HIV, Hispanics, the elderly and economics {Vol. 14, Is. 04}

Congratulations to Dr. Juan J. DelaCruz, Ph.D. for being selected as a Scholar for the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Underrepresented New Investigators (HISTP) at the Columbia School of Social Work. Only four fellows are selected each year to receive intensive and specialized mentorship, including pilot funding and access to a multitude of resources and expert consultation.

Dr. DelaCruz is a health economist who works on HIV research, in particular for underserved minority populations within the context of health disparities and eDELACRUZJuanconomic costs to health systems. His current research addresses the complexity and significance of older adults living with HIV. The purpose of his work is to identify psycho-social and economic determinants of health as well as to assess the needs of older Hispanics with HIV.

Dr. DelaCruz is an Associate Professor of Economics and Business and a faulty member in the Doctor of Public Health Program at the Graduate Center. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research. Through the HISTP Program Dr. DelaCruz will receive a $20,000 grant for his pilot study: “Morbidity and Mortality among HIV Positive Older Hispanics in NYC: Toward Cost-Effective Interventions.”

The HIV Intervention Science Training Program (HISTP) is an NIMH-funded multidisciplinary training program that seeks to develop and facilitate the growth of scientists from underrepresented groups conducting HIV-related dissemination and implementation research. Racial and ethnic minority (REM) populations are disproportionately represented amongst those living with HIV/AIDS, yet REM scientists trained as HIV/AIDS researchers are vastly under-represented. HISTP’s mission is to facilitate the growth and development of a cadre of REM scientists who will focus their research on HIV-related health disparities in HIV/AIDS and co-occurring mental health disorders. HISTP promotes scientists from underrepresented groups to increase contributions to the empirical knowledge base on the design of contextually and culturally congruent interventions, through training, mentoring, and networking with a collective of senior REM scientists.

The HISTP program provides two years of support via an innovative dual mentorship structure offering monthly training seminars and workshops; pilot study funding; support to attend conferences; biannual week-long intensive training institutes; grant writing assistance (peer review, production support) and access to the HISTP’s library of grants, protocols, instruments, articles, presentations, etc.