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APM is 1 of 6 Organizations Improving Their Neighborhood with Community Connectors 1/2/2020

January 7, 2020


APM is 1 of 6 Organizations Improving Their Neighborhood with Community Connectors

LISC Philadelphia’s Community Connectors Program and Institute trains residents who are employed by participating community-based organizations in North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia.

The Community Connectors Program and Institute is a part of LISC Philadelphia’s community development efforts to engage neighborhood residents. LISC, a national community development organization, has offices across the country. LISC Philadelphia provides funding and technical assistance to the program, which is made up of six community-based organizations:

Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM)


Impact Services Corporation

New Kensington CDC (NKCDC)

People’s Emergency Center

The Village of Arts & Humanities

The organizations identify potential Connectors from their volunteers. When a volunteer accepts the position, they are referred to the institute.


To Read the Article Click Here: 

APM Medical Director contributes to Psychiatric News 1/1/2020

January 6, 2020

APM for Everyone’s very own Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera contributed to the nationally publised Psychiatric News that was released on January 1, 2020.  The article is titled “APA Foundation Revamps Program To Help Students With MH Problems”.  The American Psychiatric Association Foundation’s Typical or Troubled? program educates school personnel on the warning signs of mental health problems in students and how to help.  The redeveloped Typical or Troubled? program includes an electronic learning module so participants can ask more informed questions during the in-person training session, says Hector Colon-Rivera, M.D.  Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera stated “We’re here to prevent mental illness, not just treat mental illness,”


Click Here to Read the Article: 


Ally Financial Donates 450+ Toys to APM

December 11, 2019

Photo taken by Christina Figueroa on 12/10/19

APM is very grateful for the very generous donation provided by Ally Financial.  Since Monday, December 1o, 2019 we have received toy shipments from Ally Financial which equates to 450+ toys and youth financial literacy books.  The thoughtfulness to help others is always appreciated and we are thankful for Ally Financial.  The many children within our foster care, resource homes and early childhood education centers are going to be excited.

Lamont Jefferson Named as Winner of the 2019 Hubsmith Safe Routes Champion Award

October 22, 2019

The Safe Routes Partnership is proud to announce Lamont Jefferson of Philadelphia as the winner of the 2019 Hubsmith Safe Routes Champion Award. This national award recognizes outstanding leadership and vision, impact on advancing Safe Routes to School, and skills in building coalitions and political will to ensure safe, healthy, and equitable outcomes for children and community members. The award is given in honor of Deb Hubsmith, founding director of the Safe Routes Partnership, who dedicated her life and career to building the Safe Routes to School movement.

Click Here to Read Article


APM Newsletter September 2019

October 10, 2019


APM Joins Aetna at the Food Trust’s Market at Cherry Street Pier 

Vote for APM in the Aetna Voices of Health Competition!


On September 14th, Pradera Corporation, a subsidiary of APM, hosted a table at The Food Trust’s Market at Cherry Street Pier, presented by Aetna.  APM was invited by Aetna to be a part of the Market day as one of five local “Aetna Voices of Health” contestants.  Materials on APM programs were available for pickup, and staff from the Pradera Corporation were on hand to answer questions about their programs.

As one of five regional winners in the “Aetna Voices of Health” competition, APM is in the running for a top prize of $20,000.  Aetna is asking for the public’s vote to determine the top winner.

Please Click Here to VOTE for APM

You are able to VOTE up to 4 times each day by using email, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts.  Vote today and every day through Oct. 13 for APM!

 APM “Floats” in the Puerto Rican Day Parade


APM proudly participated in the Puerto Rican Day Parade on September 29.  On a beautiful, sunny Sunday, APM & Pradera Corporation

staff waved flags from their colorfully-decorated float, and danced to the sounds of musica tipica by Sabor Boricua Group.

Please Click Here to See Our Float

 Food Buying Club receives support from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health


The Philadelphia Department of Public Health, in partnership with the Reinvestment Fund, recently launched the “New Food Justice Initiative,” a grant program to support community projects that advance food justice.  A community exercising “food justice” is one that is carrying out its right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food.   APM is one of six organizations that were recently selected for funding under this initiative.

