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About Us

Our Mission | Who We Are | What We Are Working For | Our Work | Board Of Directors

OUR MISSION

The mission of Latinos for Healthcare Equity (LHE), formally named Latinos for National Health Insurance (LNHI), is to serve as a Latino-focused organization whose purpose is to educate government officials, organizations, media, leaders and the general public about the need to provide comprehensive, universal, accessible, equitable and affordable health services to every person living in the United States

WHO WE ARE

Latinos for Healthcare Equity (LHE) is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit New York-based national organization created to improve access to quality, affordable health care for the Latino community.  We came together in response to the deepening health crisis in our community and the growing demand that an equitable, universal health care program was needed for our nation.  

WHAT WE ARE WORKING FOR

We believe that every person residing in the United States and its territories has a right to equal access to high quality healthcare; and this should not be based on ability to pay.

While we live in the richest nation on earth, 15 % of the US population, around 46.5 million men, women and children, live below the poverty line.  Even though our country spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world, we have worse health measures compared to other industrialized countries.

While there are many barriers in our community to adequate healthcare, such as language barriers, cultural competency, and lack of a diverse workforce, to name but a few, the primary barrier — preventing nearly a quarter of all Latinos from accessing the system — is lack of health insurance. We believe that the first step to end health disparities is to ensure that everyone has coverage, regardless of immigration status, which cannot be attained through the Affordable Care Act. That can best be accomplished with a national health insurance program, publicly financed, and privately delivered, where everyone is covered from birth.

OUR WORK

We engage in educational activities intended to inform and advice government agencies, healthcare providers, media and legislators regarding health inequities and lack of healthcare coverage available to our community. We work with local and national groups to end health inequities affecting the Latino community, and all communities.

Through presentations, publications, and other outreach and advocacy efforts, we seek to inform groups and organizations, including elected officials, about ways to end health inequities and lack of healthcare coverage in our community.

Board Of Directors


  Jaime R. Torres, DPM, MS -- President

Jaime R.Torres

Dr. Jaime R. Torres was appointed by President Obama and served as the Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region II from April 6, 2010 until July 18, 2014, covering  serving New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

In announcing his appointment, former Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, "Jaime Torres brings an extensive, working-level knowledge of our department's most important issues, as well as a knowledge of the people and institutions in his region. His experience and talents will be invaluable as our department works to effectively implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

Prior to his appointment, he served as Associate Director of Consultative Services at Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital in New York City, part of the Health & Hospital Corporation- the largest public health system in the nation.

He also has served on the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Council on Aging and on the Advisory Board of the National Hispanic Medical Association from 2000-2006.

In 1984, after completing his residency, he began to work in the South Bronx where he saw firsthand the human reality of health disparities and the plight of the uninsured and underinsured. He began to work with local community groups to provide bilingual educational materials and to improve health services. In order to learn more about health policy and he applied and was accepted to the National Hispanic Medical Association’s Leadership Program, and completed a Master of Science in Community Health from Long Island University.

In 2005, with Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, he founded Latinos for National Health Insurance,–which became Latinos for Healthcare Equity – a national coalition of Latino leaders advocating for a national health insurance program and equality in health care. In this capacity convened many forums and Congressional briefings which helped educate Latino organizations on efforts to reform health care.

Dr. Torres is also an Associate at the not-for-profit Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City, where the education founded by the philosopher, poet and historian Eli Siegel is taught. He is co-author of Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism (Orange Angle Press 2004) and a frequent speaker on topics including racism, the uninsured, and ethics in healthcare issues. Additionally, he has authored articles which have been printed across the United States in both Spanish and English, concerning ethics and the healthcare system.

Because of his advocacy work on healthcare, he named as one of “100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business Magazine in the United States, 2009 and the "EL" Award from EL Diario La Prensa in November 2010. He has also been honored with The National Hispanic Medical Association Health Leadership Award and the NY Commission on the Public’s Health System Healthcare Hero Award.


  Olveen Carrasquillo, MD, MPH

Dr. Carrasquillo is a Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.  He is Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and oversees a clinical, teaching and research enterprise of 40 full time faculty including three private clinical practices and an additional ambulatory hospital based clinic at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  He is also Division Head of Health Services Research and Policy in the Department of Public Health Sciences where he leads a group of 7 full time research faculty.

He is a Puerto Rican born physician who was raised in the Bronx.  He graduated summa cum laude from the Sophie Davis School of Bio-Medical Education at City College, and obtained his MD degree from the New York University School of Medicine.  He completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Harvard’s two-year General Medicine Fellowship and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.   Prior to UM, Dr. Carrasquillo was an Associate Professor of Medicine, Health Policy and Community Partnerships at Columbia University and Director of their Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research.

Dr. Carrasquillo research interests are in minority health, health disparities, community based participatory research and access to care.  He has over fifteen years of experience leading several NIH Center grants and large randomized trials, totaling over $30 million, in various disease areas including diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and various cancers.  He also directs UM’s Primary Care Fellowship Program and the Community Engagement and Cultural Diversity component of the Clinical Translation Science Institute.  His research has been published in a variety of journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health.

Dr. Carrasquillo is active in various organizations, including numerous current and past leadership roles in the Society of General Internal Medicine, Physicians for a National Health Program and the National Hispanic Medical Association.  He is a Board Member of the Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center and the South Florida Health Council. He is also co-founder of Latinos for Healthcare Equity.  Dr. Carrasquillo is often called upon by the media to discuss his research as well as health care topics of particular relevance to the Hispanic community including being a frequent guest on most of the major Latino television networks.


