Our Leadership

Cástulo de la Rocha

President and CEO

Cástulo de la Rocha

President and CEO

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 nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center in California, and among the top five in the nation.

Mr. de la Rocha has always understood that a community’s health is indivisible from its prosperity. In 1969, he saw a need: people in low-income neighborhoods throughout the Southland were significantly underserved by essential health resources—in fact, the Barrio Free Clinic in his neighborhood often had a line of people that wound around the block. By meeting this one fundamental requirement, 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 PACE sites staffed by 2,700 employees, providing compassionate care to nearly 300,000 patients a year. 

Over the years, Mr. de La Rocha succeeded in building an essential resource for millions of underserved residents throughout Southern California, and, in the process, created a model of excellence for health centers and communities everywhere. This innovative, “whole community” approach to healthcare has earned him national recognition in the fields of public health (US Surgeon Generals Gold Medallion for Public Health), business (Los Angeles Business Journal Lifetime Achievement award), and, in 2016, he received the Leader in Action award from the PRIME Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He’s also been honored alongside Congressman Henry Waxman with a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Impact Award.

AltaMed’s standard of care and consistently strong financial performance has made it an exemplar of what a community-focused health center can be. AltaMed is accredited by the Joint Commission as a Patient Centered Medical Home, and the facility has been recognized as #1 in the Hispanic Business Journal’s “Top 25 Nonprofits” for seven consecutive years. 

Mr. de la Rocha frequently lends his expertise in aligning best practices in healthcare, public policy, and social advocacy. Currently, he serves on the board of the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) and as a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs. 

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 it lives on rotating display across AltaMed's entire clinic network. Mr. de la Rocha has been recognized by the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), and is also a member of the Getty Pacific Standard Time Business Leaders Council.

Education: 
J.D. Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley
B.A. Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara
Certificate in Management, Stanford University

Zoila D. Escobar

Sr. Vice President of Strategic Development & Community Support and President of the AltaMed Foundation

Zoila D. Escobar

Sr. Vice President of Strategic Development & Community Support and President of the AltaMed Foundation

Zoila D. Escobar is the Sr. Vice President of Strategic Development & Community Support and President of the AltaMed Foundation, and has been a community health leader for more than 35 years. Ms. Escobar oversees the Communications, Branding, Patient Experience, Culture & Language and office of Strategic Planning and Execution and Analytics departments. She is also responsible for public and private fundraising for AltaMed. During her tenure, AltaMed has consistently raised $40-46 million annually through grants, special events and individual giving programs.

Her experience in fund development dates back to 1984 at the American Cancer Society (ACS) – San Diego as Director of Development for Special Populations. While at ACS, Ms. Escobar helped develop national policy in the area of Uterine and Breast Cancer Screening, smoking cessation, and HIV/AIDS for Spanish-speaking populations. She’s also co-led the organization of the first bi-national U.S./Mexico AIDS Conference, Latino Artists against AIDS Art Show, and the A la Vida Dinner and Gala fundraising committee.

Ms. Escobar’s administrative experience includes key leadership roles, such as Program Director of the first Latinas and AIDS Program in Los Angeles County, with AIDS Project Los Angeles; Clinic Administrator for HIV Services at the UCLA Family Planning Clinic; and Director of Education and Government Affairs for the Arthritis Foundation. Ms. Escobar was also involved in policy work that led to the development of the Ryan White Act legislation, played a role in the inclusion of HIV/AIDS in the American with Disabilities Act legislation, and has received numerous awards and recognitions.

Currently, she is the Treasurer for the American Nurses Foundation Board of Directors and board member for California State University Monterey Bay- External Leadership Council, NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Culture and Health Board Member, member of the University of La Verne Presidential Health Council and member of the University of La Verne Board of Trustees.

Education
MBA,  University of La Verne
B.S. Health Services Administration, University of La Verne

 

 

José U. Esparza

Senior Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer

José U. Esparza

Senior Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer

Jose U. Esparza serves as Senior Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer for AltaMed. Mr. Esparza joined AltaMed in 1994 and has since directed the Finance Department, overseeing all financial matters including the issuance and presentation of AltaMed’s financial statements to members of the organization, Board of Directors and outside entities.

Mr. Esparza assumes a strategic role in the overall management by assisting in formulating the company’s future direction and initiatives and monitoring and directing the implementation of business plans.  He has direct responsibility for accounting, budgeting, job costing, asset management, business analysis, financial risk management, negotiations, financial compliance, institutional financing and treasury oversight.   
 
Previously, Mr. Esparza held positions in public accounting, where he managed independent audits and issued independently audited financial statements for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He has also worked for a large Federally Qualified Health Center in Los Angeles County, where he managed the Accounting Department before joining AltaMed.

