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Hillary Samples, PhD

Associate Director for Research
Center for Health Services Research
Assistant Professor of Health Systems and Policy
School of Public Health


Hillary Samples is a health services and policy researcher who works with large health care databases and national data to identify risk factors for behavioral health problems, analyze patterns of prevention and treatment services, and examine the role of health policy in improving access to evidence-based care. Her research broadly aims to advance knowledge of effective practices and policies to improve behavioral health and well-being at a population level and increase equity for disadvantaged groups. She is currently Principal Investigator on a NIDA-funded study examining how patterns of prescription opioid use interact with social and structural factors to influence risk of overdose and fatality in Medicaid populations.

Dr. Samples is Assistant Professor of Health Systems and Policy at the Rutgers School of Public Health and Associate Director for Research at the Center for Health Services Research at the Institute. She earned her PhD in Health Services Research and Policy from the Department of Health Policy and Management, her MHS from the Department of Mental Health, and a Certificate of Bioethics and Public Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining Rutgers, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in substance use epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Research Profile

Health Services Research, Health Policy, Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Substance Use Disorders, Opioid Use Disorder, Medicaid


NIH/NIDA K01 DA049950 (PI: Samples)

July 2020 – June 2025

Multi-level associations between opioid use and overdose: Individual, clinical, and population-based risk factors for fatality

Selected Publications

  1. Samples H, Williams AR, Crystal S, Olfson M. Impact Of Long-Term Buprenorphine Treatment On Adverse Health Care Outcomes in Medicaid. Health Aff. 2020;39(5):747–55.
  2. Samples H, Stuart EA, Saloner B, Barry CL, Mojtabai R. The Role of Screening in Depression Diagnosis and Treatment in a Representative Sample of US Primary Care Visits. J Gen Int Med. 2020;35(1):12-20;
  3. Samples H, Stuart EA, Olfson M. Opioid Use and Misuse and Suicidal Behaviors in a Nationally Representative Sample of US Adults. Am J Epidemiol. 2019;188(7):1245-1253.
  4. Samples H, Williams AR, Olfson M, Crystal S. Risk factors for discontinuation of buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorders in a multi-state sample of Medicaid enrollees. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2018;95:9-17.
  5. Samples H, Bandara SN, Olfson M, Saloner B. Tobacco Screening and Counseling in the U.S.: Smokers With Mental Health and Substance Use Problems. Am J Prev Med. 2018;55(4):524-532.