Donna Shelley at [NYU Langone Health]

Donna Shelley, MD

  • Specialty: Internal Medicine
  • Language: English
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  • Associate Professor, Department of Population Health
  • Associate Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Co-Director, Section for Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Board Certifications
  • American Board of Internal Medicine - Internal Medicine, 1989
Education and Training
  • Fellowship, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Endocrinology, 1990
  • Residency, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Internal Medicine, 1989
  • MD from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1986

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NYU Langone Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center

221 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Research My Research

Research Summary

I have  almost two decades of experience studying methods for accelerating the translation of science into primary care practice.My body of research targets reducing health disparities among vulnerable populations, with a specific focus on the content domain of smoking cessation/cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and on the methodological domain of implementation science. My research, cited in the 2008 PHS Guideline on Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence (PHS Guideline), has been funded by NIH, AHRQ, New York State, and CDC and includes both domestic and global research. Current project are focused specifically on studying the effectiveness of system changes and use of mobile technology to support optimal delivery of guidelines for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors, evaluating tobacco control smoke free housing policy and developing innovative interventions to treat nicotine dependence among understudied populations.


NAME: Donna Shelley MD MPH

POSITION TITLE: Associate Professor, Co-Director of the Section on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use, Department of Population Health




(if applicable)

Completion Date








University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA




Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY




Columbia University School of Public Health, NY



Health Policy & Mgt

  1. Shelley D, Tseng T, Matthews A, Wu D, Cohen A, Ferrari P, Ogedegbe O, Millery M, Kopal H.  A technology-driven intervention to improve hypertension outcomes in community health centers. Am J Managed Care. 2011;17:SP103-110.
  2. Millery M, Shelley D, Wu D, Ferrari P, Tseng T, Kopal H. Qualitative evaluation to explain Success of multifaceted technology-driven hypertension intervention. Am J Managed Care. 2011;17:SP95-SP102    
  3. Shelley D, Odgedegbe G, Anane S, Wu W, Goldfeld K, Gold HT, Kaplan S, Berry C. Testing the use

of practice facilitation in a cluster randomized stepped wedge design trial to improve adherence to cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines: HealthyHearts NYC. Implementation Science. 2016; 4;11(1):88. doi: 10.1186/s13012-016-0450-2.

  1. Montini T, Schenkel AB, Shelley DR. Feasibility of a computerized clinical decision support system for treating tobacco use in dental clinics. J Dent Educ. 2013;77(4):458-62. PMID: 23576591

B.      Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

1991-1995        Senior Medical Editor, Lifetime Medical Television, NY

1994-1995        Clinician Greenwich House Primary Care Initiative, NY

1995-1998                    Instructor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY

1995-1998                    Internist, Mount Sinai Women’s Health Program, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY

1998-1999                    Medical Director Women’s Health Management Solutions, NY

1999-2002                    Director, Tobacco Control Program, New York City Department of Health, NY

2002-2007                    Assistant Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY

2007-2011       Associate Professor, New York University College of Dentistry, NY

2007-2011       Associate Professor, Vice Director of Research, Division of General Internal Medicine, New  York University School of  Medicine (NYUSOM), NY

2011-2017       Vice Chair for Research, Department of Population Health (DPH)

2011-present    Associate Professor with tenure, (DPH), NYUSOM, NY

2011-present   Co-Director, Section on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use, DPH, NYUSOM, NY

2017-present   Co-lead, Population Science and Cancer Control Program, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center

Postdoctoral Training

1986-1989 Intern/Resident Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY

1989-1991 Fellow, Endocrinology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, NY

Professional Memberships

1990-Present  American College of Physicians

1991-2002       American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)

1996-Present  Academy Health

1999-Present  American Public Health Association

2004-Present  Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT)

