About US

Mission Statement: MiOra is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in Los Angeles, California with a mission to improve the diversity in STEM and healthcare fields by providing free career counseling, one-on-one mentoring, no-cost, online, certificate HIPAA training and no-barrier local internships to all students, with a focus on underserved and Title I schools.


The demographics in the U.S.A are changing rapidly. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 25 years, the so-called “minority” populations, combined, will become the majority in the United States; however the diversity in the healthcare workforce is lagging behind. In 2014 African Americans, Hispanic Americans and American Indians together constitute nearly 38 percent of the U.S. population; however they make up 19% of nurses (AACN 2013), 8.9% of physicians (AAMC 2014) and 13.3% of dentists (ADEA 2013).

Since minority-providers tend to serve their own communities (Porterfield DS et al. J Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved; 2003; 14:256), this lack of diversity is proposed to play a major role in leading to provider shortages and health disparities among different U.S populations (Sullivan Commission on Diversity Report 2007). The need to improve diversity among healthcare providers is widely recognized by Colleges and Universities.

Noticing the shortage of college counselors (954 student for 1 counselor in CA; California Dept of Education Data May, 2016), coupled with the lack of easily accessible mentorship programs that provide individualized guidance based on the students interests and strengths, Pediatrician, Adjunct Associate Professor Ozlem Equils, MD from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center/UCLA School of Medicine founded non-profit MiOra (means my light, pronounced me-ora) in California in June 2015. MiOra’s goal is to help promising high school and college students, interested in a career in STEM or healthcare fields, with college entry and completio

Our Team

Our team collectively has more than 100 years of mentoring experience

Ozlem EquilsDr. Ozlem Equils, M.D., FAAP, Founder and the President

Dr Equils was an Associate Prof of Pediatrics at Cedars-Sinai MEd Ctr/UCLA School of Medicine. She is currently a physician at North East Valley Health Corporation


Michael DeichtMichael Deitch, Chief Executive Officer

Regional Director – Western United States, The American Heart Association


Temel Kahyaoglu, Treasurer and Secretary

Member of Board of Directors, Gama Holding


Dr. Chris Da Costa BSc, MSc, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP

Vice President of Clinical Development with Synthetic Biologics


Supriya Chakravarty, Board Member
Global Treasury Implementation Associate, Silicon Valley Bank


Dr. Alex Chen, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer, Health Net 


Joseph Doherty, PhD Board Member
Founder and Past Director, Empirical Research Group, UCLA, School of Law


Advisors to MiOra are Professionals from Prestigious STEM and Healthcare Organizations

Advisors to MiOra include professionals from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Immunologists, American Society of Engineering Educators, University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles, Pepperdine University, University of Pittsburgh, and National Science Foundation.