University of Miami (UM) and Florida International University (FIU) have been awarded $6.8 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead a newly-funded Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities, called CLaRO. The award comes from NIH's National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) under its Specialized Centers for Health Disparities Research program. This award is the culmination and recognition of the successful 10-year collaboration of two NIMHD Centers of Excellence at UM and FIU: The Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research: El Centro, at the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse: CRUSADA, at FIU's Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work.
"The 'O' in CLaRO, for opportunity, is very fitting as we have a unique opportunity to simultaneously advance the science of health disparities, the well-being of our community, and careers of young researchers" said Victoria Behar Mitrani, professor and associate dean for research at the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies. "It is an exciting and promising next phase of the work of our UM and FIU Centers of Excellence."
CLaRO's two principal investigators, Mitrani and Mario De La Rosa, social work professor for FIU's Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, director of CRUSADA and co-director of FIU's Health Inequities and Disparities Program, will work together to lead a center that unites the intellectual and material resources of UM, FIU and community agencies throughout Miami-Dade to advance health equity for vulnerable Latino groups and advances the science of health disparities.
"Through our previous work together, we are well-versed in the community's needs," said De La Rosa, "Thoughtful interventions are at the core of our efforts."