. Gray, Charles S. Milliken, Natalie Moresco, Mary Jo Larson. (2019) Post-Deployment Screening in the Military Health System: An Opportunity to Intervene for Possible Alcohol Use Disorder. Health Affairs, 38(8): Military Health System, 1298-1306.

New report on unique challenges of opioid crisis in western Massachusetts

The report, Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Small and Rural Communities in Western Massachusetts, issued this morning by the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum (MHPF), concludes that no single opioid policy will make a substantial impact on the crisis. It suggests as most effective a combination of evidence-based policies that work together to prevent, treat and mitigate the effects of opioid use disorder (OUD), and are specific to the area.

Sharon Reif


Sharon Reif (PI) and a team of researchers at the Institute for Behavioral Health has received a 4-year, $2.7M grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to further evaluate the Washington State Health Care Authority's Hub & Spoke addiction treatment modelThis opioid treatment network model expands treatment sites to 17 non-traditional settings such as emergency departments, syringe exchanges, jails and homeless shelters. This approach emphasizes the need for low-barrier access to treatment, particularly in underserved areas.