Kiara Alvarez, PhD is an Instructor and Research Scientist in the Disparities Research Unit in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Alvarez is a Policy Research Fellow of the program jointly conducted by the Implementation Research Institute and IDEAS Center, funded by an ALACRITY Center grant. Dr. Alvarez completed her psychology internship training at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and received her doctorate from the APA-accredited School Psychology program at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Literature from Harvard University. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Dr. Alvarez’s research and clinical work focus on improving child and adolescent behavioral health outcomes, with an emphasis on Latinx and immigrant youth and their families. She has particular interests in the prevention of suicidal behavior and in the integration of behavioral health care across clinical and community settings serving youth. Dr. Alvarez is the principal investigator of an NIMH-funded career development award that focuses on using family-based strategies to prevent suicide among immigrant-origin youth. She is also co-principal investigator of a mixed methods participatory research project using the PhotoVoice method to elicit youth perspectives on their communities, and collaborates on multiple studies focused on identifying and reducing behavioral health disparities.