Somerville, MA...Margarita Alegria, PhD, director of Cambridge Health Alliance's Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, was named this week to the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Dr. Alegria was one of 65 new members and five foreign associates appointed at the IOM's annual meeting.
Dr. Alegria is a leading expert on disparities in mental health and substance abuse services for minority populations, and her research aims to improve access, equity, and quality of these services for disadvantaged populations. She serves as the Principal Investigator of multiple research initiatives, including the groundbreaking National Latino and Asian American Study, which examines the psychiatric disorders and service needs among Latin American and Asian American populations.
Additionally, Dr. Alegria has published extensively on conceptual and methodological issues with minority populations, risk behaviors, and disparities in service delivery, and she provides training and research support for investigators interested in disparities research. Numerous organizations have honored her work, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Public Health Association, and the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health.
Established in 1970 as the health branch of the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues. New IOM members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of medical sciences, health care, and public health. The IOM's total active membership now stands at 1,688.
The Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, based in the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance, generates innovative mental health services research that impacts policy, practice, and service delivery for multicultural populations. The Center is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of psychologists, social policy analysts, health economists, psychiatrists, data analysts, sociologists, and other professionals who assist in the research and analysis of Center projects. For more information, visit www.multiculturalmentalhealth.org.