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Latinx Advisory Council

Latinx Advisory Council

The 2020 WSMA House of Delegates passed policy establishing a Latinx Advisory Council within the WSMA, beginning in 2021. The Latinx Advisory Council will provide a forum in which Latinx physicians and physician assistants can support each other professionally, recruit other Latinx physicians, and develop and inform advocacy strategies within the WSMA.

Questions? Write Lauren Fielder at to let us know about your interest in the section.

WSMA Latinx Section Informational Webinar

All physicians and physician assistants, whether a WSMA member or nonmember, were welcome to attend an informational meeting on May 20, 2021, featuring Leo Morales, MD, PhD, and Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD. Watch the video of the informational meeting above.


Leo Morales, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean with the Office for Healthcare Equity and Co-Director of the Latino Center for Health at the University of Washington. Dr. Morales received his medical degree and master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington, and his doctorate in policy analysis from the Rand Graduate School. He completed a residency in primary care internal medicine at the San Francisco General Hospital/UCSF and a fellowship in primary care research at UCLA. Dr. Morales’s research focuses on Latino Health, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health and the measurement of patient-reported outcomes in diverse communities. Dr. Morales was the Principal Investigator of the Washington State Latino Physician Workforce study and lead author of the report, Today's Changes for Serving Tomorrow's Diverse Communities: Increasing the Latino Physician Workforce NOW.

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, MD, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC Davis Health and the Director of the Community Engagement Program of the UCD Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC). He is a past member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He is Past Chair of the Board of Directors of Mental Health America (MHA; formerly the National Mental Health Association) and Past President of the Board of Directors of NAMI California. He is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) - Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), and board member of the California Health Care Foundation, Physicians for a Health California, and the Public Health Institute. He was recently appointed to the California COVID-19 Vaccine Drafting Guidelines Workgroup with the charge of drafting guidelines for the prioritization of supplies of available COVID-19 vaccines. He is a national and international expert on health and mental health comorbidities on diverse populations. Over the last 25 years, he has held several World Health Organization (WHO) and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) advisory board and consulting appointments and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of WHO’s World Mental Health Survey Consortium (WMH) and its Coordinator for Latin America overseeing population-based national surveys of Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, a regional survey of Brazil, and two surveys of the Medellín, Colombia.

Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola’s applied research program has focused on identifying unmet mental health needs and associated risk and protective factors to better understand and meet population mental health needs and achieve equity in health and mental health disparities in underserved populations. He is also very active translating health, mental health and substance abuse research knowledge into practical information that is of public health value to consumers, service administrators, and policy makers. He is the on-site principal investigator of and conducted the Mexican American Prevalence and Services Survey (MAPSS) – the second largest mental health study done in the U.S. on Mexican Americans funded by NIMH and the largest population-based comprehensive study done on farmworkers’ mental health, which also included Mixtecos. In the MAPSS study, he identified the most prevalent health and mental health disorders in the Mexican-origin population in California’s Fresno County and reported that the rate of disorders increases the longer the individual resides in the U.S and demonstrated that children of immigrants have even greater rates of mental disorders. From the results of this study, the research team developed a model of service delivery that increased access to mental health services among the Central Valley’s low-income, underserved, rural populations. He is a Multiple Principal Investigator (MPI) on two National Institute of Health-funded ÓRALE COVID-19! project (a part of the RADx-UP national initiative) and the UC Davis STOP COVID-19 CA (a part of the CEAL national initiative) focusing his work primarily on farmworkers.

Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is the author of more than 190 scientific publications. He is the recipient of multiple awards including the Vanderbilt University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Medal of Congress (“Medalla de la Cámara de Diputados”) of Chile for work related to mental health research, the DHHS' Office of Minority Health's 2005 National Minority Health Community Leader Award (Hispanic Community), Washington, DC, the 2007 UC Davis Academic Senate Scholarly Distinguished Service Award, the 2008 Latino Mental Health Conference Excellence in Science and Research Award from NYU Univ., the 2009 National Award of Excellence in Blending Research and Practice from the National Hispanic Science Network, the 2012-2013 UC Davis Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity and Community in the Academic Senate category, the 2014 National Award of Excellence in Public Service by the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, the 2016 Dean's Award for Excellence in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion - Community Engagement, UC Davis School of Medicine and was named a distinguished member of the Top 10 U.S. Latino Physicians in the May, 2016 issue of Latino Leaders Magazine. More recently, he received the 2018 UC Davis Health Dean's Team Award for Inclusion Excellence, along with the Center for Reducing Health Disparities Team for outstanding multidisciplinary team contributions in the area of community engagement, the 2018 NAMI California Multicultural Outreach Excellence Award, the 2018 Mental Health California’s Research and Health Disparities Award, and the 2018 Mental Health California’s Research and Health Disparities Award. In September 2020, he received the Ohtli Award, the highest honor granted by the Mexican government to individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the well-being of Mexicans, Mexican Americans and other Latinos in the US and abroad.

Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola was a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM/NRC) Committee on Depression, Parenting Practices, and the Health Development of Young Children (2007-2009) report and a member of the IOM/NRC Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise (2010) report. He is currently serving as co-chair of the Steering Committee of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Assessing Meaningful Community Engagement in Health and Health Care, a project of the NAM Leadership Consortium and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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