Castulo de la Rocha: A Commitment to Affordable Health Care Forged During the Civil Rights Era

A well established leader in the Southern California health care community, Castulo de la Rocha serves as President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation. Reporting directly to the Board of Directors, he evaluates and manages clinical and administrative services spanning 44 sites throughout Orange and Los Angeles Counties. Mr. de la Rocha’s leadership over the past 36 years has helped AltaMed achieve status as one of the nation’s top-tier community health centers.

Castulo de la Rocha’s passion for social justice was sparked at an early age, when he came face to face with inequality as a young Mexican immigrant in East Los Angeles. He identified closely with a burgeoning Civil Rights movement that brought attention to persistent social issues such as substandard housing, lack of access to quality education, and a bare-bones health system. Gaining acceptance into the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Political Science program, he subsequently completed a J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.

Mr. de la Rocha began his career in San Francisco with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. As a law clerk, he undertook research into diverse juvenile law, employment discrimination, prison rights, and desegregation issues. Continuing as a legal intern until 1977, he provided specialized services in complex discrimination cases related to national origin and race.

A guiding force in the health care sector since the 1980s, Castulo de la Rocha has undertaken extensive research in his field. He notably directed a 1982 Spanish-speaking Mental Health Research Center project through the University of California, Los Angeles, entitled “Health Care Utilization by Low-Income Clients of A Community Clinic: An Archival Study.”

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