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About Dr. Colon Rivera
Dr. Colón-Rivera is a distinguished general, adolescent, and addiction psychiatrist of the Pennsylvania medical community. He has a broad experience in community-based programs, with an emphasis on those that help to increase access to assisted medical treatments for patients with substance use disorder.
He is the Medical Director of the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc Behavioral Health Program (APM), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Hispanic communities through direct behavior and substance use disorder services in the Philadelphia region. APM has functions related to education, health, human services, and community, foster homes, & economic development
Dr. Colon Rivera is also an attending telemedicine physician and a participant in a grant funded by the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) initiative at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and UPMC. He is part of a team working on an emerging community program to increase rural access to medication-assisted treatments (MATs) for patients with substance use disorders.
Dr. Colon-Rivera serves as a clinical advisor for the Advisory on Alcohol and Other Drugs Committee for the State of Pennsylvania under the Governor Wolf administration and the senior advisor for the Opioid State Targeted Response Technical Assistance for Puerto Rico.
He is currently a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Medical and the Einstein Medical Center.
He has participated in over 40 national and international presentations/workshops/ writings on topics related to substance use and related disorders, social determinants, and mental health in adolescents.
Professional career track: Following medical school in Puerto Rico and psychiatric residency training at Boston University, I completed an addiction psychiatry fellowship at Yale a year ago where I focused on working with Children and Adolescents with substance use disorders.
Local Leadership Positions:
February 2019- Medical Director to APM, Philadelphia, PA.
August 2018- Elected Member for the Pennsylvania Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse for Governor Tom Wolf Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
July 2018-2019 Early Career Representative for the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society for the APA
August 2018 Clinical member for the Clinical Standard Sub-Committee for the Pennsylvania Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse for Governor Tom Wolf
August 2018 Elected Member for the Pennsylvania Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse for Governor Tom Wolf
May 2018 Consultant for the State of Pennsylvania on the State Targeted Response Technical Assistant Program funded by SAMHSA and the AAAP.
National Leadership Positions:
May 2019- Assembly Representative for the American Psychiatric Association Area 3
July 2018- President of the American Psychiatric Association Hispanic Caucus
May 2018- Senior Advisor for Puerto Rico Territory for the State Targeted Response Technical Assistant Program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)
May 2018- Consultant for the American Psychiatric Association Council on Membership
March 2018- Co-Chair of the Content Development Workgroup for the Typical or Troubled? ® School Mental Health Education program sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation\
September 2017- Clinical Expert for the Provider Clinical Support System (PCSS) for Medication Assisted Treatment is a program, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and led by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)
June 2017- Member of the APA Mentorship Program Advisory Group-Objective: Retain fellows and residents as leaders within the American Psychiatric Association.
May 2016- May 2018 Consultant for the American Psychiatric Association Council on Addiction Psychiatry
May 2016- May 2017 Board of Trustee member of the American Psychiatric Association
May 2016- May 2017 Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Minority Fellowship and Diversity Program
July 2015- July 2016 Chief Resident for Boston University Medical Center Psychiatry Program
May 2014- May 2016 Joint Reference Committee Resident Representative for the American Psychiatric Association
May 2014- May 2016 Resident Representative for the American Psychiatric Association Council on Addiction Psychiatry
August 2013-2014 Resident Representative of Massachusetts Medical Society Men’s Health Committee
January 2015- Coordinator of the Radio Vieques 90.1 FM Mental Health Program, “Salud a Flote,” Mental Health Radio segments and Post Casts every Friday morning. Goal: Educating communities in Puerto Rico on topics related to mental health, substance use disorders, climate change, and disaster response.
Brief Newspaper Peer-Reviewed Articles:
1. Colon-Rivera HA. “Residents Bring APAF’s ‘Typical or Troubled’ Program to Puerto Rico” Psychiatric News, May 31st, 2017
2. Colon-Rivera HA. “The Forgotten Island” Psychiatric News, June 14th, 2016.
3. Colon-Rivera HA. “Our Opioid Epidemic: How Can We Help?” The Official Newsletter of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, spring 2016, Volume 32, Number 1, Pages 8, 13.
Original, Peer Reviewed Articles:
1. Mahmoud, Fleming, Halbreich, Mahdanian, Apter, Lisotto MJ, and Colon-Rivera HA: Grave Concerns Expressed by Psychiatrists Over Current Immigration Policies. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 58(1): Pages 140-141, 2019 January.
2. Colon-Rivera HA., Shapiro G., Dube A. Gordon-Achebe K., Bath E. Manguarian C. Separation of Immigrant Children and Families. American Psychiatric Association. 2018. November.
