Phone: (914) 594-2831
Dr. Nisha Beharie has two decades of extensive research and program experience both domestically and abroad. She has worked on issues related to health policy, substance use, homelessness, and mental health and specializes in mixed-methods and qualitative research. Dr. Beharie is passionate about leveraging her research efforts to advocate for and give a voice to marginalized communities of people who use drugs and those experiencing homelessness.
In 2014, she was accepted into the predoctoral, and later the postdoctoral fellowship, within the Behavior Science Training (BST) program at New York University, the largest and oldest training program funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Findings from her dissertation, entitled Trauma, Mental Health, and Substance Use Among Homeless Families: The Importance of Shelter Environment highlighted the importance of the shelter environment in promoting positive psychosocial outcomes among homeless families in New York City and have been widely disseminated to others in academia as well as service providers. As a postdoctoral fellow she was awarded funding by the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) to conduct a pilot study exploring potential points of intervention to better support caregivers and youth residing in family shelters. She has since leveraged findings from this study to advocate for greater autonomy for families and youth living in shelters.
Prior to joining New York Medical College, Dr. Beharie was a Senior Research Associate at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Bureau of Alcohol, Drug Use, Prevention Care and Treatment where she led qualitative and mixed methods research to inform policy and programming related to substance use. Findings from these efforts led to improvements in program operations, often in real time, to address the tragic record number of overdoses occurring in New York City. These improvements consistently took a harm reduction approach to addressing substance use and emphasized the de-stigmatization of drug use.
Dr. Beharie currently also serves on the Policy and Advocacy Committee for the New York State Public Health Association (NYSPHA) where she works with other committee members to develop policy statements which are then disseminated by NYSPHA to broader audiences, and advocates for policies that promote the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers.