Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH
Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH, is a Family Medicine Hospitalist at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), Faculty of the CHA Asylum Program (CHAAP), Telehealth Primary Care Physician at the Indian Health Service (IHS) Rosebud Service Unit (in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital), Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Faculty Affiliate of the HMS Center for Primary Care. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine (in the Rural Primary Care Track) and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She completed her residency at Tufts University Family Medicine Residency at Cambridge Health Alliance, with specialized training in family planning and addiction medicine.
Dr. Rollston’s professional interests focus on social determinants of health & health equity, gender-based violence, sexual & reproductive health, addiction medicine, rural health, homelessness & supportive housing, and immigrant health. She has published on these topics in The Lancet, BMJ Innovations, Journal of Substance Use and Addiction Treatment, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, American Journal of Health Promotion, Journal of Appalachian Health, and Medical Care. Dr. Rollston was also selected as a Visiting Scholar in the Northeastern University Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program for AY 2020-2021, where she studied the intersection of religion and sexual & reproductive health.
Dr. Rollston teaches Harvard Medical School students in the courses, Essentials of the Profession I & II—Social Medicine. This course introduces students to the roles that physicians can play in addressing the social determinants of health via clinical medicine, advocacy, and policy. She also engages in regular teaching of workshops within the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care, including motivational interviewing, clinical procedural skills, abortion training, health equity, and advocacy. Dr. Rollston serves as a thesis advisor for students in the Master of Medical Sciences in Global Health Delivery (MMSc-GHD) program, where she’s currently the Principal Investigator on a mixed methods assessment of factors that may prevent physical and sexual violence among women and girls in Nigeria (based at Central Hospital in Benin City). She is also collaboratively supporting the development and publication of an oral history collection documenting the lived experiences of intimate partner violence among women in Nigeria.
As the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Medical School Primary Care Review (from April 2020 – December 2022), Dr. Rollston developed this platform into a nationally recognized venue for health equity, social determinants of health, and primary care. The Primary Care Review is a community-facing publication whose mission is to “Share stories to amplify the voices of health everywhere.” The Harvard Medical School Primary Care Review is a key Harvard-affiliated publication where community members serve as the first authors of their own personal narratives related to health, social influencers, and health equity.
Dr. Rollston serves as Telehealth Primary Care Physician at the IHS Rosebud Service Unit in South Dakota, in partnership with the Massachusetts General Hospital Rural Medicine Program, as well as intermittently serves as the inpatient medicine physician at IHS Rosebud. She also served on an advisory panel to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe that provided recommendations for development and implementation of a contingency management program (for treatment of methamphetamine use) on the reservation.
Further, Dr. Rollston served as the inaugural Head of Clinical Research at Bicycle Health, the largest digital health company that provides biopsychosocial treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) via telehealth, where she developed the research department from the ground-up, with a strong focus on social determinants of health (SDoH) and health equity. Throughout her tenure in this role, she led the revision and implementation of improved demographic and SDoH data collection, collaborated across teams to implement the addition of pre-visit questionnaires (e.g., Brief Addiction Monitor, PHQ-9, GAD-7) to the telehealth app, designed and executed on clinical research studies that evaluated the effectiveness of the tele-OUD treatment model, and developed and managed research partnerships with external institutions. Research partners included the Rural Telehealth Research Center, RAND Corporation, Harvard Medical School, and the Addiction Medicine Network (AMNet), a collaboration between Friends Research Institute, American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Also at Bicycle Health, Dr. Rollston led the development and launch of the inaugural Patient Advisory Council (PAC), which was established as a forum for patients and staff to work together to improve healthcare service delivery, as well as direct community engagement and advocacy, ultimately with the goal to provide more equitable access to treatment for persons living with OUD. This novel tele-PAC model was published in the Journal of Patient Experience.
As a strong advocate for health equity, Dr. Rollston frequently contributes to the American Public Health Association Medical Care Blog, and she has also written for The Conversation, Our Bodies Ourselves, SIECUS: Sex Ed For Social Change, and the Healthy Teen Network. She has served as the sexual & reproductive health expert for stories published by National Public Radio and Mashable. In 2019, she published the Fenway Institute policy brief, “Promoting Cervical Cancer Screening Among Female-to-Male Transmasculine Patients,” which is largely based on Dr. Rollston’s original qualitative research.
As the 2019 Larry A. Green Scholar at the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine & Primary Care, Dr. Rollston developed the interactive story map, “Sexuality Education Legislation and Policy: A State-by-State Comparison of Health Indicators,” which explores sex education legislation by state, compared to each state’s respective health indicators: sexual violence, physical dating violence, bullying/harassment, suicide, contraceptive prevalence, STI rate, and teen birth rate. This story map can be used as a visually accessible advocacy tool to demonstrate the breadth of health indicators impacted by comprehensive sex education, as well as provide a foundation for further research and advocacy in the fields of comprehensive sex education and interpersonal violence.
Additionally, Dr. Rollston served as the Founder & Executive Director of Doctors For A Healthy US, LLC, which advocated for political candidates truly committed to the social determinants of health & health equity in the 2020 election cycle. Doctors For A Healthy US, LLC, trained health professionals to employ relational organizing skills—that is, leveraging our personal and professional networks to engage in non-confrontational, values-based discussions about health as it applies to local, state, and national elections.
Dr. Rollston is an active member of the Harvard Joint Committee on the Status of Women, Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Public Health, and also an External Affiliate of the RTI Global Gender Center. She has been inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health and Gold Humanism Honor Society, and she was previously selected for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education in 2019.
Dr. Rollston is an East Tennessee native, now living in Boston. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, hiking, camping, traveling with her husband, and volunteering with Back On My Feet.