Department of Psychiatry

Lazos Fuertes: Health Care for Latino Families

En Español

Mission of Service

The mission of Lazos Fuertes is to improve the health of Latino families in the Rochester area by providing access to quality bilingual/bicultural health care services. In addition, Lazos Fuertes is designed to benefit the Latino community through the training of future bilingual/bicultural Family therapists and to benefit the community through conducting research to develop new and effective treatments.

Lazos Fuertes Professional Staff and Faculty

Program & Medical Director
Telva E. Olivares, M.D.

Lorena Billone
Diana Lerner
Leticia Ruiz

Marriage and Family Faculty
Pieter LeRoux, Ph.D.

Case Management
Debra Ramirez

Administrative Support Staff
Karen Shingleton
Marilyn Rivas
Kathleen Kusak

Types of Services Provided

Evaluation and Assessment Services – Patients will receive a complete diagnostic interview with a psychiatrist and therapist who will identify the specific type and level of service required for each patient.

Crisis Outpatient Psychiatric Services (COPS) – Follow up psychiatric care will be provided to individual patients and/or families referred from any of the city’s hospitals within 7-10 days of their visit or discharge.

Individual Therapy – Each patient will be assigned a primary therapist who will meet individually with patients to monitor symptoms and discuss mental health concerns. Depending on the patient’s need, various modalities of therapy might be utilized.

Pharmacotherapy – Each patient will meet with a psychiatrist to monitor the effects of specialized medications in treating mental health problems.

Family Therapy – Individuals and families meet with a therapist to focus on the difficulties that exist within a family.

Couples Therapy – Psychotherapy with couples to address communication and relationship issues that exist between them.

Group Therapy – Individuals with similar mental health concerns meet with a therapist to discuss these issues.

Family Education and Support – Family members meet with a therapist to learn about an individual’s illness or difficulties.

Adolescent Psychiatric Services – Adolescents, ages 14 and older, with emotional will receive a complete psychiatric evaluation and treatment plan recommendations.

Case Management Services – These services are available for those individuals in need of ongoing assistance with securing health insurance and transportation because of their mental illness.

Special Features of Service

The Latino community is the fastest-growing segment of Rochester, New York’s population. A steady flow of immigrants has increased Rochester’s Latino population by 48% since 1990. Despite this growth, economic and cultural barriers have blocked the Latino community’s access to basic health services. The 1999 study, Nuestra Salud, found that Latinos receive disproportionately fewer mental health services in part due to geographical barriers, language barriers and lack of access to outpatient psychiatric services.

Lazos Fuertes represents a unique partnership between the University of Rochester and the Ibero-American Action League, Inc. Through generous contributions of city businesses and charitable foundations, Lazos Fuertes was created to meet the behavioral health care needs of our Latino community.

Located in the Ibero-American Action League Inc. building, the heart of the Latino community, Lazos Fuertes has been shaped to deliver culturally competent care through a team of bilingual/bicultural professionals. Staffed by a team of psychiatrists, therapists, case managers and administrative support staff, Lazos Fuertes is meant to deliver health care services that are accessible, comprehensive and cost-effective.


Key Leadership Names: Program & Medical Director
Telva E. Olivares, M.D.
Contact Information: 300 Crittenden Boulevard
Rochester, New York 14642
(585) 276-4414
Hours of Operation: For appointments and other information regarding our services, please contact our Intake Coordinator, at (585) 276-4414, weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

More Information