Harold Pollack, a male-presenting person, smiles towards the camera in a library.

Harold Pollack, PhD

Helen Ross Distinguished Service Professor; Associated Faculty, Public Health Sciences

969 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Office Location: BW-18

Areas of Expertise
Child Welfare and Child Protection
Children and Adolescents
Criminal Justice Policy
Government and Policy
Poverty and Income
Public Health
Substance Abuse
Violence and Trauma
UChicago Affiliations
Population Research Center
Health Lab

Harold Pollack has published widely at the interface between poverty policy and public health. His research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research, Pediatrics, and Social Service Review. His journalism regularly appears in such outlets as Washington Post, the Nation, the New York Times, New Republic, and other popular publications. His American Prospect essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection Best American Medical Writing, 2009.

Substance use and criminal justice policy: Policy Analysis

This course presents and applies basic policy analytic tools, and applies these tools to substance use and criminal justice policies. Key concepts include decision...

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Harold Pollack comments on drug use among welfare recipients and the impact of drug screening policies in San Francisco
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Harold Pollack emphasizes the importance of equal treatment of people with intellectual disabilities by medical professionals
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Article cites new study from Harold Pollack and UChicago’s Education Lab colleagues that identified a cost-effective, school based model that can support young girls who confront violence
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Article mentions research from Harold Pollack and colleagues on a tutoring program in Chicago Public Schools which found that for low-income ninth and tenth graders, high-dose tutoring led to a sizeable improvement
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Harold Pollack Interviews Adam Bonica About His And Colleagues' Recent Article Analyzing Physician Sorting, In Both Geography And Workplace, On The Basis Of Political Ideology
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Article cites Harold Pollack’s analysis of government data on nursing home deaths during the pandemic
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Harold Pollack’s Analysis Of Government Data About COVID Deaths Cited
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Harold Pollack says that conservatives need to push back against vaccine misinformation
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Harold Pollack: People with intellectual disabilities and their caretakers should be among the first to receive covid-19 vaccine
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Harold Pollack: Everything You Need to Know About Your Taxes Fits on an Index Card
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Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Olen, Helaine, and Harold A. Pollack. 2016. The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated. New York: Penguin Random House.
  • Pollack, Harold A. "Tough times in the second city." New York Times, September 4, 2011.
  • Pollack, Harold A. "Put to the Test: Genetic screening is more accessible than ever, and health-care providers are scrambling to catch up." American Prospect, October 2010.
  • Pollack, Harold A. "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare." American Prospect, October 2008, selected forBest American Medical Writing, 2009.


