P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Alejandra Casillas, 2003

Assistant Professor in Residence at the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services, UCLA

Alejandra Casillas is the child of immigrants from Mexico

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MD in Medicine at Harvard University

Alejandra Casillas MD, MSHS is an assistant professor of medicine in residence, in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She practices primary care at UCLA and teaches medical students and internal medicine residents while caring for patients at the Venice Family Free Clinic. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Dr. Casillas witnessed the health disparities lived by her family, and the struggle for a better life in her diverse Los Angeles community. Today, as a primary care physician for the underserved, a mentor to trainees from disadvantaged backgrounds, and a health disparities researcher, she addresses these inequities.


The first in her family to attend college, Dr. Casillas completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and medical training at Harvard Medical School, where she received the Dean’s Community Service Award and was a Paul and Daisy Soros Scholar for New Americans. She finished her internal medicine and primary care residency at the University of California San Francisco, also serving as Chief Medical Resident at UCSF Medical Center. Dr. Casillas returned to Los Angeles as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA– where she completed a health services research and leadership fellowship and received a masters’ degree at the Fielding School of Public Health. After completing her training, Dr. Casillas worked at the academic medical centers in Geneva and Lausanne, with funding from the Swiss Office of Public Health, to address immigrant health disparities in the French-speaking region of Switzerland.


Dr. Casillas’ health services research focuses on the low-income communities served by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the second largest municipal safety net in the US, developing digital health interventions tailored to socially complex, Limited English Proficient patients. Her published scholarship also includes research and programming initiatives addressing equity and diversity inclusion in academia and health, connecting to her UCLA roles as director of the CTSI Health Disparities Student Research Program, and founder of the First-Generation Program at the School of Medicine.

Education
  • MPH Health Services | University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 2012
  • MD Medicine | Harvard University 2005
  • BA Neurobiology | Harvard University 2001
Awards
  • Harvard Medical School, Dean's Community Service Award, 2003
  • Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, 2009-2012
  • UCSF Chief Resident in Internal Medicine, 2008-2009
Work History
  • UCLA, Assistant Professor in Residence at the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services | July 2016 - PRESENT
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