Padres Informados Jovenes Praparados began in 2007, when Michele Allen and Veronica Svetaz joined efforts to develop a parenting program to promote positive parent-child relationships to reduce smoking and substance use among Latino families with adolescents. The curriculum was created between 2008 and 2009, and pilot tested in 2010. Then, the program was refined and evaluated using a randomized controlled trial between 2011 and 2015. Through collaboration with seven community organizations, Padres Informados, Jovenes Preparados was able to reach 352 Latino families from urban and rural areas of Minnesota to participate in the trial.  Since then, the partnership has worked in developing dissemination strategies to expand the use of the program.

Active Community Engagement

Padres Informados, Jovenes Preparados was developed and continues to be driven by  community organizations serving Latino families.  Aqui Para Ti and Centro Tyrone Guzman in collaboration with University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research and Extension co-developed the parent and youth curricula and co-conducted the research that tested its effectiveness.  Our initial focus, conceptualization of the program, and development of program components was guided by an advisory board of Latino parents.  Over multiple research studies, a large number of community organizations have actively collaborated on the refinement and evaluation of the program and since the recent trial, have requested training in the curriculum.

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Para Padres

Our Team

Michele Allen,  MD, MS

Dr. Allen is associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and interim director of the Program in Health Disparities Research at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Allen brings vast experience in the science of community based participatory research including best practices for training faculty and community for health research partnerships. Her NIH-funded research uses interdisciplinary and community engaged approaches to develop and implement school and family-based health promotion and substance use prevention interventions for immigrant adolescents. She is a practicing family physician.

María Verónica Svetaz, MD, MPH, FSAHM, FAAFP

Dr. Svetaz is a Family Medicine and Adolescent Medicine boarded physician and Faculty at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) Department of Family and Community Medicine. Originally from Argentina, Dr. Svetaz completed her medical school and internal medicine residency at the University of Buenos Aires. She came to the University of Minnesota in 1996 to join the Division of Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Leadership and Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) training program for a two-year fellowship. At the same time, she completed a Master in Public Health, and completed her residency in Family Medicine at Region’s Hospital. She designed and has been the Medical Director of Aqui Para Ti/Here for You youth development program since its beginning in 2002. Her research includes working with bilingual youth, on issues around parenting, educating practitioners to better work with minority youth, and how to achieve Health Equity for the whole community. She is currently the Chair of the Society and Adolescent Health and Medicine’s (SAHM) Diversity Committee, and of the HCMC’s Immigration Committee. She is a member of the Minnesota Medical Association’s Health Equity Advisory Board, and of the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health Advisory Board.

Roxana Linares,  MA

Roxana Linares is Centro Tyrone Guzman’s Executive Director. Roxana holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Administration, with a focus on Comparative and International Education, from the University of Minnesota. Before moving to Minnesota, Roxana taught Science at the International School of Tintaya in Peru, and later served as Assistant Director for the school. Roxana first joined Centro Tyrone Guzman in 2001 and was named Executive Director in January of 2009.

G. Ali Hurtado,  PhD

G. Ali Hurtado Choque is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. His work focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral community health programs. He is passionate about addressing health disparities through innovative research. He has designed, implemented, and evaluated multiple community health programs that serve diverse and/or low-income communities in Minnesota and Maryland.

Diego Garcia-Huidobro,  MD, PhD

Diego Garcia-Huidobro is a family physician and researcher. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC) and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. He co-directs the Family and Health Unit at PUC and works actively integrating a family systems approach into outpatient and inpatient clinical care. He uses cutting-edge methods to develop, implement and evaluate interventions that strengthen family relationships to improve health.

Silvia Alvarez de Davila,  PhD

Dr. Silvia Alvarez de Davila works at University of Minnesota Extension’s Center of Family Development as a Regional Extension Educator. Her work focuses on family relations, educational disparities, and factors impacting family wellbeing. Her primary responsibilities are to design, facilitate and evaluate research based family education, promoting family strengthening for Latino and other new American families addressing disparities and parenting challenges during family transitions.

Her background and training in the areas of Social Work, Anthropology, and Education and Human Development, provide her with the necessary tools to serve populations that are new, diverse, and historically underserved and excluded. She is committed to identify gaps that affect family relations and family healthy development; to understand ways that families can develop and thrive, and to create tools and programs that contribute to the wellbeing of families. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Resource Development from the Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development Department at the University of Minnesota.

Partner Organizations

University of Minnesota’s Program in Health Disparities Research

The University of Minnesota’s Program in Health Disparities Research seeks to promote health equity through collaborative research, education, and trusted partnerships.

Learn more about the University of Minnesota’s Program in Health Disparities Research at: https://www.healthdisparities.umn.edu/

Aqui Para Ti / Here For You, Hennepin County Medical Center

Aqui Para Ti is a clinic for Latino youth aged between 10 and 24 and their families. Housed in the Whittier Clinic of the Hennepin County Medical Center, Aqui Para Ti aims to promote positive youth relationships and healthy family relationships to reduce disparities in the Latino community.

Learn more about Aqui Para Ti at: http://www.hcmc.org/services/apt/index.htm

Centro Tyrone Guzman

Centro Tyrone Guzman is a community organization that aims to build a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive Latino community that belongs and contributes to the social and economic vitality of Minnesota.

Learn more about Centro Tyrone Guzman at: http://centromn.org/

University of Minnesota Extension

University of Minnesota Extension aims to create a stronger Minnesota through education and research.

Learn more about University of Minnesota Extension at: http://extension.umn.edu/

Organizations Partnering in the Original Research Study