CLaRO is a National Institutes of Health U54 Specialized Center that spans two institutions in Miami-Dade County, Florida: the University of Miami and Florida International University. Specifically, this Center is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (#U54MD002266). CLaRO is led by Principal Investigators Dr. Victoria Behar-Zusman (University of Miami) and Dr. Mario De La Rosa (Florida International University).
The activities of CLaRO are conducted under the unifying theme of addressing substance abuse, violence/trauma and HIV/AIDS (SAVA) syndemic conditions affecting Latino populations. The Center aims to develop interventions targeting a range of vulnerable Latino subgroups, including seasonal farmworkers, sexual/gender minorities, and youth.
CLaRO continues and expands the health disparities research of two NIMHD Centers of Excellence: the P60 El Centro at the University of Miami and the P20 Center within CRUSADA at Florida International University:
El Centro, an NIMHD P60 Center of Excellence at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. This comprehensive health disparities research initiative was established in 2007 through the National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Centers of Excellence Program. Through research, education and collaboration with community and academic partners, El Centro advances the science of reducing health disparities in the areas of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, family and intimate partner violence, and associated mental and physical health conditions. El Centro is focused on improving health equity among groups of Hispanic and African descent, sexual minorities and people in Caribbean and Latin American nations.
CRUSADA housed the NIMHD P20 Center of Excellence at Florida International University. The Center for Research on US Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA) was established in 2003 to address the escalating twin epidemics of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS affecting Latino communities throughout South Florida. CRUSADA uses community based participatory research approaches to address Latino health disparities, particularly those affecting recent Latino immigrants, the Latino seasonal farmworker community, and women, among other vulnerable racial/ethnic minority subgroups.