Who are AL DÍA’s 2023 Top Doctors?
The cohort of 10 honorees will be recognized at a ceremony on Monday, June 12, 2023.
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As AL DÍA Top Doctors enters its fifth year of honoring Latino doctors from across the Philadelphia region and beyond, the tradition grows ever stronger with yet another cohort of Latino honorees from across the vast spectrum of medicine.
They will be honored on Monday, June 12, 2023, in the historic hall of One North Broad Street, at the Masonic Temple across from Philadelphia City Hall in Center City.
This year’s awards also mark the first year in a partnership that will see Penn Medicine become the presenting sponsor for AL DÍA’s Top Doctors for the next three years.
The 2023 honorees are as follows:
Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Daniel Schidlow
Kicking off this year’s awardees is a name that has long been affiliated with AL DÍA in a lot of its event endeavors, and that’s Drexel College of Medicine’s Dr. Daniel Schidlow.
A Chilean, born to Jewish parents who fled Nazi Germany for the South American country in 1939, Schidlow is a previous health archetype honored at AL DÍA’s Hispanic Heritage Month Awards back in 2017.
Back then, he was five years into his tenure as the Dean and Senior Vice President of Health Affairs at Drexel’s College of Medicine and told AL DÍA that his “best and most important asset” was his Hispanic background. It helped him when he first arrived at what was then Drexel’s St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, as he was able to relate to the surrounding North Philadelphia community.
These days, Schidlow is a Dean Emeritus, and remains a professor of pediatrics, medicine and pharmacology and physiology at Drexel’s College of Medicine.
Emerging Leader: Jordan Juarez
From lifetime achievement to a rising star in medicine with his whole career ahead of him, Jordan Juarez — the Emerging Leader award winner this year — is a rising fourth-year MD candidate at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine.
Born to a large Mexican American family and raised in the predominantly Spanish-speaking community of Chula Vista in Southern California, Juarez’s first desire to go into the healthcare field came when he learned his grandmother’s story.
She immigrated to the U.S. across the southern border from Mexico in the 1960s and took up work as a low-wage seamstress in factories. Her little English proficiency made it difficult for her to access any kind of healthcare throughout her life and she eventually developed type II diabetes later in life.
It’s these kinds of disparities Juarez was out to eliminate as part of the 2022 National Institute of Health Medical Research Scholars Program. He devoted his time to internal medicine, specifically the research, practice and promotion of equitable care for all communities.
Juarez received his undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of Southern California in neuroscience and global medicine, respectively.
Dr. Arleen Ayala Crespo
Dr. Arleen Ayala Crespo is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine. She’s also the director of both the division of general obstetrics and gynecology and the obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences clinical simulation at Temple University Hospital.
The latter is a center at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine that allows students and residents to simulate real-life situations in a doctor’s day-to-day and practice their responses/
Ayala Crespo has Puerto Rican roots, receiving her bachelor’s in biology at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, and then her MD at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan.
She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Temple University Hospital, where she continues to work to this day.
Dr. Vilmaris Quiñones Cardona
Dr. Vilmaris Quiñones Cardona currently works as a pediatric practitioner at St. Christopher’s Hospital, where she is the associate director of the neonatal and perinatal fellowship program.
The program is a three-year training that exposes participants to a career in neonatal and perinatal medicine — dealing with newborns and infants born prematurely.
Quiñones Cardona is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Drexel College of Medicine.
She is a two-time graduate of George Washington University, receiving both her bachelor’s in biology and a master’s of public health, focusing on community-oriented primary care. Quiñones Cardona got her MD from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.
Dr. Marlyn Ramos Lamboy
Dr. Marlyn Ramos Lamboy is the medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Moss Rehab, part of the Jefferson Health Network.
Her focus there is rehabbing patients who have sustained debilitating spinal cord injuries back to points where they can live as pain free and independent as possible.
“Rehabilitation is happy medicine,” Ramos Lamboy said in a promotional video for the program.
Like the previous two honorees, Ramos Lamboy also has Puerto Rican roots, receiving her medical degree from Universidad Central del Caribe, located in Bayamón. From there, she completed an internship in internal medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City before going into physical medicine and rehab during her residency at New York Medical College.
Ramos Lamboy then completed a fellowship in spinal cord injury rehab at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).
Dr. Jimmy Ruiz
Dr. Jimmy Ruiz is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist in the Jefferson Health Network, operating primarily out of Jefferson-Torresdale and Jefferson-Abington Hospitals.
He has over 24 years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology and is a 1998 graduate of the Drexel College of Medicine.
Dr. Alejandro Delgado Daza
Dr. Alejandro Delgado Daza specializes in internal medicine, particularly infectious diseases, and is part of the Jefferson Health Network.
In addition to lecturing on internal medicine and infectious diseases, Delgado Daza also works as a clinical ethicist.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Delgado Daza was also part of Einstein Health’s Vaccine Crisis Communication team that worked to get accurate COVID-19 vaccine information to communities across Philadelphia.
He has Venezuelan roots and is a graduate of Universidad Central de Venezuela. Delgado Daza also completed a fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Dr. Enrique Hernandez
Dr. Enrique Hernandez is the J. Robert Willson Professor and Chair Obstetrics and Gynecology at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine.
Before rising at Temple, Hernandez completed both a fellowship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. His fellowship was in gynecology oncology, and his residency focused more on becoming an OB/GYN doctor.
Hernandez is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in San Juan.
Dr. Erik Forno
Dr. Erik Forno holds a number of clinical and academic roles as part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).
He is the director of UPMC’s Pediatric Asthma Center and the co-director of the Severe Asthma Clinic at UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
On the academic side of things, Forno is an associate professor of pediatrics and clinical and translational science at UPMC.
Forno has Peruvian roots and is a graduate of the Universidad Cayetano Heredia, located in Lima, Peru, where he received his MD.
It was at that point, Forno made the jump to the U.S., where he got his masters of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Before working at UPMC, Forno completed residencies in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Denver and pediatric pulmonology at the Children’s Hospital of Boston. He also completed a research fellowship at Harvard’s Channing Lab.
Dr. Sarah Ramirez
Dr. Sarah Ramirez is a practitioner of family medicine and obstetrics as part of the Penn State Health Medical Group in Harrisburg.
She also previously served on the Population Health Committee and Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity at the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and was a director and instructor in Penn State College of Medicine’s medical interpreter program.
In academics, Ramirez is an assistant professor in the department of family and community medicine at the Penn State Cancer Institute.
Ramirez has been recognized in multiple capacities in her career, first in 2018, as part of Penn State College of Medicine’s “Exceptional Moments in Teaching” program, and then in October 2022 by Latino Connections for her work as the “most valuable player” of CATE, Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 mobile response unit.
“Dr. Ramirez’s innovation and passion inspired so many important components of this initiative that simply would not be possible without her help,” George Fernandez, chief executive officer of Latino Connection, said at the time. “She assisted with developing safety protocols for the transportation and refrigeration of the vaccines distributed through the CATE unit, a critical part of this initiative’s success.”
Latino Connection had previously honored her in 2018 as one of Pennsylvania’s 100 most influential Latino leaders.
As for schooling, Ramirez graduated from the Ross University School of Medicine for her medical degree, then located in Portsmouth, Dominica in the Caribbean. These days, the school is based in Bridgetown, Barbados. From there, she completed a residency in family medicine at MedStar Franklin Square Hospital Center in Maryland, and then a fellowship in women’s health, obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria.
AL DÍA’s 2023 Top Doctors Forum and Reception will happen on Monday, June 12.
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