Allison J. Ober

Allison J. Ober
Senior Health Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in social welfare, University of California Los Angeles; M.S.W. in social work, Catholic University of America; B.A. in psychology, University of Vermont


Allison J. Ober is a senior health policy and behavioral science researcher at the RAND Corporation.  She has extensive expertise in implementation science and intervention research, and over twenty years of experience conducting substance use disorder and HIV prevention research with underserved populations.  Ober currently serves as principal investigator of several projects examining strategies for integrating evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders into primary care, hospital, and mental health settings.  She also is principal investigator of a study using a Positive Deviance framework to uncover best practices of high-performing health care clinics in South Africa that retain a majority of patients in HIV treatment.  Ober's current research interests include increasing access to and retention in substance use disorder and HIV treatment and innovative methods for improving quality of care, including telemedicine.

Ober received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Vermont, her M.S.W. in social work from Catholic University of America, and her doctorate from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Social Welfare, School of Public Affairs.

Recent Projects

  • Pilot Test of a Collaborative Care Team for Medical Inpatients with Alcohol or Opioid Use Disorders
  • Combining Positive Deviance and Implementation Science to Improve Retention in HIV Care in South Africa
  • Implementing Medication-Assisted Therapy for Opioid Disorders in Mental Health
  • The SUMMIT Study: Implementing Collaborative Care for Opioid and Alcohol Use Disorders in Primary Care
  • Collaborative care teams for hospitalized patients with opioid use disorders:

Selected Publications

Ober, A. J., Hunter, S. B., McCullough, C. M., Leamon, I., McCreary, M., Beas, I., . . . Watkins, K. E. , "Opioid Use Disorder Among Clients of Community Mental Health Clinics: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Treatment Willingness," Psychiatric Services, 2021

Hser, Y. I., Ober, A. J., Dopp, A. R., Lin, C., Osterhage, K. P., Clingan, S. E., . . . Saxon, A. J. , "Is telemedicine the answer to rural expansion of medication treatment for opioid use disorder? Early experiences in the feasibility study phase of a National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network Trial," Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, 16, 2021

Ober, A.J., Taylor, J., Iguchi, M.Y. and Caulkins, J.P., Acceptability of Heroin-Assisted Treatment and Supervised Drug Consumption Sites to Address the Opioid Crisis in the United States: Key Informant Perspectives, RAND Corporation, 2018

Guerrero, E., Ober A.J., Howard D.L., Khachikian T., Kong Y., van Deen W.K., Valdez A., Trotzky-Sirr R., Menchine M. , "Organizational factors associated with practitioners' support for treatment of opioid use disorder in the emergency department.," Addictive Behaviors, 2020

Ober A.J., Watkins K.E., McCullough, C.M., Setodji, C.M., Osilla, K, & Hunter, S.B, "Patient predictors of substance use disorder treatment initiation in primary care. ," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2018

Katherine E. Watkins, Allison J. Ober, Karen Lamp, Mimi Lind, Keith Heinzerling, Karen C. Osilla, Sarah B.Hunter, Harold A. Pincus, "Implementing the chronic care model for opioid and alcohol use disorders in primary care," Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action., 2017

Katherine E. Watkins, Allison J. Ober, Karen Lamp, Mimi Lind, Claude M. Setodji, Karen C. Osilla, Sarah B.Hunter, Colleen M. McCullough, Kirsten Becker, Praise O. Iyiewuare, Allison Diamant, Keith Heinzerling, Harold A. Pincus, "Collaborative care for opioid and alcohol use disorders in primary care: The SUMMIT randomized clinical trial," JAMA Internal Medicine, 8(4), 2017

Allison J. Ober, Katherine E. Watkins, Sarah B. Hunter, Karen Lamp, Mimi Lind, Claude M. Setodji., "An Organizational Readiness Intervention and Randomized Controlled Trial to Test Strategies for Implementing Substance Use Disorder Treatment into Primary Care: SUMMIT Study Protocol," Implementation Science, 10, 2015