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Jennifer Lewis - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Jennifer Lewis Jennifer Lewis

Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Integrated health and mental health expert, focusing on HIV, suicide prevention, stress, trauma and resilience.


Jennifer Lewis is a recipient for the 2021 Fulbright Specialist Award and an experienced social worker with a passion towards transdisciplinary treatment and teaching. She is adept at conducting and teaching neurobiologically informed evidence based practices. She translates those clinical skills to develop, implement and evaluate innovative mezzo level programs within health care organizations and creates innovative solutions to wicked societal problems. As a professor in the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work she is a Co-Director in the USC Institute for Addiction Sciences and Center for Excellence in Teaching Fellow.

Before entering academia, Lewis was the Chief of Social Work at University of California, San Diego, Health System Department of Pediatrics Infectious Disease where she authored and implemented a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grants for HIV-positive mothers who are abusing substances to prevent the abuse, neglect and abandonment of children. She was Program Director at Southwest Center for HIV and AIDS, where she authored and oversaw Ryan White funding for programming for HIV-positive men, women and youth. She worked for the O’Connor House with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Avon Program for Women and Justice addressing systemic causes of interpersonal violence. She was the Director of Mental Health and Social Services at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York City's only LGBT health clinic. She is the owner of Mosaic Psychotherapy, LLC, a psychotherapy practice that provides consulting and counseling services to individuals and families.

She recently published a book, with her co-author and Founder of the Bridge Rail Foundation, Organizing for Suicide Prevention: a case study at the Golden Gate Bridge (2020) San Diego, CA. Cognella Inc and actively presents at peer reviewed conferences.

Education (3)

New York University: PhD, Social Work 2008

Boston University: MSW, Clinical Social Work 1997

Boston University: BA, Psychology 1994

Areas of Expertise (4)


Mental Health

Adults and Healthy Aging


Industry Expertise (10)

Writing and Editing

Health Care - Services

Health Care - Facilities

Health and Wellness

Public Policy


Program Development

Mental Health Care

Health Care - Providers


Affiliations (1)

  • American Association for Suicidology


Grand Challenges (1)

Close the Health Gap

Focused on reducing health disparities by through improving systems of integrated health and mental health care

Research, Publications & Presentations (2)

Peer Reviewed Presentations

•Lewis, J. & Harper, B. 2019 Lilly Conference on Teaching for Active and Engaged Learning, Aneheim, CA. Supporting diverse learners: teaching emotional self- regulation in the classroom. •Lewis, J. & Harper, B. Hawaii International Conference on Education. Supporting Vulnerable Students: techniques for Teaching Emotion Self-Regulation to Adult Learners in the Classroom. January 2019. •Lewis & Roeschlein. USC Institute for Integrated Health. 2018 •Lewis. Society of Social Work Research. The Evaluation of an Integrated Care Model to Promote Family Functioning and Health Among Substance Using HIV-Positive Mothers. March 2018, • Lewis, J. & Harper, BSocial Work Distance Education Conference. . Clinical practice skill acquisition in a virtual learning environment. April 2017 •CSWE Annual Program Meeting Integrating Compassion Cultivation training into the social work classroom. 2017 •Zaleski, K. Joosten, D. & Lewis, J. CSWE- Pedagological Shifts in Health and Behavioral Health Curricula. • Fitzgerald, Harper, Lewis CSWE APM False Empathy? The White Racial Frame and the Social Work Empathy Gap. October 20-22 •Poster. Transdisciplinary Training for those working with co-occurring disorders. 28th Annual Meeting And Scientific Symposium American Academy of Addition Psychiatry •Lewis, J., Roeschlein, A, Valdez, K, Pellechia, K, Pepper, N. & Huerta, M. (2016) CWLA 2016 National Conference Substance Abuse. Preventing neglect, abuse and abandonment among families impacted by HIV and substance abuse: A multi-disciplinary approach infused with trauma informed practices. •Lewis, J., Valdez, K. & Saffir, J. (2016) NASW Conference – Adapting Seeking Safety to Enhance Cultural Sensitivity: A pilot walking group for families with HIV. •Lewis, J. & Valdez, K. (2015). San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment 2016 San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment. Families First- Enhancing the safety, permanency and well-being of children at risk of abuse, neglect and abandonment among families impacted by HIV: Preliminary results of a federally funded, evidence-based, integrated medical, mental health, substance abuse treatment program for HIV positive women •Lewis, J., Pellecchia, K., & Roeschlein, A. (2015). Hawaii International Conference on Social Sciences. Integrated Care: The implementation of evidence-based medical, mental health, substance abuse treatment program for HIV + mothers

