Northeastern University Researcher Honored for Founding Substance Abuse Programs in Greater Boston Area

Boston, Mass. – Northeastern University professor Dr. Hortensia Amaro was honored by the Human Resources Development Institute (HRDI) for her courage, vision and determination to open substance abuse programs in the greater Boston area to raise members of the community from the depths of addiction to the height of recovery. Dr. Amaro received the Founders Day Award during HRDI’s first annual Founders Day reception and fundraiser.

“In the end, what is most important in the research that we conduct, is that our discoveries about effective treatment are found to be valuable and useful among community providers,” said Dr. Amaro, Director of Northeastern University’s Institute on Urban Health Research. “This recognition is especially meaningful to me because it comes from a dedicated and experienced group of practitioners.”

In addition to her involvement with several other urban health research projects, Dr. Amaro founded Entra Familia, a residential treatment program for Latino women and children, the Mom’s Project, a community-based intervention program for drug-addicted pregnant women and the Boston Consortium of Services for Families in Recovery, an innovative program integrating the delivery of social services with treatment for mental health, substance abuse disorders and trauma.

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 25 years, her work has focused on improving the connections between public health research and public health practice. 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 more than 100 articles on these topics.

“We selected Dr. Amaro as the recipient of the Founders Day Award because of her courage, persistence and commitment to families and communities suffering from substance use disorder, trauma, HIV/AIDS and other personal challenges they face,” said Leah Randolph, Program Manager of HRDI of Massachusetts.

The Human Resources Development Institute is a community-based behavioral health and human services organization. The non-profit agency was founded in 1974 by a group of community health advocates on the South Side of Chicago concerned with mental health and substance abuse problems plaguing their communities. Today, HRDI is a leading provider of behavioral and community healthcare services in Illinois, serving nearly 15,000 clients annually and offering more than 40 programs at more than 20 sites throughout Chicago, Mississippi, Alabama, Nevada and Pennsylvania. HRDI provides services in mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, community health and comprehensive case management, prevention and education, criminal justice, educational and children and family services.

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