Dr. Héctor Colón-Rivera, who is currently a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and attending physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has been named Medical Director of the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc Behavioral Health Program (APM).
He is an eminent figure with extensive experience in the field of mental health, who has achieved the leading position established by the Veterans Medical Center of Philadelphia, an institution he belonged.
Dr. Colón-Rivera is a distinguished specialist of the Pennsylvania medical community, with a broad experience in community-based programs, with an emphasis on those that help to increase access to assisted medical treatments for patients with substance use disorder.
The announcement was made through a statement by the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM), an institution which serves thousands of people each year, offering a full spectrum of bilingual and culturally sensitive social services related to education, health, human services and community and economic development.
Social responsability, which is one of the attributes that distinguish the new Director of the Health Program of the AMP, was cultivated in the “Isla del Encanto”, where Dr. Colón-Rivera grew up between San Juan and Vieques, Puerto Rico. That’s where his lifelong desire to help others was born: “My mother, a special education teacher often took me to work with her, where I was first exposed to families dealing with mental illness”, said the doctor.
The charming Antillean made his degree in medicine in Puerto Rico and then made a psychiatric residency training at Boston University. The specialist completed his training in psychiatric addiction treatment at Yale University.
Dr. Colón-Rivera maintains an active commitment in leadership positions in the American Psychiatric Association (APA). He served on the Reference Committee, the Board of Trustees and the APA Council on Addiction Psychiatry. He is currently the president of the Hispanic Committee and a consultant to the APA Membership Council.
Dr. Colón Rivera is also a clinical member of the Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol for the state of Pennsylvania, and is the Senior Advisor for Puerto Rico for the State Targeted Response Technical Assistant.
His ample career also shows that he is Co-founder and Vice-chair of CrearConSalud Inc., a non-profit organization with the mission of supporting and conducting non-partisan research and informational activities to increase public awareness of mental health and substance use disorders issues that may affect Puerto Rico and Latinos in the United States
Additionally, he works at Radio Vieques 90.1 FM Mental Health Program, “Salud a Flote”, a 20-minute radio segment aired every Friday with the goal of educating communities in Puerto Rico on topics related to mental health and substance use disorders.
Translated by: José Espinoza