Dr. Alëna A. Balasanova is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in the Department of Psychiatry and holds an appointment in the College of Allied Health Professions. She is dually board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine with specialized expertise in integrated treatment for substance use disorders co-occurring with other psychiatric conditions. After obtaining her undergraduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Balasanova went on to earn her M.D. at Harvard Medical School and completed residency training at Boston University Medical Center. As the Director of Addiction Psychiatry Education for the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine, Dr. Balasanova has developed novel educational programs for medical students, residents, fellows, and allied health professionals. She is the founder and director of the Longitudinal Integrated Mental health/Substance use Outpatient Clinic (LIMSOC), an internationally recognized clinical experience for Creighton University Psychiatry Residents. Dr. Balasanova was the founding director of the Outpatient Addiction Psychiatry Clinic and developed and now co-directs the inpatient Addiction Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service, both at the Nebraska Medical Center.
Dr. Balasanova’s professional interests lie at the intersection of medical education and stigma reduction. She has presented and published nationally and internationally on addiction psychiatry education and destigmatizing substance use disorders; in recognition of this work, Dr. Balasanova was awarded the prestigious American Medical Association Foundation Award for Health Education in 2020 and the Nebraska Medical Association Young Physician of the Year Award in 2021.