Accomplished community health advocate Castulo de la Rocha has demonstrated a commitment to philanthropy throughout his nearly four-decade professional life. In recognition of his efforts, Castulo de la Rocha has been honored with the Community Service Award from the American Diabetes Association in addition to the Change the World with a Giving Heart Award from the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
The AFP seeks to advance philanthropy through facilitating effective and ethical fundraising. The Greater Los Angeles Chapter works toward this mission by offering its members education and training opportunities, by supporting professional credentialing, and by providing a variety of networking and mentoring opportunities.
Each year, the AFP presents awards in recognition of National Philanthropy Day. Occurring on November 15, National Philanthropy Day honors the societal benefits of philanthropy and the individuals who give their time and resources in the spirit of community service.
Doug Freeman, a Los Angeles attorney and well-known philanthropist, founded National Philanthropy Day in 1986. It was later pronounced an official day by President Ronald Reagan and is now celebrated in all 50 states and in Canada.
Cástulo de la Rocha, a highly experienced health executive, drives growth at AltaMed Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), as president and CEO. The organization attends to the wellness needs of more than 900,000 patients in Southern California per year. In recognition of his contributions to the nation’s health infrastructure, Cástulo de la Rocha earned the Surgeon’s General Gold Medallion for Public Health and the American Diabetes Association Community Service Award.
Congress mandated that the FQHC designation apply to safety net establishments, such as programs that assist the financially disadvantaged, community health centers, and public housing organizations. The mission of FQHC establishments centers on delivering primary care services to underserved individuals in both rural and urban areas.
To obtain the FQHC title, an organization must satisfy at least one of the following criteria. It must either be receiving a grant sanctioned by the Public Health Service Act (PHS) or be receiving a grant from an organization funded by a PHS grant and whose grant meets certain criteria laid out in the PHS. Further, establishments that may not currently have a PHS grant but that fall within the principal requirements for obtaining a PHS grant may gain FQHC status.
If, on January 1, 1991, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services treated a facility as a federally funded health center or if a facility was assisting a tribe with its health needs under the Indian Self-Determination Act in the same year, that facility may fall under the FQHC designation.
Leveraging decades of experience in health administration, Cástulo de la Rocha guides AltaMed Health Services of Los Angeles as CEO and president. The organization, a nonprofit, supports patients as the largest community health center of its kind in the United States. Under Cástulo de la Rocha’s management, AltaMed hosts nearly 1 million patient visits annually at locations throughout Orange County and Los Angeles County.
As part of its commitment to community outreach, AltaMed Health Services decided to help educate its Latino patient base by producing a four-part telenovela that deals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) issues. Beyond their educational goals, the producers of the project believed it would lower HIV stigma among the target audience.
The program, titled Sin Verguenza, tells the story of an East Los Angeles family, the Salazars. The stories presented in the telenovela draw on experiences from actual AltaMed patients. The organization was able to produce the drama through funding provided by a federal grant. Initially, the production was released on YouTube in the hopes that a television station would then choose to air it.
Cástulo de la Rocha identifies health-care solutions that maximize available funding and resources for patients of AltaMed, a nonprofit network of high-quality health clinics in California. As head of the organization, Cástulo de la Rocha establishes community partnerships that enable program participants to receive preventative and clinical medical care.
Studies indicate that patients with chronic illnesses experience improved outcomes when they participate in programs that provide chronic-care support and education. These support organizations, which range from nonprofit community health groups to social services, assist clients with procurement of medications and treatment-related equipment. In addition, they offer resources that help patients learn more about the management of their conditions.
Experts note that the prospect of dealing with a chronic medical condition tends to overwhelm many people. While the patients themselves may find handling the long-term outlook of their illnesses difficult, family members also experience feelings of despair about the consequences of the condition and resentment about their potential role as caregivers. Chronic-care support organizations often make themselves readily available to patients and their families. Support organizations are integral in directing patients to resources for financial assistance, home health care, clinical care, and other needs.
Cástulo de la Rocha joined California-based AltaMed in 1977 on a three-month temporary contract. Since that time, Cástulo de la Rocha identified and implemented programs that enabled the nonprofit to grow to a more than 1,900-person organization serving thousands of clients in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Among its services, AltaMed offers specialty women’s health and children’s care.
Regular prenatal care throughout pregnancy optimizes a woman’s chances of having a healthy baby. A doctor monitors the growth and health of the fetus as well as the mother’s health during the gestation period. In most cases, expectant mothers increase intake of folic acid and other vitamins to ensure that the growing baby receives adequate nutrition. In addition, the doctor observes the mother to guard against the onset of gestational diabetes and other medical conditions that pose serious risks to mother and child.
Physical examinations for pregnant women encompass regular weigh-ins to ensure that weight gain falls within a healthy range to both sustain the pregnancy and avoid the likelihood of obesity-related issues. In addition, most doctors request a urine sample at each examination to note and address any abnormal levels of glucose or hormones. At certain stages of the pregnancy, the doctor sometimes performs ultrasounds and other imaging tests to ascertain the physical health of the fetus.
