Contact Information

Professor and Director
Center for Population Health and Community Impact
Department of Health Management and Policy
Dornsife School of Public Health
Drexel University
3215 Market Street
Nesbitt Hall Room 335
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Membership Information

Membership Category:
Research Scientists

Member Since: 2001


Alex Ortega, PhD.

Miguel Cruz-Feliciano, M.S.


Ph.D., University of Michigan
M.P.H. Boston University
B.A. University of New Mexico

About Me

Alex Ortega is Professor of the Department of Health Management and Policy and Director of the Center for Population Health and Community Impact at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. His first five years as a faculty member were at Yale University, where he was an Assistant Professor of Health Policy. He then spent a year as an Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Promotion at The Ohio State University and the next 11 years as a Professor of Health Policy at UCLA. At UCLA, he also served as the Director of the Institute for Social Research, Director of the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, and Associate Director of the Chicano Studies Research Center. He has been a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, a Senior Scholar In-Residence at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Ortega holds an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Boston University and a PhD in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan.

Ortega is internationally recognized as a public health scholar who specializes in the health of Latino children and families in the U.S. He has conducted studies in the areas of pediatric asthma treatment and management disparities, access to primary care, mental health care access, psychiatric epidemiology, and community-engaged health interventions to reduce chronic disease risk in a variety of sites and contexts, including Puerto Rico, New England, and Southern California. He is most recognized for his community intervention work in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, where he and his colleagues worked to reduce heart disease risk in these communities by transforming the physical health environment.

Research Interests

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

View Curriculum Vitae


Ortega AN, Albert SL, Chan-Golston AM, Langellier BA, Glik DC, Belin TR, Garcia RE, Brookmeyer R, Sharif MZ, Prelip ML. Substantial improvements not seen in health behaviors following corner store conversions in two Latino food swamps. BMC Public Health, 2016;16:389. PMCID: PMC4864998.

Sharif MZ, Rizzo S, Marino E, Belin TR, Glik DC, Kuo AA, Ortega AN, Prelip ML. The association between self-rated eating habits and dietary behavior in two Latino neighborhoods: Findings from Proyecto MercadoFRESCO. Preventive Medicine Reports, 2016;3:270-275. PMC Journal: In process.

Alcalá HE, Albert SL, Ortega AN. E-cigarette use and disparities by race, citizenship status and language among adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 2016;57:30-34. PMCID: PMC4775420.

Chen J, Vargas Bustamante A, Mortensen K, Ortega AN. Racial and ethnic disparities in health care access and utilization under the Affordable Care Act. Medical Care, in press.

Alcalá HE, Albert SL, Roby DH, Beckerman J, Champagne P, Brookmeyer R, Prelip ML, Glik DC, Inkelas M, Garcia RE, Ortega AN. Access to care and cardiovascular disease prevention: a cross-sectional study in two Latino communities, Medicine, 2015;94(34):e1441. PMCID: PMC4602927

Chen J, O’Brien MJ, Mennis J, Alos VA, Grande DT, Roby D, Ortega AN. Latino population growth and hospital uncompensated care in California, American Journal of Public Health, 2015;105(8):1710-1717. PMCID: PMC4504330.

Ortega AN, Rodriguez HP, Vargas Bustamante A. Policy dilemmas in Latino health care and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Annual Review of Public Health, 2015;36:525-44. PMC Journal: In process.

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 conversion intervention in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, Journal of Community Health, 2015;40:347-35. PMCID: PMC4348161.

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.

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.

Vargas-Bustamante A, Chen J, Rodriguez HP, Rizzo JA, Ortega AN. Use of preventive care services among Latino subgroups: How much are disparities attributable to the health system? American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2010;38:610-619. PMC: No federal funds for this study.

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.

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.