Rosa Maria Gonzalez-Guarda has focused her academic and professional career on improving the behavioral health and public health of minorities and other at risk communities throughout the world. Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor in the Science of Nursing (BSN), from Johns Hopkins University with a Master in Nursing and Public Health (MSN, MPH), and from the University of Miami with an Interdepartmental Doctorate that drew from the disciplines of Nursing, Epidemiology and Psychology (PhD).
In the past she has worked on various community health nursing projects, public health programs and research targeting African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other vulnerable populations in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. In her dissertation, Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda investigated the intersection of substance abuse, intimate partner violence (IPV) and risky sexual behaviors among Hispanic women, and developed a model for understanding and addressing the co-occurrence of these conditions.
Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda is currently a fellow of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) at the American Nurses Association (ANA), and was recently awarded a fellowship from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse (NAHN) to attend a summer research training institute on drug abuse research. She also recently accepted an Assistant Professor tenure-track position at the University of Miami School of Nursing & Health Studies. At this capacity she will be teaching courses in community based mental health nursing and public health and working as a Co-Investigator for two studies within a NIH funded research center referred to as El Centro (Center of Excellence for Hispanic Health Disparities Research). While one of these studies explores the experiences of Hispanic men with substance abuse, violence and risky sexual behaviors (Project VIDA), the other evaluates the effectiveness of an HIV prevention program targeting Hispanic women in the community (Project SEPA).
In the near future, Dr. Gonzalez-Guarda will submit a K award that will prepare her to develop a community-based primary prevention program targeting substance abuse, violence and risky sexual behaviors among Hispanics.
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