President and Chief Executive Officer
AltaMed Health Services, a private nonprofit organization, is a major provider of health and human services in the Greater Los Angeles area and the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in the State of California. AltaMed's mission is to provide high quality, coordinated, comprehensive health and human services to the underserved in Southern California, with particular attention to Latino and multi-ethnic populations. AltaMed began as the East Los Angeles Barrio Free Clinic in 1969, a volunteer-staff storefront providing basic medical services. Today AltaMed's service area extends beyond East Los Angeles, to the Greater Los Angeles area and Orange County.
As President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Cástulo de la Rocha is an enduring trailblazer in community health. Under his visionary leadership, AltaMed has transformed from a storefront barrio clinic in East Los Angeles into the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in the nation. In 1977, Mr. de la Rocha recognized that people in low-income neighborhoods throughout Southern California were significantly underserved by essential health resources—the Barrio Free Clinic in his neighborhood often had a line of people wound around the block. By acknowledging that the health of a neighborhood is tied to its prosperity, he changed the face of one community, then another, until AltaMed became one of the area’s largest health care systems, with approximately 50 medical, dental and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) sites staffed by 3,200 employees, providing compassionate care to more than 300,000 patients each year. Mr. de la Rocha’s “whole community” approach to health care has earned him the Leader in Action award from the PRIME Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (2016). In 2017, he was honored alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda with a Medallion of Excellence from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). In 2018, he received the Aaron L. Brown Memorial Public Service Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), and in 2019, he was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Mr. de la Rocha frequently lends his expertise in aligning best practices in health care, public policy, and social advocacy. He currently serves on the boards of National Medical Fellowships and America’s Physician Groups, and in 2020, joined the Health Tech 4 Medicaid Expert Council. An avid believer in the healing power of art, Mr. de la Rocha has spent 30 years assembling the AltaMed Art Collection. It champions the works of emerging and established artists who reflect the history, achievements, and struggles of underserved communities, and lives on rotating display across AltaMed’s network. In 2018, Mr. de la Rocha led the launch of Building Bridges: Chicano/Mexican Art from Los Angeles to Mexico, an event spanning nearly two years across seven sites, encompassing an exhibit of Chicano art as well as accompanying panels discussing art’s influence on U.S./Mexico relations. He has been recognized by the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), and is a member of the Getty Pacific Standard Time Business Leaders Council.