  • Hotton, A. L., Ozik, J., Kaligotla, C., Collier, N., Stevens, A., Khanna, A. S., MacDonell, M. M., Wang, C., LePoire, D. J., Chang, Y.-S., Martinez-Moyano, I. J., Mucenic, B., Pollack, H. A., Schneider, J. A., & Macal, C. (2022). Impact of changes in protective behaviors and out-of-household activities by age on covid-19 transmission and hospitalization in Chicago, Illinois. Annals of Epidemiology, from 
  • Lin, Q., Kolak, M., Watts, B., Anselin, L., Pollack, H., Schneider, J., & Taylor, B. (2022). Individual, interpersonal, and neighborhood measures associated with opioid use stigma: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey. Social Science & Medicine, from 
  • Gu M, Taylor B, Pollack HA, Schneider JA, Zaller N (2022) A pilot study on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers in the US. PLoS ONE 17(6): e0269320.
  • Pyra, M., Taylor, B., Flanagan, E., Hotton, A., Johnson, O. D., Lamuda, P., Schneider, J., & Pollack, H. A. (2022). Support for evidence-informed opioid policies and interventions: The role of racial attitudes, political affiliation, and opioid stigma. Preventive Medicine, from 
  • JIAO, S., KONETZKA, R.T., POLLACK, H.A. and HUANG, E.S. (2022), Estimating the Impact of Medicaid Expansion and Federal Funding Cuts on FQHC Staffing and Patient Capacity. The Milbank Quarterly, 100: 504-524.
  • Balawajder, E. , Taylor, B. , Lamuda, P. , MacLean, K. , Pollack, H. and Schneider, J. (2022) Predictors of Mental Health among the General Population of U.S. Adults Eight Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic. Psychology13, 427-442. doi: 10.4236/psych.2022.133029.
  • Johnston KJ, Wen H, Pollack HA. Comparison of Ambulatory Care Access and Quality for Beneficiaries With Disabilities Covered by Medicare Advantage vs Traditional Medicare Insurance. JAMA Health Forum.2022; 3(1):e214562. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.4562
  • Sadler, T., Yan, K., Pollack, H., Brauner, D. and Konetzka, R.T. (2021), Caregiving during the Time of COVID-19: A Multi-State Qualitative Study of Family Caregiver Experiences and Decision-Making . Health Serv Res, 56: 14-15.
  • Pho, M., Erzouki, F., Boodram, B., Jimenez, A. D., Pineros, J., Shuman, V., Claypool, E. J., Bouris, A. M., Gastala, N., Reichert, J., Kelly, M., Salisbury-Afshar, E., Epperson, M. W., Gibbons, R. D., Schneider, J. A., & Pollack, H. A. (2021). Reducing opioid mortality in Illinois (ROMI): A case management/peer recovery coaching critical time intervention clinical trial protocol. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, from 
  • Richard G. Frank, Keith N. Humphreys, Harold A. Pollack; Policy Responses to the Addiction Crisis. (2021). J Health Polit Policy Law; 46 (4): 585–597. doi:
  • Kenton J. Johnston, Hefei Wen, Karen E. Joynt Maddox, and Harold A. Pollack. (2021). Ambulatory Care Access And Emergency Department Use For Medicare Beneficiaries With And Without Disabilities. Health Affairs 2021 40:6, 910-919 
  • Frank RG, Humphreys K, Pollack H. Our Other Epidemic: Addiction. JAMA Health Forum. (2021); 2(3):e210273. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.0273
  • White, K., Cook, P. J., & Pollack, H. A. (2020). Gunshot-victim cooperation with police investigations: Results from the Chicago Inmate Survey. Preventive Medicine, from 
  • Skaathun, B.,  Pho, M. T.,  Pollack, H. A.,  Friedman, S. R.,  McNulty, M. C.,  Friedman, E. E.,  Schmitt, J.,  Pitrak, D.and  Schneider, J. A. (2020). Comparison of effectiveness and cost for different HIV screening strategies implemented at large urban medical centre in the United States. J Int AIDS Soc;  23(10):e25554
  • Colleen M. Grogan, Clifford S. Bersamira, Phillip M. Singer, Bikki Tran Smith, Harold A. Pollack, Christina M. Andrews, Amanda J. Abraham. (2020). Are Policy Strategies for Addressing the Opioid Epidemic Partisan? A View from the States. J Health Polit Policy Law; 45 (2): 277–309. doi:
  • Sadler, T., Pollack, H. (2020). Engaging People in Behavioral Crisis. In: Siegler, M., Rogers Jr., S. (eds) Violence, Trauma, and Trauma Surgery. Springer, Cham.
  • Pollack HA, Humphreys K. (2020). Reducing Violent Incidents between Police Officers and People with Psychiatric or Substance Use Disorders. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science; 687(1):166-184. doi:10.1177/0002716219897057
  • Pollack HA, Bagenstos SR. (2020). The Hidden Disability Consensus in the 2020 Campaign. JAMA Health Forum; 1(2):e200152. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.0152
  • Humphreys, K., Pollack, H.A. (2020). How Should the United States Respond to the Opioid Addiction and Overdose Epidemic?. In: Goldman, H., Frank, R., Morrissey, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of American Mental Health Policy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
