Dr. Andrea Yatsco is a research-track Assistant Professor at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston, formerly UTHealth Houston School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI). Dr. Yatsco is the Associate Director of the Houston Emergency Opioid Engagement System (HEROES), a national clinical trial providing comprehensive treatment for individuals suffering from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The program is a collaborative partnership with the Houston Fire Department, Houston Police Department, Houston Recovery Center, and Memorial Hermann Hospital. Dr. Yatsco handles clinical research and oversight of all direct patient care. Dr. Yatsco also provides support for other grant funded research projects, including the Heroes Helpline for first responders, and application of the HEROES model in other at-risk populations and expansion into extended geographic areas.
Dr. Yatsco’s previous work and educational training has focused on behavioral analysis and collaborative interventions for individuals with substance use disorders. Dr. Yatsco received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. Her undergraduate work at the University of Arizona focused on psychological and sociological predictors of deviant behavior. Dr. Yatsco is an internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in Texas. She has worked extensively with justice-involved individuals, and has counseled incarcerated populations in state and county correctional facilities in Massachusetts with an emphasis on continuum of care post-incarceration. She has provided behavioral services and court support to families and adolescent offenders in Vermont. Dr. Yatsco is a previous adjunct professor of Becker College where she taught curriculum in the undergraduate forensic psychology concentration. She also developed grant funded substance education and adolescent development education for Becker’s accelerated learning program.
Dr. Yatsco is a member of the National Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), the Texas Association of Addiction professionals (TAAP), and the National Association for Medication Assisted Recovery (NAMA-R). She has published articles in top tiered, peer-reviewed journals, including International Journal of Drug Policy, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Dr. Yatsco has presented her research nationally at many prestigious professional conferences in public health, criminal justice, and addiction, including Academy Health (AH), the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
“Access to evidenced-based healthcare and compassionate professionals is vital for those battling the disease of addiction and substance use disorders. A united public health response that educates, reduces stigma, and breaks down silos to form collaborative behavioral interventions is necessary for improved quality of life outcomes,” said Yatsco.