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Erick Guerrero, PhD

TitleAssistant Professor of Social Work, Dept. of Social Change and Innovation
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentSocial Work
Address850 W. Washington Blvd., 1st Floor
Off Campus
Los Angeles CA 90015-3359
Phone+1 213 821 1385
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    2013Organizational Capacity to Eliminate Outcome Disparities under Healthcare Reform
    Association for Community Organization & Social Administration2013Emerging Scholar of the Year
    National Network for Social Work Managers2012Mark Moses Distinguished Fellowship
    USC2011Invitational Speaker, Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups Conferences

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    ERICK GUERRERO joined the USC School of Social Work faculty in 2009 as a post-doctoral fellow and was promoted a year later to assistant professor. His published research focuses on health care disparities, organizational implementation and system integration. Particularly, he focuses on the implementation of culturally responsive and evidence-informed health care practices to promote health care equities. His federally funded research examines the role of the public health insurance expansion in addiction health service organizations' capacity to enhance service delivery and improve treatment outcomes among Latinos and African Americans. Guerrero's county-funded grants allow him to also explore current issues in the health care sector, including workforce development, implementation of data-driven decision making systems, and integration of primary care and behavioral health care in California.

    Guerrero has taught courses on organizations, management and policy implementation. He currently teaches an applied course on management and finance for human service managers and a doctoral course on organizational and management theories. Guerrero has consulted for national and international nonprofit organizations on diversity and strategic management. A licensed clinical therapist, he has provided bilingual-bicultural (Spanish language) clinical and management services at different psychiatric and addiction health settings for the past 13 years.

    Guerrero has completed pre- and post-doctoral fellowships sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He has also received numerous emerging scholar awards from other health and organizational research institutions, such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Association on Research on Non-Profit Organizations and Volunteering Action (ARNOVA), and the Association for Community Organization & Social Administration. He is currently a member of ARNOVA, the Society for Social Work and Research, the Academy of Management, and the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse.

    On his path to becoming a social worker, Dr. Erick Guerrero took several detours to study clinical psychology, business administration and economics before working in management for organizations that served ethnic and racial minorities. But in an act of professional convergence, Guerrero found a way to merge his multidisciplinary training and clinical experience into a unique specialty—the study of organizational culture as it relates to the treatment of minority populations. He has since focused his research on the context and organizational structures that influence the effectiveness of client–practitioner relationships.

    After initial forays into international relations and business administration, Guerrero studied clinical psychology at the Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City. His interest in the field grew out of past experiences with people in the community who needed “extra support to maximize their potential.” Upon moving to Chicago to continue his education, Guerrero began working at an agency that served a low-income, predominantly Latino community and quickly developed an interest in substance abuse treatment.

    During his time in Chicago, Guerrero began devising ways to create a high-quality, self-sustaining model that offered culturally and linguistically appropriate care. While studying economics in an effort to better understand management, he was told that his clinical experience would make him an effective social worker. Awakened to the possibility, he pursued a PhD in social work from the University of Chicago, focusing his dissertation on the adoption of culturally competent practices in the nation’s outpatient substance abuse treatment field, one of the few studies of its kind.

    As an assistant professor at USC, Guerrero has continued to focus on the evaluation of organizational competence and mental health treatment services, including a recent project exploring the management of substance abuse providers in Los Angeles. Guerrero’s overall focus is organizational culture and climate—the ways in which therapists and supervisors interact with their environment—and he has repeatedly found that an organization’s success depends on dedicated, proactive management.

