Alejandra Casillas, MD, MSHS, is an Assistant Professor in Residence in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Casillas, a bilingual (English/Spanish) physician and researcher, earned a medical degree from Harvard School of Medicine in 2005 and a master of science in health services research from UCLA in 2011. Dr. Casillas’ research interests focus on improving the quality of health care and health-services access for minority and immigrant populations residing in the USA, specifically related to reproductive health, depression, and cognitive decline in minority populations. In the recent past, she led research projects focusing on immigrant women’s health and the provision of culturally sensitive care in the university hospitals in Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, helping the Swiss Office of Public Health respond to the immigrant refugee crisis in Europe. More recently, Dr. Casillas has conducted projects in partnership with the LA County Department of Health Services working to improve the deployment of bilingual, patient-centered digital health tools in the safety net for older and Limited English Proficient (LEP) adults with chronic disease and to address the social determinants of health in the primary-care, county-clinic setting in older, vulnerable populations.
2017-2018 Pilot Project, "First warning signs” for cognitive decline: Self-reported memory problems and neuro-cognitive testing among middle-aged and older adults across race/ethnicity in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)." In this study, Dr. Casillas aims to lay the foundation for developing future testable interventions to address memory problems in the minority communities of Los Angeles and identifying pathways for future community interventions.