APM will use the grant to re-launch its Food Buying Club (FBC).  During its 3 years of operation, the FBC served over 600 households in North Philadelphia, giving these families the opportunity to acquire fresh fruits and vegetables that they otherwise could not afford. The funding received under the New Food Justice Initiative will permit APM to build a sustainable model that increases access to healthy fruits and vegetables in our community and establishes successful partnerships with local produce vendors and suppliers.

Thank you to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Reinvestment Fund for their support of the APM Food Buying Club!

APM’s President & CEO Nilda Ruiz interviewed for Enfoque segment on Hurricane Maria Anniversary


A recent episode of Telemundo 62’s Enfoque highlighted the situation in Puerto Rico on the Second Anniversary of Hurricane Maria.  During the program, Enfoque host Syrmarie Villalobos interviewed Nilda Ruiz, President & CEO of APM, on Philadelphia’s ongoing support to those impacted by the storm.

APM Medical Director Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera Interviewed for
Orgullo Latino Segment

APM Medical Director Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera was interviewed by Syrmarie Villalobos on Telemundo 62 for the Orgullo Latino Segment.  Dr. Colon-Rivera spoke about his humble upbringing and his evolution into his profession.

Please Click Here to watch the interview on Telemundo 62

Pradera Corporation and APM Participate in the Feria

On September 8th, APM was honored take part in the 35th Annual Feria del Barrio, held on the 2600 block of North Fifth Street.  The Feria was a collaboration between Taller Puertorriqueño, APM, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, HACE, and Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas.  APM was proud to be a sponsor of the VIP food section.

The Pradera Corporation, a subsidiary of APM that provides foster care, kinship care, and treatment foster care training for parents across the Philadelphia region, also had a table at the Feria, where staff were available to answer questions about becoming a Resource Parent.

APM Medical Director Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera co-author of article published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

A recent peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs summarizes the clinical benefit and risks of three FDA approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) in the youth. APM Medical Director Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera co-authored the report, “Medications for Maintenance Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder in Adolescents: A Narrative Review and Assessment of Clinical Benefits and Potential Risks.” Dr. Colon-Rivera noted that the three medications – methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone – may be useful in the treatment of adolescents with OUD and that there is a need to improve the access to these medications and to increase the work force capacity to care for the youth.  In discussing the article, Dr. Colon-Rivera commented, “The treatment for opioid use disorder works, but is underused. It is alarming that less than 1% of pediatricians are treating this condition. When prescribing medications for OUD in adolescents, health professionals need to become familiar with clinical practices that are unique for this age range.”


Please Click Here to Read the Article

Gift of Love

SAVE THE DATE for the 2019 GIFT of LOVE

When: November 21, 2019

Where: Union Trust, 717 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

APM Newsletter August 2019

August 26, 2019

APM Honored as Northeast Affiliate of the Year

2019 UnidosUS Northeast Regional Affiliate of the Year
2019 UnidosUS Northeast Regional Affiliate of the Year 2019 UnidosUS Northeast Regional Affiliate of the Year

APM is excited to be named the 2019 UnidosUS Northeast Regional Affiliate of the Year, a program Ford Motor Company Fund has been supporting for more than ten years. APM received the Regional Affiliate of the Year Award during the UnidosUS Conference in San Diego this August 3-6

Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Aetna Voices of Health Competition 2019

APM was honored to be selected as a local “Aetna Voices of Health” contestant in the Philadelphia community, one of five organizations  in the region to be selected.  Aetna’s Voices of Health program recognizes non-profit organizations that are actively improving the health of their communities by addressing the social determinants of health that lead to emergent patterns of health inequalities across populations. APM is one of five regional winners in the competition. Aetna is asking the public to determine the top organization from Philadelphia, and that organization will be awarded a $20,000 grand prize.

Please join APM and Aetna at The Food Trust’s Market at Cherry Street Pier on September 14th. APM will host a table with information on their programs, and the public will have an opportunity to vote for APM. Online voting begins on September 9th.  Please go to www.aetnavoicesofhealth.com to cast your vote.

