The Gehr Family Center for Health Systems Science and Innovation

Thank you for visiting us!

gehr-teamOur mission is to conduct research and train the next generation to improve health care equity, quality, and outcomes on a local and national scale. Our Center serves as a research and educational bridge across many disciplines at USC and other institutions. We are grateful for the opportunity to conduct this important work thanks to the generosity of Mr. Norbert Gehr, a successful businessman who supported us to start the Center.

Here is a link to our mission and vision statement as well as our 2021-2022 Annual Report. If you are interested in learning more and collaborating with us, please contact us!


  • Gehr student innovator, Kristen Park, and her mentor, Dr. Cameron Kaplan have co-authored a piece comparing the financial hardship between high-deductible health plans and non-high-deductible health plans with and without health savings accounts, stratified by enrollees’ number of chronic conditions. The paper, Alleviating Financial Hardships Associated with High-Deductible Health Plans for Adults with Chronic Conditions Through Health Savings Accounts, has been published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
  • Gehr team members, Gehr Affiliates, and Partners in Care (a community- based organization that provides social and other resources to medically fragile Californians) developed and delivered a training program to address vaccine hesitancy using the help of Partners in Care case managers. The findings from the program, known as “Partners in Vaccination,” are being shared through California Health Care Foundation.
  • Gehr Center affiliate, Dr. Ronan Hallowell, and faculty members, Dr. Sonali Saluja and Dr. Michael Cousineau, shared about their experience with pairing medical students with public policy students to learn about the intersections of health justice and advocacy in a new Teaching and Learning in Medicine article.
  • Gehr student innovator, Allie Schmiesing & her mentor, Dr. Barbara Turner have co-authored a piece looking at how low-income minority populations often confront barriers to professional nonpharmacologic management of chronic pain and how this can lead to poorer daily function. The paper has been published in PM&R.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Todd Schneberk on receiving the Safety Net Innovation Award through the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Southern California Healthcare Delivery Science Center. The grant funding will support a project focused on strengthening the effectiveness of hospital-based violence intervention programs in LA County.
  • Join us on July 21st from 9-noon as our Gehr Student Innovators present their mentored implementation science and health services research work-in-progress focused on health equity. For more information and to RSVP.
  • Dr. Todd Schneberk, Dr. Susanne Hempel, and Aneesa Motala did a systematic review of quality indicators for high need patients who often are challenging to treat for providers and health systems alike. They found that robust evidence exists in the elderly medically co-morbid populations but some of the most challenging to care for, such as those with psychiatric, behavioral and social needs were neglected in the literature providing quality guideposts for care.
  • Dr. Cameron Kaplan wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that legislators have made COVID tests free through insurance but gave insurers no ability to negotiate prices, so we’ll eventually pay for these tests through higher premiums. He argues that the government should provide these tests directly or regulate the prices.
  • Dr. Barbara Turner’s paper, published in PM&R, found that in a weighted sample of Latinos with chronic pain, professional physical interventions reduced the likelihood of daily impairment in mobility and ADLs. The findings reinforce the need to promote access for vulnerable, low income populations to professional services such as physical therapy, massage, and mind-body interventions.
  • Dr. Todd Schneberk’s paper “Medical Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Justice-Involved Health” has been published in Healthcare as part of the Special Issue Incarceration and Health.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Barbara Turner who received the American College of Physicians Certificate of Appreciation for Women in Medicine – a recognition by her esteemed peers to promote gender equity in medicine and support the career advancement of women in medicine.
  • Gehr student Will Mehring has published a research report describing higher rates of exposure to COVID-19 among Spanish vs. English speakers in the U.S.
  • USC news has highlighted the work that the Gehr Center’s Todd Schneberk has done to advance human rights.

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