    Much of his work involves interviewing managers, and Guerrero has been able to provide many of his students with opportunities to conduct meaningful field work. Under his mentorship, students have traveled to service organizations across Southern California and interviewed key administrators, giving them an opportunity to both understand new research methodologies and become acquainted with real-world practice.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    An implementation strategy for the adoption of an evidence-based pit-and-fissure sealant guideline by salaried dental providers: Using a framework from organizational development
    NIH/NIDCR U01DE027452Sep 5, 2017 - Jun 30, 2022
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Detection, Understanding and Reduction of Latino Health Care Disparities
    NIH/NIDA R01DA038608Sep 15, 2015 - Jul 31, 2018
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Organizational Capacity to Eliminate Outcome Disparities under Healthcare Reform
    NIH/NIDA R33DA035634May 1, 2015 - Apr 30, 2018
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Organizational Capacity to Eliminate Outcome Disparities under Healthcare Reform
    NIH/NIDA R21DA035634May 1, 2013 - Apr 30, 2015
    Role: Principal Investigator
    IMPLEMENTING CULTURAL COMPETENCE IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT ORGANIZATIONS
    NIH/NIDA F31DA024564Jan 1, 2008 - Dec 31, 2010
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Guerrero EG, Frimpong J, Kong Y, Fenwick K, Aarons GA. Advancing theory on the multilevel role of leadership in the implementation of evidence-based health care practices. Health Care Manage Rev. 2018 Jun 25. PMID: 29944489.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Guerrero EG, Fenwick K, Kong Y. Advancing theory development: exploring the leadership-climate relationship as a mechanism of the implementation of cultural competence. Implement Sci. 2017 Nov 14; 12(1):133. PMID: 29137668.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Guerrero EG, Song A, Henwood B, Kong Y, Kim T. Response to culturally competent drug treatment among homeless persons with different living arrangements. Eval Program Plann. 2018 Feb; 66:63-69. PMID: 29049917.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Guerrero EG, Legnick-Hall R, Andrews C. Underlying challenges of public health insurance enrollment and use among Latino adults: insights from the largest safety-net institution in Los Angeles. Public Health. 2017 Nov; 152:47-50. PMID: 28800562.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Guerrero EG, Harris L, Padwa H, Vega WA, Palinkas L. Expected Impact of Health Care Reform on the Organization and Service Delivery of Publicly Funded Addiction Health Services. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2017 Jul; 44(4):463-469. PMID: 26008902.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Guerrero EG, Garner BR, Cook B, Kong Y, Vega WA, Gelberg L. Identifying and reducing disparities in successful addiction treatment completion: testing the role of Medicaid payment acceptance. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2017 May 25; 12(1):27. PMID: 28545551.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Guerrero EG, Garner BR, Cook B, Kong Y. Does the implementation of evidence-based and culturally competent practices reduce disparities in addiction treatment outcomes? Addict Behav. 2017 Oct; 73:119-123. PMID: 28501676.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Frimpong JA, Guerrero EG, Kong Y, Kim T. Abstinence at Successful Discharge in Publicly Funded Addiction Health Services. J Behav Health Serv Res. 2016 Oct; 43(4):661-675. PMID: 26882909.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Guerrero EG, Padwa H, Fenwick K, Harris LM, Aarons GA. Identifying and ranking implicit leadership strategies to promote evidence-based practice implementation in addiction health services. Implement Sci. 2016 May 14; 11:69. PMID: 27180231; PMCID: PMC4894378.
    10. Aguila E, Guerrero EG, Vega WA. Sociodemographic characteristics associated with alcohol use among low-income Mexican older adults. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2016 Apr 29; 11(1):16. PMID: 27129926; PMCID: PMC4850697.
    11. Guerrero EG, Aarons GA, Grella CE, Garner BR, Cook B, Vega WA. Program Capacity to Eliminate Outcome Disparities in Addiction Health Services. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2016 Jan; 43(1):23-35. PMID: 25450596; PMCID: PMC4452456 [Available on 01/01/17].
