Skip to:

Alex Ortega



DepartmentsType of Faculty
Health Policy and ManagementFull Time
Contact Information

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health / Department of Health Policy and Management / 31-299A CHS

Areas of Interest: 
  • Epidemiological Methods in Health Services Research
  • Health Needs of Latino Children and Families
  • Health Disparities Intervention Research
  • Youth Engagement in Community Interventions       

Alex Ortega, an epidemiologist and health services researcher, is Professor of Health Policy and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA.  Professor Ortega is the Director and Principal Investigator of the UCLA Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, an NHLBI-funded P50 center that aims to understand and intervene on cardiovascular disease disparities among Latinos in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights in California. He is also the Associate Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Previously, he was the Director of the UCLA Institute for Social Research (ISR).

Ortega is an internationally recognized 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 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.

Before joining the UCLA faculty in 2004, Ortega was Assistant Professor of Health Policy at Yale University. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, a Senior Research Associate at the W.M. Krogman Center for Research in Child Growth and Development at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Senior Scholar in Residence in the Center for Primary Care Research at the Agency for Health Care Research & Quality (AHRQ).

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. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Nationally Known Public Health Professional Award by the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University School of Public Health. 

M.P.H., Boston University
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Selected Publications: 
  1. Ortega AN, Rodriguez H, Vargas Bustamante A. Policy dilemmas in Latino health care and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Annual Review of Public Health 2015;36:525-544.
  2. Ortega AN, Albert SL, Sharif MZ, Langellier BA, Garcia RE, Glik DC, Brookmeyer R, Chan-Golston A, Friedlander S, Prelip M. Proyecto MercadoFRESCO: A multi-level, community-engaged corner store intervention in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights,Journal of Community Health 2015;40:347-356. PMCID:PMC4348161
  3. Langellier B, Chen J, Vargas-Bustamante A, Inkelas M, Ortega AN. Understanding health care access and utilization disparities for Latino children in the U.S. Journal of Child Health Care in press. PMCID: PMC4430463 [Available on 2016-05-13]
  4. Jandasek B, Ortega AN, McQuaid EL, Koinis-Mitchell D, Fritz GK, Kopel SJ, Seifer R, Klein RB, Canino G. Access to and use of asthma health services among Latino children: The Rhode Island-Puerto Rico Asthma Center study. Medical Care Research & Review 2011;68:683-698. PMCID: PMC3266228
  5. Feldman JM, Acosta E, McQuaid EL, Goodwin RD, Canino G, Ortega AN. The role of caregiver major depression in the relationship between anxiety disorders and asthma attacks in island Puerto Rican youth and young adults. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2011;199:313-318. PMCID: PMC3090724
  6. Vargas-Bustamante A, Chen J, Rodriguez HP, Rizzo JA, Ortega AN. Use of preventive care services among Latino subgroups. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2010;38:610-619.
  7. Feldman JM, Ortega AN, Koinis-Mitchell D, Kuo AA, Canino G. Child and family psychiatric and psychological factors associated with child physical health problems: Results from the Boricua Study. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2010;198:272-279. PMCID: PMC2958697.
  8. 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.
  9. 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(21):2354-2360.
  10. Ortega AN, Feldman JM, Canino G, Steinman K, Alegría M. Co-occurrence of mental and physical illness in U.S. Latinos. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 2006;41:927-34. PMCID: PMC2791952.


Additional Materials (Downloads):