DUSON Launches New Center Focused on Latino Adolescent, Family Health

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center for latino adolescent and family health logo

Latinos are the largest and youngest racial minority group in the U.S. – representing roughly a quarter of all people younger than 30 years old.

Duke University School of Nursing’s new Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) serves to engage in the health care of the Latino community by addressing the inequities facing it and by promoting the overall wellbeing of Latino youth and their families.   

vincent guilamo-ramos The Center was founded by its director Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, AAHIVS, FAAN, dean, Duke School of Nursing, and vice chancellor for nursing affairs, Duke University, with a mission to reduce health inequities and promote overall wellbeing among Latino adolescents and their families. CLAFH accomplishes that mission through its four key thematic areas:  

  • Meaningfully engages the Latino community to identify, understand and collaboratively address the underlying drivers of health and social inequities.
  • Strengthening the role of families in supporting adolescent and young adult health and life opportunities through the development and evaluation of family-based interventions.
  • Developing and evaluating innovative, nurse-driven models of health care delivery that improve access to and utilization of prevention and treatment services in underserved communities.
  • Promoting the scale-up of evidence-based interventions in underserved communities to drive real-world impact, locally and nationally.

CLAFH has several current research projects in progress, including:

  • The Nurse Community-Family Partnership (NCFP) Program: Increasing COVID-19 Testing in Underserved Communities
    • As part of NIH's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics in Underserved Communities (RADx-UP) initiative, CLAFH has been conducting this randomized controlled trial to see how effective NCFP is at increasing COVID-19 testing, vaccination and mitigation behaviors and reducing secondary sequelae among families in structurally disadvantaged communities.
  • Families Talking Together Plus (FTT+)
    • FTT+ is a remotely delivered, parent-based intervention that CLAFH has been analyzing to check the effectiveness of FTT+ at delaying sexual debut and informing correct and consistent condom use in youth who are sexually active. 
  • Exploring Father-Son Relationships to Promote Adolescent Life Opportunities
    • The objective of this mixed-methods study is to learn more about how the father-son relationship can impact adolescent male academic/economic, social and behavioral resilience in the context of large-scale societal events. 
  • Research Focused on Latino Sexual Health
    • Two central areas of CLAFH’s research are investigating Latino sexual health disparities and developing interventions to prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancies.
  • Latino-Focused Global Research
    • CLAFH’s work includes research, educational partnerships and service in Mexico and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

CLAFH offers research opportunities to Duke University students and welcomes collaborations with researchers and research institutions that are interested in projects related to Latino health and social welfare disparities.  

María de Lourdes Rosas LópezMarco Thimm KaiserAdam Benzekri headshotCLAFH also houses the Latinx Comprehensive Development of Empowered Leaders Against AIDS Institute [DILES (Tell Them) Institute]), a year-long program for fellows wanting to end the HIV epidemic for Latino men. Throughout the program, participants will be instilled with leadership skills to assist them in guiding substantial change in their communities. The application process will open later this fall. 

Associates in Research Adam Benzekri and Marco Thimm-Kaiser join Ramos as members of CLAFH’s core team, in addition to María de Lourdes Rosas López, CLAFH’s primary collaborator in Mexico and an Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla professor.

For more information, visit the CLAFH website, or email the team

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