2018 MOLA outcomes

Latino Health Symposium 2018, MOLA Board of Directors
Latino Health Symposium 2018, MOLA Board of Directors

2018, What a great year!

The Medical Organization for Latino Advancement, MOLA, is proud to present our 2018 outcomes report.

2018 has marked a historic year for our young organization, in which we have united and elevated more Latino health professionals, touched more Hispanic/Latino lives, made an impact in Latino youth through a novel pipeline approach, and collaboratively developed innovative and productive academic and community projects.

Our mission is executed by means of five core programs: Education & Research, Mentorship, Public Health, Advocacy, and Wellness and Advancement. We measure our own success through metrics that demonstrate our ability to collaborate, unite, and impact the community of Latino physicians as well as the Latino community at large.

We invite you to review how far we have come in our second year as an organization through the measurable outcomes of each of our programs, and we welcome your involvement moving forward in making an impact for next year’s even greater successes!


Pilar Ortega, MD | MOLA President

Public health event Hispanic heritage
Public health event Hispanic heritage

Key Facts

311 Active Members
45 events conducted & more than 1.000 lives touched
More than $90.000 invested in education and advancement

Mentorship Program

The MOLA Mentorship Program aims to build a pipeline to health care careers for motivated high school and undergraduate students.  Mentorship is provided in a team-based structure across all levels: Health Care Leaders, Physicians, Resident Physicians, Medical Students, Undergraduates, and High School Students.

2018 outcomes
  • Chicago Public School partnerships in three locations with high health care needs and high number of Latino students.
  • Summer research intership program for Chicago Students and projects presented during MOLA Latino Health Symposium 2018.
  • Partnership with a mentorship focused organization: I Am Abel, and presentation at their annual conference.
  • Mentees participated in Clinical Simulation as part of MOLA’s partnership with Advocate Illinois Masonic Simulation Center.
  • Mentorship presentation at Building the Next Generation Academic Physicians (BNGAP) regional conference at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine.

75 mentees

25 mentors

7 mentorship events

“As a resident physician, being a part of MOLA allows me to stay connected to mentoring students and at the same time learning from local successful attending physicians as I plan the next steps in my medical career.”
Toni Riveros, MD
Partnership with Advocate Illinois Masonic Simulation Center:
MOLA Simulation Team, april 2018

MOLA Simulation Team: our students learn and practiced life saving pediatric skills: CPR, choking, hand hygiene, newborn child care, vaccination, and vital signs. April, 2018.

The training program, developed in partnership with Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, provides participating students with basic clinical training and expose them to real-world medical scenarios through the hospital’s state-of-the-art Simulation Center.

In addition to learning from the program’s physician mentors, students also learn basic medical knowledge, including first aid, vital signs, and CPR, and utilize these skills on robotic patients, also known as “manikins.”  Through the program curriculum, students participate in emergency scenarios that could take place in the community such as childbirths and opioid overdose.  MOLA’s students represent various Chicago Public Schools high schools, local community colleges, and universities.

Wellness & Advancement Program

The Wellness Program aims to create opportunities for Latino professionals to interact and expand their networks, minimize provider burnout and add educate on ways to ensure their personal, family, financial, and career wellbeing.

2018 outcomes
More than 400 participants in total in our Wellness Events
9 Wellness Events
  • Anniversary event
  • Financial wellness event
  • Mindfulness and self-care event
  • Family picnic
  • Cubs Latino night at Wrigley Field
  • Medical Student Día de los Muertos Social event in partnership with LMSA Loyola
  • Med-legal event in partnership with HLAI
  • Diabetes Care update
  • Winter Volunteer appreciation event
MOLA blog:

MOLA BLOG As a way to maximize members’ strengths by sharing ideas and obtaining advice and cosntructive discussions.

5.000 Website unique visits – 2018
525 Professionals Connected through Linked In
554 People Connected trough Facebook
Medical Legal Social event on November 8th
Medical Legal Social event on November 8th
“I attended the medical legal event and I was truly inspired by how many successful Latino professionals came together for a common cause.”  
Fidel Castillo, MD
Partnership with Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI):

The Medical Legal Social event on November 8th represented the first time that MOLA and our partner legal organization, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI) joined forces to celebrate how much we have in common as Latino professionals. With over 70 attendees, the event was a great success to initiate what we plan to be a strong and longstanding partnership. MOLA Physician Dr. Fidel Castillo was our featured speaker answering questions from the legal community such as when it is recommended to seek a second opinion, and HLAI Attorney Moses Suárez discussed the good samaritan law as pertains to doctors.

The event was coordinated by HLAI’s Anna Lozoya and President Juan Morado as well as MOLA’s Wellness and Advancement committee.

MOLA member Dr. Julio Arnau and family at Chicago Cubs
MOLA member Dr. Julio Arnau and family at Chicago Cubs
Mola Family Picnic
MOLA virtual community offers:
  • Members directory with specialties and interests to facilitate connections and patient referrals.
  • Health Forum to ask and provide practical advice on health and professional guidance.
  • Jobs, research, interships and other career advancement opportunities.
  • Corroborative writing and blogging.