2012-2015      SRNT, Board Member Disparities Committee


1982    Phi Beta Kappa, University of Pennsylvania Certifications

1986    Upjohn Award for Clinical Excellence

1986    Alpha Omega Alpha, Mount Sinai School of Medicine


1990     Board of Internal Medicine

C.Contribution to Science

1. My body of research targets reducing health disparities among vulnerable populations, with a specific focus on the content domain of smoking cessation/cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and on the methodological domain of implementation science. My work has advanced the domain of implementation science by generating evidence for effective strategies to enhance integration of tobacco use treatment and CVD prevention guidelines into routine primary care settings serving disparate populations. Early work funded by AHRQ (1R18HS017167-01), and conducted in a Practice Based Research Network in NYC, was the first to demonstrate that linking primary care settings to a tobacco cessation Quitline through a fax-based referral system increased provider adherence to tobacco use treatment guidelines and increased smokers’ uptake of evidence-based treatment (telephone counseling and pharmacotherapy).  I have extended this work to include dental public health care settings to fill gaps in adoption of guidelines in settings serving patients at highest risk for tobacco-related morbidity and mortality (1R01CA162035-01). I recently received a R01 NCI to analyze strategies for optimizing implementation of smoking cessation services in lung cancer screening programs. Institute (R01CA207442-01). My interest in implementation science extends beyond tobacco control to include implementing guidelines for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease more broadly. For example, with AHRQ funding (R18HS017167) I designed and implemented a CDS that was associated with significant improvement in HTN-related care processes and BP outcomes. Another AHRQ-funded grant (R21HS021002) led to the development and dissemination of a CDS for tobacco use treatment in dental settings. More recently I was awarded an AHRQ R18 to recruit 250 primary care sites to study the effectiveness of practice facilitation on increasing adoption of Million Hearts guidelines for optimizing cardiovascular health. I served as either PI or Multiple PI on all of these studies.

  1. Shelley D, Cantrell J. The effect of linking community health centers to a state-level smoker’s quitline on rates of cessation assistance. BMC Health Serv Res. 2010;10:25. PMCID: PMC2823740
  2. Shelley D, Blechter B, Siman N, Jiang N, Cleland C, Ogedegbe G, Williams S, Wu W, Rogers E, Berry C. Quality of cardiovascular disease care in small urban practices. Ann Fam Med. In press
  3. Ostroff JO, Li Y, Shelley DR. Dentists United to Extinguish Tobacco (DUET): Study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial for enhancing implementation of clinical practice guidelines for treating tobacco dependence in dental care settings. Implementation science. 2014;9(1):25. PMCID: PMC3936874
  4. Ostroff J, Henschke C, Li Y, Shelley D, Copeland A, Borderu S. Readiness of lung cancer screening sites to deliver smoking cessation treatment: Current practices, organizational priority and perceived barriers. Nic Tob Res. 2015 Sep 7. pii: ntv177. [Epub ahead of print]


2. My goal to expand my implementation research to disparity-impacted populations worldwide is reflected in my R01 from the NCI, which aims to compare strategies for implementing tobacco use treatment guidelines throughout Vietnam’s public health system (1R01CA175329-01). This work promises to extend the impact of my research in studying efforts to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases.

  1. Shelley D, Cleland C, VanDevanter N, Nguyen L, Nguyen N. Implementing tobacco use treatment guidelines in Community health centers in Vietnam. Implementation Science. 2015;10(1):142. doi: 10.1186/s13012-015-0328-8. PMCID: PMC4600252

b.    Shelley D, Kumar P, Lee L, Nguyen L, Nguyen TT, VanDevanter N, Cleland CM, Nguyen NT. Health care providers' adherence to tobacco treatment for waterpipe, cigarette and dual users in Vietnam. Addict Behav. 2016;64:49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.08.010.

  1. Nguyen N, Nguyen T, Chapman J, Nguyen L, Kumar P, VanDevanter N, Shelley D. Tobacco cessation in Vietnam: exploring the role of Village Health Workers. Glob Public Health. 2017 Aug 4:1-11. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2017.1360376
  2. Kumar P, Cleland C, Siman N, Nguyen N, VanDevanter N, Nguyen T, Shelley D. Social Norms and Self-Efficacy to Quit Waterpipe Use: Findings from a Tobacco Study among Male Smokers in Rural Vietnam. J Tob Cessation. In press

3.  In addition to the contributions to CVD prevention and implementation science described above, my work is advancing implementation theory development and validation (i.e., understanding not only what works but where and why across multiple contexts). My contributions to the field of implementation science include a 2009 Health Services Research paper that first demonstrated the potential for the chronic care model, a systems-level quality improvement framework, to enhance provider delivery of guideline recommended tobacco use treatment.  Another recent paper was the first to examine the impact of the organizational culture of primary care clinics on adherence to evidence-based guidelines for treating tobacco use.  Finally, work in Vietnam is providing new insights into how we can apply implementation science frameworks developed in the US to in the context of health care systems in low middle income countries.

