News

7.03.2012

Epidemiology and Public Health Intervention Earns Prestigious Designation

Familias Unidas, the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health’s evidence-based intervention designed to prevent problem behaviors in Hispanic youth, recently qualified as a Blueprints for Violence Prevention Promising Program, a prestigious designation for interventions that meet the highest standards and rigorous tests of effectiveness.

A project of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado, Blueprints for Violence Prevention is a resource for governments, foundations, businesses, and other organizations trying to make informed judgments when investing in violence and drug prevention programs.

Chosen from more than 900 applicants, Familias Unidas was one of only 22 programs across the nation to earn the designation, and did so based on three studies led by Hilda Pantin, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and public health and Executive Vice Chair, and Guillermo Prado, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology and public health and director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health. The studies showed Familias Unidas effectively prevented and reduced smoking, illicit drug use, the display of behavior problems, and sexual risk behaviors among Hispanic youth ages 12-17.

“It’s humbling to be recognized for doing something you love to do and for seeing the impact of this work in our community,” said Prado. “Familias Unidas has impacted thousands of Hispanic families in South Florida.”

Pantin agreed, saying, “We are honored and privileged that Blueprints for Violence Prevention has recognized the success of this program in South Florida and look forward to nationwide dissemination.”

Cited by the Institute of Medicine as one of few drug abuse and HIV prevention programs ready for wide-scale dissemination, the intervention was implemented in 2011 in 24 Miami-Dade County middle schools to serve Hispanic students and their primary caregivers.

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