The Latino Health Symposium is MOLA’s all-membership educational event. The event will gather experts in healthcare, education, and advocacy and provide educational opportunities for physicians, health professionals, students, and all individuals who work toward improving Hispanic/Latinx health. In addition, an academic poster session will be a unique opportunity for participants to demonstrate their innovative scholarly achievements.


After actively participating in the Symposium, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify issues and barriers experienced by our Hispanic/Latino/Latinx/Latine (hereafter, Latinx) community that lead to gaps in both health equity and the overall healthcare experience.
  • Propose strategies in healthcare practice that pursue equity through innovations in medicine and education for health professionals.
  • Utilize the unique skills, experiences, and assets of Latinx communities, such as multilingualism, cultural diversity, protective health behaviors, and connectedness, to overcome structural barriers and improve Latinx health outcomes, effectively bridging the gap.
  • Apply strategies to increase the representation of Latinx individuals in healthcare, research, and education careers through connections and collaboration that improve health outcomes for the Latinx population.Audience

The target audience will include students, residents, attending physicians, healthcare professionals and individuals that work towards bridging health disparities in the Latinx community. The Symposium program will provide educational opportunities addressing issues affecting Hispanic/Latinx health and health disparities.


The target audience will include students, residents, and attending physicians and will provide educational opportunities on issues affecting Hispanic/Latino health and health disparities. The symposium will also include the larger MOLA community which includes health care professionals, such as advanced clinical practitioners, public health professionals, and behavioral health specialists. Focused sessions will target specific audience members at various level of training and practice. The expectation based on prior attendance and trends in MOLA membership and event participation, would be an audience number of 250 attendees.


The Latino Health Symposium is the culmination of MOLA’s annual programming by linking all of our programs, providing a forum for showcasing our annual outcomes, and creating an academic forum where Latino health issues and Latino physicians, students, and researchers are the focus.

Gap Analysis

In the past 30 years, the number of Hispanic/Latino U.S. physicians per 100,000 people has declined by 22% (Sánchez, et al. 2015).  This means that while the general Hispanic/Latino population grows dramatically, their representation in the medical community is shrinking. According to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the number of matriculants and graduates of U.S. medical schools that identify as Hispanic/Latino has remained stagnant at 5% of students over the past 20 years. (http:/ As a professional organization with partnerships that span community organizations, academic centers, medical schools, hospitals, and others, the Medical Organization for Latino Advancement (MOLA) is committed to make an impact on these figures.

Research shows that underrepresented minorities are more likely to practice in areas that are underserved and underrepresented (Xierali, 2018) highlighting yet another reason why more Latinos need to be recruited due to their unique capacity for impactful research, clinical practice, and leadership. Multiple components need to be influenced to successfully “move the needle” on this complex problem in U.S. medical education and practice, which is why MOLA is addressing the issue from multiple perspectives: Mentorship to support the dreams of young students starting at high school level and beyond; Public health to provide patient navigation and health screenings in needy communities; Wellness to prevent physician and trainee burnout and promote a healthy lifestyle; Advocacy to work together to impact change on a health policy level; and Education & Research to highlight the work of Latino investigators and provide education on best-practices for Latino health to all providers.

The MOLA Latino Health Symposium is our organization’s annual venue for discussing, debating, and collaborating on all of the above topics and using them as an educational opportunity to showcase our talented MOLA members’ scholarly efforts and learn together how we can better care for Hispanic/Latino patients. We hope that the Symposium is only the beginning to open doors for many Latino investigators, educators and leaders to publish and further disseminate their work in other local, regional, national and international settings. Few events nationwide serve as a venue to highlight educational programs, initiatives, research, and opportunities created by Latinos and about Latinos to advance Hispanic/Latino health.

Meet our Plenary Speakers

David Ansell, MD, MPH

David Ansell, MD, MPH is the Michael E Kelly Presidential Professor of Internal Medicine and Senior Vice President/Associate Provost for Community Health Equity at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He is a 1978 graduate of SUNY Upstate Medical College. He did his medical training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He spent 13 years at Cook County as an attending physician and ultimately was appointed Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital.  From 1995 to 2005 he was Chairman of Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Chicago. He was recruited to Rush University Medical Center as its inaugural Chief Medical Officer in 2005, a position he held until 2015. His research and advocacy has been focused on eliminating health inequities. In 2011 he published a memoir of his times at County Hospital, County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital. His latest book is The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills was published in 2017. 

David Ansell will present on Antiracism Leadership: Sharing Power with Community

· Discuss the visionary work toward health equity through Anti-Racism.

