Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth funds multi-year grant for work with Latinx adolescents
By Jena K. Gray
Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth has awarded co-principal investigators, Dr. Oswaldo Moreno and Dr. Rosalie Corona, along with their colleagues from the College of William & Mary and Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University a multi-year grant in collaboration with Richmond’s Sacred Heart Center. The grant enables them to meet a critical need in the surrounding area’s Latinx communities.
Their project, titled “Culturally Enhancing a Motivational Interviewing Intervention for Latinx Adolescents,” will meet the significant language barrier within Richmond’s Latinx communities by providing access to culturally enhanced evidence-based tobacco prevention interventions (in Spanish). Working in conjunction with the Sacred Heart Center is essential to the success of this project and they will serve as a point of dissemination and feedback of the culturally sensitive interventions provided.
“This was a very competitive grant cycle, and we are very proud of these successes.” congratulates Wendy Kliewer, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of psychology and co-director of iCubed’s Culture, Race and Health Transdisciplinary Core.
Dr. Moreno, assistant professor of psychology, joined Virginia Commonwealth University last summer as part of the VCU Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed)’s Oral Health in Childhood and Adolescence Transdisciplinary Core.
“Even before arriving to Richmond and VCU,” he says, “I researched potential collaborators with the Department [of Psychology], the university and the surrounding Latinx communities.”
“I was very intentional about the process given that I wanted this research to have a positive impact within the surrounding Latinx communities,” shares Dr. Moreno.
Ironically, Dr. Moreno was new to oral health when he joined iCubed’s Oral Health in Childhood and Adolescence Transdisciplinary Core. However, he was quick to dive in head first, according to Tegwyn Brickhouse, Ph.D., director of iCubed’s Oral Health in Childhood and Adolescence Transdisciplinary Core.
“Oswaldo brings a diverse set of skills to our core,” shares Dr. Brickhouse. “So much of his work in mental health disparities parallels the barriers that marginalized populations face when trying to access oral health services.”
Dr. Moreno’s work enables him to integrate content knowledge and lived experiences when engaging with the Latinx adolescent communities of Richmond. (Watch Dr. Oswaldo Moreno’s iCubed’s My Life, My Scholarship Symposium presentation.)
“Allowing our lived experiences to drive the how and the why we do research can lead to authentic engagement and produce meaningful, high impact scholarship,” says Aashir Nasim, Ph.D., vice president for inclusive excellence and director of iCubed. “These are defining qualities of all our iCubed faculty and postdoctoral trainees.”
Dr. Moreno’s colleague, Dr. Corona has a history of doing needs assessments within the Latinx communities surrounding Richmond. Because of this, delivery and dissemination of culturally-sensitive interventions and programs was most important to this demographic.
This large, multi-year grant from Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth will facilitate distribution and evaluation of the culturally-sensitive evidence-based tobacco prevention intervention program within the Richmond Latinx adolescent communities. Based on the program’s effectiveness, similar culturally-sensitive intervention programs could be replicated to other regions with similar conditions.
About VCU Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed)
The Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation (iCubed) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a cutting edge institute focused on catalyzing collaborative connections between the university and the community at large through innovative academic and research programs. Our transdisciplinary core teams collaborate with key community members in order to develop holistic solutions to 21st century urban challenges within the Commonwealth. For more information about iCubed or to apply to one of the transdisciplinary core teams, please visit: icubed.vcu.edu.