The Mexican Consul General Marcela Celorio honored Ilan Shapiro, M.D., medical director of health and wellness education at AltaMed Health Services with the 2018 Ohtli Award for his work on the Ventanillas de Salud (VDS) advisory board to expand healthcare programs for Mexican immigrants residing in the United States. The 2018 Ohtli Award Ceremony took place on Friday, Nov. 16 in San Diego.
The Ohtli Award was established in 1996 by the Institute of Mexicans Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to honor Mexican citizens working in other countries who have given assistance to Mexican immigrants or promoted their culture. The name of the award comes from the Nahuatl word for "road" or "path," and was chosen because it celebrates those who have facilitated the route for others. It is one of the highest recognitions given by the Mexican government.
Under Dr. Shapiro’s guidance, he has helped the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to expand the VDS program, which increases access to primary and preventive health services to Mexicans residing in the United States. Dr. Shapiro’s work has been instrumental in the development of intervention programs that serve the health needs of migrant communities on an international level.
“Access to healthcare is a vital human right and necessity,” said Dr. Shapiro. “It’s a pleasure to work alongside others who share the same passion of building healthier communities by improving access to care on an international scale for vulnerable populations. It’s truly an honor to be recognized with the Ohtli Award by the Mexican Government.”
Dr. Shapiro is actively involved in creating binational public health programs to reach Hispanic communities on both sides of the border; he acted as the medical advisor for the Mexican Consulate of Mexico and created the editorial board for a health bulletin representing Hispanic health topics.
As part of his work in community projects and advocacy, he was invited to become a part of the White House Hispanic Policy Group in 2011, educating the Hispanic community on the Health Care Act Policy. He actively participates in associate boards such as the Sargent Shriver Center, where he was the first Hispanic physician to join. He is also involved in the National Hispanic Medical Association and was commemorated as a Fellow of the National Physicians Alliance.
Prior to working at AltaMed, Dr. Shapiro served as chief medical officer at Hoy Health, where he created strategic partnerships and improved patient access to affordable health care services in the Hispanic market.
Dr. Shapiro resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.