Background: I grew up between San Juan and Vieques, Puerto Rico.
My mother, a special education teacher often took me to work with her, where I was first exposed to families dealing with mental illness.
This early exposure instilled in me a deep understanding of social and environmental factors, such as poverty, lack of education, poor accessibility to health care, poor social and family support contributing to mental illness.
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. My training experiences exposed me heavily to culturally diverse patient populations, further strengthening my skills as a psychiatrist.
Currently, I'm a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia VA where I specialize in the acute care of patients with a wide variety of mental health and substance use disorders.
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
Follow me on Twitter @colonriveramd
August 2017- Co-Chair of CrearConSalud Inc., a Non-profit organization with the mission of supporting & conducting non-partisan research & informational activities to increase public awareness of mental health & substance use disorders issues that affect Puerto Rico & Latinos in the United States.
June 2017- Member of the APA Mentorship Program Advisory Group-Objective: Retain fellows & residents as leaders within the American Psychiatric Association.
May 2016- Consultant for the American Psychiatric Association Council on Addiction Psychiatry
May 2016- May 2017 Board of Trustee member for 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 2014 Resident Representative of Massachusetts Medical Society Men’s Health Committee
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. Muvvala S, Colon-Rivera HA, Camenga D. “Medications for Maintenance Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Adolescents: A Narrative Review with Recommendations for Clinical Practice and Future Research” J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 2017. Review
2. 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.
3. 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. Accepted
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 molecular characteristic action of staphylococcus aureus and clostridium difficile isolates." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Principal Investigator: Brandi Limbago PhD, 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 PhD, Andy.firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2004-June2008 "Investigation of DNA lines with multi drug resistance in Malaria.” University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus- San Juan, PR. Principal Investigator: Adelfa Serrano PhD, Adelfa.email@example.com
Research/Clinical Supports and Grants:
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 2006-2008 Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Research Training Grant
May 2006 The Minority Health & 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.
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” 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." 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, 2015 May 17th.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Park DC, Colon-Rivera HA, Shapanni R, Edens E, Harley B. “The Role of Addiction Psychiatrists in Integrating Substance Use Disorder Treatment into Primary Care,” AAAP Annual Meeting, Florida, December 2016.
4. Colon-Rivera HA. “Treatment and Management of Substance Use Disorders in the LGBTQIAP population” inviter speaker at Bournewood Hospital System Ground Rounds on June 20th, 2016.
5. Colon-Rivera HA. “The Opioid Epidemic and the Emerging Trends of Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use among Opioid users: Our Clinical Dilemma” inviter speaker at Bournewood Hospital System Ground Rounds on May 23rd 2016.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Colon-Rivera HA, Padilla A, Rodriguez-Cabezas L. “Treatment of Minorities in 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.
11. Colon-Rivera HA. “Choosing medicine as a profession. What to do?” San Ignacio de Layola High School, San Juan, PR, 2015 February 20.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. McCummings 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.
15. Colon- Rivera, HA, Jimenez J. “Hablemos de Cancer” (Let’s talk about Cancer). Discuss the need of a clinic dedicated to work with patient and their family members to work with mental health care during cancer treatment. Ponce, PR, 2010 February 10.
16. 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.
17. 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.
1 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.
2 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.
3 Colon-Rivera HA. “Dual Diagnosis and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” Causeway Street VA, Boston Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, 2014 November 17.
4 Colon-Rivera HA. “Relapse Prevention Model and Contemporary Approaches to Substance Abuse Treatment.” Causeway Street VA, Boston Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, 2014 September 26.
5 Colon-Rivera HA. “Time Limited Psychotherapy and other Brief Therapies.” Boston University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, Group Therapy Course, 2014 May 22.
Oct 2015-May 2016 Committee of Residents & Interns Opioids Working Group, Residents/fellows voice in the health system to improve treatment access for patient with substance use disorder.
June 2016 Boston University Medical Center Psychiatry Research Award- The Murray Award
April 2016 Ruth Fox Memorial Scholarship given by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
April 2015 American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology and the Zucker Hillside Hospital.
Honors and Travel Awards:
2017 American Psychiatric Association Assembly Committee for Resident-Fellow Members Mentor Award 2017
2016 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Fellow Travel Award 2016
2013 Boston University Minority Recruitment Representative
2012 Intern for Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute -United Health Foundation Scholar
2012 Diverse Scholars Forum by United Health Foundation, Washington, DC
2011 Recipient of Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Scholarship
2010 Awardee of Best Community Service Project Manager from American Medical Student Association
2015- American Society of Addiction Medicine
2015- American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology
2014- American Medical Association
2014- American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
2013- National Society of Hispanic of Business Administration
2012- American Psychiatric Association
2012-2016 Massachusetts Psychiatric Society
2012-2016 Massachusetts Medical Society
Regional and National Committees:
2016- American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Scientific Program Committee
2015- American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Membership Committee
2014-2016 Resident member for the American Psychiatric Association Council on Addiction Psychiatry
2012-2016 Massachusetts Psychiatric Society Committee on Alcoholism and the Addictions.
-Boston University Medical Center:
2014- Ground Round Review Committee for Boston University Medical Center Psychiatry Residency Program
2012- Residency Selection Interview Committee for Boston University Medical Center Psychiatry Residency Program
2012-2016 Curriculum Advisory Committee for Boston University Medical Center Psychiatry Residency Program
Teaching Experience and Responsibilities:
July 2017- Clinical Associate Supervisor and Facilitator in the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, PA.
January 2016- July2016 “Psychiatry Interview Course”, Coordination and teacher of course designed for medical students, first and second year psychiatry residents.
January 2015- “Fundamentals of Public Speaking Course”, Coordination of course for high school students at German Rieckehoff in Vieques, PR. Course is about techniques of talking on the radio and maintaining the attention of an audience by focusing on the content and delivery of information.
January 2015- Radio Vieques 90.1 FM Mental Health Program, “Salud a Flote,” Radio program segments every Thursday of every month with the objective of educating communities in Puerto Rico on topics related to mental health and substance use disorders. www.saludaflote.com