Education:
MBA, University of Phoenix 
B.A. Accounting, California State University, Los Angeles 

Jacqueline Ritacco, D.S.L

Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Jacqueline Ritacco, D.S.L

Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Jacqueline Ritacco serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for AltaMed. She oversees Human Resources, Corporate Compliance, Strategic Workforce Planning, and Board Recruitment and Development.

Previously, she served as the organization’s Vice President of Government Relations for six years. Prior to joining AltaMed, Dr. Ritacco was Chief Executive Officer for Community Care Health Centers in Orange County for over 20 years. As a one-time president of the Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics, and a member of the Orange County Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Advisory Committee and many other boards and task forces, her focus has remained on the delivery of health care to underserved and uninsured individuals.

A published author in the areas of coaching, management and leadership development, Dr. Ritacco has worked closely with CalOptima, the county-organized health system for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, and is a previous two-term member of the Board of Directors, having served as Vice Chair and Chair of the Finance Committee. She currently holds a position on the Board of Directors of the California Primary Care Association, and is actively involved with policy and legislative development in the State of California. 

Education:
Doctorate in Strategic Leadership, Regent University  
MBA Regent University 
Certifications: Human Resource Management, Nonprofit Executive Management, Nonprofit Strategic Management

Angela D. Roberts

Senior Vice President of Facility Development & Management

Angela D. Roberts

Senior Vice President of Facility Development & Management

Angela D. Roberts serves as Senior Vice President of Facility Development & Management for AltaMed. Ms. Roberts joined AltaMed in 1997, she currently oversees facility development projects, including property acquisitions, construction and renovations efforts, and leasing opportunities. For more than a decade, she was responsible for strategic design and direction of technology and electronic information management. 

Ms. Roberts has more than 29 years of experience in information technology, has held senior management positions with UCLA and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and served as an advisor to several information technology trade associations. She also participates in the State of California e-Health Technical Advisory Committee.

For her work, she’s been recognized with multiple awards, including the Outstanding Career Service Award from the City of Los Angeles; the Innovations in Technology Award from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO); and the Career Service Award from the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD).

Education:
B.A. California State University, Dominguez Hills 

Marie S. Torres, PhD, LCSW

Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Community Research Initiatives

Marie S. Torres, PhD, LCSW

Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Community Research Initiatives

Marie S. Torres is Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Community Research Initiatives at AltaMed. She has more than 35 years of leadership experience in gerontology, health services administration, legislative advocacy, overall health and social welfare.

In 1991, Dr. Torres founded AltaMed’s Government Relations Department and oversees advocacy, public policy and research initiatives. She has been instrumental in advocating and securing funding for patient services in Federal and State Legislative forums, and helped lead the development of public policies that affect the medically underserved, disabled and elderly populations.  

Dr. Torres has received multiple awards for her work, including the Cástulo de la Rocha Visionary Award; the Los Angeles Aging and Advocacy Coalition Champion Award; the Woman of the Year Award from the Volunteers of East Los Angeles (VELA); the 64th Assembly District Women in Leadership Award from Assembly member Mike Gipson; the Betsey K. Cooke Grassroots Advocacy Most Valuable Player Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers; and the Latino Heritage Month Award from Assembly member Mike Eng, among others.
 
Dr. Torres is also active in several professional associations including the CalPACE Association, California Primary Care Association, the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, the National Association of Community Health Centers and National PACE Association.

Education: 
M.A. University of Southern California School of Social Work
Ph.D. University of Southern California School of Social Work

Henry A. Holguin

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Henry A. Holguin

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Henry A. Holguin serves as AltaMed’s General Counsel.

Before joining AltaMed, Mr. Holguin was a co-founder of the firm of Miller & Holguin, Attorneys at Law, for over 20 years. Subsequently, he was a partner of Kelly, Lytton & Williams, LLP, a boutique law firm dealing with business, health care, real estate, land use and governmental relations. Formerly, Mr. Holguin was Senior Staff Counsel of the Enforcement Division of the California Department of Corporations, which regulates the health care and securities and industries in California.

He has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1976, and is admitted to practice before the United States Central District Court of California and the United States Tax Court.

Mr. Holguin has served on the California State Bar Franchise Legislation Committee, and was previously involved with the formation of the United States/Mexico Commercial Arbitration Committee under NAFTA. He has been a member of the Latin Business Association, California Association of Dental Plans, and California Society of Health Care Attorneys. Since 2007, he’s also served on the Board of Trustees of AltaMed Foundation, a charitable non-profit entity. 

Education:
J.D. University of California at Davis 
B.S. Business Administration, University of Southern California
Certificate in International Economics, Cambridge University, England 
 
 

Robert Gomez

Vice President of Business Development

Robert Gomez

Vice President of Business Development

Robert Gomez is AltaMed’s Vice President of Business Development. Mr. Gomez has more than 30years of experience in health care, and has previously served as the Chief Executive Officer for El Rio Health Center in Tucson, Arizona, where he built a nationally recognized community health center program. Previously, he was a senior consultant for Medicus Systems, a national health care consulting and software products company.