  • Harold A. Pollack. (2020). Disaster Preparedness and Social Justice in a Public Health Emergency. J Health Polit Policy Law; 45 (6): 907–920. doi:
  • Schneider JA, Pollack HA. (2020). Flipping the Script for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Contact Tracing. JAMA Health Forum;1(9):e201129. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2020.1129
  • Park, S., Grogan, C. M., Mosley, J. E., Humphreys, K., Pollack, H. A., Friedmann, P. D., Work, S. of S., Send correspondence to Dr. Park ., M, C., Marchand, K. (2019). Correlates of patient-centered care practices at U.S. Substance Use Disorder Clinics. Psychiatric Services, from 
  • Pollack, H. A. In press. "Prevention, public health, and health reform." Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law.
  • Pollack, H. A. In press. "Problematic substance use and crime: The alcohol challenge and the opportunity of health reform," Michael Tonry and Daniel Nagin, eds. Crime and Justice 46.
  • D'Aunno, T., H. A. Pollack, Q. Chen, and P. D. Friedmann. 2017. "Linkages Between Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Addiction Treatment Organizations: Results from a National Survey." Medical Care. 
  • Feinstein, R., and H. A. Pollack. 2016. "We Don't Have a Plan. We Should Be Working On a Plan: Obstacles to Caregiver Transition Planning for Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome." Social Service Review. 
  • Heller, S. B., A. K. Shah, J. Guryan, J. Ludwig, S. Mullainathan, and H. A. Pollack. 2016. "Thinking, fast and slow? Some field experiments to reduce crime and dropout in Chicago." Quarterly Journal of Economics. 
  • Jost, T., and H. A. Pollack. 2016. "Making health care truly affordable after health reform." Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. 
  • Andrews, Christina M., Amanda Abraham, Colleen M. Grogan, Harold A. Pollack, Clifford Bersamira, Keith Humphreys, and Peter Friedmann. 2015. "Despite resources from the ACA, most states do little to help addiction treatment programs Implement health care reform." Health Affairs 34(5): 828-835.
  • Andrews, C., C. M. Grogan, M. Brennan, and H. A. Pollack. 2015. "Lessons from Medicaid's Divergent Paths on Mental Health and Addiction Services." Health Affairs 34(7): 1131-1138.
  • Cook, Philip J., Richard J. Harris, Jens Ludwig, and Harold A. Pollack. 2015. "Some sources of crime guns in Chicago: Dirty dealers, straw purchasers, and traffickers." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 104(4): 717-758.
  • Cook, Philip J., S. T. Parker, and H. A. Pollack. 2015. "Sources of guns to dangerous people: What we learn by asking them." Preventative Medicine 79: 28-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.04.021.
  • Parish, C. L., M. R. Pereyra, H. A. Pollack, G. Cardenas, P. C. Castellon, S. N. Abel, R. Singer, and L. R. Metsch. 2015. "Screening for substance misuse in the dental care setting: findings from a nationally representative survey of dentists." Addiction 110(9): 1516-1523. doi: 10.1111/add.13004.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2015. "Medicare for All—If It Were Politically Possible—Would Necessarily Replicate the Defects of Our Current System." Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 40(4): 921-929.
  • Andrews, Christine M., Thomas A. D'Aunno, Harold A. Pollack, and Peter D. Friedmann. 2014. "Adoption of evidence-based clinical innovations: The case of buprenorphine use by opioid treatment programs." Medical Care Research and Review 71(1): 43-60.
  • D'Aunno, Thomas, Pollack, Harold A., Jemima A. Frimpong, and David Wuchiet. 2014. "Evidence-based treatment for opioid disorders: A 23-year national study of methadone dose levels." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 47(4): 245-250.
  • D’Aunno, Thomas, Harold A. Pollack, Lan Jiang, Lisa R. Metsch, and Peter D. Friedmann. 2014. "HIV testing in the nation’s opioid treatment programs, 2005-2011: The role of regulations." Health Services Research 49(1): 230-48.
  • Jannat-Khah, Deanna P., Jennifer McNeely, Margaret R. Pereyra, Carrigan Parish, Harold A. Pollack, Jamie Ostroff, Lisa Metsch, and Donna R. Shelley. 2014. "Dentists' self-perceived role in offering tobacco cessation services: results from a nationally representative survey, United States, 2010-2011." Preventing Chronic Disease 11(E196): 1-12.
  • Knotek, Steve E., Harold Pollack, and Megan McVea. 2014. "Utilizing sports programs to enhance urban youth's social emotional learning," Keith Gilbert and K. McPhearson, eds. Urban Sports Development. London, U.K.
