Ricardo Cruz Receives DEIA Recognition Award

Assistant Professor of Medicine Ricardo Cruz, MD, MPH, MA has received the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIA) of the Year Award. The award recognizes those who have done an extraordinary job at addressing and improving diversity and fostering a culture of inclusion, equity and accessibility throughout the school community.

Head and shoulders of Dr. Cruz wearing white shirt with blue/red stripe tieCruz joined the faculty in 2014. His clinical work at Boston Medical Center (BMC) focuses on primary care and treatment of substance use disorders and viral hepatitis for vulnerable populations including racial and ethnic minority communities and individuals with history of criminal justice involvement. He also is a physician in the Faster Paths to Treatment, BMC’s innovative, low-barrier, substance use disorder bridge clinic.

His research interests include clinical innovations to address health and treatment disparities among people with substance use disorder. He was the principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health-funded Project RECOVER (Referral, Engagement, Coaching, Overdose preVention Education in Recovery), a project that utilizes peer recovery coaches to assist with engagement and retention of individuals with opioid use disorder into treatment and primary care services after completion of acute treatment services (detoxification). He has been a co-investigator on National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded randomized clinical trials testing medications for alcohol and cocaine use disorders.

Additionally, Cruz serves in the school’s Academy of Medical Educators where he teaches medical students during the preclinical doctoring courses with a focus on development of communication, physical exam, and clinical reasoning skills.

According to another colleague, Cruz educates medical students and residents on the health impact and inequities driven by the criminal justice system. “Dr. Cruz is known as an excellent clinical teacher and his educational scholarship is deeply tied to the values of antiracism.”