    12. Guerrero EG, Fenwick K, Kong Y, Grella C, D'Aunno T. Paths to improving engagement among racial and ethnic minorities in addiction health services. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2015 Oct 26; 10:40. PMID: 26503509; PMCID: PMC4624163.
    13. Guerrero EG, Andrews C, Harris L, Padwa H, Kong Y, M S W KF. Improving Coordination of Addiction Health Services Organizations with Mental Health and Public Health Services. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Jan; 60:45-53. PMID: 26350114.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Frimpong JA, Guerrero EG, Kong Y, Tsai G. Correlates of HIV testing and receipt of test results in addiction health services in Los Angeles County. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2015 Aug 07; 10:31. PMID: 26245281; PMCID: PMC4527120.
    15. Guerrero EG, Heslin KC, Chang E, Fenwick K, Yano E. Organizational correlates of implementation of colocation of mental health and primary care in the Veterans Health Administration. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2015 Jul; 42(4):420-8. PMID: 25096986; PMCID: PMC4320040.
    16. Guerrero EG, Padwa H, Lengnick-Hall R, Kong Y, Perrigo JL. Leadership and Licensure for Drug Treatment and the Implementation of Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment in Community Mental Health Centers. Community Ment Health J. 2015 Jul; 51(5):554-66. PMID: 25982830; PMCID: PMC4476917.
    17. Andrews CM, Guerrero EG, Wooten NR, Lengnick-Hall R. The Medicaid expansion gap and racial and ethnic minorities with substance use disorders. Am J Public Health. 2015 Jul; 105 Suppl 3:S452-4. PMID: 25905851; PMCID: PMC4455522.
    18. Padwa H, Guerrero EG, Braslow JT, Fenwick KM. Barriers to serving clients with co-occurring disorders in a transformed mental health system. Psychiatr Serv. 2015 May 01; 66(5):547-50. PMID: 25686812; PMCID: PMC4417038.
    19. Cederbaum JA, Guerrero EG, Barman-Adhikari A, Vincent CA. Maternal HIV, substance use role modeling, and adolescent girls' alcohol use. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2015 May-Jun; 26(3):259-70. PMID: 25769750; PMCID: PMC4398587.
    20. Guerrero EG, He A, Kim A, Aarons GA. Organizational implementation of evidence-based substance abuse treatment in racial and ethnic minority communities. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2014 Nov; 41(6):737-49. PMID: 24046236; PMCID: PMC4043934.
    21. Guerrero EG, Villatoro JA, Kong Y, Fleiz C, Vega WA, Strathdee SA, Medina-Mora ME. Barriers to accessing substance abuse treatment in Mexico: national comparative analysis by migration status. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2014 Jul 30; 9:30. PMID: 25074067; PMCID: PMC4118628.
    22. Guerrero EG, Villatoro JA, Kong Y, Gamiño MB, Vega WA, Mora ME. Mexicans' use of illicit drugs in an era of drug reform: national comparative analysis by migrant status. Int J Drug Policy. 2014 May; 25(3):451-7. PMID: 24816376; PMCID: PMC4071115.
    23. Cederbaum JA, Guerrero EG, Mitchell KR, Kim T. Utilization of emergency and hospital services among individuals in substance abuse treatment. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2014 Apr 03; 9:16. PMID: 24708866; PMCID: PMC3992150.
    24. Guerrero EG, Aarons GA, Palinkas LA. Organizational capacity for service integration in community-based addiction health services. Am J Public Health. 2014 Apr; 104(4):e40-7. PMID: 24524525; PMCID: PMC4020143.
    25. Kao D, Torres LR, Guerrero EG, Mauldin RL, Bordnick PS. Spatial accessibility of drug treatment facilities and the effects on locus of control, drug use, and service use among heroin-injecting Mexican American men. Int J Drug Policy. 2014 May; 25(3):598-607. PMID: 24440123; PMCID: PMC4065640.
    26. Guerrero EG, Marsh JC, Cao D, Shin HC, Andrews C. Gender disparities in utilization and outcome of comprehensive substance abuse treatment among racial/ethnic groups. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 May-Jun; 46(5):584-91. PMID: 24560127; PMCID: PMC3972361.
    27. Cederbaum JA, Adhikari AB, Guerrero EG, Hutchinson MK. Relationship Satisfaction and Communication Among Urban Minority HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Mothers: The Influence on Daughter's Alcohol Use. J Fam Issues. 2016 Jan 01; 37(2):155-176. PMID: 26900198.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Guerrero EG, Kao D. Racial/ethnic minority and low-income hotspots and their geographic proximity to integrated care providers. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2013 Sep 23; 8:34. PMID: 24059252; PMCID: PMC3848872.
