The Disparities Research Unit (DRU), led by Margarita Alegría, PhD, is based in the Department of Medicine’s Mongan Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, and collaborates with outside institutions both domestically and internationally.

Our mission is to generate innovative mental health services research that impacts policy, practice and service delivery for multicultural populations. We are comprised of an interdisciplinary group of psychologists, social policy analysts, health economists, psychiatrists, data analysts, sociologists and other professionals that assist in the research and analysis of DRU projects. The Disparities Research Unit brings a strong focus on community-based and applied interventions to improve service delivery for multicultural populations.

Current National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded projects operating at the DRU include:

  • An NIDA-funded project evaluating the effects of New York state Medicaid programs on access, patterns of care, and outcomes of substance use disorder treatment

  • An NIA/NIMH-funded clinical trial testing the Positive Minds Strong Bodies Enhanced intervention for racial/ethnic and linguistic minority elders

  • An NIMH-funded clinical trial testing the effectiveness and implementation of the STRONG MINDS mental health intervention, offered in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese

  • And NIMHD-funded project addressing mental health of Latinx youth, focused on discrimination-related stressors and mental health among Mexican-American youth living in a new migration area