2012 Frances J. Bonner Award
Dr. Margarita Alegria, a distinguished professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is the 2012 recipient of the Frances J. Bonner Award. Her research interests include health disparities and Latino health issues. Specifically, her focus is on mental health availability and quality for minorities, especially Latino populations. Dr. Alegria has studied high risk behavior and HIV/AIDS in minority populations as well as ways to improve mental health care for Latinos. In this capacity she has served as a consultant on many national and international committees for health reform and better healthcare for minorities.
Dr. Alegria's distinguished career includes a long list of awards. Most notably, Dr. Alegria was named one of the “twenty most distinguished women in Puerto Rico” in 1996 and in 2007 she was awarded the Latino Leadership award by the Twin cities Latino Coalition. Dr. Alegria was named a full professor of psychiatry at Harvard medical school in 2004 at the remarkably young age of 42.
As a result of her expertise, Dr. Alegria has been invited to participate in several committees that have shaped the way ethnic minorities receive mental health care in the U.S. She was a member of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s Healthcare committee (2006) and she is currently a member of the Healthcare disparities technical Advisory panel for the National Quality Forum (2006-present) as well as a member of the Massachusetts Medicaid Disparities policy round table (2007).
In the past few years, Dr. Alegria has given over a hundred presentations on minority issues at several professional meetings (e.g. American society of Hispanic Psychiatrists, American Psychological Association, etc.) and prestigious universities (e.g., Harvard University, Dartmouth Medical School), where she spoke on topics such as ethnicity and mental health, mental health services to ethnic minorities, and mental health disparities.
Dr. Alegria is a highly accomplished researcher and educator, as well as a personal inspiration to minorities and women who hope to pursue a successful career in research. She has mentored 35 doctoral candidates and post doctoral fellows.
Inaugural Frances J. Bonner Award, 2011
The first recipient of the MGH Frances J. Bonner, MD award is Carl C. Bell, MD. The MGH Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatry Department’s Center for Diversity awarded Dr. Bell the Frances A. Bonner, MD, award during his Feb. 17, 2011 MGH Psychiatry Grand Rounds presentation on “Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People: Progress and Possibilities.”
Dr. Carl Bell receiving the Frances Bonner Award From left to right: Dr. Jerrold Rosenbaum, Dr. Chet Pierce, Dr. Carl Bell, Dr. Peter Slavin (MGH President)
Dr. Carl Bell presenting at MGH Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Feb. 17, 2011
Dr. Carl Bell with members of the Center for Diversity. From left to right: Dr. Carol Wool, Dr. Jerrold Rosenbaum, Dr. Carl Bell, Dale & Carol Bonner (Dr. Frances Bonner's daughters), Dr. Ranna Parekh.
Dr. Bell is the Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research, Director of Public and Community Psychiatry, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at University of Illinois in Chicago. He is also the President and CEO of Community Mental Health Council and Foundation, Inc., a multimillion dollar comprehensive community mental health center located on Chicago’s Southside.
Over the last 35 years, Dr. Bell has published over four hundred articles on mental health issues and is currently an Associate Editor of the American Psychiatric Press. He is an internationally recognized lecturer and author whose work has focused on mental wellness, violence prevention and traumatic stress caused by violence.