Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen, MPP

Senior Consultant

Health Management Associates

Nashville, TN

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Tricia Christensen is a dedicated change agent focused on high impact relationship building and policy change to improve quality of and access to care. As a harm reduction and drug policy expert, her experience ranges from direct service work and outreach to supporting community-based organizations, and advising at the state, regional, and national level.

Before joining Health Management Associates, Tricia was director of policy for the Community Education Group (CEG), a nonprofit working to bring resources, opportunity, and attention to the Appalachian region. Tricia led legislative and regulatory policy initiatives at all levels of government and established the Appalachia Opioid Remediation (AOR) project, which monitored how 13 states were managing and spending their opioid settlement funds. As part of the AOR project, Tricia launched a website and database for collecting examples of opioid settlement spending, and she curated weekly newsletters to provide timely updates and resources for promoting effective spending strategies to stakeholders in the region and throughout the country.

Tricia has demonstrated success building coalitions with diverse stakeholders and driving collaborative change. At CEG, she worked with advocates, public health professionals, public safety professionals, and people with lived and living experience to address issues related to the syndemic of HIV, viral hepatitis and overdose in the Appalachian region. With the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), she brought speakers together to share best practices for engaging the key populations of people who use drugs and community-based organizations in rural communities. She has worked with state agencies, law enforcement agencies, direct service providers and legislators on policies, procedures, educational resources, and trainings covering a range of public health topics. She has also worked directly with people with lived and living experience of drug use, sex work, and homelessness to ensure program development and policy change are centered around the voices of those most impacted.

As Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition’s policy manager, Tricia established the Maryland Harm Reduction Action Network (MHRAN), a statewide network of harm reduction advocates. Cultivating relationships with numerous coalitions, state agencies and other stakeholders, Tricia positioned MHRAN to build power and organize to improve the health, dignity and safety of people who use drugs at state and local levels. She developed educational materials, gathered testimony for state legislation, produced opinion editorials, and organized campaigns to emphasize health and dignity-based approaches to substance use, addiction and overdose.

Tricia champions low-barrier and non-judgmental access to naloxone, syringes, drug checking technologies, and evidence-based treatment for people who use drugs. She leverages her networking, communication, and resource development skills to educate policymakers and emphasize a community-led approach to program development. Her campaigns have included advocating for community inclusion as a part of local and state health department Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) plans, authorizing the establishment of overdose prevention sites, decriminalizing possession of drug paraphernalia for personal use, law enforcement diversion programs, and other harm reduction initiatives. She also supports policies and programs that facilitate greater quality of life such as access to nutritious foods, worker rights, creating more walkable neighborhoods, and reducing trash pollution.

Tricia earned her Master of Public Policy with an emphasis in health policy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washington State University.

She spends her free time with her two young children and her husband, an active-duty military social worker. She enjoys going for hikes, practicing yoga, and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.