Helping People Living with Mental Illness Live Longer, Healthier Lives

Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research (CMMHR) at Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School, and a professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Alegría is currently the Principal (PI) or co-Principal Investigator of two National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research studies: International Latino Research Partnership; and Effects of Social Context, Culture and Minority Status on Depression and Anxiety. She is a PI of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) project, Effectiveness of DECIDE in Patient-Provider Communication, Therapeutic Alliance & Care Continuation. Dr. Alegría has published extensively in the behavioral science field with over 200 papers, editorials, intervention training manuals, and several book chapters, on topics such as improvement of health care services delivery for diverse racial and ethnic populations, conceptual and methodological issues with multicultural populations, and ways to bring the community’s perspective into the design and implementation of health services. As an acknowledgement of her contributions and dedication to her field, Dr. Alegría has been widely recognized and cited. In 2003, she was awarded the Mental Health Section Award of American Public Health Association; the Health Disparities Innovation Award from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, 2008; the Carl Taube Award from APHA, 2008; the Simon Bolivar Award from the American Psychiatric Association, 2009; Harold Amos Award from the Harvard Medical School, 2011, and the Award of Excellence from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, 2011. In October 2011, she was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine, and in 2013, selected as El Planeta’s (Massachusetts’s largest circulating Spanish-language newspaper) Powemeter 100 most influential people for the Hispanic community in Massachusetts.

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