Who we are


Lee Ellenberg, LICSW - Training Manager

As the MASBIRT TTA Training Manager, Lee leads the training and implementation efforts. He led MASBIRT implementation as the Clinical Program Supervisor in a variety of healthcare settings and provided clinical supervision to more than 25 Health Promotion Advocates and behavioral health staff.  He currently provides clinical supervision to behavioral health clinicians working at Boston Medical Center's CARE Counseling Program. Lee has trained both locally and nationally on SBIRT and Motivational Interviewing.

He has been a behavioral health clinician for more than 25 years. In addition, he teaches Cambridge College courses on Strategies for Change, Addictions, and HIV and has incorporated SBIRT training into many of these courses.

Previous to working with MASBIRT, he was the Social Work Manager of HIV services at Cambridge Health Alliance and the Associate Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services at Fenway Health. Lee has also served on the board of directors of Cambridge Cares About AIDS.


Alexandra Heinz, MSW, MPH - Trainer

As a Trainer at MASBIRT TTA Alex works to develop and deliver dynamic trainings in SBIRT and Motivational Interviewing to assist organizations to implement these strategies in their practice with clients. Since joining the team in 2017, Alex has provided training, technical assistance, and coaching to individuals and organizations across the state of Massachusetts. Her past experience includes several years of direct service provision in the non-profit sector with youth and adults in areas of intimate partner violence, sexual health, mental health, substance use, and infectious disease. Alex holds a Master’s of Social Work and a Master’s of Public Health from Boston University, and a Bachelor’s of Arts from Boston College. 


Consulting Trainers

Enid Watson, MDiv - Trainer

Enid is the Director of Screening and Early Identification Projects at the Institute for Health and Recovery, and is the Massachusetts Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) State Coordinator. She has worked with medical professionals across the  state to increase provider comfort with FASD Prevention efforts such as Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocols. In this capacity, she has trained hundreds of primary care/OB/GYN providers, school-based health center providers, home visitors, school nurses, and clergy on SBIRT and Motivational Interviewing, including an innovative MI-based Batterer Intervention SBIRT.

She received training on the CRAFFT Screening Tool by Dr. John Knight, the developer of the tool. Ms. Watson has provided local and national trainings on issues related to SBIRT, adolescents, pregnancy, substance use and FASD for over a decade.

Angela Cooper, LCAT - Trainer 

Angela is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Trainer, Instructional Designer and Developer. For the last 15+ years, Angela has worked in nonprofit organizations with adolescents and young adults involved with the criminal justice system, the foster care system and with histories of trauma and substance use. Angela has been practicing Motivational Interviewing since 2008 and a MINT member since 2012. She has since trained community based organizations, health, mental health and school personnel, and police and probation officers across New York City and the greater Boston area to use Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, and to be trauma informed in their work with vulnerable populations. She now also works with organizations to implement sustainable and outcome oriented training and professional development systems to support their staff in reaching outcomes for the clients they serve.


BNI-ART Institute - Trainers

Since 1993, the BNI-ART Institute at Boston University School of Public Health has been at the forefront of training health care providers in SBIRT, and disseminating SBIRT best practices based on lessons learned from research. The BNI-ART Institute collaborates with the team of trainers to provide training and expertise to continue to advance the goals of SBIRT implementation in healthcare systems and beyond.

To learn more about BNI-ART Institute, visit www.bu.edu/bniart.



Program staff

Daniel P. Alford, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM - Medical Director

As MASBIRT TTA Medical Director, Dan provides oversight and guidance for the program and also conducts trainings for medical personnel. Daniel P. Alford, MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Continuing Medical Education and Director of the Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (SCOPE of Pain) program at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). He is on staff in the Section of General Internal Medicine and director of the Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit at Boston Medical Center (BMC). He is also Medical Director of the Boston Sustainable Models for unheatlhy Alcohol ReducTion (B SMART) Program. He is past-president of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA). He is course director of the BUSM Immersion Training Programs in Addiction Medicine funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In 2011 he was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House. In 2014 he received the American Medical Association “Award for Health Education” and in 2016 was awarded the Educator of the Year Award by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Behavioral Medicine by the American College of Physicians. His clinical, educational and research interests focus on opioid use disorders and safe and competent opioid prescribing for chronic pain.


Alissa Cruz, MPH - Program Director

As Program Director, Alissa has been overseeing the implementation of MASBIRT TTA since it began in 2012 and provides expertise in the areas of program implementation, data management, program evaluation, advocacy and policy, budgeting, and regulatory reporting. She has in-depth knowledge of issues related to the spectrum of unhealthy substance use and SBIRT.  Prior to this, she served as the Program Manager for the SAMHSA-funded State SBIRT program for 5 years.

She has more than 20 years of experience working on research and programs addressing unhealthy substance use.  She also has experience conducting program evaluation and supporting evaluation efforts.  She also has experience teaching through her work at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Julia Bentley, MPH - Program Coordinator

As Program Coordinator, Julia is responsible for managing all curriculum, evaluation, operational, and administrative activities for MASBIRT TTA.  Additionally, she oversees and monitors the development of the program’s training and implementation protocols. Previous to working with MASBIRT TTA, Julia was the executive assistant to multiple Nursing Directors on the inpatient units at a behavioral health hospital specializing in eating disorder treatment.  Julia also worked as a Teacher’s Assistant for the course titled “Mental Health and Public Health: A Social and Behavioral Sciences Perspective” offered at Boston University School of Public Health. In this role she contributed to developing the course curriculum, which focused on topics related to mental health and unhealthy substance use.

Julia has her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Boston University School of Public Health, where she earned a certificate for Community Assessment, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation focused in Mental Health and Substance Use. She has a strong passion and interest for intervening with populations engaging in unhealthy substance use.