Latino HealthCare Forum

معلومات عنا

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

Manuel Garcia OUtreach Specialist

Manuel Garcia
OUtreach Specialist

Josefina Lopez-Aguilar Community Health Worker

Josefina Lopez-Aguilar
Community Health Worker

Former LHCF Staff

Frank Rodriguez

Frank Rodriguez

Mayra Lopez-Aguilar

Mayra Lopez-Aguilar

Alexandra Castañeda

Alexandra Castañeda

Esperanza Saldaña-Garcia

Esperanza Saldaña-Garcia

Norma Lopez-Aguilar

Norma Lopez-Aguilar

Hector Torres

Hector Torres

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

Tony is a member of the Enterprise Risk Management Team and is responsible for the information security program, security awareness program, and cybersecurity. He also chairs University Federal Credit Union’s Information Security Committee Team.

Tony is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) with 25 plus years in Information Technology; the past 7 years being focused on information security. Tony is a member of many security groups: InfraGard (A non-profit organization which partners with US businesses and the FBI), Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) and Hackformers.



Board Member

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Board Member

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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. Coopwood is retired from a distinguished career as a surgeon, having served the community for over 30 years. During his career, Dr. Coopwood served as Chief of Surgery at Brackenridge Hospital from 1980 to 1985, Chief of Staff at Brackenridge Hospital in 1986 and Chief of Surgery at St. David’s Hospital from 1988 to 1990. Brackenridge Hospital and Travis County Medical Society honored Dr. Coopwood as “Physician of the Year” in 1988 and 2004, respectively. In retirement, he has served as President of the Retired Physicians Organization of the Travis County Medical Society. In 2011, he was awarded the Austin Business Journal Health Care Heroes Special Achievement Award. Dr. Coopwood has served as Board Chair of the Travis County Health Care District, also known as Central Health. The Austin City Council reappointed Dr. Coopwood to his third term on the Central Health Board of Managers and he will serve until 2015.