  • Pollack, Harold A., and Peter Reuter. 2014. "Does tougher enforcement make drugs more expensive?" Addiction 109(12):1959-1966.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2013. "Changes in the British National Health Service." Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 38(4): 847.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2013. "Coverage of whole genome sequencing in the Affordable Care Act." Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 39(1): 237-38.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2013. "State Medicaid policy and health reform." Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 38(1): 161-63.
  • Sevigny, Eric L., Harold A. Pollack, and Peter Reuter. 2013. "Can drug courts help to reduce prison and jail populations?" Annals of the Academy for Political and Social Sciences 647: 19.
  • Sonfield, Adam, and Harold A. Pollack. 2013. "The Affordable Care Act and reproductive health: Potential gains and serious challenges." Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 38(2): 373-91.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2012. "All-payer state systems." Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law 37(4): 677-78.
  • Pollack, Harold A., Peter Reuter, and Eric Sevigny. 2012. "If drug treatment works so well, why are so many drug users in prison?" In Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, and Justin McCrary, eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Siegel, Karolynn, Stephen N. Abel, Margaret Pereyra, Terri Liguori, Harold A. Pollack, and Lisa R. Metsch. 2012. "Rapid HIV testing in dental practices." American Journal of Public Health 102(4): 625-32.
  • Frakt, Austin, Aaron Carroll, Harold A. Pollack, and Uwe Reinhardt. 2011. "Our flawed but beneficial Medicaid program." New England Journal of Medicine 364(16).
  • Pollack, Harold A., 2011. "Health policy and the community safety net for individuals with intellectual disability." Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 17: 44-51.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2011. "Health reform and public health: Will good policies but bad politics combine to produce bad policy?" University of Pennsylvania Law Review 159(6): 2061-81.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2011. "High-risk pools for the sick and uninsured under health reform: too little and thus too late." Journal of General Internal Medicine 26(1): 91-4.
  • Shaefer, H. Luke, Colleen M. Grogan, and Harold A. Pollack. 2011. "Transitions from private to public health coverage among children: Estimating effects on out-of-pocket medical costs and health insurance premium costs." Health Services Research 46(3): 840-58.
  • Shaefer, H. Luke, Colleen M. Grogan, and Harold A. Pollack. 2011. "Who transitions from private to public health insurance? Lessons from expansions of the state children’s health insurance program." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 22(1): 359-70.
  • Torres, Gretchen W., Justin D. Heffelfinger, Harold A. Pollack, Susan G. Barrera, and Richard E. Rothman. 2011. "HIV screening programs in U.S. emergency departments: A cross-site comparison of structure, process, and outcomes." Annals of Emergency Medicine 58: S104-13.
  • National Research Council. 2010. Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs. "Committee on Understanding and Controlling the Demand for Illegal Drugs. Committee on Law and Justice." Ed. Peter Reuter. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.
  • Paltiel, A. David, and Harold A. Pollack. 2010. "Price, performance, and the FDA approval process: The example of home HIV testing." Medical Decision Making 30(2): 217-23.
  • Pollack, Harold A., and Thomas D’Aunno. 2010. "HIV testing and counseling in the nation’s outpatient substance abuse treatment system, 1995-2005." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 38(4): 307-16.
  • Pollack, Harold A., L. Metsch, and S. Abel. 2010. "Dental examinations as an untapped opportunity to provide HIV testing for high-risk individuals." American Journal of Public Health 100(1): 88-9.
  • Reuter, Peter, et al. 2010. "Committee for Understanding and Controlling the Demand for Illegal Drugs." Understanding the Demand for Illegal Drugs. National Academy Press.
  • Ludwig, David S., and Harold A. Pollack. 2009. "Obesity and the economy: from crisis to opportunity." Journal of the American Medical Association 301(5): 533-5.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2009. "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare." In The Best American Medical Writing, Pauline W. Chen, ed. 257-70. New York: Kaplan Publishing.
  • Alexander, Jeffrey A., Tammie A. Nahra, Christy Harris Lemak, Harold A. Pollack, and Cynthia I. Campbell. 2008. "Tailored treatment in the outpatient substance abuse treatment sector: 1995-2005." Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 34(3): 282-92.