3. Daum AM, Colon-Rivera HA, Nykiel S. “Shared Medical Appointments Role in the Opioid Epidemic Era; A Tool for Integration of Care” J Addict Res Ther 8: 328. 2017, June 2.
4. Barmada H, Roberts S, Patil D, Colon-Rivera HA, Chang G. “Perceived stigma and satisfaction with care among veterans receiving methadone maintenance treatment: A pilot study” Addictive Diseases and their Treatment. 2017, June.
5. Broad KL, Colon-Rivera HA, Haque L. Re: Primary care management of opioid use disorders: Abstinence, methadone, or buprenorphine-naloxone? E-Published, Can Fam Physician. 2017, May 16.
6. Thapa M, Colon-Rivera HA, Taylor M, Greenfield SF, Marienfeld C. “Assuring the Appropriate Care of Pregnant and Newly Delivered Women Addicts” American Psychiatric Society Position Statements, May, 2016.
7. Montenegro R, Colon-Rivera HA. Racial/Ethnic and Sexual/Gender Minority Training Experiences in Psychiatry: Past, Present, and Future Directions to Improving Training Climate, The Am J of Psychiatry Residents Edition, January 2016.
8. Colon-Rivera HA, Daum AM, Nykiel S. The impact of sharing: The use of shared medical appointments to allow providers to increase treatment access for substance use and related disorders. Subst Abus. 2016 Jan-Mar, 37 (1):7-8.
9. Colon-Rivera HA, Oldham MA. The mind with a radio of its own: a case report and review of the literature on the treatment of musical hallucinations. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2014 Mar-Apr, 36 (2):220-4.
Original, Peer Reviewed Articles (Continuation):
10. Colon-Rivera HA, Jimenez-Torres GJ, Lugo F. Evolving story of vitamin D, supplementing vs. implementing new approaches. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2013Jul, 128 (1):99-100.
June 2014-July 2016 Co-investigator for “Veteran’s Perceptions of Opiate Agonist Therapy." Boston University School of Medicine & Boston VA Health Care System. Principal Investigator: Grace Chang MD, MPH, Grace.Chang2@va.gov
May 2009-July 2009 Research Assistant. "Improving cancer screening in community clinics." Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University Hospital- Washington DC. Principal Investigator: Elmer Huertas MD, Claire Selsky MA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan 2008-May 2008 Research Assistant for "Phenotypic identification and characteristic molecular action of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile isolates." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Principal Investigator: Brandi Limbago Ph.D., Deputy Branch Chief at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brandi.email@example.com
May2006-June2016 "Analysis of Plasmodium berguei gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase’s role in drug resistance lines and the knockout of this gene." Leids Universitair Medisch, Department of Parasitology at LUMC Leiden in The Netherlands. Principal Investigators: Andrew Waters Ph.D., Andy.firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2004-June2008 "Investigation of DNA lines with multidrug resistance in Malaria.” The University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus- San Juan, PR. Principal Investigator: Adelfa Serrano Ph.D., Adelfa.email@example.com
Research/Clinical Supports and Grants:
February 2018 APA Foundation Disaster Relief Award for CrearConSalud, Inc work in Puerto Rico
August 2017 Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society Developmental Leadership Retreat participant
January 2017-July 2017 National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Substance Use Disorder’s Curriculum Workgroup Research Grant
June 2016-June 2017 American Psychiatric Association Substance Abuse Fellowship
July 2014- June 2016 American Psychiatric Association and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Fellowship
June 2012 United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars Forum Research Grant
June 2011 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Community Research Scholarship
June 2009 Latin American Cancer Research Coalition Fellow Grant, Georgetown University. Hospital-Lombardi Cancer Center, Washington, DC
June 2006-June2008 Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Research Training Grant
May 2006 The Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Grant
1. Patil D, Colon-Rivera HA, Barmada H, Roberts S, Chang G. “Veterans’ Perceptions of Opioid Agonist Therapy,” AAAP Annual Meeting, Florida, 2016, December 10.
Poster Presentations (Continuation):
2. Torres-Llenza V, Padilla A, Tirado-Morales D, Colon-Rivera HA, Rodriguez-Cabezas L, Parekh R. "How to impact a community with a Mental Health Tour? A Mental Health awareness tour, a tool to impact a community?” American Psychiatric Association 169th Institute on Psychiatric on Services Annual Meeting, 2015 October 8-11th.
