Latino HealthCare Forum

About Us

We strive to provide vulnerable populations access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary healthcare services. We aim to organize and sustain a powerful consumer voice to ensure that all individuals and communities can influence healthcare decisions. 

Our Mission

The Latino HealthCare Forum's vision is a nation free of disparities in health and healthcare. Our goals include:

  1. Supporting a positive transformation of the healthcare system and building a high-value healthcare system that requires insuring the uninsured, making coverage more secure for those who have it and improving the quality of care for all. 
  2. Helping to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure and workforce by addressing the critical shortage of medical personnel including community health workers. 
  3. Advancing the health, safety and well-being for vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.

LHCF Staff

Jill Ramirez President & CEO

Jill Ramirez
President & CEO

Linda Smith Chief Administrative Officer

Linda Smith
Chief Administrative Officer

Sal Valdez Chief Operating Officer

Sal Valdez
Chief Operating Officer

Hugo Diaz Application Assiter

Hugo Diaz
Application Assiter

esperanza Saldana OUtreach Specialist

esperanza Saldana
OUtreach Specialist

isabel lopez-aguilar program coordinator

isabel lopez-aguilar
program coordinator

Josefina Lopez Community Health Worker

Josefina Lopez
Community Health Worker

haixia sahyon Community Health Worker

haixia sahyon
Community Health Worker

maria tello Community Health Worker  

maria tello
Community Health Worker


hanan almufti Community Health Worker

hanan almufti
Community Health Worker

Former LHCF Staff

Frank Rodriguez

Frank Rodriguez

Mayra Lopez-Aguilar

Mayra Lopez-Aguilar

Alexandra Castañeda

Alexandra Castañeda

chelsea brass

chelsea brass

Norma Lopez-Aguilar

Norma Lopez-Aguilar

manuel garcia

manuel garcia

Hector Torres

Hector Torres

frances acuna

frances acuna

Board of Directors

Chairman of the Board

Graduate, University of Houston College of Pharmacy, 1981. Majority of career devoted to public Health with brief employment in Hospital Pharmacy management and Home Health care. Opened the First Class A pharmacy for the City of Austin, at the South Austin Health Center in 1983 and in 1999 the First Pharmacy at the David Powell Clinic, currently a CommunityCare clinic. Retired from the David Powell clinic in 2013 but still active in HIV medication issues as a member of the Texas HIV Medication Assistance Program, Advisory Committee.


Board Member

Jose Orta is a founding member of Taylor’s LULAC Council 4721. He is also the Secretary of the Williamson County Democratic Party. He is an Air Force veteran and a life-long resident of Taylor, Texas. He is a well-respected voice of the community advocating for progressive causes. Mr. Orta is the 1998 recipient of the Windcall Foundation Resident program, which “recognized Jose Orta for his many years of social justice work.” Jose is also the 1st Vice Chair of the party.

Juan Duran
Board Member

Has more than 37 years of experience in practice of law in areas including Administrative Law, State Office of Administrative Hearings, Elder Law, Guardianship Law Probate Law, Federal Law, Criminal Law, Civil Law, and Family Law. He has 18 years’ experience in Administrative Law and State Office of Administrative Hearings he is a former Member State Bar College, State Bar of Texas, 13 years in private practice in Austin, Texas State and federal criminal, civil law. Four years as Justice of the Peace, Travis County, Pct. 4, Extensive research, negotiations, mediation, and dispute resolution, Literate with personal computers and applications. He has also serve as Texas Assistant General Counsel and Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Worked with Assistant Attorney General in State and Federal cases, counseled participants, their representatives, attorneys, trained staff, reviewed documentation such as trusts, guardianships, powers of attorney, divorce decrees, qualified domestic relations orders, researched laws for other states, countries, and translated TRS Benefits Handbook into Spanish.

Practiced Criminal and Civil law in Federal and State Courts. Also, handled cases in Family, and Probate Law; gained extensive trial and negotiating experience in these areas of law. Also, presided over civil, criminal, small claims cases.  Magistrate criminal charges at county jail, landlord-tenant, truancies, peace bonds, and commitments.

Board of Advisors


Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez is an internationally recognized cancer and chronic disease health disparities researcher and spokesperson. At the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio she is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and the founding director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research, which studies health disparities among minorities. For 30 years Dr. Ramirez has directed research programs focused on human and organizational communication to reduce health disparities affecting Latinos.

She directs two national research networks, Redes En Acción, which focuses on Latino cancer, and Salud America!, which focuses on Latino child obesity. She also is a member of the following: the Scientific Advisory Board, Susan G. Komen For the Cure; Scientific Advisory Board, Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade; and Board of Directors, Lance Armstrong Foundation. In San Antonio she is a member of the Mayor’s Fitness Council and the Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition.



McAlister is a professor of behavioral sciences at the UT School of Public Health, Austin campus, and an adjunct professor for the Plan II Honors & College of Communication at UT Austin. He is contributing to LHCF's initiative to address Latino health disparity elimination in the Dove Springs neighborhood. Professor McAlister's distinguished academic career includes positions at Harvard School of Public Health as an assistant professor and the UT Health Science Center at Houston as an associate professor in both the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health. Professor McAlister has been awarded twenty-three grants and contracts with total awards exceeding $20 mil. for projects to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, HIV infection, diabetes and violence. He has authored scientific articles and reports for a number of publications including the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and American Journal of Public Health.

Dr. Stephen Pont

Dr. Stephen Pont a general pediatrician and is the medical director for the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, Dell Children’s Medical Center’s tertiary care pediatric weight management center. The Center seeks to empower families to lead healthy, happy lives through addressing four key pillars, clinical, education, advocacy and research (CLEAR), over four levels of impact: individual/family, community/city, state and national. The Center includes a bilingual tertiary care pediatric weight management clinic ACES (Activating Children Empowering Success), a 10-week family based group program Healthy Living Happy Living and teen group programs in addition to education, advocacy and research activities.  Dr. Pont serves on a team with the UT-School of Public Health/Dell Center for Healthy Living and the USDA/Baylor College of Medicine that has been awarded a $6.3 million CDC grant to fund a demonstration project regarding childhood obesity that will link primary care offices, schools, recreation centers/YMCAs, and community-based interventions focusing on childhood obesity in Houston and Austin.