Daliah Heller

Clinical Professor

Ph.D Social Welfare
CUNY Hunter College

M.P.H Population and Family Health
Columbia University

B.A Political Science
McGill University


Dr. Heller’s research interests include urban health policy, criminal justice, community-oriented healthcare, and drug use epidemiology and interventions. She is actively involved in policy analysis and research to promote criminal justice reform via healthcare innovation, and law enforcement diversion models for people who use drugs. 

Prior to beginning work at CUNY, Dr. Heller served as Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Use Prevention, Care, and Treatment, at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and earlier, as the Director of Harm Reduction in the Department’s Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control. Before joining government, she built and led one of the country’s leading harm reduction service organizations, based in the South Bronx.

Dr. Heller’s implementation science experience focuses on drug policy alignment and coordination across municipal government agencies, substance use services integration into general health care, and practice improvement for criminal justice responses to drug use. 

Key Projects:

Recent Publications: 

Tan S, Makela S, Heller D, Konty K, Balter S, Zheng T, Stark JH. A Bayesian evidence synthesis approach to estimate disease prevalence in hard-to-reach populations: hepatitis C in New York City.Epidemics. 2018 Feb 3. pii: S1755-4365(16)30075-5. doi: 10.1016/j.epidem.2018.01.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Palmedo C, Sembajwe G, Geltman E, Heller D, Roberts L, Freudenberg N. Defining Roles for Schools and Programs of Public Health in the Age of Trump. Am J Public Health. 2017 Aug;107(8):1242-1244. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303897.

Freudenberg N, Heller D. A Review of Opportunities to Improve the Health of People Involved in the Criminal Justice System in the United States. Annu Rev Public Health. 2016;37:313-33. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-

Beletsky L, Heller D, Jenness SM, Neaigus A, Gelpi-Acosta C, Hagan H. Syringe access, syringe sharing, and police encounters among people who inject drugs in New York City: a community-level perspective. Int J DrugPolicy. 2014 Jan;25(1):105-11.

McNeely J, Gourevitch MN, Paone D, Shah S, Wright S, Heller D. Estimating the prevalence of illicit opioid use in New York City using multiple data sources.BMC Public Health. 2012 Jun 18;12:443.