Dr. Ortega (PhD, MPH, Public Health/Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley) is a Senior Research Associate with IMPAQ. Dr. Ortega brings extensive experience in a broad range of subject areas, including biostatistics, environmental health sciences, geographic information systems (GIS), and policy analysis and advocacy at the state and federal level in the subjects of health care and education. Presently, Dr. Ortega’s work focuses on the evaluation of two pilot projects from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI): the Community-based Care Transition Program (CCTP), and the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Initiative. Both of these projects involve a mixed methods rapid-cycle evaluation design using econometric modeling. Dr. Ortega has also served as the project manager for the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) South Africa Data Preparation for the UN Population Fund project and assisted in other domestic and international GIS projects. Among other awards, Dr. Ortega has been recognized for his leadership as one of ten Hispanic leaders nationwide for the XV Edition of the Programa Líderes Hispanos in 2014, a fellowship program sponsored by the Fundación Carolina.
Prior to joining IMPAQ, Dr. Ortega was a Senior Policy Analyst at a long-term care provider where he evaluated policies and legislation affecting the regulatory landscape and reimbursement rates of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE; a capitated managed care program for Medicare/Medicaid nursing home-eligible seniors) in California. Dr. Ortega also worked on market analysis for organizational expansion.
Dr. Ortega’s earlier research focused in environmental public health with an emphasis on the role of the built environment (neighborhood design and composition) on socio-physical exposures, behavior, and health outcomes. In particular, his work centered on using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and machine learning processes to (1) perform a California-wide assessment the public school neighborhood environment and childhood obesity; and (2) develop national small area prevalence predictions (census tract and ZIP code level) for adult smoking and obesity.
Dr. Ortega's extensive experience in higher education policy and advocacy at the federal and state of California levels comes from his work as the External Affairs Vice President of UC Berkeley’s Graduate Assembly, and as Co-Founder and Chairperson of Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE), a national coalition of public research university graduate student governments.
Ortega Hinojosa, A. (2015, June). Childhood Obesity and CA Public Schools' Neighborhood Environment: An Application of Machine Learning and GIS for Variable Selection and Analysis. Presentation at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, Minneapolis, MN.