During his long career in community health programs and development, he has been active at the state and national levels, including service on the Board of Directors and as former President of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Education: 
B.A. History, Texas A&M International University 
 

Anna Tran

Senior Strategy Executive

Anna Tran

Senior Strategy Executive

Ms. Anna Tran joined AltaMed’s senior leadership team in 2017 as Senior Strategy Executive. She oversees AltaMed’s Managed Care as well as the Sales and Marketing team, focusing on membership growth. She also supports our President & CEO in planning the long-term strategic growth of the organization. 

Ms. Tran comes to AltaMed with an extensive history in health care leadership. While she previously served as CFO at Pacific Alliance Medical Center, she later spent a total of 18 years on the leadership team of Care1st, where she held the roles of CFO, COO, CEO, President, and Strategic Advisor, eventually facilitating the sale of Care1st and the transition of more than 500,000 members to Blue Shield of California. From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Tran was a member of AltaMed’s Board of Trustees.

Education
M.S., Accounting, California State University, Los Angeles
B.S., Biology, California State University, Los Angeles

Alex Y. Chen, MD, MS

Interim Chief Medical Officer

Alex Y. Chen, MD, MS

Interim Chief Medical Officer

Alex Y. Chen, M.D., M.S., serves as the Interim Chief Medical Officer for AltaMed. Dr. Chen oversees the Quality Performance Improvement, Process Improvement, and Clinical Informatics teams, ensuring that AltaMed continues to deliver quality care without exception. 

Dr. Chen has more than 10 years of research and leadership experience. Prior to joining AltaMed, he served as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). During his tenure at CHLA, he received a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and an Independent Scientist Award from the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). He was also a co-investigator of several multi-center grants, and developed one of the first pediatric patient-centered medical home quality measure sets. In 2014, Dr. Chen received the highest honor at AltaMed – the Cástulo de la Rocha Visionary Award for his untiring efforts in quality.

Dr. Chen was a Student Speaker to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Science & Technology in 1993, and in 2002 he was a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. 

Education 
M.S, Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health 
M.D., Harvard Medical School 

Mary Ann Barnes

Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer

Mary Ann Barnes

Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer

Ms. Mary Ann Barnes is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of AltaMed Health Services Corporation. Ms. Barnes joined AltaMed in 2017, and oversees Health Care Services and Operations, which comprise Senior Care Services (including eight PACE sites and the MSSP/SSP grant programs), Health Care Services, IT/Enterprise Services, Process Improvement/Operational Excellence, Pharmacy and IPA network management. 

Ms. Barnes has more than 30 years of experience in health care services, health plan, hospital and medical group leadership with Kaiser Permanente, and has served as President of the Hawaii region, Senior Executive for San Diego, Santa Clara and Los Angeles areas. She has demonstrated achievements in strategic business planning, clinical and financial operations, government and community relations, and organizational development. Her focus is on performance excellence in service, quality, access, and growth.

While serving as President of Kaiser Permanente’s Hawaii region, Ms. Barnes served on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association (Western States Affiliate, Hawaii Division), Healthcare Association of Hawaii, and Catholic Charities Hawaii. Prior, she also served on the Board of Trustees for the California Hospital Association, and as President of Board of Directors for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial counties.

Education
M.S., Nursing, California State University, San Diego
B.S., Nursing, Arizona State University
Executive Leadership Program, Harvard Business School
Executive Leadership Program, Stanford University

Louis Gutierrez

Vice President of Human Resources

Louis Gutierrez

Vice President of Human Resources

Louis Gutierrez is Vice President of Human Resources with AltaMed. He joined the organization in 2017, and oversees employee compensation, benefits, human resource information systems, talent acquisition, and talent management which includes learning and development and workforce planning in a growing and diverse organization.

Mr. Gutierrez is an accomplished executive who has served in senior human resources and legal roles for global organizations such as Cox Enterprises Automotive Group, Paramount Pictures, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting, and The Walt Disney Company. Mr. Gutierrez has spent more than 20 years building and delivering enterprise-wide human capital and organizational effectiveness initiatives, creating cultures with high employee engagement levels. He has also served as an advisor and coach to leaders at all levels of an organization. 

Mr. Gutierrez is a member of the State Bar of California and the Society for Human Resources Management. Previously, he was a member of the Corporate Board of Advisors for the National Council of La Raza, and was named one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s List of 100 Hispanic Influentials in 2011.

Education 
J.D., UCLA School of Law
B.A., Communication Studies, University of California, Los Angeles