3. Chong W, Colon-Rivera H, Merete C, Juarbe LA, Iriarte I. "Attitudes and sex education influence on knowledge of sexual behavior among high school students in Vieques, PR." The National American Medical Society Association Conference in Washington, DC, 2011 March 10-13.
4. Ramirez-Fort M, Lastra-Vicente RI, Rakofsky J, Llull M, Colon-Rivera H, Reizner G, Iriarte I. "Epidemiological Survey for Dermatological Diseases among the Population of Puerto Rico." Presented at AAD-American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, FL, 2010.
5. Vega Rodríguez, J, Colón Rivera, HA, Franke-Fayard, B, Delgado-Morales, W, Rodríguez-Orengo, J, Waters, AP, Janse, CJ, Serrano, AE. “Generation of Plasmodium berghei mutants deficient in expression of glutathione reductase”The University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, PR, 2008.
6. Vega-Rodriguez J, Franke-Fayard B, Colon-Rivera HA, Janse C, Waters A, Serrano AE. "Disruption of the Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein Gene in Plasmodium Berghei." The University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, PR, 2007 April.
1. Ubianuju OB, Colon-Rivera HA, Taylor J. “Providing Mental Health Services in Areas with Restricted Human Rights,” 168th American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, May 17th2015.
2. Park DC, Colon-Rivera HA, Han J. "Integration of addiction treatment; Transformational opportunities with Collaborative Practice Models, Team-Based Care, and the use of Technology", International Academy of Addiction Medicine. 20thAnnual Meeting. Busan, South Korea. November 2018.
1. Colon-Rivera HA, Muvvala S., Katz J. Medication-Assisted Treatment and Behavioral Strategies to Treat Adolescents and Young Adults With Substance Use and Related Disorders. San Francisco, CA. APA Annual Meeting May 19th, 2019
2. Park DC, Colon-Rivera HA, Harley B, Bowe A. Han J. “Integrating Addiction Treatment Into Primary Care: Opportunities for Psychiatrists” APA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, May 18th, 2019.
3. Colon-Rivera HA. “Suicide and Substance use Disorder in the Veterans” at the first Effective Response to the Veterans Suicide Crisis; Prevention and Action Summit. Invited Speaker by Pennsylvania Medical Society, Philadelphia PA. April 17th, 2019.
4. Colon-Rivera HA. “Health Equity in Substance use and Behavioral Health” 2019 Assessment and Treatment of Substance Use Disorder Conference, Invited Speaker by the Medical Delaware State Society, April 6th, 2019.
National Presentations (Continuation):
5. Park DC, Colon-Rivera HA, Harley B. "A Multi-faceted Approach for Integration of Addiction Treatment
Into Primary Care", American Association of Addiction Psychiatry. Annual Meeting, Bonita Spring, FL. Dec, 2018.
6. Park DC, Colon-Rivera HA, Harley B. “Integrating Addiction Treatment into Primary Care: Opportunities for Psychiatrists.” APA Annual Meeting, New York May 7th, 2018.
7. Starks S, Uyen-Khanh Q, Parekh R, Colon-Rivera HA, Kidd J, Robitz R, Watts V, Patel S. “Building a Network of Future Leaders in Organized Psychiatry #mentorshipgoals.” APA Annual Meeting, New York May 7th, 2018.
8. Colon-Rivera HA, Muvvala S, Camenga D, Pandhi S. “Stimulant Misuse Among High School and College Students: Strategies for Prevention, Screening, and Treatment.” APA Annual Meeting, New York, May 9th, 2018.
9. Muvvala S, Colon-Rivera HA, Camenga D, Zoltani J. “Prescription stimulant misuse among high school and college students; Strategies for prevention, screening, and treatment.” AAAP Annual Meeting, San Diego, December 8th, 2017
10. Colon-Rivera HA, Aoun E, Malone P, Teverbaugh L. “Medication Assisted Treatment and behavioral strategies to treat adolescents with Substance Use Disorders,” APA Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA May 2017.
11. Renner J, Saxon A, Colon-Rivera HA, Gorrindo T, Enhancing Your Substance Use Training for General Psychiatry Program Through Development of Personalized Action Plan,” ADDPRT Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, March 2017.
12. Park DC, Colon-Rivera HA, Schipani R, Eden E, Harley B. “The Role of Addiction Psychiatrists in Integrating Substance Use Disorder Treatment into Primary Care,” AAAP Annual Meeting, Florida, December 2016.
13. Colon-Rivera HA. “Treatment and Management of Substance Use Disorders in the LGBTQIAP population” invited speaker at Bournewood Hospital System Ground Rounds on June 20th, 2016.