Advocacy Program

This committee is focused on highlighting locally relevant issues in healthcare education, access and provision, particularly for the hispanic/latino community as well as lobbying and having latino voices heard by local policy makers.

2018 outcomes
  • 2018 OUTCOMES MOLA became a member of the Illinois Alliance for Welcoming Health and issued support letter on patient protection regardless of immigration status.
  • MOLA became a consulting reference for the Latino Alderman Caucus of Chicago.
  • March 2018 Health bipartisan Policy Forum in which all four candidates for the 4th District Congressional seat participated in a bilingual health policy debate in advance of the elections.
  • MOLA issued support letters for the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA) of 2018 and the State of Illinois bills on professional licenses and immigration status (SB3109).
“MOLA allows me to give back to my community in ways that my practice doesn’t.  It has brought a greater level of satisfaction to my career and has been an important part of my professional growth.” –
Joaquin Estrada, MD
Mola on the national stage at the nhma conference:

On March, MOLA representative participated and presented on MOLA’s model at National Hispanic Medical Association’s annual conference in Washington DC.

On March, MOLA representative participated and presented on MOLA’s model at National Hispanic Medical Association’s annual conference in Washington DC.
On March, MOLA representative participated and presented on MOLA’s model at National Hispanic Medical Association’s annual conference in Washington DC.
All four candidates for the 4th District Congressional seat participated in a bilingual health policy debate in advance of the elections
March 2018 Health bipartisan Policy Event: a Bilingual Forum to discuss Health Policy and Latino Health Disparities:

Raising awareness of the importance of Latino health issues and aiming to maximize the voting power of the Hispanic/Latino community, the Medical Organization for Latino Advancement (MOLA) hosted and moderate a debate and discussion among candidates aspiring to represent this community in Congress.

All four candidates including, Democratic candidates—Sol Flores, Jesús “Chuy” García, and Richard González—and Republican candidate—Mark Wayne Lorch—enthusiastically participated in the debate on the evening of Wednesday, March 7th, 2018, in anticipation of the March 20th election.

Each candidate had the opportunity to present their overall views for health policy issues in Congress and to respond to specific questions that were derived from MOLA members and community questions that were emailed to the event organizers in advance. The debate was moderated by MOLA’s president, Dr. Pilar Ortega.

2018 outcomes
  • National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Midwest Regional Policy Forum was hosted at MOLA’s Symposium Participation at Latino Medical Student
  • Association (LMSA) National Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC – October, 2013 (Dr. Joaquin Estrada and Dr. Pilar Ortega were invited speakers)
  • MOLA joined UnidosUS network and participated in Latino Unity Day to advance Latino affirming policies.
  • MOLA expressed formal support on protecting immigrant families, ICE restriction to enter medical facilities, data sharing to improve Latino health, and cancer screening campaign: “¡No Esperes!”

Public Health Program

MOLA’s Public Health Program emphasizes meaningful-impact activities in Chicago’s under-served communities in coordination with MOLA’s Mentorship program. Thorugh this program, mentees and students become community health ambassadors in their own families, schools, and neighborhoods.

2018 outcomes
5 Public Health Community Events

MOLA impacted more than 350 lives through the following Public Health activities:

  • Heart health event
  • 2 Colon Cancer screening events
  • Men’s Health event – by Dr. Pilar Guerrero
  • Daley Plaza Hispanic Heritage Month event – conducted asthma, hypertension and mental health screenings.
2 scholarly projects developed from public health initiatives and presented at the Latino Health Symposium
  • Mental health / Stress screening in Post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rican population in Chicago
  • Pulmonary health and environmental triggers in Chicago Latino neighborhoods
New Partnerships aligned 
  • Esperanza Health Centers
  • National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • Open Center for the Arts
Locally or Nationally televised MOLA physician experts on public media for 2018
  • Dr. Gunar Subieta
  • Dr. Luis Rivera
  • Dr. Jonathan Moreira
  • Dr. Pilar Ortega
  • Dr. Pilar Guerrero
  • Dr. Mary Eguía
  • Dr. Yessenia Castro-Caballero
  • Dr. Sonia Oyola 
  • Dr. Fidel Castillo
Public health event Hispanic Heritage Daley Plaza / Asthma Screening
Public health event Hispanic Heritage Daley Plaza / Asthma Screening
Daley Plaza Hispanic Heritage Month event | asthma, hypertension and mental health screenings:

MOLA provided health screenings for the Latino community at the first Hispanic Heritage city event at Daley Plaza on September 19, 2108. We conducted nearly 100 bilingual screenings including blood pressure, lung function, and stress/mental health and provided referrals for follow-up care.

Heart health event

The Medical Organization for Latino Advancement (MOLA) conducted a  free health event with Curie High School and various community organizations to promote cardiovascular health, exercise, and making healthy choices.

The event, Heart Health 2018, offered the community a Health & Resource Fair, heart health screenings, CPR training, Zumba sessions, and more.  As part of National Heart Month and the Mentorship and Public Health Programs of the Latino physician-led association, the event aims to educate and energize the local community surrounding how to take care of their cardiovascular health.

