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Danielle N. Atkins is an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the School of Global Health Management and Informatics at the University of Central Florida. Her research focuses on health policy, specifically reproductive, maternal, and child health and substance use. She received her doctorate in Public Administration and Policy and Masters of Public Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia. She received her B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Atkins’ work has been published in top journals including Health AffairsHealth Services Research, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Archives of Sexual Behavior, and the Journal of Public Health Policy.


Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy
University of Georgia


Danielle Atkins is a public policy researcher with expertise in using econometric techniques to investigate the impacts of public policies on a variety of outcomes and behaviors such as the effects of state contraceptive coverage mandates on contraceptive use; the effects of state sex education policies on student sexual behaviors; and the effects of state punitive prenatal substance use policies on infant and maternal health, maternal treatment for substance use disorder, and foster care entries for infants. In addition to her work estimating the impacts of policy change, she examines health services related to substance use disorder using primary data collection and mixed method approaches. These studies include an examination of Florida problem-solving court staff beliefs toward medications for opioid use disorder, program evaluation of implementing evidence-based practices in Florida family dependency drug courts, and operationalizing person-centered care in residential treatment for substance use disorder.

Research Interests

  • Public Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Reproductive, Maternal, and Child Health
  • Substance Use
  • Representative Bureaucracy

Research Center/Institute/Lab Affiliations

Current Funded Research and Projects

  • "Identifying MOUD Decision-Making Factors in Criminal Problem-Solving Courts.” Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network. (Role: Co- PI; Barbara Andraka-Christou, PI) Grant: $110,000. November 1, 2021-June 1, 2022
  • “Enhancement & Evaluation for Florida’s Family Dependency Drug Courts.” Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. (Role: Local Co-PI & Program Evaluator at UCF; Elisabeth Kiel, PI) Grant: $1,492,871 total with $146,786 as subaward to UCF. October 1, 2019-October 31 2022. Research Credit Split: Atkins (25%); Asi (25%); Andraka-Christou (50%)
  • “Exploratory Mixed Method Study of Recovery Coaching for Family Members of Loved Ones with Substance Use Disorder” University of Central Florida Office of Research Seed Funding Exploratory Research Award. Danielle Atkins (PI) Grant: $20,000. February 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. Research Credit Split: 50%


  • 2020 UCF Teaching Incentive Program Awardee (2018-2019)
  • 2020 CCIE Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award
  • 2018-2019 UCF Office of Research Mentoring Opportunity for Assistant Professors, Christopher Emrich, mentor
  • 2016-2017 UCF COHPA Research Mentoring Fellow (2015)
  • 2016 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference Poster Award Winner


  • HSA 2117: Civics in Health Care
  • HSA 3430: Health Economics for Health Care Managers
  • HSA 4702: Health Sciences Research Methods
  • HSA 6128: Health Care Services Management
  • HSA 6155: Health Economics and Policy
  • HSA 6911: Scientific Inquiry in the Health Professions
  • PHC 6146: Health Planning and Policy
  • PAF 7116: Theories in Healthcare Management
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