Pradera Corporation Participates in National Night Out

National Night Out 2019
National Night Out 2019 National Night Out 2019

Pradera Corporation, a subsidiary of APM that provides foster care, kinship care, and treatment foster care training for parents across the Philadelphia region, participated in 16 National Night Out events on August 5th, August 6th, and August 10th. Pradera staff conducted extensive outreach throughout the Philadelphia region to raise awareness of services provided and to recruit potential Resource Parents. The outreach resulted in over 144 families expressing an interest in becoming Resource Parents.

Philly Counts 2020 Census Champion Training


Philly Counts 2020 is the City’s effort to support the next United States Census. APM is partnering with Philly Counts on this initiative, and will host a training session for “Census Champions” on September 17th (Constitution Day) in the Community Room at 1900 North 9th Street. The training is a 90-minute session designed to equip people with the knowledge to effectively and accurately answer questions about the 2020 Census. Philly Counts has a goal of training 1,000 Champions, with a focus on persons who can speak in English, Spanish and/or Mandarin.

You can register for the Census Champion training at http://ow.ly/NUfc50vJS1K   For more information, email Philly Counts at census@phila.gov.

March to Remember

Puerto Rico flag

On September 21, APM will participate in the March to Remember the victims of Hurricane Maria. Participants will gather at 10:00 AM at the North Apron of City Hall and unfurl a 60 x 40-foot Puerto Rican flag. At 11:00 AM, participants will march up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Washington Monument statue in front of the Art Museum to commemorate those who died and to remind the world that Puerto Rico is still suffering. Governor Wolf and Senator Casey are also expected to attend and we will help register people to vote.

Last call for Preschool – Only a Few Spaces Available

Pre-K Fall 2019
Limited Space is still available for APM’s 2019 Pre-K program this Fall. For more information call 215.839.3313.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with APM


Learn more about our participation in our post >> select here

Save the date for Gift of Love

Gift of Love

Join us on Thursday evening, November 21! Learn more about this year’s event >> select here.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with APM!

August 21, 2019

Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15)

During Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), we celebrate the rich histories, varied cultures, and important contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans.  There is a lot to see and do in the city through the month, and we at APM are proud to participate in a number of events:

  • The 35th Annual Feria del Barrio will be held on Sunday, September 8, from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM on the 2600 block of North Fifth Street between Huntington and Somerset Streets. Feria is a collaboration between Taller Puertorriqueño, APM, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, HACE, and Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas. APM is honored to support Taller Puertorriqueño in this wonderful, free feria open to the community.  Come visit us at our table at 2637 North Fifth Street to pick up information about our many programs!
  • The Puerto Rican Day Parade is on Sunday, September 29, from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Join us along the Parkway as we cheer on the thousands of Parade participants!

Hope to see you during Hispanic Heritage Month!

Effort to Alleviate Pain Now Causing Pain for Millions

July 30, 2019

It Started As an Effort to Alleviate Pain…And Now It’s Causing Pain for Millions

If you’ve been in a doctor’s office in the last twenty years, you’ve probably seen it. It’s a chart of cartoon faces ranging from big smiles to frowns and grimaces. It first debuted in the mid-1990s, and it’s still used today to help patients describe the degree of pain they are experiencing to their doctors. The debut of the Wong-Baker Face Scale occurred at roughly the same time makers of pain-relieving medications known as “opioids” were assuring doctors that their products were safe and rewarding doctors who prescribed their products with trips to pain management seminars and other incentives.

For the next twenty years, pain management would be all the rage. Doctors who successfully managed their patients’ pain were given awards and celebrated. By 2011, doctors were writing nearly 238 million prescriptions for opioids each year. And the companies that manufactured and sold drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet got rich.

This Decade

It wasn’t until 2010 that the medical community realized something was amiss. Heroin deaths were on the rise, and nearly 80% of heroin users reported first misusing prescription opioids. No longer able to get opioids from their doctor, people who became addicted turned to the street – and to heroin – to get high. With the introduction of synthetic opioids like Fentanyl to the marketplace three years ago, we now find ourselves consumed by a full-blown epidemic. What started as an effort by doctors to manage pain for their patients has turned into people dying by the thousands in Philadelphia.

