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Northeastern University Researcher Honored for Contributions to Latino Community and the Field of Substance Abuse

Boston, Mass. – Northeastern University professor Dr. Hortensia Amaro was honored last week by Casa Esperanza, for her invaluable contributions to the Latino community and the field of substance abuse. Dr. Amaro received the award at Casa Esperanza’s 2007 Hope in Action fundraising event.

“I am honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Amaro, Director of Northeastern University’s Institute on Urban Health Research. “It is particularly meaningful because it comes from a community-based organization that was the first to develop treatment programs for the Latino community and because Rick Quiroga has provided exemplary leadership, especially in educating policy makers about the importance of alcohol and drug abuse treatment.”

Dr. Amaro’s research focuses on public health epidemiology, prevention and intervention in the areas of substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, mental illness and inter-personal violence. Over the last 20 years, her work has focused largely on developing and testing prevention and treatment approaches for Latina and African American women. She has been the principal investigator of dozens of federally funded grants and has most recently examined questions related to the efficacy of integrated substance abuse, mental health and trauma treatment; factors associated with alcohol and drug use among college students, and application of evidence based models in community settings. She has published over 100 articles on these topics.

“Hortensia is a true pioneer in the field of substance abuse treatment,” said Rick Quiroga, Executive Director of Casa Esperanza, Inc. “She has drawn national attention to this critical public health problem and has worked tirelessly to develop culturally competent approaches to treatment for the Latino community.”

Dr. Amaro is also the founder of Entre Familia, a residential treatment program for Latino women and children, and the Mom’s Project, a community-based intervention program for drug-addicted pregnant women. She also serves on the Board of the Boston Public Health Commission and the MASS Health Policy Forum. At the national level, Dr. Amaro is a founding member and Steering Committee member of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse.

“The work that I am being recognized for is actually reflective of the contributions of many people; many of our staff and colleagues at both the Boston Public Health Commission and the research staff at the Institute on Urban Health Research,” said Dr. Amaro. “It is only through this unique collaboration between Northeastern University and the Boston Public Health Commission that we have been able to make the contributions for which I am being recognized.”

Created in 1984, Casa Esperanza, Inc.’s mission is to help men and women to recover from alcoholism and drug addiction, gain the skills they need to be self-sufficient, contributing members of society and to repair and strengthen families torn apart by substance abuse. Today, Casa, a bilingual/bicultural grassroots organization is a recognized leader in developing holistic approaches to substance abuse treatment, with a reputation for having caring, highly skilled substance abuse counselors and other service providers.

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit

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