Zócalo Health raises $5 million to launch virtual primary care for Latino patients

Zócalo Health, a virtual healthcare service for Latino patients, has raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by Animo, Virtue and Vamos Ventures.

Other participants in the fundraising include the necessary Joint Ventures and Potential Partners as well as Cityblock Health CEO Toyin Ajayi, social policy researcher and venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein, Out-of-Pocket’s Nikhil Krishnan and ORDRS CEO Erik Ibarra.


Zócalo will use seed capital to launch virtual primary care services in California, Texas and Washington this year.

Through monthly and annual membership plans, the startup will match patients with a care team consisting of doctors, nurses and mental health clinicians, led by a medical staff member. leading community. Patients can also access same-day or next-day virtual appointments and care coordination services.

The company is currently offering care as part of a public beta in California, and eventually plans to expand into new states and add in-person services.

Mariza Hardin, head of strategy and operations at Zócalo, says MobiHealthNews that she and her co-founder Erik Cardenas grew up in immigrant families and struggled to navigate the complex health care system.

“We have taken a lot of our life experiences and built this into the Zócalo Health model of care,” she said. “But we also spend a lot of time talking to patients and talking to the Latino community asking, ‘Why don’t you access primary care? What are you worried about? Why don’t you believe it? system thought?’ Because it’s very much a matter of trust that has been impacted and accelerated by the pandemic.”

Chief executive officer Zócalo Cardenas said community health workers will be key to establishing trust and helping patients navigate their services.

“With this community health worker, we’re really focused on those relationships and building trust so people can really begin to engage and establish vertical care with us.” that they’ve been lacking with this one-of-a-kind health system,” he said.


Amazon Web Services recently announced Zócalo as one of 10 participants in the 2022 AWS Healthcare Accelerator focused on health equity. Cardenas and Hardin, both veterans from Amazon Caresays it wants to bring to the tech and retail giants consumer-focused culture for their startup.

Hispanic adults face a number of challenges accessing the health care system, and they are more likely to be uninsured. According to one Pew Research Center Survey published earlier this summer, 70% of Hispanic adults said they had seen a doctor or other health care provider in the past year, as opposed to 82% of all US adults .

Access is less consistent for immigrants. Among those who have lived in the US for 10 years or less, only 55% said they had seen a service provider in the past year, compared with 63% of those who had been in the US for 11 to 20 years and 77% in the past year. number of immigrants who have lived in the United States for more than 20 years.

“I think today there are a lot of good words being shared around health inequality and DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion]but it’s really important that we start to really take action when it comes to these indicators and the importance of addressing these gaps,” Cardenas said.

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