Media Advisory/Press Release
West Roxbury man is the winner of the Ninth Annual 5K Lucero Memorial Race on Sunday, September 26th
Legacy of Cynthia Lucero lives on—the Latino Mental Health Training Program has Graduated Seven and Enrolled 43 Since 2006
September 27, 2010–Boston (West Roxbury), MA —Brian Savage of West Roxbury was the overall winner of this year’s Lucero Memorial 5K race with a time of 18:29. The overall female winner was Lori Muhr from North Grafton, with a time of 21:43. Competing were 150 other runners, who together with sponsors Boston Marriot- Newton, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and WB Mason, raised $7500 for scholarships for students in the Lucero Latino Mental Health Training Program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. (Find all winners at www.coolrunning.com)
For the ninth year in a row, these runners, walkers and friends and family of Dr. Cynthia Lucero “finished the race” for the talented young psychologist, who died during the 2002 Boston marathon. They did it to raise funds for her legacy. That legacy is training—through language and cultural immersion—culturally sensitive and linguistically competent (Spanish) psychologists to care for Latinos. Latinos make up the fastest growing segment of the US population.
Lucero, who had devoted her life to helping others through her work and community service, collapsed from hyponatremia, an electrolyte disturbance of salts in the blood, during the 2002 Boston Marathon.
A native of Ecuador, Lucero had completed her doctoral project for MSPP the night before the marathon, and was 12 days shy of her 28th birthday at her death. This year’s Lucero Run was attended again, as it is every year, by members of her family.
The Dr. Cynthia Lucero Center, founded shortly after her death by the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Lucero’s family and friends, created MSPP's Lucero Latino Mental Health Training Program as one of its major projects.
To date, seven students have completed the program and are beginning their work with Latinos in their communities or are completing fellowships that will continue to enrich their experience. In total, 43 students have now enrolled in the program, and MSPP is continuing to increase its commitment to intensely prepare them to truly help Latinos in need of mental health care.
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 MSPP’s Lucero Latino Mental Health Program is the first of its kind to promote Spanish fluency among students with an intermediate level of Spanish. The training program requires doctoral and masters’ candidates to undergo two summers of intensive language study in Latin America, additional language support during the academic years and to complete clinical field training in sites that serve Latinos in the US.
About MSPP—Founded in 1974 and located in Boston, Mass, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology strives to be a preeminent school of psychology that integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and close attention to professional development. We assume an ongoing social responsibility to create programs to educate specialists of many disciplines to meet the evolving mental health needs of society. MSPP is committed to bringing psychologists into nearly every facet of modern life through our graduate programs in Clinical, School, Counseling, Forensic, Organizational, Higher Education Student Personnel and Executive Coaching Psychology. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, MSPP is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the American Psychological Association.