University of Nebraska Medical Center

Alëna A. Balasanova, MD, FAPA

Associate Professor, UNMC Department of Psychiatry
Director of Addiction Psychiatry Education, UNMC Department of Psychiatry


Alena Balasanova

Dr. Balasanova is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry and also 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 Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Balasanova went on to earn her medical degree 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. Dr. Balasanova was the founding director of the Outpatient Addiction Psychiatry Clinic and Longitudinal Integrated Mental health/Substance use Outpatient Clinic (LIMSOC), an internationally recognized clinical experience for psychiatry residents. Most recently she developed and now co-directs the inpatient Addiction Psychiatry Consultation Liaison Service 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. Dr. Balasanova is also very involved in organized medicine and serves on the board of directors for the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, Nebraska Psychiatric Society, Metro Omaha Medical Society and represents the Nebraska Medical Association in the American Medical Association Young Physicians Section, where she serves on the Strategy and Leadership Committee.

  • BA: The Johns Hopkins University, 2007
  • MD: Harvard Medical School, 2012
  • Residency: Psychiatry, Boston University Medical Center, 2016
Patient Care