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Assistant Professor

Sachini Bandara, PhD ’18, MS, studies how public health policies can improve wellbeing for people who use drugs, have mental illness, or are involved in the carceral system.

Contact Info

624 N. Broadway, Hampton House 843

Research Interests

mental illness; substance use; criminal justice; social policy; Medicaid, policy communication
Experiences & Accomplishments
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Harvard School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
Sachini Bandara is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the evaluation of mental health and substance use policies. Her interests include examining the impacts of financing and delivery system reforms on persons with mental illness and substance use disorders, policies affecting individuals involved in the carceral system, and policy responses to the U.S. overdose crisis. Dr. Bandara also conducts research to identify communication strategies that can reduce public stigma and improve support for public health policies.
Honors & Awards
2013-2018 JHSPH Brown Community Health Scholars Program
Select Publications
Selected Recent Publications
  • Bandara S, Kennedy-Hendricks A, Merritt S, Barry CL, Saloner B. (2020) Early Effects of COVID-19 on Programs Providing Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons. Journal of Addiction Medicine. 14(5) e257-260.
  • Bandara SN, McGinty EE, Barry CL. (2020) Message Framing to Reduce Stigma and Increase Support for Policies to Improve the Wellbeing of People with Prior Drug Convictions. International Journal of Drug Policy. 76: 102643.
  • Bandara SN, Kennedy-Hendricks A, Stuart EA, Barry CL, Abrams MT, Daumit GL, McGinty EE. (2020) The Effect of the Maryland Medicaid Health Home Program on Emergency Department and Inpatient Utilization Among Individuals with Serious Mental Illness. General Hospital Psychiatry. 64:99-104
  • Bandara SN, Daumit GL, Kennedy-Hendricks A, Linden S, Choksy S, McGinty EE. (2018) Mental Health Providers' Attitudes about Criminal Justice-Involved Clients with Serious Mental Illness. Psychiatric Services, 69(4), 472-475.
  • Bandara SN, Huskamp HA, Riedel LE, McGinty EE, Webster DW, Toone RE, Barry CL. (2015) Leveraging the Affordable Care Act to Enroll Justice-Involved Populations in Medicaid: State and Local Efforts. Health Affairs, 34(12) 2044-2051.