PhD, Social Welfare
CUNY Hunter College
MPH, Population and Family Health
BA, Political Science
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.
Dr. Heller has 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. She is currently the Director of Drug Use Initiatives at Vital Strategies.