  1. Iwelunmor J, Blackstone S, Veira D, Nwaozuru U, Airhihenbuwa C, Munodawafa D, Kalipeni E, Jutal A, Shelley D, Ogedegebe G. Toward the sustainability of health interventions implemented in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and conceptual framework. Implement Sci. 2016 Mar 23;11(1):43. doi: 10.1186/s13012-016-0392-8 PMCID: PMC4804528
  2. Hung DY, Leidig R, Shelley DR. What's in a setting? Influence of organizational culture on provider adherence to clinical guidelines for treating tobacco use. Health Care Manage Rev. 2014;39(2):154-63. PMID:23636103
  3. Hung D, Shelley D. Multilevel Analysis of the Chronic Care Model and 5A Services for Treating Tobacco Use in Urban Primary Care Clinics. Health Serv Res. 2009 Feb;44(1):103-27  PMCID:PMC2669639
  4. VanDevanter N, Kumar P, Nguyen N, Nguyen L, Nguyen T, Stillman F, Weiner B, Shelley D. Application of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to assess factors that may influence implementation of tobacco use treatment guidelines in the Viet Nam public health care delivery system. Implement Sci. 2017 Feb 28;12(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s13012-017-0558-z PMCID: PMC5330005


  1. My work also includes studies using mobile technology to reduce CVD risk. This work is exemplified a NIDA R34, which is the first study testing the use of a text message intervention alone and in combination with telephone counseling to treat nicotine addiction among people living with AIDS and other comorbid conditions (R34DA031636). I recently received a NCI/Fogarty funded R21 to develop a smoking cessation text message program in Vietnam.
    1. Krebs P, Tseng TY, Pham H, Wong S, Sherman SE, Shelley D, Furberg RD, Wolfe H. Formative Evaluation of a Text Messaging Intervention to Promote Varenicline Adherence Among Tobacco-Dependent Persons with HIV.  J Health Commun. 2015;20(9):1021-5. PMID:26132516
    2. Tseng TY, Krebs P, Schoenthaler A, Wong S, Sherman S, Gonzalez M, Urbina A, Cleland CM, Shelley D. AIDS Behav. 2017 Jul;21(7):1964-1974. doi: 10.1007/s10461-016-1538-z. PMID: 27605365


  1. Finally, my work as had significant impact on tobacco- related policies and programs for minority and immigrant populations. A 2007 paper in AJPH was the first to document growth in the illegal cigarette market in low income, minority communities in response to a large NYC cigarette tax increase, and to elucidate mechanisms by which living in minority communities may influence smoking and illegal purchasing patterns following tax increases. This article led the NYC DOHMH to modify its annual Community Health Survey to capture underground cigarette markets. In addition, my NIH-funded work on smoking prevalence in the Chinese community, filled large knowledge gaps regarding the impact of cigarette policies in a large immigrant population.
  1. Shelley D, Cantrell MJ, Moon-Howard J, Ramjohn D, Vandevanter N. The $5.00 man: the underground economic response to a large cigarette tax increase in New York City. Am J Pub Health. 2007;97(8):1483-8. PMCID: PMC1931477
  2. Shelley D, Ngyuen N, Fahs M. Increasing access to evidence-based smoking cessation treatment: effectiveness of a free nicotine patch program among Chinese immigrants. J Immigr Minor Health. 2008 2010 Apr;12(2):198-205. PMCID: PMC5065177
  3. Shelley D, Ogedegbe G, Elbel B. Same Strategy Different Industry? Corporate Influence on Public Policy. Am J Pub Health. 2014;104(4):e9-e11. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301832. PMCID: PMC4025679
  4. Shelley D, Fahs M, Yerneni R, Das D, Hung D, Ngyuen N, Chin M, Chang MY, Cummings KM. Effectiveness of tobacco control among Chinese Americans: a comparative analysis of policy approaches versus community-based programs. Prev Med. 2008;47(5):530-6. PMCID: PMC2643380


Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:

D.  Research Support


NCI R01CA220591-01                       (Thorpe/Shelley)                                                                                                         12/15/17-12/1/22

Evaluation of Smoke-Free Housing Policy Impacts on Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Health Outcomes

Goal: To evaluate the impact of the smoke free housing policy in New York City public housing authority


3P30CA016087-37S30           (Project MPI Shelley/Sherman)                                             3/01/2017 – 02/28/2018