    29. Guerrero EG, Khachikian T, Kim T, Kong Y, Vega WA. Spanish language proficiency among providers and Latino clients' engagement in substance abuse treatment. Addict Behav. 2013 Dec; 38(12):2893-7. PMID: 24045032.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Guerrero EG, Marsh JC, Khachikian T, Amaro H, Vega WA. Disparities in Latino substance use, service use, and treatment: implications for culturally and evidence-based interventions under health care reform. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Dec 15; 133(3):805-13. PMID: 23953657.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Heslin KC, Guerrero EG, Mitchell MN, Afable MK, Dobalian A. Explaining differences in hepatitis C between U.S. veterans and nonveterans in treatment for substance abuse: results from a regression decomposition. Subst Use Misuse. 2013 Jul; 48(10):854-62. PMID: 23869458.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Guerrero EG, Kim A. Organizational structure, leadership and readiness for change and the implementation of organizational cultural competence in addiction health services. Eval Program Plann. 2013 Oct; 40:74-81. PMID: 23816502.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Guerrero EG. Enhancing access and retention in substance abuse treatment: the role of Medicaid payment acceptance and cultural competence. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Oct 01; 132(3):555-61. PMID: 23669458.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Guerrero EG, Marsh JC, Duan L, Oh C, Perron B, Lee B. Disparities in completion of substance abuse treatment between and within racial and ethnic groups. Health Serv Res. 2013 Aug; 48(4):1450-67. PMID: 23350871; PMCID: PMC3725534.
    35. Guerrero EG, Campos M, Urada D, Yang JC. Do cultural and linguistic competence matter in Latinos' completion of mandated substance abuse treatment? Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2012 Aug 16; 7:34. PMID: 22898100; PMCID: PMC3490725.
    36. Guerrero EG, Kao D, Perron BE. Travel distance to outpatient substance use disorder treatment facilities for Spanish-speaking clients. Int J Drug Policy. 2013 Jan; 24(1):38-45. PMID: 22705358; PMCID: PMC4121956.
    37. Guerrero EG. Workforce diversity in outpatient substance abuse treatment: the role of leaders' characteristics. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2013 Feb; 44(2):208-15. PMID: 22658932; PMCID: PMC3434245.
    38. Guerrero EG, Cepeda A, Duan L, Kim T. Disparities in completion of substance abuse treatment among Latino subgroups in Los Angeles County, CA. Addict Behav. 2012 Oct; 37(10):1162-6. PMID: 22658303.
      View in: PubMed
    39. Guerrero E. Organizational characteristics that foster early adoption of cultural and linguistic competence in outpatient substance abuse treatment in the United States. Eval Program Plann. 2012 Feb; 35(1):9-15. PMID: 21949458; PMCID: PMC3176458.
    40. Guerrero EG, Pan KB, Curtis A, Lizano EL. Availability of substance abuse treatment services in Spanish: a GIS analysis of Latino communities in Los Angeles County, California. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2011 Aug 12; 6:21. PMID: 21835041; PMCID: PMC3162907.
    41. Guerrero E, Andrews CM. Cultural competence in outpatient substance abuse treatment: measurement and relationship to wait time and retention. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2011 Dec 01; 119(1-2):e13-22. PMID: 21680111; PMCID: PMC3189424.
    42. Guerrero EG, Cederbaum JA. Adoption and utilization of sexually transmitted infections testing in outpatient substance abuse treatment facilities serving high risk populations in the U.S. Int J Drug Policy. 2011 Jan; 22(1):41-8. PMID: 20970314; PMCID: PMC3031721.
    43. Guerrero EG. Managerial capacity and adoption of culturally competent practices in outpatient substance abuse treatment organizations. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010 Dec; 39(4):329-39. PMID: 20727703; PMCID: PMC2967643.
    44. Perron BE, Vaughn MG, Howard MO, Bohnert A, Guerrero E. Item response theory analysis of DSM-IV criteria for inhalant-use disorders in adolescents. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2010 Jul; 71(4):607-14. PMID: 20553671; PMCID: PMC2887928.
    45. Marsh JC, Cao D, Guerrero E, Shin HC. Need-service matching in substance abuse treatment: racial/ethnic differences. Eval Program Plann. 2009 Feb; 32(1):43-51. PMID: 19019434; PMCID: PMC2975433.