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Latino Psychologist Appointed to Mental Health Post in Commonwealth
Date:12/15/2008

WEST ROXBURY, Mass., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Amaro Laria, Ph.D., Director of the Lucero Latino Mental Health Training Program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in West Roxbury, MA, was appointed today to the Massachusetts Health Disparities Council by Massachusetts Senate President, Therese Murray and Senator Susan Fargo, Chairman of the Health Disparities Council.

Dr. Laria is the only mental health expert to be named to the Council, which was established by the Health Care Reform Act of 2006 to develop recommendations for reducing and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare access and outcomes within the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is one of only two states in the country to develop such a program.

In his new role on the Massachusetts Health Disparities Council, Dr. Laria extends his outreach beyond correcting mental health disparities in the Latino population to include all ethnic communities.

Initially focusing on disparities relating to diseases including cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and HIV/Aids, the Council's appointment of Dr. Laria as its first representative named to address the crucial needs of mental health disparities within underserved populations in the Commonwealth, is a key acknowledgement of the deficiencies existing in providing better access to mental health treatment.

According to Senator Susan Fargo, who was recently named the new Chairman of the Health Disparities Council: "I am pleased to be appointed as the Senate Chairman of the Health Disparities Council. Identifying and then breaking the barriers that separate us from good health is essential. We need to continue to build on the foundation that has been established in recent years and I am encouraged by the high caliber membership of the Council and welcome Dr Laria's expertise and contributions in the areas of mental health."

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SOURCE Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
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