  • Basu, Anirban, Paltiel, A. David, and Pollack, Harold A. "Social costs of robbery and the cost-effectiveness of substance abuse treatment." Health Economics, 2008, 17(8):927-46.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2008. "Evidence of things unseen: Causality and confounding in path models of youth substance use." Addiction 103(2): 320-1.
  • Schoeni, Robert F., James S. House, George A. Kaplan, and Harold A. Pollack, eds. 2008. Making Americans healthier: Social and economic policy as health policy. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Alexander, Jeffrey A., Harold A. Pollack, Tammie A. Nahra, Rebecca Wells, and Christy Harris Lemak. 2007. "Case management and client access to health and social ser­vices in outpatient substance abuse treatment." Journal of Behavioral Health Research 34(3): 221-36.
  • Chien, Alyna T., Rena M. Conti, and Harold A. Pollack. 2007. "A pediatric-focused re­view of the performance incentive literature." Current Opinion in Pediatrics 19(6): 719-25.
  • Lantz, Paula M., Richard Lichtenstein, and Harold A. Pollack. 2007. "Health policy ap­proaches to population health: The limits of ‘medicalization.’" Health Affairs 26(5): 1253-7.
  • Pollack, Harold A. 2007. Introduction. Women’s Health Issues 17(4): 176-9.
  • Pollack, Veronica P., and Harold A. Pollack. 2006. "Bringing Vincent home." Health Affairs 25(1): 231-6.
  • Pollack, Harold A., and Peter Reuter. 2006. "Welfare receipt and treatment among substance-using mothers: Did welfare reform make a difference?" American Journal of Public Health, 96(11):2024-31.
  • Pollack, Harold A., Kevin J. Dombkowski, Janet B. Zimmerman, Matthew M. Davis, Cowan, Anne E., John R. Wheeler, A. Craig Hillemeier, and Gary L. Freed. 2004. "Emergency department use among Michigan children with special health care needs." Health Services Research 39(3): 665-92.
  • Soliman, Soheil, Harold A. Pollack, and Kenneth E. Warner. 2004. "Decrease in the prevalence of environmental tobacco smoke exposure in the home during the 1990s in families with children." American Journal of Public Health 94(2): 314-20.
  • Pollack, Harold A., and Peter D. Jacobson. 2003. "The political economy of youth smok­ing regulation." Addiction 98(S1): 123-38. Strauss, Richard S., and Harold A. Pollack. 2003. "Social marginalization of overweight adolescents." Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 157(8): 746-752.
  • D’Aunno, Thomas, and Harold A. Pollack. 2002. "Changes in methadone treatment practices: Results from a national panel study, 1988-2000." Journal of American Medi­cal Association 288(7): 850-856.
  • Pollack, Harold A., Sheldon Danziger, Rukmalie Jayakody, and Kristin Seefeldt. 2002. "Drug testing welfare recipients-false positives, false negatives, unanticipated op­portunities." Women’s Health Issues 12(1): 23-31.
  • Pollack, Harold A., Sheldon Danziger, Rukmalie Jayakody, and Kristin Seefeldt. 2002. "Substance use among welfare recipients: Trends and policy responses." Social Service Review 76(2): 256-274.
  • Pollack, Harold A., and John G. Frohna. 2002. "Infant sleep placement following the Back to Sleep Campaign." Pediatrics 109(4): 608-614.
  • Pollack, Harold A., Kaveh Khoshnood, Kim M. Blankenship, and Frederick L. Altice. 2002. "The impact of needle exchange-based health services on emergency depart­ment use." Journal of General Internal Medicine 17(5): 341-348.

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. He is also an Affiliate Professor in the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division and the Department of Public Health Sciences.

Co-founder of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, he is co-director of the University of Chicago Health Lab. He is a committee member of the Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS) at the University of Chicago. His current NIH-funded research concerns improved services for individuals at the boundaries of the behavioral health and criminal justice systems, disabilities, and two major new efforts to address the opioid epidemic in Illinois and across the nation.

Past President of the Health Politics and Policy section of the American Political Science Association, Professor Pollack has been appointed to three committees of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University. He holds master's and doctorate degrees in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Before coming to Crown Family School, Professor Pollack was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Yale University and taught Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.