David Pollio. Distinguished Professor

University Hall 3156
(205) 975-4938

Research and Teaching Interests: Homelessness, mental health and addiction services, evidence based practice and education, HIV/HCV, disaster mental health, geospatial research, social media

Office Hours:  Schedule appointments with him on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


  • BA, University of Virginia
  • MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • PhD, University of Michigan, Social Psychology and Social Work

David E Pollio, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Social Work, has long focused his work on making a difference in the real world. His practice career dates back more than 30 years and includes working with adolescents with behavioral issues, persons, and families coping with mental illness and addiction, runaway youth and adult homeless; and persons experiencing disaster. His research focuses on developing services for these and other populations and ranges from evaluating organizations, to developing new interventions, to using cutting edge technologies such as on-line social communities and virtual reality.

His work has been multi-disciplinary by nature, as is seen through his secondary appointments in the School of Public Health and the African American Studies program, and his longstanding affiliation with the Center for AIDS Research. His work and research has taken him under bridges to the halls of Congress, from the rubble of disaster sites to destinations local and all across this country.

In addition to his broad practice and research interests, Dr. Pollio has been a leader in the development of evidence-based education. His co-authored article on this topic was one of the 10 most cited articles in the field of Social Work in the last decade, and his work on this topic has won him the Pro Humanitate Literary Medal and Journal of Social Work Education Empirical Article of the Year (with Dr. Lisa Baker). His passion for education is nationally recognized, as evidenced by his being named in 2014 to the editorial board of the leading journal on Social Work education.