Invited Presentations and Workshops

2019- Current USC Panel Moderator/ Co-Organizer: Nursing and Social Work IPE 2018- Current USC Hearing Voices That Are Distressing 2019 USC Panel Moderator: Social Workers in Private Practice 2016 AIA Virtual Grantees Meeting. Lessons Learned on Creating and Implementing an Integrated Service Delivery Model for Families Affected by HIV. 2016 San Diego Clinical Social Work Society- Clinical Practice with Transgendered adults 2016 Children’s Hospital Los Angeles- Transitional Youth Summer 2015 Guest Presentation: Union of Pan Asian Communities Spring 2015 AIA: Retention in Care Spring 2015 AIA: Using Peers in reduce Improve Parenting Spring 2015 Guest Presentation: California Society for Clinical Social Work: San Diego District Spring 2015 San Diego Ryan White Part D Planning Council Fall 2014 HIV Planning Council Presentation- HIV Youth Leadership Council White Paper

Research Grants (1)

Research Grants


2020 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA “Not Parent Expected” Qualitative Research Study, Co-PI 2019 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA University Interdisciplinary Teaching Grant, PI Keck 2017 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AMHW Department Pilot Grant, PI 2016 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Submitted Proposals: SAMHSA SM-16-005, Co-Investigator OA LOI RFA15-10916, Co-Investigator National Foundation for Suicide Prevention, PI NIH R01 Transitional Youth, Co-Investigator 2015 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Submitted Proposals: NIH Adolescent Trials Network, Co-Investigator NIH R34 Transitional Youth, Co-Investigator CFAR Developmental Grant Dignity Therapy, Co-Principal Investigator AFSP Letter of Intent, Principal Investigator 2012-2016 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO Co-Investigator and Project Director Health and Human Services HRSA ACYF CB 2015-2016 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Cluster Research Pedagogy. Co-Principal Investigator 2014-2015 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Pedagogy Research, Co-Investigator 2011- 2014 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY Principal Investigator Doctoral Dissertation: Eco-systemic resilience among individuals who identify as genderqueer 2001-2002 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY/ PENN STATE UNIVERSITY Research Interviewer NIMH funded gay youth and suicide 1999- 2000 NEW YORK STATE PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE Research Interviewer Suicide and youth 1999-200 MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN Research Interviewer HIV and grief

Professional Experience & Partnerships (1)

Professional Memberships, Certificates and Licenses


Current Licensed Clinical Social Worker (CA) Current National Association of Social Workers Current Council on Social Work Education Current Society for Social Work Research

Courses (1)

Courses Taught

SOWK 647: Advanced Clinical Practice (On Ground and VAC. Course Lead/ Contributed to Development) SOWK 643: Social Work Practice in Integrated Care Settings (On Ground and VAC. Course Lead/ Course Developer) SOWK: 635: Social Work Research Adults and Healthy Aging SOWK 546: Science of Social Work (Course Developer) SOWK 590: Directed Research SOWK 696: LGBT Psycho/Social/Political Issues (VAC; Contributed to Development) DSW Capstone Advisor (Course Lead/ Course Developer) DSW 722/ 724: Implementing Your Capstone SOWK 505 Human Behavior and the Social Environment SOWK 543 Social Work Practice with Individuals (Ground and VAC; Contributed to Development) SOWK 545 Social Work Practice with Families and Groups SOWK 546 Science of Social Work SOWK 544 Social Work Practice with Families and Groups (Contributed to Development) SOWK 590 Directed Research SOWK 600 Assessment the Social Work Practice (Ground and VAC) SOWK 605 Human Behavior and Mental Health SOWK 606 Neuropsychological Development SOWK 612 Assessment and Diagnosis of Mental Disorders SOWK 625 Evaluation and Evaluation of Research in Mental Health Settings (Ground and VAC) SOWK 635 Research in Adults and Healthy Aging SOWK 645 Clinical Practice in Mental Health Settings SOWK 643 Supervision in Social Service Agencies (Lead Instructor/ Course Developer) SOWK 621 Social Work Practice with Adolescents, Young Adults and their Families (Contributed to Development)

Research Articles & Publications (1)



• Lewis, J. & Mueller, P. (2020). Suicide Prevention at the Golden Gate Bridge: A casebook for means restriction. Cognella, Inc. • Maiden. The Transformation of Social Work Education through Virtual Learning. Book Chapter (2019). • Lewis, J. , Pellecchia, K. Roeschlein, A. and Zuniga, M. (2017) Conjoint treatment” A novel approach to target the syndemic conditions of trauma, substance abuse among women living with HIV. Southern Medical Journal • Araque, J., Zalesky, K, Lewis, J. Haper, B. Sela-Amit M. (2006) The role of empathy in social work graduate students: An exploratory research study. Contemporary Behavioral Health Care. • Lewis, J. (2016). Ecosystemic Resilience Among Masculine Transgender Adults Who Identify as Genderqueer. Transgender Health. MANUSCRIPTS IN PROGRESS • Lewis, Harper, B., Grethel, Schoenberg, JSWE. (2020, under review). Managing the At Risk Student: Techniques for teaching emotional self-regulation to MSW students in the classroom.