In addition to offering participants blood pressure screenings, stress evaluations, “Ask the Doctor” tables and access to 20 community organizations, the event provides valuable experience to the 40 student volunteers that already participate in MOLA’s Mentorship Program and aspire to work in health care.

‘Working with other Latino physician leaders in MOLA is an amazing opportunity for collaboration. Each board member is truly committed to empowering the Latino community and it’s this passion that pushes MOLA to achieve greater goals year after year’
-Luis Rivera, MD

Education and Research Program

The Education & Research Program develops strategies to support our members’ career development through education and research. We are interested in addressing the health disparities that Latino community experience with a local, regional, national and international reach.

Audience MOLA Symposium
Audience MOLA Symposium
2nd Latino Health Symposium, in partnership with Northwestern office of Diversity and Inclusion

MOLA’s annual Latino Health Symposium links all of MOLA’s programs, provided a forum for showcasing our annual outcomes, and created an academic forum where Latino health issues and Latino physicians, students, and researchers were the focus. The event gathered medical experts who provided an evidence-based discussion of current issues that impact Latino health disparities, public health, health policy, and diversity, inclusion and equity for health professionals and students.

  • Over 250 attendees
  • 35 academic posters 
  • 14 oral presentations
  • 20 invited speakers
  • 6 CME credits offered for attendees
“The Latino Health Symposium in Chicago is a model of community, students and practitioners working together to better the health of Latinos in Chicago and beyond. MOLA has raised the bar with professionalism, academic rigor, and assertiveness, paving the way to health equity for Latinos and non Latinos alike. I am proud to be part of it.”
Óscar Zambrano, MPH, MBA
At the conclusion of the event, participants were able to:
  • Identify how Latino physicians and health professionals can create positive impact to address gaps and barriers in Latino health. (Educational objective)
  • Describe innovative strategies that are being realized in current academic work to improve Latino health and Latino health professional advancement. (Innovation objective)
  • Create connections with fellow health professionals and students as a step in future collaborative work, mentorship opportunities, and career development. (Networking objective)
Feedback from attendees:
96% rated that the conference met stated objectives as “excellent” or “very good”

96% said that they obtained new knowledge

76% said that the new knowledge can affect their patient outcomes.
Audience3 MOLA symposium 2018 IMG_2248
“Excellent quality speakers. High degree of professionalism and valued the effort to have a diverse set of topics, speakers, institutions, gender, and nationalities represented”
Symposium attendee anonymous post-event feedback
MOLA Speakers were featured in 16 regional, national, or international academic presentations
  • Building Next Generation Academic Physicians (BNGAP), Speakers Dr. P Ortega, Dr. L Rivera, Dr. J Estrada; 
  • National Hispanic Medical Association, Speakers Mr. O Zambrano, Dr. P Guerrero, Dr P Ortega; 
  • National Hispanic Health Foundation Medical Spanish Summit Director and Speaker Dr P Ortega; 
  • Black and Latino Men in Medicine Event at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Speakers Dr J Moreira, Dr J Estrada, Dr A Aparicio, Dr G Subieta; 
  • Black and Latina Women in Medicine Event at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Speakers Dr P Ortega, Dr S Oyola, Dr M Vela); 
  • Madrid Excelente Impact of Spanish Language in Sciences, Dr P Ortega; 
  • State of Spanish Language in Medicine, Comillas Spain, Dr P Ortega
  • Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) National Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC – October, 2013 (Dr. Joaquin Estrada and Dr. Pilar Ortega were invited speakers)
Black and Latina Women in Medicine, February 15
Black and Latina Women in Medicine Event at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

The Black and Latina Women in Medicine event on February 15, 2018 was provocatively titled “Claiming our Space” and brought together a vibrant cohort of women of color at various career stages in the setting of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. It was the 2nd annual event of its kind at Pritzker, aiming “to empower and support Black and Latina women in medicine by fostering relationship building and creating an opportunity to learn from the leaders of our growing community,” according to the student organizers.

Six distinguished women of color panelists and one moderator were invited to share their lived experiences that have been meaningful, career-changing, and inspiring in their lives and careers, and also to have honest conversations about things that were less than ideal and how they dealt with negativity or even failure. The speakers came from multiple academic institutions in Chicago, and included MOLA.

“MOLA is a way for physicians to stay healthy and connected to each other and the community!”  
Geraldine Luna, MD, MPH
MOLA’s members awards and recognitions
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Óscar Iván Zambrano was selected the Chicago Latino Network Latino Leader of the Year 2018

Our own Juan Morado, MOLA’s Board of Directors’ Governance Chair was selected as thee new President of Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.

Our own MOLA Executive Committee member Oscar Zambrano was recognized for his work on health equity with the LGTB committee by  CRAIN’S Chicago Business.

Negocios Now has recognized 150 leaders in different categories. Six MOLA Board Members were featured in Health Care.

 Pilar Ortega, MD., Luis Rivera, MD., Pilar Guerrero, MD., Geraldine Luna, MD., Jonathan Moreira, MD., and Joaquin Estrada, MD. are part of this edition.