R. Bong Vergara, Research Consultant
PartnersR. Bong Vergara is a contract provider with Ventura County Behavioral Health, Alcohol and Drug Programs, Prevention Services. R. Bong Vergara provides prevention planning, training and research support for addressing racial and ethnic disparities related to substance use risk. He will coordinate the launch of community-based research entitled “PhotovoiceOxnard” to document ‘race and place’ as factors of substance use risk and health status.
R. Bong Vergara is an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Social Change and Innovation at USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Los Angeles, CA. He teaches foundation courses in human behavior theory. His professional career is focused on macro social work, particularly community wellness and climate resilience advocacy. He is currently the co-chair of the California Mental Health Services Act Multicultural Coalition (CMMC), an alliance of mental health advocates, agency executives, licensed clinicians, educators and community leaders united toward the integration of cultural and linguistic competence in the public mental health system. CMMC promotes the successful implementation of the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP), the only project of its kind in the United States focused on promoting system- and practice-level change in mental health service delivery. Vergara's climate resilience advocacy through CYPHER, a program he founded, promotes youth innovation and meaningful community engagement in small-scale, community-defined solutions to local manifestations of climate change. He is also a member of the Racial and Ethnic Mental Health Disparities Coalition (REMHDCO), an advocacy group focused on health disparity reduction in underserved populations.
Vergara's research interest is in global health, particularly the biopsychosocial context of care, and the behavioral dimension of planetary health. He has published a number of policy briefs and agency reports on poverty, community health and community engagement. He has provided testimony to a number of state-level mental health and public health meetings and committee hearings. Vergara has also presented briefings before a number of national convenings, hearings and conferences, including the Subcommittee on Populations of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics. He has a MSW, Social Welfare, MA, Asian American Studies, and BA, Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.