Elizabeth Evans

University of Massachusetts Amherst Assistant Professor of Community Health Education Elizabeth Evans


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. Most recently, I have investigated the health services utilization and long-term outcomes of patients treated for opioid use disorder, the behavioral health effects of childhood adversity over the life course, and gender differences in use of complementary and integrative healthcare by military veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain. I utilize both qualitative and quantitative methods, and much of my research has originated from longitudinal study designs and creating knowledge via mining of linked administrative “big data” provided by health care delivery organizations, 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 women treated for opioid use disorder to support medication adherence and improve community integration. I am also leading a project funded by The Greenwall Foundation in which I am exploring shared decision-making as an ethical response to the opioid crisis. I am co-Investigator of a NIDA-funded investigation of opioid use and treatment utilization by adults with opioid use disorder released from jail. I am Principal Investigator of the evaluation of a SAMHSA/CSAT-funded project to expand access to medications to criminally-involved individuals with opioid use disorder.

Community engagement:

  • UMass Amherst Distinguished Community Engagement Award for Research, Awardee
  • Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), Scholar
  • 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., Zhu, Y., Yoo, C., Huang, D., & Hser, YI. (2019). Criminal justice outcomes over 5 years after randomization to buprenorphine-naloxone or methadone treatment for opioid use disorder. Addiction. 114 (8): 1396-1404.

Evans, E., Herman, P., Washington, D., Lorez, K.A., Yuan, A., Upchurch, D.M., Marshall, N., Hamilton, A.B., & Taylor, S.L. (2018). Gender differences in use of complementary and integrative health by U.S. military veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Women’s Health Issues. 28(5):379-386.

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., & 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.