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Former professor directs BestCare Hispanic program

by: Photo Ted Viramonte - Harry Zorrilla, director of BestCare's Hispanic treatment center.


   Harry Zorrilla is the new director of BestCare Treatment Services' Programa de Recuperaci¢n de Madras, Oregon's only statewide all-Spanish residential addiction recovery center.
   Zorrilla, 51, and a native of Arequipa, Peru, stepped into the role of PRM program director Nov. 1, 2007, after spending the previous six years with ChangePoint, an alcohol and drug addictions treatment services in the Portland metropolitan area.
   "We are excited that Harry is a member of the BestCare team," said executive director Rick Treleaven. "We are quite fortunate because he is a highly-skilled clinician who shows strong leadership in a management role. There aren't that many management positions available for Latinos in behavioral health and we hope Harry can be a strong leader around the state."
   Zorrilla had a previous history of sorts with PRM. While at ChangePoint, he had difficulty finding a residential facility that met the language and cultural needs of his clients.
   "People kept telling me to send them to Madras," Zorrilla explained. "I called and talked to Oglivia (Pi¤eda, PRM senior counselor), who explained the services. When the clients I sent returned, they reported how great the Madras program was."
   While Zorrrilla admits leaving ChangePoint was a difficult decision, he understood the position at PRM -- in which he also serves as a counselor, both group and one on one -- was a big opportunity.
   "I'm really happy to be working here. I like working with the people," Zorrilla said, adding, "I like Madras. It's really quiet, the people are very respectful and there's more sun here."
   Things weren't always so sunny for the former professor of psychology at the University de San Martin de Porres in Lima, Peru. Zorrilla spent four years teaching at the university, supplementing his 20 years of private practice counseling in marriage, domestic violence and addiction treatment.
   But in 1980, the Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso, began a brutal campaign to overthrow the government. Civil unrest was further fomented by a smaller terrorist group known as Tupac Amaros.
   By this time, Zorrilla also owned and managed a small clothing company employing up to 30 people.
   The insurgents, with their strong Communist bent, moved to eliminate educators and private business owners, which left Zorrilla doubly vulnerable.
   His sister, living in the Portland area, applied to the U.S. government for Zorrilla's residential status.
   He arrived in 1999 with barriers in both language and culture. That didn't stop him from taking manufacturing work for about a year-and-a-half before answering a newspaper ad placed by the Domestic Violence Resource Center in Hillsboro, seeking volunteers counseling Latino women.
   "I was the first male to facilitate the women's victim of domestic violence therapy group," Zorrilla stated. "The DVRC director watched me for about four months and liked my style. He hired me full time and I worked there for a year before going to ChangePoint."
   But now it's PRM and Zorrilla is clear on what he sees as a vision for that program. He wants to make sure staff has the professional development and preparation needed to deliver services.
   "I also want to improve our outpatient services. I want outpatient services to grow and hope to establish outpatient groups in Redmond and Prineville," Zorrilla said.