Dr. Gino Aisenberg, Co-Director
Dr. Gino Aisenberg, an Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, is a bilingual/bicultural Latino mental health researcher. In 2013, Dr. Aisenberg was named Associate Dean, the Graduate School, to provide leadership in promoting diversity and community partnerships. He is the founding co-Director of the Latino Center for Health at the University of Washington.
His interests focus on three interrelated areas impacting underserved ethnic minority populations: 1) traumatic exposure of children and families to community violence and associated post-traumatic stress disorder, 2) depression care for adults, and 3) evidence-based practice.
Dr. Aisenberg obtained his MSW and PhD degrees from the University of Southern California. Since coming to the University of Washington in 2002, Dr. Aisenberg's research and teaching have been deeply informed by culture and context and reciprocal partnerships with community-based agencies serving marginalized and rural communities. Dr. Aisenberg is staunchly committed to address disparities in the access and utilization of behavioral health services by diverse populations.
Dr. Leo Morales, Co-Director
Dr. Leo Sergio Morales is the Chief Diversity Officer and Director of the Center for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the UW School of Medicine and founding Co-Director of the Latino Center for Health at the University of Washington. He received his MD and MPH degrees from the University of Washington and his PhD degree from the RAND Graduate School in Policy Analysis. After completing a residency in primary care internal medicine at the UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital, he was recruited to the UCLA School of Medicine where he held faculty positions as assistant and associate professor, and co-directed the UCLA Resource Center for Minority Aging Research.
He is a past recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Minority Foundation Medical Faculty Development Award and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Investigator Award. His research focuses on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health and the measurement of patient resorted outcomes in diverse population settings. In recognition of his research contributions, he was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2007.
Dr. India J. Ornelas, Research Director
Dr. Ornelas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington's School of Public Health. She currently serves as the Research Director for the Latino Center for Health. Her research focuses on how social and cultural factors influence health and the development of interventions to address Latino health disparities.
Dr. Ornelas received her MPH from the University of Washington and her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Biobehavioral Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program at the UW and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center working with Beti Thompson on Latino health disparities in Seattle and the Yakima Valley. She also served as a fellow with the Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While at the CDC, she had the opportunity to work at the local, state, and federal level to develop programs to address US-Mexico border health disparities.
Dr. Maggie Ramirez, Assistant Professor
Dr. Maggie Ramirez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She has a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California. Dr. Ramirez also completed a postdoctoral fellowship and an MS in Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. As a faculty member at the University of Washington, she was selected in the inaugural cohort of the CATALyST K12 Scholar Program, which trains early-career investigators in the innovative methods of learning health system science and patient-centered outcomes methodology. Dr. Ramirez is studying how to design, implement, and evaluate health information technology to accelerate adoption of evidence-based care for elderly Latinos and their family caregivers. Her long-term goal is to apply her interdisciplinary training to lead research that discovers solutions to improve the health of Latinos burdened by disparities in health status and health care delivery.
Antoinette Angulo, Community Engagement Specialist
Antoinette Angulo is a public health practitioner and activist in Seattle, WA. Having worked with Latinx populations in the U.S. and in Latin America for nearly 20 years in clinical and community health settings, she is experienced in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs and multimedia health promotion strategies including radio novelas, liberation theatre, photovoice, and digital storytelling. Antoinette earned her MPH from the University of Washington and studied health policy at UC Berkeley. She is passionate about community building for health and is committed to addressing social inequities through leadership, capacity building, advocacy, and health promotion and research. Antoinette is pleased to support the Latino Center for Health's mission to promote the health and well-being of Latinxs in the Northwest through the intersectionality of research, policy, and practice.
Daron Ryan, Research Coordinator
Daron Ryan joins us as Research Coordinator, handling the operations of our center-housed research projects and assisting our research faculty members. Originally from Portland, Daron received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound and her MPH in Health Services with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Washington. Daron began her career in public health as a community health worker and family case manager in Pierce County. With a special interest in stress and social determinants of health, Daron has since been involved in addressing Latino mental health disparities through community-engaged research and promoting the health of low-wage industry workers. Daron brings strong data management and analytic skills to this position and is eager to contribute to the center’s mission to advance Latinx health.
Mikaela Freundlich Zubiaga, Program Coordinator
Mikaela Freundlich Zubiaga is a trilingual public health practitioner and assistant basketball coach in Seattle. Originally from the Basque Country, Mikaela earned her BS in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience at Denison University and her MPH in Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Having worked with a variety of communities in diverse settings, Mikaela brings a breadth of public health experience to this position. Some of her more notable experiences include HIV prevention and community mobilization work with female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico; community-based sexual violence prevention among at-risk youth in Pittsburgh, PA; and qualitative research examining intergenerational conflict among Somali immigrant mothers and daughters living in Seattle.
Mikaela is committed to supporting the Latino Center for Health’s mission of addressing Latinx health inequities through community-engaged, culturally responsive efforts.
Natasha Ludwig-Barron, Graduate Student Assistant
Natasha Ludwig-Barron, MPH, is a second-year PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. As a young Latina researcher from Los Angeles, CA, she has been a lifelong advocate for higher education among under-represented minority students, regardless of their immigration status, and supports grassroots community health groups that provide free and/or low-cost services. Her research interests lie within the syndemic of HIV/AIDS, substance use, and gender inequity, with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of communities. After earning an MPH at Emory University, she earned a fellowship through the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools to conducted HIV and substance use research along the U.S.-Mexico Border, and later served as an Epidemiologist with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Her current research focuses on understanding barriers and facilitators to the HIV care continuum among injection drug-using populations in Nairobi, Kenya. As a part-time Graduate Student Assistant for the Latino Center for Health, Ms. Ludwig-Barron considers the Center her second home and is most passionate about providing opportunities for under-represented minority students, as well as helping to foster collaborations between community groups and academic researchers.