This application proposes an interdisciplinary Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities (CLaRO), with the unifying theme of conducting and promoting multi-level community-based participatory research to prevent SAVA syndemic conditions (substance abuse, violence/trauma and HIV/AIDS) and reduce their adverse health and mental health consequences. The emphasis of the Center will be on tailored interventions for Latino subgroups who represent pockets of vulnerability and require precise and specialized interventions that optimize access to and impact of interventions. CLaRO will unite and advance the work undertaken during the past decade by two NIMHD Centers of Excellence: the P60 Center of Excellence for Health Disparities Research (El Centro), at the University of Miami (UM), and the P20 Center of Excellence within the Center for Research on US Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA), at Florida International University (FIU). Both originating centers have well-established research infrastructures and strong records of achievement in translating research findings into meaningful, culturally relevant clinical practice for vulnerable Latinos. In this application, we propose two behavioral intervention studies, each of which advances the work of the existing collaborating Centers of Excellence. Research Project 1 will develop a culturally tailored intervention directed at preventing and reducing SAVA conditions among seasonal farmworker men and will be packaged, in collaboration with the Community/Scientific Advisory Board (CSAB), for community dissemination. Research Project 2 adapts and tests an intervention, developed at El Centro, for preventing and reducing self-harm and other SAVA-related behaviors in Latina and sexual/gender minority youth. The two Research Projects will be integrated through a common set of data points to measure risk and protective factors, moderators, and SAVA indicators related to the CLaRO theme. The common data elements will be expanded as CLaRO evolves to include biological and community-level measures. This application leverages the success of the originating Centers of Excellence and considerable institutional resources to advance investigator development at the applicant institution (UM). We propose a Pilot Projects Program, which will be articulated with scientific resources, training and mentorship, and will fund up to 35 studies, serving as an engine for the advancement of early-stage investigators and for diversifying the workforce of successful health disparities investigators. The CLaRO theme, agenda, and priorities were developed in collaboration with a network of community partners who will play an ongoing role in guiding and disseminating CLaRO science and advancing neighborhood capacity building and multilevel interventions to promote health in Latino communities. Miami-Dade County? with its large and diverse Latino population, who face individual, social and structural risk factors and have high prevalence of substance abuse, HIV and violence/trauma?provides the ideal laboratory for advancing the science of Latino health and health disparities.
The proposed Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities: CLaRO, will conduct and promote research to advance interventions tailored for Latino groups who experience the greatest health risks, such as seasonal farmworkers, sexual/gender minority individuals and youth. The focus will be on community-based interventions that can have the greatest impact by addressing the root causes of the intertwined health conditions of substance abuse, violence/trauma, and HIV/AIDS. CLaRO will also contribute to the reduction and eventual elimination of health disparities by training, mentoring, and supporting the next generation of health disparities scientists.