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Erick Guerrero - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Erick Guerrero Erick Guerrero

Assistant Professor of Social Work Dept. of Social Change and Innovation | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Dr. Guerrero focuses on identifying organizational factors that can be modified to enhance the effectiveness of behavioral interventions






Healthcare First



Erick Guerrero joined in 2009 as a postdoctoral fellow and was promoted a year later to assistant professor. He currently serves as associate professor, with a joint appointment at the USC Marshall School of Business.

His main research agenda focuses on identifying organizational factors that can be modified to enhance the effectiveness of behavioral health treatments. Trained in social work at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and organization science at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Guerrero has focused his program of research on building organizational capacity to improve standards of health care for vulnerable populations. Considering the policy context, his research scholarship seeks to understand organizational readiness to address Latino disparities in behavioral health services, implement culturally responsive and evidence-based practices, and integrate behavioral health and primary care systems.

Guerrero’s funded research explores the role of leadership strategies, organizational culture and climate, and financial resources to enhance the implementation and sustainment of psychosocial and pharmacological treatment practices. His current studies include a three-year project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that seeks to detect, understand and reduce Latino health care disparities. He is also principal investigator of a five-year study funded by NIDA examining how changes precipitated by the Affordable Care Act might affect the capacity of substance abuse treatment organizations to coordinate care with mental health and HIV prevention providers and eliminate disparities in access and retention among African American and Latino clients. Guerrero also leads national studies in health care access in the United States and Mexico.

Considered a high-impact social work scholar based on his published work, Guerrero has made significant contributions to management and organizational literatures. Findings from his studies have informed state- and county-level policy and organizational interventions to improve health care for vulnerable populations.

Education (3)

University of Chicago: PhD 2009

Governors State University: MA 2002

Universidad de las Americas: BA 1995

Areas of Expertise (4)

Vulnerable Populations Organizational Behavior Behavioral Health Health Care

Industry Expertise (4)

Health and Wellness Research Education/Learning Social Services

Accomplishments (3)

Excellence in Research Award -Honorable mention. Society for Social Work and Research. (professional)


Recognition for conducting rigorous research in social work

National Investigator - Level 1, National Science Foundation of Mexico (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia de Mexico) (professional)


Slavin-Patti Outstanding Article of the Year, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership and Governance Journal (professional)



Grand Challenges (2)

Close the health gap

Organizational interventions to eliminate healthcare disparities

Harness technology for social good

Use of artificial intelligence and big data to build system capacity and improve health worldwide

Research Reports & Projects (1)

Studies on Implementation and Healthcare Disparities


Archive of publications and dissemination material

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Research Grants (1)

System Change Strategies to Enhance Treatment Access and Engagement

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 

Tested the role of program capacity in reducing disparities in access and engagement in addiction treatment.

Animated video on findings from the Integrated Substance Abuse Treatment to End Disparities (iSATed) research team at USC. Video provides a brief description of the organizational factors that could be modified to enhance access and engagement in addiction treatment.

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Articles & Publications (4)

Archive of publications on Implementation, Healthcare Disparties and Cultural Competence Journal Articles and Short Descriptions

iSATed Team


Link to publications (available for education purposes).

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Gender disparities in utilization and outcome of comprehensive substance abuse treatment among racial/ethnic groups Journal of substance abuse treatment

Erick G Guerrero, Jeanne C Marsh, Dingcai Cao, Hee-Choon Shin, Christina Andrews


This study examined gender differences within Black, Latino, and White subgroups in the utilization of comprehensive services and their relation to posttreatment substance use. Survey data were collected during the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES), a prospective, longitudinal, multisite study of substance abuse treatment programs and their clients in the United States. The analytic sample consisted of 1,812 Blacks (734 women and 1,078 men), 486 Latinos (147 women and 339 men), and 844 Whites (147 women and 339 men) from 59 service delivery organizations...

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Utilization of emergency and hospital services among individuals in substance abuse treatment Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy

Julie A Cederbaum, Erick G Guerrero, Keyon R Mitchell, Tina Kim


To examine risk factors for use of hospital services among racial and ethnic minority clients in publicly funded substance abuse treatment in Los Angeles County, California. We explored cross-sectional annual data (2006 to 2009) from the Los Angeles County Participant Reporting System for adult participants (n = 73,251) who received services from treatment programs (n = 231).

This retrospective analysis of county admission data relied on hierarchical linear negative binomial regression models to explore number of hospital visits, accounting for clients nested in programs...

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Organizational Capacity for Service Integration in Community-Based Addiction Health Services American journal of public health

Erick G Guerrero, Gregory A Aarons, Lawrence A Palinkas


We examined factors associated with readiness to coordinate mental health, public health, and HIV testing among community-based addiction health services programs.

We analyzed client and program data collected in 2011 from publicly funded addiction health services treatment programs in Los Angeles County, California. We analyzed a sample of 14 379 clients nested in 104 programs by using logistic regressions examining odds of service coordination with mental health and public health providers...

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