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Latinx Advisory Council
hands placed together in a huddle
A forum for Latinx physicians and PAs to support each other professionally, recruit other Latinx physicians, and develop and inform advocacy strategies.

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 Aaron Waldokoetter at aaron@wsma.org to let us know about your interest in the section.

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 Aaron Waldokoetter at aaron@wsma.org to let us know about your interest in the section.

Latinx Advisory Council Members

Mabel Bodell, MD

Mabel Bodell, MD
Nephrology, Wenatchee
Dr. Bodell, also known as “La Doctora Mabel”, was born in Argentina and moved to WA in 2014 after spending time on the east coast. Currently, she works as a nephrologist in the Wenatchee area and her interests include health and welfare of the entire community. She currently serves as co-chair of the HEDI (Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Council at Confluence Health and is the recipient of several awards, including the “Golden Tennis Shoe Award” from US Senator Patty Murray.

Brian Cedeño

Brian Cedeño
Medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine
Incoming Family Medicine resident at Swedish Cherry Hill- Carolyn Downs clinic
Husky 100
UW Latino Center for Health Fellow
Brian is a fourth year medical student at the University of Washington applying into family medicine. He aspires to work with underserved communities to improve health outcomes and reduce the incidence of preventable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, COPD.

Jose Flores-Rodarte, MD

Jose Carlos Flores-Rodarte, MD
Family medicine, HealthPoint SeaTac, Seattle
Dr. Flores-Rodarte was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and grew up in the Central Coast of California. He studied Philosophy & Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine before earning his M.D. and M.P.H with a focus in Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. He is currently Chief Resident at the University of Washington’s Family Medicine Residency and has interests in serving Spanish-speaking underserved populations, as well as health policy and healthcare administration.

Adriana Linares, MD

Adriana Linares, MD
Family Practice, PeaceHealth Family Medicine Southwest
Vancouver
Dr. Adriana Linares was born in Colombia and moved to the United States to pursue Public Health education. She earned a MPH and a Doctorate in Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, Texas. She moved to Brooklyn, NY to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship related to obesity and at the same time completed her residency in Family Medicine. Dr. Linares has worked on research and medicine for long time. She has special interest in working with women and underrepresented communities. She has been a faculty members for the last 16 years and currently she is the Associate Program Director of the PeaceHealth Family Medicine Southwest located in Vancouver, WA. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in Informatics with the idea of becoming board certified to learn more about the use of Electronic Health Records and the end-users' satisfaction with it. Dr. Linares like to travel, cook, read, study and learn more about Medicine. Her favorite character is Mickey Mouse and her house is full of little stuffed mice all over (different sizes)!!!

Vivienne Meljen, MD

Vivienne Meljen, MD
OBGYN, Sea Mar CHC - Vancouver Women's Health Clinic, Vancouver
Dr. Meljen is the daughter of Cuban immigrants, speaks Spanish and works as an OB-GYN at Sea-Mar Community Health Clinics in Vancouver, WA. She has a special interest in minimally-invasive gynecologic surgery including fibroids and endometriosis as well as adolescent gynecology. She completed her medical school at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine (NH) and residency training at Duke University Health System (NC) where she cared for high-risk, medically-complex, and diverse obstetric and gynecologic populations. She is trained and experienced in traditional abdominal, vaginal, laparoscopic, hysteroscopic, and robotic surgery. She believes in taking care of every patient as she would want her loved ones to be treated. Above all, her priority is to do the right thing for her patients, ensure that they receive the care they deserve, and empower them through shared decision-making.

Leo Morales, MD, PhD

Leo Morales, MD, PhD
Internal Medicine, University of Washington
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.

Jatniel Rodriguez

Jatniel Rodriguez
Medical Student, PNWU
Jatniel is a second-year medical student at PNWU. He is a passionate advocate for Latinx representation, equity, and active member of the Latin Medical Student Association at PNWU. His Dominican American background and commitment to serving underserved communities brings a unique perspective and drive to address issues of healthcare access and education. He is eager to collaborate with fellow committee members to advance diversity, inclusion, and access to quality care for Latinx and all individuals.

