Fiellin to head Yale College program to curb harm from alcohol, drugs

Dr. Lynn Fiellin has been appointed as director of the Alcohol and Other Drug Harm Reduction Initiative (AODHRI) at Yale College, according an announcement by Dean Jonathan Holloway.

Dr. Lynn Fiellin

Fiellin, who assumed her new role on June 1, is an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Yale Child Study Center. She is founder and director of the play2PREVENT Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games, a program at the School of Medicine in which she and her team develop and evaluate evidence-based videogame interventions for health and education in youth and young adults.

She will be joined in leading this office by Kimberly Hieftje, who will be the new associate director of AODHRI. Hieftje is an associate research scientist at the School of Medicine and deputy director of the play2PREVENT Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games.

Fiellin and Hieftje — working with Melanie Boyd, assistant dean of student affairs and director of the Office of Gender and Campus Culture — will oversee the activities of AODHRI and develop, implement, and assess a multifaceted set of strategies to intervene in undergraduate dynamics that lead to high-risk alcohol and other drug behaviors, with the goal of creating a safer, more positive undergraduate campus culture.

Fiellin has conducted extensive research in the areas of substance use disorders treatment and prevention. Her work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health for 15 years — including funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Fiellin received her B.S. in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and her M.D. from the Yale School of Medicine. She joined the faculty in 2000 and is board-certified in internal medicine and addiction medicine.

Along with Fiellin, Hieftje has been part of a team that has developed and evaluated several interventions that use game technology to reduce risk behaviors, including those around substance use disorders, in adolescents and young adults. Hieftje received her B.S. and M.S. in applied health science from Indiana University, where she also earned her Ph.D. in health behavior with a concentration in educational psychology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale, working with Fiellin, and joined the faculty at the School of Medicine in 2011.

“I am confident that Dr. Fiellin and Dr. Hieftje will be effective, innovative, and productive leaders of AODHRI and help to further establish the office as a premier program around alcohol and other drug education and prevention in order to help all Yale College students have healthy and successful careers at Yale and afterwards,” said Holloway.

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