  Juan A. Figueroa

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Mr. Figueroa is the former Acting Chief of Staff for Hartford’s Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. Prior to that he was the president of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut. During his tenure, the Foundation has made a major impact on health care policy in the state and solidified its position as a catalyst for universal health care.

Under Mr. Figueroa, the Foundation has expanded its partnerships and coalitions with a broad spectrum of business, medical providers, clergy and labor. The Foundation’s grant making, research and communications strategies have been widely recognized, and played a pivotal role in moving universal care to the forefront of the state’s policy agenda. In 2006, the Foundation launched a statewide public education campaign on the benefits of universal health care that has garnered national attention. Mr. Figueroa brings a successful background in policy, law and civil rights to his visionary leadership at the Foundation.

A former Connecticut legislator and Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Figueroa was also a staff attorney for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Prior to assuming the helm at the Foundation, he was the president and general counsel of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. During the Clinton Administration, he worked with the President and his top advisers on affirmative action, judicial appointments and

The Hartford Business Journal, the region’s largest business publication, named Mr. Figueroa as one of its 2007 “Health Care Heroes” for his contribution to the advancement of health care in our state.

Mr. Figueroa received his Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University in California and his Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received honorary doctorates from CUNY Law School in New York and Charter Oak College in Connecticut, and has taught at New York University Law School. Mr. Figueroa is a native of Ciales, Puerto Rico.


  Brendaly Rodriguez, MA

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Recently awarded the 2012 Sunshine Award--Health Education Champion from the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SFLHCC), Ms. Rodríguez currently manages the Community Engagement and Cultural Diversity Program of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at University of Miami. She is also currently Adjunct Communication Faculty at Miami Dade College- North Campus. She previously managed the community outreach, research and training activities of the South Florida Center for Cancer Disparities also at University of Miami. The center aims to test the CHW/promotora model as a culturally and linguistically appropriate intervention to increase cervical cancer screening for Latinas, Haitians and African American women in South Florida, while educating communities in cervical cancer prevention/HPV. For the previous 4 years, she was the Manager for Communications and Community Outreach at the Miami Field Center-Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS-SOL), also at University of Miami.

She is experienced in providing technical assistance in Hispanic/Latino communities, language and culture issues, public health, social marketing, health communication and evaluation practice areas for the Center for culture, Ethnicity and Health in Australia, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her dossier includes a long list of peer-reviewed posters, presentations and guest speaker invitations at the national level and abroad.

Ms. Rodríguez is a Fulbright Senior Communication Scholar (Germany-1997), and also a certified translator in Spanish-English by the National Australian Association of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). She received her master’s degree in intercultural communication from Arizona State University, 2-yrs of PhD coursework in Curriculum and Instruction, and a certificate on epidemiology of diabetes from the University of Cambridge. Throughout her career she has accrued over 15 years experience in health communications specializing qualitative social behavioral research with culturally and linguistically diverse groups in USA and Australia.


  Antonio I Fernandez, MBA

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Mr. Fernández has over thirty years of experience in the health care field working within a broad diversity of health of settings, including serving as senior executive in various healthcare organizations in Puerto Rico as well as in the United States. Mr. Fernández’s experience spans a broad range of areas in the health industry, including health information technology, behavioral health care, and specialized services to children, adolescents, and elderly populations in for-profit, not for profit organizations and government projects in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean.

At the present time, Mr. Fernández is Director of the Ponce School of Medicine Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (REC) which is responsible for the implementation of Electronic Health Records among physicians in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Mr. Fernández was President of United HealthCare Plans of Puerto Rico, and Vice President and Director of International Programs of Miami Children’s Hospital.

Mr. Fernández holds a Masters in Business Administration, and a Certificate from the from the Institute for Health Administration and Research, as well as a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.


  Stefan Segadlo M.A.

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Stefan Segadlo is a Senior Account Executive at Urban Health Plan, Inc., a network of federally qualified health centers serving a large Hispanic population in the South Bronx and Corona, Queens. Before joining Urban Health Plan, Stefan was the Director of Communications at Pro Mujer, an international women’s development organization focused on improving the lives of women in Latin America. Stefan also served as LiveOn New York’s Public Education and Communications Specialist, where he developed and implemented strategic communication plans to increase organ donation awareness among the general public and especially the Hispanic community. He was the organization’s spokesperson from 2011 until 2015. Stefan’s professional experience includes being an Educator and Foreign Language Specialist with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Here he contributed to the personal and intellectual growth of more than 1500 students. Stefan also mentored prospective Foreign Language Educators in partnership with New York University, delivering feedback and criticism on teaching skills

Stefan came to the United States in 2006 by way of Germany, where he received his M.A. in Communications and an M.A. in Spanish and English Philology from the University of Muenster. Right after graduating, he began working with the Dominican Republic’s Tourism Promotion Office in Frankfurt, Germany. His responsibilities included coordinating campaigns to promote this Caribbean destination and present it as a tourist attraction and viable economic market to the German-speaking countries. He worked with media outlets and opinion makers, recruiting them for familiarization trips to the Dominican Republic, highlighting the nation’s assets.

Stefan also holds a Certificate in International Business Administration from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. Before pursuing his Education in Austria and Germany, Stefan worked as a certified translator in German-Spanish-English with Sprachlos e.K., (SEK) in Germany, providing services to various clients attending conferences and international fairs in German-speaking countries