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Monica  Jolles - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work . Los Angeles, CA, US

Monica Jolles

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Department of Children Youth and Families | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Los Angeles, CA, United-States

Monica Jolles examines access to patient-centered coordinated care in underserved communities and increasing technology at service agencies.


MÓNICA PÉREZ JOLLES who holds a research fellow affiliation with the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joined the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in 2016. Her research examines access to patient-centered coordinated care in underserved communities and the use of technology to increase the capacity of health and human service agencies to implement and sustain evidence-based practices. She also studies medical home membership and health care utilization by risk level among children with chronic conditions such as obesity, psychiatric disorders and/or developmental disabilities.

Prior to joining USC, Pérez Jolles completed a National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship in health services research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, after earning her doctorate in health policy and management. Pérez Jolles, who pursues her research agenda from a community-based participatory research approach, currently serves as co-investigator on a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded project to increase the ability of Latino parents to seek help for their children with mental health needs. Perez Jolles is also a co-principal investigator of a two-year PCORI award to develop a toolkit that helps behavioral health providers serving Latino patients engage in patient-centered outcomes research.

Education (3)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D. 2014

North Carolina Central University: M.A. 2002

Santo Tomas University: B.A. 1996

Areas of Expertise (5)

Health Disparities Social Policy Organization/Workplace Social Development Behavioral Patient-Centrered Care

Industry Expertise (3)

Research Education/Learning Social Services


Media Appearances (1)

Parents advise investigators on mental health treatment in children

USC News  online


Monica Perez Jolles, an assistant professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, created and led a parent mentor group as part of a randomized pragmatic trial called “Padres Efectivos: Skills Latina Mothers Use to Get Healthcare for Their Children” ...

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Articles & Publications (3)

Does caregiver participation in decision making within child welfare agencies influence children's primary and mental health care service use? Child: Care, Health and Development


Many children in contact with child welfare agencies do not receive needed health services. These agencies have used participatory decision making (PDM) practices as a way to increase families' use of recommended services. However, we lack evidence of whether caregiver participation in PDM increases children's use of health services. This study uses a national sample of children involved with child welfare to compare their health service use between those children serve through a PDM practice and those who did not experience it.

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Caregiver involvement in behavioural health services in the context of child welfare service referrals: a qualitative study Child & Family Social Work


Human service agencies serve a growing number of adults with behavioural health needs. Despite these agencies' key role in identifying need and facilitating services, many individuals do not receive care or end services prematurely. Few studies have explored the experiences of families referred to behavioural health services by such agencies or the extent to which families' perceptions of service need align with those of treatment providers and frontline workers. This study presents findings from a qualitative study of caregivers involved with child welfare agencies who were referred to behavioural health services. Researchers reviewed agencies' case records and conducted in-depth interviews with 16 caregivers, 9 child welfare caseworkers and 12 behavioural health treatment counsellors. Findings suggest that when deciding to engage in services, caregivers weigh not only their individual and family behavioural health needs but also potential agency intervention, including loss of child custody. Many professionals reported that involvement with a child welfare agency hindered the caregiver's disclosure of behavioural healthcare needs. Implications for managers and practitioners are discussed.

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Cultural and Linguistic Adaptation of a Multimedia Colorectal Cancer Screening Decision Aid for Spanish-Speaking Latinos Journal of Health Communication


As the United States becomes more linguistically and culturally diverse, there is a need for effective health communication interventions that target diverse, vulnerable populations, including Latinos. To address such disparities, health communication interventionists often face the challenge to adapt existing interventions from English into Spanish in a way that retains essential elements of the original intervention while also addressing the linguistic needs and cultural perspectives of the target population. The authors describe the conceptual framework, context, rationale, methods, and findings of a formative research process used in creating a Spanish-language version of an evidence-based (English language) multimedia colorectal cancer screening decision aid. The multistep process included identification of essential elements of the existing intervention, literature review, assessment of the regional context and engagement of key stakeholders, and solicitation of direct input from target population. The authors integrated these findings in the creation of the new adapted intervention. They describe how they used this process to identify and integrate sociocultural themes such as personalism (personalismo), familism (familismo), fear (miedo), embarrassment (verguenza), power distance (respeto), machismo, and trust (confianza) into the Spanish-language decision aid.

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