Iniciativa Comunitaria De Investigación (ICI), Inc. Recipient of the FBI 2016 Director’s Community Leadership Award
SAN JUAN, PR—On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Douglas A. Leff, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) San Juan Field Office, presented Ms. Yorelys Rivera of non-profit organization “Iniciativa Comunitaria de Investigación (ICI), Inc.” (Community Initiative of Investigation, Inc. in English) with the 2016 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). On Friday, April 28, 2017, FBI Director James B. Comey, Jr. will present Ms. Rivera with the award during a formal ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Community Leadership Award was created in 1990 to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and civil rights education and prevention. The FBI presents the award to community leaders who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service.
In the late 1980’s, Dr. José A. Vargas Vidot, together with a group of HIV / AIDS patients and community representatives, recognized the lack of resources available to the Puerto Rican community pertaining to HIV/AIDS prevention and education. Traditionally, HIV positive patients had the option of undergoing Azidothymidine (AZT) treatment; however, Dr. Vargas Vidot and his team felt the need of exploring other outreach options that focused on non-traditional medical practices through means of education, prevention, and treatment.
In 1990, this movement gave birth to a non-profit organization known today as Iniciativa Comunitaria de Investigación (ICI), Inc. In 1992, following its incorporation with the State Department, ICI began the development and implementation of health services programs for HIV/AIDS prevention for at risk groups such as sex workers, high-risk women, drug users, and the homeless. In 1998, ICI initiated drug rehabilitation services by creating programs with comprehensive services ranging from detoxification and rehabilitation with the goal of having their patients fully reintegrate to a normal “drug-free” lifestyle. In addition, ICI continues to partner with several communities, expanding preventive and educative programs to families and at risk youth which are exposed in their day by day to illicit drugs and/or other substances.
For the past quarter-century, ICI has educated, provided health services and rehabilitation to over 200,000 residents in Puerto Rico. ICI will continue their humanitarian work and will not rest until the quality of life of the people affected improves.