Donna Shelley

Donna Shelley
Donna Shelley

Professor of Public Health Policy and Management

Director of the Global Center for Implementation Science

Professional overview

Dr. Shelley is a tenured Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Public Health Policy and Management and the founding Director of the Global Center for Implementation Science and Practice at the NYU School of Global Public Health. She conducts translational, population-based, and policy-relevant research that aims to accelerate dissemination and implementation of tobacco use treatment in safety net health care delivery systems and implementation of tobacco control policies. This research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI),  National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the New York State Department of Health.

Dr. Shelley’s implementation research focuses on building the evidence for effective theory-driven strategies that target barriers to implementation and sustainability of evidence-based tobacco use treatment in primary care settings in the U.S and Viet Nam. Her research is also addressing the growing dual burden of noncommunicable and communicable diseases in LMICs and, specifically, the health impact on people living with HIV/AIDS. With funding from the NCI, Dr. Shelley is conducting a randomized controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of behavioral interventions and pharmacotherapy to improve cessation outcomes among people living with HIV/AIDs who use tobacco, and simultaneously, answering questions about the feasibility and effectiveness of implementation strategies to improve adoption of tobacco use treatment in HIV care settings in Viet Nam.  An example of her policy research includes a recently completed NCI-funded study that evaluated the impact of the US federally mandated smoke free public housing policy on exposure to secondhand smoke and explored the implementation process to identify strategies with the potential to improve the process and maximize public health impact.


BS, University of Pennsylvania, PA
MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY
MPH, Health Policy and Management, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, NY

Areas of research and study

Health Systems Strengthening
Implementation science
Tobacco Cessation
Tobacco Policy



A Matched Analysis of the Association Between Federally Mandated Smoke-Free Housing Policies and Health Outcomes Among Medicaid-Enrolled Children in Subsidized Housing, New York City, 2015-2019

Long-Term Trends in Secondhand Smoke Exposure in High-Rise Housing Serving Low-Income Residents in New York City: Three-Year Evaluation of a Federal Smoking Ban in Public Housing, 2018-2021

Accelerating integration of tobacco use treatment in the context of lung cancer screening: Relevance and application of implementation science to achieving policy and practice

Analyzing Trajectories of Acute Cigarette Reduction Post-Introduction of an E-Cigarette Using Ecological Momentary Assessment Data

Considerations Before Selecting a Stepped-Wedge Cluster Randomized Trial Design for a Practice Improvement Study

Could international human rights obligations motivate countries to implement tobacco cessation support?

Development of a homelessness risk screening tool for emergency department patients

ED-Home: Pilot feasibility study of a targeted homelessness prevention intervention for emergency department patients with drug or unhealthy alcohol use

Effectiveness of a Multicomponent Strategy for Implementing Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use in Vietnam Commune Health Centers

Generating and Reporting Electronic Clinical Quality Measures from Electronic Health Records: Strategies from EvidenceNOW Cooperatives

Implementation, interrupted: Identifying and leveraging factors that sustain after a programme interruption

Leveraging technology to address unhealthy drug use in primary care: Effectiveness of the Substance use Screening and Intervention Tool (SUSIT)

Organizational Factors Associated with Guideline Concordance of Chronic Disease Care and Management Practices

Patients’ Perspectives on the Shift to Telemedicine in Primary and Behavioral Health Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rapid Community Engagement in Response to SARS-CoV-2 Funding Opportunities: New York City, 2020‒2021

Williams, N. J., Gill, E., Punter, M. A., Reiss, J., Goodman, M., Shelley, D., & Thorpe, L. E. (n.d.).

Publication year


Journal title

American journal of public health




In response to fast-turnaround funding opportunities, collaborations have been forming across the country to address severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disparities. Here we describe the process, notes from the field, and evaluation results from a new collaboration involving multiple partners, formed in October 2020 in New York City as part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative. We used the validated Research Engagement Survey Tool to evaluate the partnership. Results can inform future research and improve engagement efforts aimed at reducing SARS-CoV-2 disparities. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(S9):S904-S908.

Role of Local Evidence in Transferring Evidence-Based Interventions to Low- and Middle-Income Country Settings: Application to Global Cancer Prevention and Control

Social relationships, homelessness, and substance use among emergency department patients

Study protocol of a multiphase optimization strategy trial (MOST) for delivery of smoking cessation treatment in lung cancer screening settings

Synchronous Home-Based Telemedicine for Primary Care: A Review

Ten Common Structures and Processes of High-Performing Primary Care Practices

The Effect of Floor Height on Secondhand Smoke Transfer in Multiunit Housing

A qualitative study of high-performing primary care practices during the COVID-19 pandemic

A taxonomy for external support for practice transformation

Adaptation and assessment of a text messaging smoking cessation intervention in Vietnam: Pilot randomized controlled trial

Barriers to engagement in implementation science research: A national survey