Dedicated to helping the Latino community gain access to health care, Cástulo de la Rocha serves as the president and CEO of AltaMed. Having joined the organization in 1977, Cástulo de la Rocha built the nonprofit from a three-person operation to its current position as a federally qualified health center.
Many people neglect their annual medical examinations. The cost of these examinations may seem unnecessary if a patient has experienced no overt health concerns. Moreover, these checkups take time, a commodity that many people find lacking in their day-to-day lives. Nonetheless, regular examinations prove especially important opportunities for identifying factors that could affect long-term health. Early detection promotes the likelihood of successful management of such conditions. Treatment tends to be more effective if health issues are addressed before they become serious.
Annual physicals generally entail checking a patient’s weight, blood pressure, urine, hearing, and vision, as well as ordering blood tests for cholesterol, blood sugar, and other indicators of overall health. In addition, the doctor usually discusses a patient’s use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco and exercise and diet routines. The tests performed in these annual examinations indicate signs of serious disorders such as cancer, diabetes, and even sexually transmitted diseases. For men, annual exams can uncover such issues as prostate cancer and enlarged heart chambers. Women learn about problems like cervical cancer, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 11, 2013) – The American Public Health Association (APHA) is pleased to announce the dates for its 2013 annual meeting, which will be held Nov. 2-6 at the Boston Exposition and Convention Center. The APHA is encouraging all of its members, including Cástulo de la Rocha, president and chief executive officer of AltaMed Health Services Corporation, to attend the meeting.
In its 141st year, the APHA annual meeting is one of the largest conferences designed to promote health and prevent disease by addressing current and emerging practice issues, policy, and health science. The APHA anticipates attendance by more than 13,000 administrators, educators, nurses, physicians, and other health specialists from around the world.
Established in 1872, the APHA is one of the oldest and most diverse organizations of public health professionals worldwide. The organization is dedicated to protecting Americans and their families from serious and preventable health conditions.
Cástulo de la Rocha has been a longtime member of the American Public Health Association. In addition to the APHA, Cástulo de la Rocha maintains membership in the American Management Association and the National Coalition of Hispanic Mental Health and Human Services Organizations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 64.5 million people volunteered at least once during the period from September 2011 to September 2012. Aside from gaining a feeling of goodwill by performing community service, volunteers who meet the necessary requirements have the opportunity to be recognized for their work with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Cástulo de la Rocha, president and chief executive officer of AltaMed Health Services Corporation, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2007 for his contributions in the community health care setting. Cástulo de la Rocha provides a brief overview of this distinguished honor.
Question: What is the President’s Volunteer Service Award?
Answer: As one of the initiatives of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the President’s Volunteer Service Award honors people who have given their time in their communities. The award was created in 2003 by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
Question: What are the requirements to receive the award?
Answer: Recipients must be United States citizens or permanent residents, they must volunteer a certain number of hours within a 12-month period or over a lifetime, and awards are given only for volunteer service.
Question: What does the award consist of?
Answer: The President’s Volunteer Service Award offers several options for recognition, including an official pin, a certificate of achievement, a congratulatory letter from the president, or a combination thereof.
HispanicBusiness.com released a list of the top 25 Hispanic Nonprofits for 2012, choosing AltaMed Health Services and CEO Cástulo de la Rocha for inclusion. The list noted the expenditures and revenues of each nonprofit, using these numbers as a basis for inclusion in the list. AltaMed is featured alongside other top nonprofits, including Acacia Network, the Aspira Association, Southwest Key Programs, and Chicanos Por La Causa Inc.
Established in 1969, AltaMed is dedicated to serving the underprivileged communities of Southern California. The company provides primary medical care, dental care, and long-term care services for senior citizens. Additionally, the nonprofit supports health education, youth services, HIV/AIDS care, substance abuse treatments, and disease management services. As the largest independent federally qualified community health center in the United States, the nonprofit serves more than 150,000 families annually through more than 930,000 visits at 43 sites in Southern California.
The American Diabetes Association offers extensive information for people living with diabetes and for communities. A recipient of the American Diabetes Association Community Service Award, Cástulo de la Rocha leads AltaMed Health Services Corporation. He takes an active role in professional public health organizations and philanthropic endeavors. Cástulo de la Rocha earned a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his experience leading AltaMed Health Services spans more than three decades.
A fun grassroots event, the Community Walk to Stop Diabetes relies largely on the service of volunteers who are passionate about fundraising. Volunteer Walk Coordinators enjoy leadership roles in terms of recruiting volunteers and planning their neighborhood events. With a focus on team building and fundraising locally, the community walks are memorable, positive and energetic events, shaped by the families, friends, clubs, and neighbors who participate. For people interested in leading or participating in a Walk to Stop Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association website provides opportunities to sign up as a Volunteer Walk Coordinator, as well as other resources.