Maria Rojas, MD, MPH

Maria Rojas, MD, MPH
Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Franciscan Nephrology Associates at St. Joseph, Wenatchee
Maria Rojas, MD, MPH Double board-certified physician, Internal Medicine and Nephrology. Born and raise in Colombia where she went to medical school at University of El Rosario, she worked for 10 years as an emergency room physician, director of Tuberculosis program and chief medical officer for the subsidized regimen where she served a large internally displaced population. She finished a master’s in public health and international health in Amsterdam at the Royal Tropical Institute with a thesis on psychosocial impact of forced displacement in Colombia. Moved to the US in 2004 to start Internal medicine residency at Saint Elizabeth’s community hospital affiliated with Tufts university in Boston and subsequently Nephrology, Hypertension and transplantation fellowship at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has worked as an internist and nephrologist in Rochester, New York, Powell River British Columbia, Canada, Bellingham and most recently she is practicing Nephrology in Wenatchee, North central Washington. She has collaborated with grassroots movements in Wenatchee to address COVID vaccine hesitancy in the local latinx population. She strongly believes in a patient center approach to medical health care and the role of physicians as advocates to decrease health care disparities in minorities. She is currently part of Latinx Advisory Council where she hopes to have the opportunity for statewide networking with latinx providers to participate in needs assessment of Washington state latinx population and to work towards equitable healthcare resource allocation. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and pets, hiking, traveling, reading and dancing Latin music.

Katina Rue, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP

Katina Rue, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP
Family Medicine, Trios Health, Yakima
Dr. Rue was the first Latina and first Osteopathic president of the Washington State Medical Association, serving in that role from 2022-23. She leads the family medicine residency program at Trios Health in Kennewick, WA, in addition to serving on many state and regional boards and foundations. She is passionate about leadership, mentorship, community, and patient care. She strives to inspire future leaders to step into healthcare leadership, to let their voices be heard, and to confidently take a seat at the table. In her spare time, she is a farm wrangler along with her husband, Aureliano, at their farm in Yakima and dance mom to their 10-year-old daughter, Valeria.

Astrid Strasik, MD

Astrid Strasik, MD
Internal Medicine, UW Hospital System, Belltown, Seattle
Dr. Strasik is an internal medicine resident who is bilingual, as a native English and Spanish speaker. She is passionate about ensuring her patients feel heard and well cared for through the delivery of evidence-based, culturally-informed, compassionate healthcare. She seeks to partner with patients to optimize their health, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their goals. Her mission is to provide patients with the highest level of physical and emotional care and ultimately improve health outcomes for patients from all backgrounds. Her clinical interests include preventative medicine, chronic disease management, and auto-inflammatory disease. Dr. Strasik enjoys spending in time outdoors with her husband and two dogs, whether it is camping, hiking, or kayaking. She is also an avid baker and enjoys discovering delicious new cake, cookie, or other pastry recipes.

Alan Urbina-Alvarez, MD

Alan Urbina-Alvarez, MD
Gastroenterology, Franciscan Medical Group, Tacoma
Dr. Urbina-Alvarez is a gastroenterologist skilled in all areas of adult general gastroenterology. He believes communication and compassion are the keys to establishing a successful and trustful relationship with patients. As a colleague, he promotes an interdisciplinary approach to patient care to achieve the mutual goal of creating a positive impact on patients' lives. He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, traveling, bicycling and playing tennis.

Alina Urriola, MD, MPH

Alina Urriola, MD, MPH
Family Medicine, Vera Whole Health - Sandpoint, Seattle
Dr. Urriola’s career in Family Medicine reflects her passion for health restoration, maintenance and promotion while addressing clinical and social risk factors for disease and injury. She has provided care in the Puget Sound since 1998 and currently is the lead provider at Vera Sandpoint, an advanced primary care practice where she is committed to excellent compassionate care that is tailored to each patient’s conditions, values, traditions, and beliefs. Dr. Urriola believes in the power of patients setting health goals and being their own agents of care and healing. She is responsible for her clinic’s quality metrics and population health. In addition to her practice, she provides care at Lahai Health, a volunteer-based health care organization caring for the underserved in the Puget Sound, serves in the board of trustees of Bastyr University, and is a faculty member at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Dra. Alina graduated from medical school in Brazil and trained in Family Medicine in her native Panama. She subsequently completed residency in Family Medicine and in Preventive Medicine/Public Health in Saint Louis Missouri. She is board certified in family medicine, preventive medicine, and lifestyle medicine. Her exposure to a wide variety of settings and demographics has sparked her interest in the factors that determine health, illness, and health seeking behaviors. Alina’s personal interests include painting, gardening, cooking, fitness, following her husband’s band, hiking, and traveling.

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.

Faculty

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. 

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