Cancer Center Support Grant to implement a tobacco use treatment program 

Goal: To implement and evaluate an opt out approach to improving access to tobacco use treatment among cancer patients


NCATS U01TR00 (Shelley/Berry)                                                                                                                                                     8/17/17-8/16/21

Measurement development to accelerate translational research

Goal: To develop a practice assessment tool that is predictive of high quality CVD care


NCI/Fogarty International R21CA225852-02 (Shelley/Nguyen)                                          8/15/17-8/14/19

Feasibility and acceptability of a text message intervention in Vietnam                                                                   

Goal: To test the feasibility and acceptability of a text message intervention


NCI R01 CA207442-01 (Ostroff/Shelley)                                                                                08/9/16-07/31/21

Optimizing Tobacco Treatment for Smokers Seeking Lung Cancer Screening

Goal: To compare different approaches to treating tobacco use in the context of lung cancer screening using a MOST design.

AHRQ 1R18HS023922-01 (Shelley)                                                                                                                                                        5/01/15-4/30/18

Using Practice Facilitation in Primary Care Setting to Reduce Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

Goal: To test the impact of practice facilitation on adoption of evidence based guidelines for preventing and treating CVD and on related patient level outcomes.

NIDDK 1R01DK110048-01A1 (Islam)                                                           4/1/2017 – 3/31/2022

Integrated Community-Clinical Linkage Model to Promote Weight Loss among South Asians with Pre- Diabetes

Role: CoI


NCI 5R01CA175329-02 (Shelley/Nguyen)                                                                                                                                9/30/13-8/31/18                  

Implementing Tobacco Use Treatment Guidelines in Vietnam

Goal: To compare the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of two strategies to implement tobacco use treatment guidelines in community health centers in Vietnam.

NIH/NIDCR-DE025992-01  (Saxena)                                                                                                                         4/1/2016-3/31/2020   

Modulation of oral microenvironment by E-cigarette aerosol mixtures

Goal: to use in vitro and in vivo methods to assess oral health effects of e-cig aerosol.

Role: CoI

NYSDOH, Bureau of Tobacco Control C029608  (Shelley)                                                                                       7/01/14-6/30/19                                  

Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free NY                                                                            

Goal: To provide health systems change to health care organizations regarding the treatment of tobacco use.

NCI 5R01CA1562035-03 (Shelley/Ostroff)                                                                                                                           4/01/12-3/30/18          

Implementing Tobacco Use Treatment Guidelines in Dental Public Health Clinics

Goal: To compare the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of three strategies to implement tobacco use treatment guidelines in dental public health clinics.



NCI P30 CA016087-33S1 (Carroll)                                                                                                                                                                   3/01/14–2/29/16                              

Alternative Tobacco Products: Use, Adverse Effects and Communication Patterns    

Goal: To assess current use of alternative tobacco and nicotine delivery products among young adults.

Role: Co-Investigator

NIDA 5R34DA031636-02 (Shelley)                                                                                                                                                                   8/01/12-7/31/15        

Improving Adherence to Smoking Cessation Medication among PLWHA

Goal: To test the feasibility and preliminary effect of text message support vs telephone counseling to increase adherence to smoking cessation medication and smoking abstinence.

NHLBI 1U01HL105229-01 (Sherman)                                                                                                                                                                   9/10-5/15

Effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions for urban hospital patients

Goal: The purpose of our proposed study is to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a smoking- cessation intervention for patients at two urban hospitals.

Role: Co Investigator

UL1TR000038 (Shelley)                                                                                                                                                                                                         11/15/13-03/31/15      

Assessing the Use of Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as a Harm Reduction Strategy

Goal: To examine the feasibility of using e-cigarettes as a method for harm reduction and the effects of providing e-cigarettes (or placebo e-cigarettes) on smoking outcomes.

R21HS021002 (Shelley)                                                                                                                                                         9/30/11-8/31/14                                              

Testing a PDA based clinical decision support system for tobacco use treatment in dental clinics

Goal: To develop and implement a clinical decision support system in dental clinics


R18HS017167 (Kopal)                                                                                                                                                                                   10/07-9/11

Evaluation of a computerized clinical decision support system and EHR-linked registry to improve management of hypertension in community based health centers

Goal: To develop and test a CDS system for hypertension management

Role: CoI


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Research Interests Timeline

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Clinical Trials and Research Studies

  • Implementing Tobacco Use Treatment Guidelines in Dental Public Health Clinics

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