Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar is the director of the Center for Addiction Research and Effective Solutions (AIR CARES) at AIR. With experience working on opioid-related epidemiology, policy, public health intervention/evaluation, and serving directly as a treatment provider, she leads the Center’s work in research, policy and practice. Dr. Salisbury-Afshar is board certified in family medicine, preventive medicine/public health, and addiction medicine and her expertise lies at the intersection of these fields.
Prior to joining AIR, Dr. Salisbury-Afshar served as the medical director of Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore, a quasi-public entity that oversees all publicly funded addiction and mental health treatment. In this role, she developed and oversaw the Baltimore City Overdose Prevention Plan, the Opioid Fatality Review Board, and the third-party naloxone distribution program. She subsequently served as the medical director of Behavioral Health at the Chicago Department of Public Health, where she developed the Department’s strategy to address the opioid crisis, helped to standardize the way opioid-related morbidity and mortality was tracked and reported, developed provider education collaboratives to increase access to medications for addiction treatment, and supported expansion of naloxone access through funding and educational initiatives.
Dr. Salisbury-Afshar has over nine years of experience working clinically in federally qualified health centers, providing direct patient care in both primary care and addiction medicine. She previously served as the medical director of Heartland Alliance Health, a healthcare for the homeless provider in Chicago. She continues to work in this clinic on a part-time basis and provides primary care and addiction treatment services. She is able to use her clinical experiences and the experiences of her patients to inform her understanding of the opioid crisis.