National Hispanic Heritage Month

Embracing Equity

National Hispanic and Latino ATTC/PTTC

The Hispanic population in the United States is the largest ethnic minority with over 60.6 million people (Ramirez, A.G., 2021). This year's theme for Hispanic Heritage Month, "Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation," imparts the reinforcement of diverse voices and perspectives in building stronger connections. From September 15 through October 15, we celebrate the Hispanic/Latino and Latinx cultures, focusing on the heritage of our diverse citizens from the Latin American countries of Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.

Our teams at the National Hispanic Latino Addiction Technology Transfer Center (NHL-ATTC) and the NHL Prevention Technology Transfer Center (NHL-PTTC) honor our culture during the month by promoting diversity and the success of the contributions Hispanic Americans have made throughout history. Just this month we hosted our National Latino Behavioral Health Conference on September 15th and 16th at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, which coincided with the beginning of Hispanic Heritage month. The conference agenda highlighted the innovative, culturally responsive, and linguistically appropriate workshops from across our regional centers, networks, and collaborators. Collaborative efforts by the NHL-ATTC and PTTC have produced three exciting products for Year 4 focused on workforce development of behavioral health providers serving and working with Hispanic/Latino/Latinx communities.

Some of our series in September included:

As we end fiscal year 4 of 5 with a menu of services for our Hispanic/Latino/Latinx serving agencies, we are proud to move forward with new collaborations on the horizon. We have plans for a national assessment in identifying the needs of our Spanish-speaking peer recovery specialists. Our podcast Latinos Con Voz, produced by our ATTC and PTTC team, created over six series, in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and will develop new episodes focused on suicide prevention, stimulant use treatment, and trauma informed care in rural communities. And our fifth issue of the National Hispanic & Latino PTTC | Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network ( is now available at our NHL ATTC/PTTC website.

With the development of these products, we promote and advocate for a shift in understanding an intersectional approach among providers, that considers structural and impactful factors in bridging health advocacy and social equality.


Goldman, N., Glei, D. A., & Weinstein, M. (2018). Declining mental health among disadvantaged Americans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(28), 7290-7295.

Ramirez, A. G., Lepe, R., & Cigarroa, F. (2021). Uplifting the Latino population from obscurity to the forefront of health care, public health intervention, and societal presence. JAMA, 326(7), 597-598.

Vahratian, A., Blumberg, S. J., Terlizzi, E. P., & Schiller, J. S. (2021). Symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder and use of mental health care among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic—United States, August 2020–February 2021. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 70(13), 490.

Author Bio

Dr. Susie Villalobos is the Director for the National Latino Hispanic Addiction and Prevention Technology Transfer Centers. Before joining NLBHA, Dr. Villalobos had worked with academic institutions and non-profits as a public advocate and researcher by implementing and managing clinical and socio-behavioral studies/programs. Her expertise in working with local, state and federal agencies stems from her associations with CBO’s focused on activities committed to focusing on health disparities among Latino populations living and working on the U.S.–Mexico Border. Dr. Villalobos in her capacity as Regional Evaluator for the State of Texas, in Public Health Region 10 provided leadership in data analysis, data optimization, policy analysis and forecasting. She is a 2020-2021 graduate from the National Hispanic Latino and National Latino Behavioral Health Leadership Academy. She is particularly passionate about tackling issues faced by Latino populations across, age, race, gender, and biographical location.

Dr. Villalobos received her doctorate degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from the Department of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology/focused on Community Counseling from the Department of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Copyright © 2024 Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network