NIATx and the Alianza launch training for NIATx Puerto Rico Year Two

Submitted by: 10/12/2010

NIATx training for the second cycle of community-based organizations from the East Central region of Puerto Rico attracted a full house on September 30 in Caguas, Puerto Rico. NIATx coaches Angie Maldonado and Carolyn Castro-Donlan gave an overview of NIATx and it mission: to help organizations improve their productivity and the quality of the services they offer. The training included practical exercises and group brainstorming sessions to outline the top projects that participants will be carrying out during the next year.

Organizations that participated in the first cycle of training, some of which did presentations at the NIATx Summit in Cincinnati in July of 2010, shared their projects and achievements of the past year. Among these were Milagros del Amor, Corporacion SANOS and the Programa Metadona of Caguas.

Comments Carolyn Castro Donlan, “We are very happy with the enthusiasm of the new participants the successes that the first cohort experienced. We were also impressed with the diversity of groups that the organizations support and their genuine desire to work together to relieve the problems of addiction as well as homelessness.”

Representatives from Fundesco (Foundation for Community Development of Puerto Rico) took active part in the training session. Fundesco operates multiple projects serving the vulnerable populations of East Central region of the country, including people with HIV, the aging population, victims of domestic violence, and people with alcohol or other drug abuse problems.

The following day, participants could attend a multidisciplinary training on the use of buprenorphine in opiate addiction. The Caribbean Basin and Hispanic Addiction Technology Transfer Center (CBHATTC), collaborated with well-known psychologist Jorge Nogales to educate the audience about this medication that makies it possible for primary care to integrate addiction treatment into its agenda.

The day concluded with a presentation from two patients who have received treatment with buprenorphine. “They shared what this has meant for them and how it has changed their lives, and their presentations were very moving and powerful,” says Ms. Castro-Donlan.

Both trainings were sponsored by the Alianza para Reducir la Insuficiencia de Tratamiento de Adicción en Puerto Rico, which has a partnership agreement with NIATx. Dr. Ángel Gonzalez, director of the Alianza, was pleased that it could contribute to efforts to improve services to vulnerable populations through the trainings.

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