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  • Featuring Alex Ortega. Ph.D., Professor of Public Health + Director, Institute for Social Research, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Camera Crew: South LA HEAC Youth Ambassadors (Magali Bravo, Jonathan Contreras, Britanni Marie Dighero, Selma Lozoya, Cameron McCaa, Adriana Moreno, Josue Moreno, Jessica Orellana, Liliana Pineda, Andrea Vazquez)
  • Produced by Public Matters
  • Production Assistance: Sharlene Gozalians, Arianna Taboada


Alex Ortega is Professor of Health Services in the UCLA School of Public Health and Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Professor Ortega is also the director of research programs in the Department of Health Services, associate director of the UCLA Center for Eliminating Health Disparities, and a faculty affiliate in the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. He has taught graduate courses in health services research methods, health care disparities, and foundations of health behavior and health promotion. Professor Ortega is an expert on the application of epidemiological methods in health services research, and his work focuses on the physical and mental health and medical needs of Latino children and their families.

He has led federally-funded studies on co-morbid asthma and mental health problems in Latino children, and he has conducted research in understanding medical care delivery issues for Latino children and children receiving Medicaid. He has also published health research on the homeless, veterans, and undocumented immigrants. His work appears in prominent medical and health services research journals, such as Pediatrics, Medical Care, American Journal of Psychiatry, and the Archives of Internal Medicine. He is an active member of federal advisory committees and community organizations.

Before joining the UCLA faculty, Professor Ortega was Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University and an Associate Professor of Public Health at The Ohio State University. He has also been a Senior Research Associate at the W.M. Krogman Center for Research in Child Growth and Development at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Ortega holds a B.A. in economics from the University of New Mexico, an M.P.H. in epidemiology and biostatistics from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in epidemiologic science from the University of Michigan.