Greg Aarons

Credentials: PhD

Position title: Professor - Visiting Faculty


UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive (0812)
La Jolla, CA 92093-0812

Aarons, Greg

Dr. Aarons is a clinical and organizational psychologist, Professor of Psychiatry at UC San Diego, Director of the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC), and Co-Director of the UCSD ACTRI Dissemination and Implementation Science Center.  He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and his work has been featured in policy reports from the Institute of Medicine including “New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research” and “Psychosocial Interventions of Mental and Substance Use Disorders.”  His research, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control, and the W.T. Grant Foundation focuses on identifying and improving system, organizational, and individual factors that support implementation and sustainment of evidence-based practices and quality of care in health and allied health care settings. He co-developed the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) framework. His work focuses on aligning and testing leadership and organization development strategies to support evidence-based practice implementation and sustainment in behavioral health. Dr. Aarons’ most recent project works with policy makers to align state level policy with payment and quality metric incentives for public sector behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment agencies. He has also developed implementation and scale-up strategies that are being used and tested in behavioral health, schools, child welfare, HIV prevention, and trauma care in the US, Norway, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Research Focus

Dr. Aarons’ current research focuses on identifying and improving leadership and organizational factors that impact quality of mental health, substance abuse, and HIV services and implementation of evidence-based practice in real-world practice settings. Dr. Aarons and colleagues have developed, and are testing, leadership and organizational development strategies to improve implementation and sustainment of evidence-based practices. He and his colleagues have also developed brief and practical measures of implementation leadership, attitudes toward adopting evidence-based practice, implementation climate, and implementation citizenship behaviors.

Clinical and Teaching Focus

Dr. Aarons leads the UCSD Implementation Science Seminar and gives numerous seminars and presentations on theory and practical application of research findings to improve implementation of evidence-based practice. He was an invited speaker at the National Institutes of Health sponsored conferences on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice, and has provided training and lectures across the United States.  He has served as an implementation science trainer for the Fogarty International Center/NICHD/PEPFAR PMTCT Alliance and Adolescent HIV Implementation Science Alliance (AHISA) focusing on implementation in sub-Saharan Africa and as faculty for the NIH Training Institutes for Dissemination and Research in Health.  He is core faculty for the NIMH/NIDA/VA funded Implementation Research Institute, faculty for the NIH supported Training Institutes in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health, and the annual Kings College London Implementation Science Master Class. He has also provided training and consultation for the Norway Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden).