Dr. Salisbury-Afshar’s work focuses on enhancing the health and wellbeing of people who use substances. Board certified in family medicine, addiction medicine, and preventive medicine/general public health, her expertise lies at the convergence of these disciplines. Her multifaceted contributions span patient care, education, public health practice, and research, with a specific focus on the implementation and evaluation of addiction-related programs.
Prior to her tenure at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Salisbury-Afshar garnered extensive experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Serving as the Medical Director of Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore, 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 at Heartland Alliance Health, a federally qualified health center serving people experiencing homelessness and/or living with HIV in Chicago. In this role, she oversaw clinical care delivery across multiple clinics and shelters. Instrumental in the development of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) treatment programs, she secured several HRSA grants to fortify these services. Dr. Salisbury-Afshar’s leadership extended to the Chicago Department of Public Health, where, as the Medical Director of Behavioral Health, she crafted and executed the department’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis. Her initiatives included standardizing the analysis and reporting of opioid-related morbidity and mortality, creating provider education learning collaboratives, and expanding naloxone access through funding and educational initiatives. Prior to joining UW, she served as the Director of the Center for Addiction Research and Effective Solutions (CARES) at the American Institutes for Research. Here, she spearheaded various projects, ranging from public health strategy to the development of technical assistance for expanding access to evidence-based addiction treatment.
With over 14 years of clinical experience in federally qualified health centers, providing primary care and addiction medicine treatment, Dr. Salisbury-Afshar currently holds the position of Medical Director of the Compass Program—a low-barrier walk-in clinic for substance-related health concerns. She also works in the hospital on the addiction medicine consult service. As core faculty in the UW Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program, she also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Population Health Sciences, serves as the Program Director of the Preventive Medicine Residency, and acts as the Medical Director of Harm Reduction Services for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Public Health.