At the very heart of the opioid epidemic sits Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM). With a Behavioral Health Center right on 5th and Allegheny, APM currently sits right on the front lines.

And their leadership wouldn’t have it any other way. “APM has been working to address substance abuse issues in Philadelphia for nearly 50 years,” said CEO Nilda Ruiz. “In fact, APM was the first agency in Philadelphia to provide treatment for drug and alcohol rehabilitation designed specifically for the Latino population.”

Working alongside Ms. Ruiz is Dr. Cheryl Pope, a 9-year veteran who has seen first-hand how the opioid epidemic has changed the very fabric of the community. “The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis,” says Dr. Pope, “and it affects the whole family. When one family member is abusing drugs, it has a domino effect. We see children with anxiety, because their home environment isn’t stable. We see grandparents raising children grappling with additional stressors and depression.”

Building Strength

To bolster Dr. Pope’s team, APM recently recruited Dr. Hector Colon-Rivera. Dr. Colon-Rivera joined the APM team in February as the new Medical Director of the agency’s Behavioral Health Programs, with a goal of expanding the agency’s capacity to deal with the opioid crisis. As the co-founder and Co-Chair of CrearConSalud Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports and conducts non-partisan research, educational activities, and advocacy to increase public awareness of mental health and substance use disorders in Puerto Rico and the Latino/ community in the United States, he is a veteran of the war against opioid addiction.

Dr. Pope, Dr. Colon-Rivera, and their team of psychiatrists, health care providers, therapists, case workers, and peer support specialists agree that in order to combat the opioid crisis in Philadelphia treatment has to be holistic, comprehensive, and culturally-sensitive.

Nearly 3500 people seek APM’s help each year. Many are addicts in need of drug and/or alcohol treatment services. Others are family members in need of family therapy or support services as a result of a loved one’s addiction. APM’s professional staff recognizes the inter-connectedness of the families in Philadelphia and how the opioid crisis seems to seep through every crack weakening the foundation of the community.

“People come to us with a complexity of needs beyond just the presenting problem,” according to Dr. Pope. “No matter the point of entry, treatment can’t be successful if a strong foundation isn’t there.”

Making Real Change Happen — Community Wide

And building a strong foundation is a key element of APM’s core mission. As the Behavioral Health team works to address specific issues caused by the opioid epidemic, the organization’s other departments are working collaboratively to address many of the wider issues affecting the larger community. Family Services works to ensure children grow up in the safe, stable and nurturing environment they need to thrive. Housing Services works to provide financial counseling and affordable housing. Community Services works to combat income inequality and gentrification that continues to change the very nature of the communities in which they work.

“The issues faced by our community are large, complicated, and deeply intertwined,” says APM President and CEO Nilda Ruiz. “Only by taking a multi-pronged approach can we get to the root of our challenges and make real change happen.”

With 50 years of experience combatting drug addiction and related issues, APM shows no signs of letting up. The opioid crisis may have taken hold in Philadelphia, but the Behavioral Health team at APM is poised and ready to help. If you or someone you love needs help, all you need to do is ask. Call APM at 267-296-7200. Visit APM at www.apmphila.org. Follow APM on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Reach out. APM’s Behavioral Health Services Team is for everyone – including you.

Gift of Love Children’s Benefit: November 21, 2019

July 29, 2019

Save the Date!

2019 Gift of Love
Thursday, November 21, 2019
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Union Trust, 717 Spring Garden Street

The APM Gift of Love Children’s Benefit is an annual gathering that celebrates bringing love, hope, and happiness to disadvantaged children and their families throughout the Philadelphia area. Each year, funds from the Benefit are used to provide a memorable holiday experience for nearly 6,000 children and their families, through a week of up to 12 holiday parties at nine APM locations. Each party features food and drink, along with musical entertainment and a “Winter Wonderland” featuring Santa’s Workshop. In addition, new, age-appropriate toys are purchased for the children, and each child has the opportunity to pick which toy she or he wants. APM is able to give this experience to children and their families because of the generous support provided through the Gift of Love Children’s Benefit.

For information about sponsorship, ads or tickets contact Felix Moulier, External Affairs Coordinator at 267.296.7335 or via email at felix.moulier@apmphila.org.

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