Faculty & Staff
Holly Hills, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS) at USF. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. In addition to her teaching, research, and service duties at USF, she does training and consulting with service providers and systems focused on improving care for persons with serious mental illness and addictive disorders. Dr. Hills is a licensed clinical psychologist having received her Ph.D. in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Florida. She is on the board of trustees at Cove Behavioral Health (formerly DACCO) in Tampa, Florida.
Dr. Hills has been a principal investigator or collaborator on work funded by SAMHSA, NIDA, ACHA, the MacArthur Foundation, and from other state and local sources. Recent work has included examining the use of agent-based modeling to assist in strategic decision making in communities, evaluating the cascade of care (CoC) in the delivery of services to persons with opioid use disorders, and describing the challenges inherent in rapidly adapting behavioral health services in the context of the pandemic. Populations of focus have included persons at-risk for opioid overdose, and pregnant women and adolescents with opioid use disorders. Her work has involved conducted both process and outcome evaluations on topics covering the adoption of innovation in community-based service settings, issues related to trauma experience, and service integration for persons with co-occurring disorders in adolescent and adult populations. She has evaluated the cost benefits of retention in substance abuse treatment as it relates to access and service utilization in the physical health care system, the identification of substance use risk in pregnant women, and paths to and access to care in opioid dependent populations. A significant proportion of her work has focused on the interface between the justice and community-based behavioral health care systems.
Over the years, Dr. Hills has had the opportunity to work with communities and jurisdictions throughout the country to assist them in improving care for adolescent and adult populations who have mental health and substance use disorders. She has worked as a senior consultant with the National GAINS Center, the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ), the TAPA Center, and the National Drug Court Training Institute. She has worked with multidisciplinary groups across the justice system continuum to develop and refine policies and procedures, identify and adopt evidence-based practices, and develop and implement workforce training initiatives with the goal of improving access to and delivery of care to the populations they serve. Dr. Hills has been involved in numerous efforts across the country assisting programs in improving services to persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Her involvement in professional training has included the development of web-based training for behavioral health professionals, development and delivery of training focused on issues of trauma in women in criminal justice settings, service integration in community and justice settings for persons with co-occurring disorders, adolescents with mental health and substance use disorders in the juvenile justice system, and identification and service integration improvements for drug court populations.
Ph.D., University of Florida, Clinical and Health Psychology
- Use of Agent Based Modeling in Community Decision Making
- Women and their children – in contact with the justice system
- Trauma Informed Care / PTSD
- Structured interviewing and assessment
- Substance use disorder
- Re-entry from jails and prison
- Prison jail-based mental health and substance abuse service
- Development of family drug court
- Adolescents with co-occurring disorder
- System mapping
- AHCA Study - Florida’s Medicaid Methadone Maintenance Services
- Community Action Grant for Co-occurring Disorders (SAMHSA-CMHS)
- Marion County Community Council Against Substance Abuse (CCASA) Evaluation Subcontract
- National Center for Mental Health & Juvenile Justice (NCMHJJ) PRI Subcontract
- National GAINS Center
- Suncoast Practice and Research Collaborative (SPARC)
- Zero Exposure Project ZEP Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office, Inc.
Hills, H., Lengnick-Hall, R., Johnson, K., Vermeer, W., Brown, H., & McGovern, M. (2022). Rapid adaptation during the COVID crisis: Challenges experienced in delivering services to persons with Opioid Use Disorders. Implementation Research and Practice, 3 (Jan-Dec 2022), 1–7. https://doi.org/pdf/10.1177/26334895221096295
Johnson, K., Keogh, C., Hills, H., Vermeer, W., Lengnick-Hall, R., McNulty, M., McGovern, M., & Brown, H. (2021). Protecting patients and staff in residential treatment centers during exposure to COVID-19: Commentary. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice (2021), 16:49. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-021-00258-2.
Johnson, K., Hills, H., Ma, J., McGovern, M., & Brown, H. (2021). Treatment for opioid use disorder in the Florida Medicaid population: Using a cascade of care model to evaluate quality. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 47(2):220-228. doi: 10.1080/00952990.2020.1824236. Epub 2020 Oct 15.
Hills, H., Richards, T., & Dion, C. (2017). Patterns of Access, Service Use, and Outcomes for Persons with Substance Use Disorders across Florida’s Managed Medical Assistance (MMA) program. Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Hills, H., Richards, T., Dion, C., & Peters, R. (2016). Patterns of Access and Service Use for Persons with Substance Use Disorders across Florida’s Managed Medical Assistance Plans. Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Hills, H., Richards, T., Jentz, S., Kafonek, K., & Peters, P. (2015). Evaluation of substance abuse treatment service access and utilization in Florida’s Managed Medical Assistance Program. Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Hills, H., & Richards, T. (2013 online / 2014 print). Modeling Interdisciplinary Research to Advance Behavioral Health Care. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 41(1), 3 -7. DOI: 10.1007/s11414-013-9374-7
Hills, H., Richards, T.N., & Dion, C. (2012). Assessing patterns of care for persons in medication assisted treatment who have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Hills, H., Richards, T.N., & Dion, C. (2012). Assessing satisfaction in opioid treatment programs in Florida.Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Hills, H.A., & Richards, T.N. (2012). Key informant survey of the adoption of innovation: Focus on the use of buprenorphine-containing medications in opioid treatment programs in Florida. Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Hills, HA & Richards, TN. (2011). Issues and Impacts Related to Participation in Opioid Treatment Programs in Florida. Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Tan, J., Hills, H., Murrin, M., Lewin, A., Murphy, T., & Dollard, N.(2011). An investigative analysis of substance use among youth Medicaid recipients with tics and obsessive compulsive disorder. Proceedings of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Toronto, CA.
Rugs, D., Hills, H., Moore, K., & Peters, R. (2010). A Community Planning Process for the Implementation of Evidence-based Practice. Evaluation and Program Planning, 34, 29-36.
Hills, H., Peters, R., & Richards, T. (2010). Examining Florida’s Medicaid methadone maintenance programs. Tampa, FL: Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute. University of South Florida.
Hills, H., Shufelt, J., & Cocozza, J. (2009). Evidence based practice recommendations for juvenile drug courts. National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, Delmar, NY in collaboration with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
Moore, K.A., Peters, R.H., Hills, H.A.., LeVasseur, J., Rich, A., Hunt, W.M., & Young, M.S. (2004). Characteristics of Opinion Leaders in Community Based Substance Abuse Treatment Agencies. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 30(1) 1-17.
Hills, H.A., Rugs, D., & Young, M.S. (2004). The Impact of Substance Use Disorders in Women Involved in Dependency Court. Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, 14, 359-384.
Hills, H. (2002). Treating women with co-occurring disorders in the justice system and their children. In (eds.) Davidson, S., and Hills, H. Series on Women with Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Disorders. Delmar, NY: The National GAINS Center.
Rugs, D., Hills, H.A., & Pape, L.O. (2001). Practice Brief: Fostering collaboration between Policy Makers, Researchers, Providers, and Consumers: Findings from SPARC Key Informant Interviews. Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
Hills, H.A., Rich, A., Grace, K., LeVasseur, J., Matthews, C., & Elk, C. (2000). Treating Offenders with Co-Occurring Disorders: Phase IIB Treatment Manual Series, Florida Department of Corrections, Tallahassee, Florida.
Hills, H.A. (2000). Creating effective treatment programs for persons with co-occurring disorders in the criminal justice system. Delmar, NY: The National GAINS Center.