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 200 Medical Plaza, and teaches UCLA medical students and internal medicine residents at Simms Mann in the Venice Family Free Clinic. Dr. Casillas completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and medical studies at Harvard Medical School, where she received the Dean’s Community Service Award. She then finished her internal medicine and primary care residency training at the University of California San Francisco, also serving as Chief Medical Resident at UCSF Medical Center from 2008-2009. Dr. Casillas returned to her native hometown of Los Angeles as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA—where she completed a health services fellowship, conducted multiple community-partnered research projects, and received a masters’ degree at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. After completing her training, Dr. Casillas worked at the University 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’ research focuses on health inequities. Her studies examine how medical care access and interventions can be developed to improve the quality of life for minority and limited-English-speaking populations. She has led research projects that focus on reproductive health, depression, and cognitive decline in minority populations. Her current research portfolio is composed of multiple studies that investigate how electronic health tools are received in the Los Angeles county safety net health system, and how the health care system can develop a more meaningful experience for these underserved populations.
Medical Board Certification
- Latino Health
- Immigrant Health
- Access to health for Spanish-speaking patients
- Casillas A, Cemballi AG, Abhat A, Lemberg M, Portz JD, Sadasivaiah S, Ratanawongsa N, Semere W, Brown AF, Lyles CR. An Untapped Potential in Primary Care: Semi-Structured Interviews with Clinicians on How Patient Portals Will Work for Caregivers in the Safety Net. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22(7):e18466. doi: 10.2196/1. PMID: 32706709: PMC7400036
- Casillas A, Abhat A, Mahajan A, Moreno G, Brown AF, Szilagyi PG. Portals of Change- How Patient Portals will ultimately work for Safety Net Populations. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22(10):e16835. Epub 2020/10/24. doi: 10.2196/16835. PubMed PMID: 33094732; PMC7647808.
- Casillas A, Liang LJ, Vassar S, Brown AF. Culture and Cognition? The Association Between Acculturation and self-reported Memory Problems among middle-aged older Latinos in the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES). Journal of General Internal Medicine. J Gen Intern Med. 2021. Epub 2021/02/04. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06608-9. PubMed PMID: 33532962.
- Casillas A, Liang LJ, Vassar S, Brown AF. Trends in Memory Problems and Race/Ethnicity in the National Health and Examination Survey, 1999-2014. Ethn Dis. 2019;29(3):525-34. PMC6645717.
- Casillas A, Perez-Aguilar G, Abhat A, Gutierrez G, Olmos-Ochoa TT, Mendez C, Mahajan A, Brown AF, Moreno G. Su salud a la mano (your health at hand): patient perceptions about a bilingual patient portal in the Los Angeles safety net. Journal of the American Medical InformaticsAssociation. 2019 Dec 1;26(12):1525-1535. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocz115.. PMID: 31373362; PMC6857500
- Rodriguez, J.A., Casillas, A., Cook, B.L., & Marlin, R.P. "The Language of Equity in Digital Health: Prioritizing the Needs of Limited English Proficient Communities in the Patient Portal 2.0." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, vol. 32 no. 2, 2021, p. 211-219. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/hpu.2021.0059.
- Lerner C, Albertin C, Casillas A, Friedman S, Duru OK, Ong MK, Vangala S, Tseng CH, Rand CM, Humiston SG, Evans S, Sloyan M, Szilagyi PG. Patient Portal Reminders for Pediatric Influenza Vaccinations: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Pediatrics. 2021;148(2):e2020048413. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-048413. PMID: 34321338.
- . Gallegos A, Gordon L, Casillas A. A Call for Visibility, Inclusion and Support of First Gen students in Medicine. Academic Medicine. June 2021.
- Barron J, Castellon-Lopez Y, Morales M, and A Casillas. Amplificando nuestras voces: dudas y desconfianza sobre la vacuna del COVID-19 en las comunidades latinas, March 23, 2021.
- Casillas A. Es Tiempo de Abrir Nuestras Escuelas. La Opinion, Feb. 17, 2021.
- 2020 UCLA Health “100 in 100” – one of 100 "top trailblazing women” at UCLA
- 2021 National Academy of Medicine (NAM) – one of 10 early to mid-career faculty across the US selected as an Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine