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Alex Ortega, Ph.D.

Alex Ortega Photo
Professor of Public Health
(310) 206-0199
(310) 825-3317


UCLA School of Public Health
Department of Health Services Box 951772
Los Angeles 90095-1772
Epidemiological Methods in Health Services Research
Health Needs of Latino Children and Families
Biographical Information: 

Alex Ortega, Ph.D., is Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry & Bio-behavioral Sciences at UCLA, and he is Director and Principal Investigator of the UCLA Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, a $10 million, 5 year-effort funded by the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study and reduce cardiovascular disease risk in East Los Angeles, California. He is also affiliated with the UCLA Centers for Healthier Children, Families and Communities and Culture and Health.

Professor Ortega is an internationally recognized expert on the application of epidemiological methods in health services research, and his work focuses on the physical, medical, and mental health needs of Latino children and their families both in the United States and in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He has also published health research on the homeless, military veterans, and undocumented immigrants. He is the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Nationally Known Public Health Professional Award by the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association.

Before joining the UCLA faculty, Professor Ortega held appointments in Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University and 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, a Senior Scholar in Residence in the Center for Primary Care Research at the Agency for Health Care Research & Quality, and a Visiting Professor at Columbia University. 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.

M.P.H., Boston University
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Selected Publications: 
Ortega AN, Rosenheck R. Posttraumatic stress disorder among Hispanic Vietnam veterans. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2000;157:615-619.
Ortega AN, Rosenheck R, Alegria M, Desai RA. Acculturation and the lifetime risk of psychiatric and substance use disorders among Hispanics. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2000;188(11):728-735.
Ortega AN, Huertas SE, Canino G, Ramirez R, Rubio-Stipec M. Childhood asthma, chronic illness, and psychiatric disorders. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2002;190:275-281.
Ortega AN, Goodwin RD, McQuaid EL, Canino G. Parental mental health, childhood psychiatric disorders, and asthma attacks in island Puerto Rican youth. Ambulatory Pediatrics, 2004;4:308-315.
Ortega AN, Feldman JM, Canino G, Steinman K, Alegria M. Co-occurrence of mental and physical illness in US Latinos. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2006;41:927-934.
Ortega AN, Fang H, Perez VH, Rizzo JA, Carter-Pokras O, Wallace SP, Gelberg L. Health care access, use of services, and experiences among undocumented Mexicans and other Latinos. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2007;167:2354-2360.
Ortega AN, Horwitz SM, Fang H, Kuo AA, Wallace SP, Inkelas M. Documentation status and parental concerns about development in young U.S. children of Mexican origin. Academic Pediatrics, 2009;9:278-282.
Perez VH, Fang H, Inkelas M, Kuo AA, Ortega AN. Access to and utilization of health care by subgroups of Latino children. Medical Care, 2009;47:695-699.
Vargas Bustamante A, Fang H, Rizzo JA, Ortega AN. Understanding observed and unobserved health care access and utilization disparities among U.S. Latino adults. Medical Care Research and Review, 2009;66:561-577.
Vargas Bustamante A, Chen J, Roriguez HP, Rizzo JA, Ortega AN. Use of preventive care services among Latino subgroups. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2010;38:610-619.

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