Elizabeth Evans

University of Massachusetts Amherst Assistant Professor of Community Health Education Elizabeth Evans
Assistant Professor
311 Arnold House


ResearchGate profile


B.A., University of California, San Diego, 1993; M.A., Indiana University, 1995; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2016; Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation and Policy (CSHIIP), Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Greater Los Angeles, 2017

Area(s) of Specialization: 

Opioids and other substances of abuse; women’s health; life course; social determinants; health services utilization and outcomes

Research Description: 

I research how health care systems and public policies can better promote health and wellness among vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly for individuals at risk for substance use disorders, mental illness, and infectious diseases. Prior to joining the U Mass faculty, I directed a $25 million portfolio of 33 research studies and evaluation projects, and I authored more than 80 publications and reports. Most recently, I have investigated the health services utilization and long-term outcomes of patients treated for opioid use disorders; gender differences in the health effects of childhood adversity over the life course; comparative effectiveness of gender sensitive behavioral health care for pregnant and parenting women; and the feasibility of mobile health interventions to reduce infectious disease in global settings. I have experience with both qualitative and quantitative methods, and much of my research has originated from longitudinal study designs (prospective and retrospective) and creating knowledge via mining of linked administrative data provided by health care delivery systems, social services systems, and criminal justice sources. Currently, I am Principal Investigator on a pilot study in which I am adapting digital storytelling methods with and for homeless women Veterans to support self-management of substance abuse recovery and thereby improve community integration. I am also Principal Investigator on a mixed methods study of gender differences in use and outcomes of complementary and integrative healthcare by military veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Community engagement:

  • Center for Community Health Equity Research, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Fellow
  • Community Research Innovative Scholars Program (CRISP), Awardee
  • Public Engagement Project (PEP), Fellow
  • Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science, Adjunct Fellow
  • Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center, Awardee



In the media

Editorials on my research


Publication List: 

PubMed Search Link

Key Publications: 

Evans, E., Grella, C., Upchurch, D. (2017). Gender differences in the effects of childhood adversity on risk for alcohol use disorders, drug use disorders, and poly-substance use disorders. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. E-pub ahead of print.

Evans, E., Grella, C., Washington, D., & Upchurch, D. (2017) Gender and race/ethnic differences in the persistence of alcohol, drug, and poly-substance use disorders. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 174: 128-136. 

Evans, E., Li, L., Min, J., Huang, D., Urada, D., Lei, L., Hser, Y.I., & Nosyk, B. (2015). Mortality among individuals accessing pharmacological treatment for opioid dependence in California, 2006 – 2010. Addiction, 110: 996–1005. PMCID: 4452110.

Evans, E., Li., L., Pierce, J., & Hser, Y.I. (2013). Explaining long-term outcomes among drug dependent mothers treated in women-only versus mixed-gender programs. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 45(3): 293-301. PMCID: 3725737.

Evans, E., Li, L., & Hser, Y.-I. (2009). Client and program factors associated with dropout from court mandated drug treatment.  Evaluation and Program Planning, 32 (3): 204-212.  PMCID: 2703685.