Tarlie Townsend
Tarlise (Tarlie) Townsend, PhD
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing - Postdoctoral Fellow
Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy, Grossman School of Medicine, NYU Langone - Postdoctoral Fellow
Joint PhD, Health Services Organization and Policy & Sociology, University of Michigan
BS, Neuroscience, Indiana University
BA, Germanic Studies, Indiana University
Research Interests
Pain, Disability, Opioids, Racial and economic equity, Policy, Cancer-related pain
In Memoriam

We mourn the passing of Tarlie on May 29, 2022.

The courage she displayed was reflected in her personal accounts of her illness:

For A Young Cancer Patient, “Just Stay Positive” Wasn’t The Advice She Needed

ASCO Quality Care Symposium Talk 2021

Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.
Tarlie Townsend studies pain, disability, and opioid use in the United States. Much of her research examines the intended and unintended consequences of policies to address the ongoing overdose crisis, with an emphasis on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. In another line of work, she studies trends in and consequences of the use of opioids to manage cancer-related pain; she is especially interested in the tension between concern about opioid-related harms, stigma surrounding opioid use, and the need for effective pain management. In several recent studies, Dr. Townsend has examined demographic trends in incident disability and the pathways underlying educational disparities in disability, towards a better understanding of how education “gets under the skin”. Dr. Townsend earned her joint doctorate in Health Services Organization and Policy and Sociology at the University of Michigan in May 2020. Her methodological toolbox draws from epidemiology, econometrics, and social demography.
Principal Investigator, Pathways to Racial Disparities in the Effects of Good Samaritan Laws: A Mixed Methods Study. Completed


Perry A, Wheeler-Martin K, Hasin DS, Terlizzi K, Mannes ZL, Jent V, Townsend TN, Pamplin JR, Crystal S, Martins SS, Cerda M, Krawczyk N (2023).
Utilization and disparities in medication treatment for opioid use disorder among patients with comorbid opioid use disorder and chronic pain during the COVID-19 pandemic
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 253, 111023. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.111023.

Perry A, Wheeler-Martin K, Terlizzi K, Krawczyk N, Jent V, Hasin DS, Neighbors C, Mannes ZL, Doan LV, Pamplin JR, Townsend TN, Crystal S, Martins SS, Cerda M (2023).
Evaluating chronic pain as a risk factor for COVID-19 complications among New York State Medicaid beneficiaries: A retrospective claims analysis
Pain Medicine, 24 (12), 1296-1305. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnad121. PMCID: PMC10690846.

Pamplin JR, King C, Cooper C, Bennett AS, Elliott L, Davis CS, Rouhani S, Townsend TN (2023).
Pathways to racial disparities in the effects of Good Samaritan laws: A mixed methods pilot study
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 249, 110823. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.110823.

Khan MR, Hoff L, Elliott L, Scheidell JD, Pamplin JR, Townsend TN, Irvine NM, Bennett AS (2023).
Racial/ethnic disparities in opioid overdose prevention: Comparison of the naloxone care cascade in White, Latinx, and Black people who use opioids in New York City
Harm Reduction Journal, 21 (1), 24. doi: 10.1186/s12954-023-00736-7. PMCID: PMC9959933.

Walters SM, Felsher M, Frank D, Jaiswal J, Townsend T, Muncan B, Bennett AS, Friedman SR, Jenkins W, Pho MT, Fletcher S, Ompad DC (2023).
I don’t believe a person has to die when trying to get high: Overdose prevention and response strategies in rural Illinois
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20 (2), 1648. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20021648. PMCID: PMC9864395.

Dr. Townsend's Google Scholar Profile
Selected Press