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Zócalo Health Appoints First Ever Latina Chief Medical Officer To Help Further Increase Healthcare Accessibility In The Latino Community and Bring Transparency to the Industry

Dr. Sarah Lopez and Zócalo Health join forces to radically transform the current healthcare landscape by offering culturally relevant services with an emphasis on community building and trust

SEATTLE, Jan. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Zócalo Health, a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for Latino patients, announced today the appointment of Dr. Sarah Lopez as the Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Lopez will lead the expansion of Zócalo's care model, growth of their clinical team, and the development of the company's culturally aligned services. As one of a few Latina physicians appointed to an executive position for a digital health company, Dr. Lopez is no stranger to defying the odds. While overcoming adversity as a first generation college student, she persisted with her studies and was accepted into the inaugural class of PRIME-LC (Program In Medical Education for the Latino Community) at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. She then went on to match into the top emergency medicine residency program at Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center. She has always persevered to achieve her goal and is committed to closing the health care gap for the nation's fastest-growing minority group.

Across the United States, Latinos experience disproportionately limited access to healthcare with a ratio of one primary care physician for every five to six thousand residents in predominantly Latino neighborhoods. They also account for 52% of all U.S. population growth over the last ten years, and meeting their medical needs is imperative for overall community health. Dr. Lopez's focus will be to help expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of its members.   

"I firmly believe in Zócalo Health's mission to radically transform the healthcare system in the U.S. with a very specific focus on the Latino community," said Dr. Sarah Lopez, Chief Medical Officer at Zócalo Health. "I'm proud to join a team that incorporates our community's values and traditions to make healthcare a more personal experience. I couldn't be more thrilled to help expand and build a more equitable landscape for Latinos from the ground up."

Zócalo Health allows members to make appointments, with the convenience of same day visits and technology that allows them to see a provider wherever is most suitable. The company also aims to address the gaps in the healthcare industry, by employing promotoras de salud (community health workers) to engage with members and help them navigate the complex healthcare system.

"Our Latino community continues to face significant health inequities. To address these, we must build teams that have lived experiences and can connect with our patients on a more personal level," said CEO Erik Cardenas. "We are excited to welcome Dr. Lopez, who shares the vision of Zócalo Health. With her at the helm, we will build a clinical foundation that will bridge many of the disparities faced by our community."

Since the company's launch earlier this year, Zócalo Health has been calling attention to the disparities Latinos face in the current U.S. healthcare landscape. Dr. Lopez's appointment further cements the brand's mission to improve the health care experience and outcomes of Latino patients in the US. To learn more, visit


Zócalo Health is a Latino-founded healthcare service designed for the Latino patient. Our primary care model blends tradition with innovation and prioritizes trusting relationships between care teams and patients. Each member of Zócalo Health is paired with a promotor de salud (community health worker) to establish a relationship to better understand members' goals and connect them to a Zócalo Health physician. Our team of physicians, hired from the community, focus on prevention, primary care, behavioral health, and traditional practices that work together to support our members' wellness. Operating in the states of California and Texas, Zócalo Health offers affordable and convenient care memberships that provide same-day access to culturally-aligned providers. 


Dr. Sarah Lopez was born and raised in Orange County, California. She attended medical school at the University of California, Irvine and business school at UCI's Paul Merage School of Business. She was part of UCI's first Program In Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC) cohort, a program created by Dr. Alberto Maneta that focuses on training highly qualified doctors who are culturally competent and dedicated to serving the diverse population of Southern California. After medical school, she did her Emergency Medicine (EM) residency at LAC+USC, one of the nation's top EM training programs.

Prior to joining Zócalo Health, Dr. Lopez was the Patient Safety Officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and practiced Emergency Medicine, regularly taking care of patients in the ER. Dr. Lopez currently sits on the board of local California non-profits where she actively works to build trust between healthcare institutions and the community.  

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