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Hilary Surratt, PhD


(859) 218-4964
125 Medical Behavioral Science Building


  • Associate Professor

College Unit(s)

Biography and Education


Dr. Hilary Surratt received her PhD in Psychology in 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science.   Her research focuses on psychosocial and behavioral interventions among populations impacted by substance use disorder, with the central goal of improving health outcomes and optimizing care for underserved people who use drugs in community, treatment and clinical settings. Dr. Surratt’s research to develop and test HIV-related interventions with people who use drugs has contributed to several evidence-based protocols that have been disseminated to scientific and practitioner audiences. She is an NIH-funded principal investigator and an experienced team scientist, contributing expertise in substance use disorder, intervention adaptation, community engagement, qualitative inquiry, and evaluation science to multidisciplinary research teams across the University of Kentucky.  She has collaborated on 22 extramurally funded research grants during her career, including 11 randomized controlled trials, and serving as PI on 6 awards. Most recently, she is PI on a NIH-funded project to develop an integrated Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) HIV care model for people who inject drugs in rural Kentucky, which provides a unique opportunity to mount innovative prevention programs to stem HIV outbreaks in rural areas and contribute to national Ending the HIV Epidemic objectives.   She is collaborating as Community Engagement faculty on the UK HEALing Communities Study that is tackling opioid overdose reduction through community and data driven intervention deployment in 16 Kentucky counties, and as Co-I on two clinical research studies addressing birth outcomes and neonatal abstinence syndrome among pregnant women with opioid use disorder and serious injection-related infections among hospitalized patients with OUD. In addition, Dr. Surratt serves as Director of Evaluation for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Kentucky. Her research efforts have resulted in more than 150 peer reviewed publications and book chapters. In the past five years, her published scholarship has been cited in 95 policy documents, including government and think-tank publications and working papers, House Committee documents, and clinical guidelines, which demonstrates impact in the practice and policy arenas. Dr. Surratt engages in service to the field through her ongoing activities as a peer reviewer for NIH Center for Scientific Review as well as several high-impact journals. Additionally, she was recognized with an inaugural Community Engagement Pillar Award from the College of Medicine in 2022. Dr. Surratt is an instructor for MD 811, Introduction to Clinical Medicine, and is active as a mentor for a doctoral candidate in Psychology, a White Coats for Black Lives medical student fellowship recipient, and an early career faculty member of the DREAM Scholars Program.


Hilary L. Surratt, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Center for Health Services Research and the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky. Before coming to CHSR, she was Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She also maintains an affiliation as a Guest Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Dr. Surratt has expertise in the areas of illicit and prescription drug abuse, prescription drug diversion, and drug-related HIV infection. Her work has included the development and evaluation of behavioral HIV and HCV interventions for vulnerable substance abusing populations, as well as epidemiologic studies of prescription drug diversion, including opioid analgesics and antiretroviral medications. She has served as PI or Co-Investigator on more than 10 NIH-funded studies, and has substantial experience with cross-cultural research, having previously served as a senior investigator on several HIV prevention/intervention initiatives in Brazil and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her current research focuses on the examination of syringe exchange programs in Kentucky and the development of targeted interventions to link prescription opioid injectors to substance abuse treatment. Dr. Surratt has published widely in both English and foreign-language journals in the areas of substance abuse, drug diversion, HIV/AIDS, violence, and drug policy. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and is an active participant in professional meetings, both in the United States and internationally. She obtained her BS in Psychology from the University of Florida, an MA in Sociology/Latin American Studies from the University of Florida, and a Doctorate in Psychology from the Graduate School & University Center, City University of New York. Research Interests: Substance abuse and health disparities research; Evidence-based intervention and policy approaches to reduce the health harms of opioid abuse, Social determinants of health; neighborhood, community-level characteristics that affect patterns of substance abuse, HIV risk/resiliency, behavior change; Structural drivers of health behaviors and outcome; HIV-related stigma; health service access; Translation of evidence-based research findings into applied practice and policy; Participatory research methods; mixed methods research approaches Current Research Projects: Tracking and Evaluation Core of UK’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science; Kentucky Consortium for Accountable Health Communities; Examining Social Influences on Syringe Exchange Uptake Among Rural PWID at Risk for HIV; Project MISSION (Developing a multicomponent, Multilevel Implementation Strategy for Syncope OptimalCare through engagement)

Selected Publications