According to an LA Times article published on May 17th, "Blacks and Latinos have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic in California and other parts of the United States, becoming infected and dying at disproportionately high rates relative to their share of the population. Health experts say one of the main reasons Latinos are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 is because many work in low-paying jobs that require them to leave home and interact with the public. Latinos comprise about 40% of California’s population but 53% of positive cases, according to state data. In San Francisco, Latinos comprise 15% of the population but make up 43% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Saturday".
In response to these alarming trends, United Latinx Fund (ULF) and Latino Coalition of Los Angeles (LCLA) hosts the next installment of our weekly online Fireside CharLA series to learn how two local health care systems, Altamed and the Keck School of Medicine at USC, are working to counter the spread of COVID-19 among our most vulnerable communities, how health care providers are rethinking their approach to mental health, and what policy changes are needed to redress mounting health disparities within communities of color.
Dr. Laura Mosqueda
Laura Mosqueda, MD is the Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, a professor of Family Medicine and Geriatrics and a professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Prior to her appointment as dean, Dr. Mosqueda served as associate dean of Primary Care and the chair of Family Medicine. An accomplished physician and researcher, Dr. Mosqueda is a national and international expert on elder abuse and neglect. She has testified in front of Congress and has been invited to the White House to discuss elder justice initiatives. She is the director of the National Center on Elder Abuse, a $2.95 million federally-funded initiative which focuses on information regarding policy, research, training, and resources related to the neglect and exploitation of older adults for policymakers, professionals, and the public. She is also a Volunteer Long Term Care Ombudsman. In addition to Dr. Mosqueda’s leadership in clinical care and research, she has been actively involved in medical education. She has mentored medical students, graduate students, residents and clinical fellows. She has particular interest in care of vulnerable and underserved populations and precepts inter-professional health care students at a homeless shelter on Skid Row.
Dr. Ilan Shapiro
Currently, Dr. Shapiro serves as AltaMed’s Medical Director of Health Education and Wellness, helping to create and implement programs and services that expand access to care and improve outcomes for the community. Between 2016–2017, he also served as Medical Director for Behavioral Health, and was instrumental in strengthening the practice and expanding AltaMed’s offerings. He has created binational public health programs to improve the health of Hispanic communities on both sides of the border. In 2011, he was invited to join the White House Hispanic Policy Group and help educate and raise awareness for the Affordable Care Act. In addition to his work at AltaMed, Dr. Shapiro serves on the Board of Governors at L.A. Care Health Plan. He currently acts as the regional director for the National Hispanic Medical Association.