Announced October 13, 2017, together, the 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 ten-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.
CLaRO’s two principal investigators, Victoria Behar Mitrani, professor and associate dean for research at the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies — 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.
The cooperative agreement with NIH funds CLaRO to research intervention approaches to address substance abuse, psychological trauma and HIV/AIDS among highly vulnerable Latino communities in Miami, including sexual and gender minorities, farmworkers, immigrants and economically disadvantaged/underserved groups.