Graphic: Mónica Hernández/AL DÍA News.
Graphic: Mónica Hernández/AL DÍA News.

These esteemed medical professionals comprise the 2023 AL DÍA Top Doctors Advisory Board

This group of experienced professionals in the medical field will be selecting the honorees of this year's forum.


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The 2023 AL DÍA Top Doctors Forum is just a few short weeks away, and there are several things that need to get done in that time.

One of the key tasks is the selection and subsequent announcement of this year’s honorees.

To make those selections, AL DÍA has put together a strong group of five medical professionals within different areas of the field who make up the advisory board of this year’s event.

Meet the 2023 AL DÍA Top Doctors Advisory Board: 

Dr. Johanna Vidal-Phelan

Dr. Johanna Vidal-Phelan is the Chief Medical Officer in the Quality Department at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC), where she also serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the school. 

With over 20 years of experience in clinical practice, Dr. Vidal-Phelan has established herself as a critical thought leader in the field of value-based care, population health, care management and social determinants of health.

A native of Puerto Rico, she came to the United States to pursue her bachelor’s degree in biology from Wellesley College. She then went on to complete her General Pediatrics internship and residency at the University of Washington Seattle Children’s Hospital and a healthcare-focused master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University School of Business. 

She would also complete her Doctor of Medicine from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.

This marks the second consecutive year that Dr. Vidal-Phelan will serve on the Advisory Board for the AL DÍA Top Doctors Forum, where she herself was also among the honorees at the same event in 2021. This year, she is Chair of the Advisory Board.

Dr. Hema Datwani

Dr. Hema Datwani is an obstetrician & gynecologist at Einstein Medical Center.

In her role, she is able to help guide women throughout their entire reproductive lives. 

Given her background as half Indian and half Venezuelan and the fact she grew up in Panama, one of the key motivating factors throughout her career has been to work with the Latin American and Spanish-speaking communities.

Within her clinics across Northeast Philadelphia, about 50% of her patients are Spanish-speaking or have limited English proficiency. It is her belief that her and her patient’s bilingualism are part of a more holistic approach to care. 

She received her medical training from the University of Michigan Medical School, and later completed her residency at Temple University Hospital.

Dr. Datwani was named the Emerging Leader at the 2022 AL DÍA Top Doctors Forum. 

Dr. Xilma R. Ortiz-Gonzalez

Dr. Xilma Ortiz-Gonzalez is a Pediatric Neurologist in the Division of Neurology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she specializes in neurogenetics, TBCK encephalopathy and mitochondrial disorders.

Along with her work at CHOP, Dr. Ortiz-Gonzalez is also an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 

She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, where she earned both a medical degree and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the university.

In 2022, Dr. Ortiz-Gonzalez was named among the honorees of the AL DÍA Top Doctors. 

Dr. Natalia Ortiz-Torrent

Dr. Natalia Ortiz-Torrent is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. 

She is also the Medical Director of Consultation and Liaison Psychiatry at Temple University Hospital. 

In her work, Dr. Ortiz-Torrent analyses the interface between how the brain, mind, spirit, culture and psychology all interact amongst each other.

Originally from Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, Dr. Ortiz-Torrent had goals of becoming a licensed chemist. However, after being accepted into the Ponce School of Medicine — one of the most esteemed and prestigious schools on the island — she decided to study medicine instead.

Upon graduating from the Ponce School of Medicine, Dr. Ortiz-Torrent moved to the United States and began her training at the Temple University Psychiatry Department, later transitioning to her current area of expertise in consultation and liaison psychiatry. 

In 2020, she made history in becoming the first Latina woman to be named President of the Medical Society. Last year, the Pennsylvania Medical Society honored her with the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Medical Society. 

She previously served as part of the advisory board in 2021, and was also named an AL DÍA Top Doctor in 2020. 

Dr. Max Mercado

Dr. Max Mercado is an Internal Medicine Physician and Founder of Mercado Medical Practice. 

As Chief Medical Officer, Mercado has ensured that Mercado Medical always put the health of the community at the forefront. 

Raised in the municipality of Cabo Rojo on Puerto Rico’s west coast, he decided to pursue a career in medicine after continuous support and encouragement from his mother, who was a longtime mathematics professor. 

Dr. Mercado completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Puerto Rico before going on to attend Central del Caribe University School of Medicine in Puerto and earning his M.D. 

He subsequently came to the United States and did his internal medicine residency at MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. Since arriving to the city and starting Mercado Medical, he has strived to create a welcoming environment for everyone where health can be a bridge rather than a wall. 

Dr. Mercado previously served on the advisory board of the 2022 AL DÍA Top Doctors Forum, where he was also honored at the very same event in 2020. 

These five dedicated physicians and medical professionals have the responsibility of finalizing the honorees of this year’s AL DÍA Top Doctors, which will be selected out of a slew of nominations generated by the public.

The announcement of this year’s honorees is expected to take place in the coming days. 

The 2023 AL DÍA Top Doctors Forum will take place Friday, May 5, 2023, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To learn more information or purchase a ticket, click here


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