Recent Courses Taught

  • SW 314: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

Select Publications

  • Ayvaci ER, Obiri O, Pollio D, North CS A naturalistic longitudinal study of the order of service provision with respect to cocaine use and outcomes in an urban homeless sample. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2017 doi: 10.1017/S204579601700018X. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28462748
  • Chunduri S, Browne S, Pollio DE, Hong BA, Roy W, Roaten K, Khan F, North CS.. Suicide Risk Assessment and Management in the Psychiatry Emergency Service: Psychiatric Provider Experience and Perceptions. Arch Suicide Res. 2017. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2017.1414648. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29281594
  • Kertesz SG, Austin EL, Holmes SK, DeRussy AJ, Van Deusen Lukas C, Pollio DE. Housing first on a large scale: Fidelity strengths and challenges in the VA's HUD-VASH program. Psychol Serv. 2017 May;14(2):118-128. doi: 10.1037/ser0000123. PMID: 28481597
  • Moore JR, Pollio DE, Hong BA, Valencia C, Sorrell M, North CS. Pilot Design and Implementation of an Innovative Mental Health and Wellness Clinic at a Historically Black College/University. Community Ment Health J. 2017 Sep 22. doi: 10.1007/s10597-017-0167-y. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28940059
  • North, C. S., Pollio, D. E., Sims, O. T., & Hong, B. A. (2017a). Prospective longitudinal substance use patterns in patients preparing for hepatitis C treatment. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 16, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/15504263.2017.1380246.
  • North, C. S., Pollio, D. E., Sims, O. T., Jain, M. K., Brown, G. R., Downs, D. L., et al. (2017b). An effectiveness study of group psychoeducation for hepatitis C patients in community clinics. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 29(6), 679–685. https://doi.org/10.1097/MEG.0000000000000860.
  • North CS, Pollio DE. Financing Cocaine Use in a Homeless Population. Behav Sci (Basel). 2017 Oct 25;7(4). pii: E74. doi: 10.3390/bs7040074. PMID: 29068379
  • North CS, Dvorkina T, Thielman S, Pfefferbaum B, Narayanan P, Pollio DE. A Study of Selected Ethnic Affiliations in the Development of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Psychopathology After a Terrorist Bombing in Nairobi, Kenya. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2017 Sep ,:1-6. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2017.85. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28925342
  • North CS, Wohlford SE, Dean DJ, Black M, Balfour ME, Petrovich JC, Downs DL, Pollio DE. A Pilot Study Using Mixed GPS/Narrative Interview Methods to Understand Geospatial Behavior in Homeless Populations. Community Ment Health J. 2017 Aug;53(6):661-671. doi: 10.1007/s10597-016-0057-8. PMID: 27807686
  • Pollio DE, Durkin DW, North CS (2017) An Exploration of Content in Multifamily Psychoeducation Groups: The Impact of Consumer Choice in a Flexible Curriculum. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services: 2017, Vol. 98, No. 1, pp. 79-84.
  • Roy W, Roaten K, Downs D, Khan F, Pollio DE, North CS. Suicide Risk Assessment and Management: Real-World Experience and Perceptions of Emergency Medicine Physicians. Arch Suicide Res. 2017 Jul ;21(3):365-378. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2016.1199987.PMID: 27309841
  • Sims, O. T., Pollio, D. E., Hong, B. A., & North, C. S. (2017). Racial disparities in hepatitis C treatment eligibility. Annals of Hepatology, 16(4), 530–537. https://doi.org/10.5604/01.3001.0010.0282.
  • White M, Pollio DE, Hong BA, North CS. Memories of intimate partner violence and the process of change. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2017 Feb;29(1):35-45. PMID: 28207914
  • Young SR, Rapisarda C, Fields I, Pollio DE (2017) LGBTQ Organizing Beyond “Low-Hanging Fruit”: A Qualitative Examination of Safe Schools Coalitions in the United States South, Journal of Community Practice, 25:3-4, 524-541, DOI:10.1080/10705422.2017.1359718
  • CS North, CJ Barney, DE Pollio, "A Focus Group Study of the Impact of Exposure to the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks,"Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology (October 2014).
  • SG Kertesz, EL Austin, S Holmes, DE Pollio, JE Schumacher, B White, LC VanDeusen, "Making Housing First Happen: Organizational Leadership in VA’s Expansion of Permanent Supportive Housing," Journal of General Internal Medicine 29 (Suppl. 4, December 2014): 835-44.
  • CS North, O Sims, BA Hong, MK Jain, G Brown, M Lisker-Melman, DE Pollio, "An empirical study of alcohol use in patients considering HCV treatment," American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 40 (No. 6, 2014): 484-89.
  • B Fuehrlein, A Cowell, DE Pollio, L Cupps, M Balfour, CS North, "Deriving costs of service use in an urban homeless population," Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 46 (Issue 4, 2014): 491-97.
  • R Guadagno, N Muscanell, D Pollio, "The homeless use Facebook?! Similarities of social network use between college students and homeless young adults," Computers In Human Behavior 29 (Issue 1, 2013): 86-89.
  • D Pollio, A Hudson, C North, B Hong, "A Comparison of Enrollees Versus Non-enrollees in a Patient/Family HCV Psychoeducation Study," Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings (2012): 1-8.
  • DE Pollio, CS North, AM Hudson, V Osborne, JB McClendon, B Hong, "Psychoeducation responsive to families (PERF): Two decades of development and translation of a multifamily group model," Psychiatric Annals 42 (No. 6, 2012): 226-35.
  • L Baker, DE Pollio, A Hudson, "Assessing undergraduate practice evaluation knowledge in an introductory research methods course," Journal of Social Work Education 47 (No. 3, 2011): 555-64.
  • DE Pollio and MJ Macgowan, eds., Evidence-Based Group Work in Community Settings (Routledge Press, 2011.)

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Scholarship Award, Council on Social Work Education, 2014
  • Fellow, American Psychopathological Association
  • Inaugural Fellow, Society for Social Work and Research
  • Best abstract, Association for Medical Education and Research on Substance Abuse, 2013
  • Quantitative article of the year, Journal of Social Work Education, 2012
  • Dean’s Award for research, teaching and service, University of Alabama School of Social Work, 2009
  • Graduate Mentoring Award, Graduate Student Council, Washington University, 2007
  • Pro Humanitate Literary Medal, North American Resource Center for Child Welfare, 2004
  • Mortimer Goodman Award for outstanding contributions to mental health services, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of St. Louis