· Describe how we can partner with community leaders and organizations to advance health equities in the communities we serve

Arthur Acevedo

Arthur Acevedo joined the UIC Law School (formerly the John Marshall Law School) in 2007. He teaches Constitutional Law, Income Tax, and Business Corporations. Before joining UIC Law, he taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law and as an adjunct professor at DePaul University. Prior to joining the legal academy, Professor Acevedo worked for McDonald’s Corporation, Marbo Inc., Price Waterhouse, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Professor Acevedo’s scholarship focuses on tax law, corporate law, and corporate responsibility. His writings include examining the auditor’s role under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; the failure by the SEC to provide clear accounting standards; the abuse of tax positions by income tax protesters and tax shelter promoters; and the failure of the legal system in promoting corporate responsibility.  His most recent scholarship analyzes the interaction of corporate law and constitutional law, and asserts that corporate self-interest benefits when engaging in ethical decision-making.  His scholarship examines the appropriation of the United States Constitution by corporate interests and its implications on our social, economic, and political institutions.  His writings have been cited by numerous writers including the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Professor Acevedo is a three-time graduate from DePaul University where he received his undergraduate degree with a double major in accounting and finance, his Master of Science in Taxation, and his Juris Doctor degree.  Professor Acevedo also successfully passed the CPA exam. He is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese.

Professor Acevedo is a mentor and faculty advisor to the Latino Law Student Association at UIC Law.  He is also the recipient of numerous awards.  He sits on the Board of Directors of the Josephinum Academy, a Catholic, college-prep girls’ high school empowering inner-city young women with a world-class education and a 100% college placement record.

Arthur Acevedo will present on Connecting our community through Education

  • Explain the implications of the Supreme Court’s most recent decisions in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. the University of North
  • Discuss how these decisions impact the medical Latinx community
  • Identify actions required to keep the Latinx community connected to education 

Medical Spanish Summit Plenary - Moderated by: Glenn Martínez, PhD, MPH

Pilar Ortega, MD, MGM

Twitter: @pilarortegamd


Dr. Pilar Ortega is Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), where she supports efforts to improve retention and well-being for diverse resident and fellow physicians. Dr. Ortega is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in linguistically and culturally appropriate health care.

Dr. Ortega also holds an appointment as Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago Departments of Emergency Medicine and Medical Education.

Her groundbreaking work in medical Spanish education and assessment has contributed to the recognition of language equity as an area of scholarly inquiry in medicine. She also co-founded two non-profit organizations that foster interprofessional collaborative scholarship focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging: the Medical Organization for Latino Advancement and the National Association of Medical Spanish. To date, she has published four books and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has delivered more than 100 national and international presentations.

Dr. Ortega has mentored numerous underrepresented in medicine learners and junior faculty members in advancing their academic scholarship through her roles in the Latino Medical Student Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the MedEdPORTAL journal, and the Association of American Medical Colleges Research in Medical Education (RIME) committee.

Dr. Ortega earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy at the Johns Hopkins University, her Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in graphic medicine from the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

Maria Magdalena Llabre, Ph.D.

Maria Magdalena Llabre received her PhD in educational research from the University of Florida.  She is Professor of Psychology and a Cooper Fellow in the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Miami.  She is Director of Biobehavioral Statistics at the Behavioral Medicine Research Center, where she has made research contributions to the study of cardiovascular stress reactivity, the effects of war trauma on children, adverse childhood experiences and health, and methodology in behavioral medicine research.  She has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching graduate statistics.  She is a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, where she received the Lifetime Service Award in 2022.  Her current work in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos tries to understand the Hispanic paradox, the observation that Hispanics in the US have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality, despite having a higher risk factor profile relative to non-Hispanics.


We’re thrilled about your upcoming participation in the VII MOLA Annual Symposium and IV Medical Spanish Summit- Bridging the Gap through Connections – Cerrando la Brecha a Través de Conexiones on Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th, 2023 at Rush University.

To ensure your time here is seamless and enjoyable, we’ve curated a list of hotel options that cater to your needs.

Here are the hotels we’ve selected:

Symposium Location

Hotel Chicago West Loop
Address: 1622 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612
Book for Dates between Thursday, October 12th through Sunday, October 15th (book by 9/22/2023) Do not have to book for all.
Price: $219 per night (taxes not included)
Link with code: Hotel Chicago West Loop – Reservations – Room Availability (
Parking: $25 per night, on site parking

Hyatt Hotel
Address: 1835 W Harrison Street Chicago, Illinois, 60612 United States
Book for dates between Thursday October 12th through Sunday October 15th (book by 9/12/23). Do not have to book for all.
Price: $249 per nightThursday self parking $20/night
Link with code:
Parking: $20/night, self parking.

Marriott (30 rooms)
Address: 625 South Ashland Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60607
Book for dates between thursday October 12th through Sunday October 15th (book by 9/12/23). Do not have to book for all.
Price: $240 per night
Link with code:
Parking: $40/day,valet parking

Other Hotel options:

Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop 4.0 star-rating

Address: 25 South Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60661. 1.9 miles from Rush University
Phone number: 3128295000

Parthenon Hostels of Chicago 3.0 star-rating
Address: 310 S. Halsted Street Chicago, IL 60661. 1.6 miles from Rush University
Phone number: 312-258-1399

Other areas to stay:
If considering homestays, such as AirBnB or VRBO, consider staying in the following areas: West Loop, Tri-Taylor area, West Town / Ukrainian Village.