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MSPP Holds Seventh Annual 5K Lucero Memorial Run and Latino Mental Health Breakfast on Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hundreds to "finish" fallen marathon runner's race and raise funds for

Latino Mental Health Training Program at Massachusetts School of

Professional Psychology

BOSTON, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Sunday, September 28, for the seventh year in a row since her untimely death, hundreds will run or walk to "finish the race" for Dr. Cynthia Lucero, the talented young psychologist who died during the 2002 Boston marathon, at the same time raising funds for her legacy. That legacy is training, through language and cultural immersion, to create culturally sensitive and linguistically competent psychologists (in Spanish) to care for Latinos, the fastest growing segment of the US population.

The race honors the late Dr. Cynthia Lucero, who had devoted her life to helping others through her work and community service; Lucero collapsed from hyponatremia, an electrolyte disturbance of salts in the blood, during the 2002 Boston Marathon. Originally from Ecuador, Lucero completed her doctoral project in psychology the day before the Boston Marathon; she was just 12 days shy of her 28th birthday at her death. This year's Lucero Run will be attended again, as it is every year, by members of her family.

The Dr. Cynthia Lucero Center, founded shortly after her death by MSPP and Dr. Lucero's family and friends, created the Latino Mental Health Training Program as one of its major projects.

More about Lucero is available on the MSPP website at, and more about the Lucero Run can be found at

Preceding this year's race at 10:30 a.m., the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology plans a special breakfast for educational, political and Latino leaders to discuss how to make mental health services truly accessible for Latinos, as well as the advances MSPP has made to facilitate that access.

Speaking at the breakfast will be Maria Cabrera, MSW, LICSW, who is Director of the Women and Families Division of the Boston Public Health Commission in Mattapan, MA. Attending dignitaries are Jerry Villacres, Director of El Planeta; Dr. Kermit Crawford, Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health of the Boston University Medical School (his family is also attending); Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, School Psychologist at Park School; Ricardo Quiroga, M.Ed., Executive Director of Casa Esperanza, Inc.; Dr. Roxana Llerena-Quinn, Children's Hospital Representative; Jamie Eldridge of the 37th Middlesex District; and Representative Elizabeth Malia of the 11th Suffolk District.

WHAT: Latino Mental Health Leadership Breakfast

Dr. Cynthia Lucero Memorial Run and Walk

WHERE: Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

221 Rivermoor Street, West Roxbury, MA

WHEN: Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m.

Race Pre-Registration is 10 a.m.

Race start time is 10:30 a.m., Rain or Shine

Estimates are that by the year 2050, one fourth of the US population will be Latino. Yet, only two percent of psychologists are equipped to treat them.

The MSPP Lucero Latino Mental Health Training Program seeks to fill this urgent need for Spanish-speaking psychologists, who understand the complex mental health needs of Latinos and the barriers to access. "Even among Latinos who access mental health services, 50 percent never return after their first visit, most likely due to a lack of 'cultural fit,'" said Dr. Nicholas Covino, president of MSPP.

A handful of psychology programs in the US focus on Latino needs, but the MSPP's Lucero Latino Mental Health Program is the first of its kind to offer an immersion program in Latino language and culture. As part of that immersion program, doctoral and master's degree candidates undergo two summers of intensive language study in Latin America, with additional language support during the academic years and at clinical sites that serve Latinos in the US. Thirteen doctoral students have entered the program so far and have had their immersion experience in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Of those, four will be attending Sunday's events and will be available to tell their stories: Aliza Yarrow, Laura Horn, Shelly Reed, and Zach Blumkin.

SOURCE Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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