14. Colon-Rivera HA. “The Opioid Epidemic and the Emerging Trends of Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use among Opioid users: Our Clinical Dilemma” invited speaker at Bournewood Hospital System Ground Rounds on May 23rd, 2016.
15. Colon-Rivera HA. “Tell Me About You, My Clinical Approach to Addiction “The Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Fifth Annual Educational Meeting, May 18, 2016.
16. Colon-Rivera HA, Eaon A, Hurley B, Levounis P. “The Clinical Evaluation and Management of Substance Use Disorders in Transgender Patient Populations” American Psychiatry Association Annual Meeting at Atlanta Georgia, May 15, 2016.
17. Taylor J, Severe J, Colon-Rivera HA, Lewis-Fernandez R, Ranganathan M. “The Context of Psychosis: Cultural Curiosity and Enhanced Clinical Care” American Psychiatry Association Annual Meeting at Atlanta Georgia, May 16, 2016.
18. Montenegro R, Colon-Rivera HA, Johnson K, Zalpuri I, Parekh R. “Racial/Ethnic and Sexual/Gender Minority Training Experiences in Psychiatry: Past, Present and Future Directions to Improving Training Climate,” American Psychiatric Association 169th Institute on Psychiatric on Services Annual Meeting, October 8th, 2015.
19. Colon-Rivera HA, Padilla A, Rodriguez-Cabezas L. “Treatment of Minorities in the USA, Psychiatric Myths and Realities, Information on Resources (Where to seek help).” Radio Show-WKVM 810 AM – Radio Paz, San Juan, PR, 2015 February 20.
20. Colon-Rivera HA. “Choosing medicine as a profession. What to do?” San Ignacio de Loyola High School, San Juan, PR, 2015 February 20.
21. Colon-Rivera HA. “Psychiatry Residency, PR, and USA. Differences, Similarities, Challenges and Rewards.” University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus, San Juan, PR, 2015 February 20.
22. Colon-Rivera HA. “From Medical School to Residency, from Collaborations to Integrated care, What is Next?” Universidad Central Del Caribe, Bayamon, PR, 2015 February 19.
23. Mc Cummings J, Colon-Rivera HA. “Recruitment of underrepresented minority medical students to Residency.” Sponsored by the Office of Minority Physician Recruitment at Boston University Medical Center, Universidad Central Del Caribe and Ponce School of Medicine, 2013 and 2014 October 10th.
24. Colon- Rivera, HA, Jimenez J. “Hablemos de Cancer” (Let’s talk about Cancer). Discuss the need for a clinic dedicated to working with the patient and their family members to work with mental health care during cancer treatment. Ponce, PR, 2010 February 10.
25. Ramirez-Fort M, Colon-Rivera HA. “How the sun can damage your skin and how to protect it to elementary school students and their parents.” Dermatology and Pathology Interest Group Sun Protection Fun Presentation, Carolina, PR, 2010 February 5.
26. Colon-Rivera HA, Chong W, Merete C, Vera A. “Hablemos de Sexo” (Let's talk about sex), Vieques, PR. Assess the preconceived notion of sexual practices in the teenage population of Vieques, PR, 2009 November 20.
27. Colon-Rivera HA. “The Cultural Context of mental health, substance use and related disorders: The Double Dimensions” Invited Speaker at Fairhaven Integrated Care Unit, May 26, 2017.
28. Colon-Rivera HA, Whalley A, Anderson E. “Let’s Talk About Opioid Overdose, what are we doing?” Boston University Medical Center Ground Rounds, February 4th, 2016.
29. Colon-Rivera HA. “Dual Diagnosis and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” Causeway Street VA, Boston Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, 2014 November 17.
30. Colon-Rivera HA. “Relapse Prevention Model and Contemporary Approaches to Substance Abuse Treatment.” Causeway Street VA, Boston Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, 2014 September 26.
I am the Medical Director for APM, INC and nonprofit organization that serves the communities of North Philadelphia with Behavioral Health, Housing, foster home, and education services. I work together with therapist and other psychiatrists as a single team to treat the whole you, in four convenient locations in Philadelphia.
Additionally, I am an attending physician at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC) working on an emerging community program to increase rural access to Medical Assisted Treatments for patients with substance use disorders
I'm a volunteer faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh and at the Einstein Health Care Network Hospitals in Philadelphia where I serves as an mentor and instructor for nurse practitioners and psychiatry residents.
Follow me on Twitter @colonriveramd