AltaMed Health Services Corporation Leads Healthcare Industry with a Living Wage Increase to a Minimum of $25 an Hour for Employees
Approximately 80% of AltaMed’s employees live in communities it serves and the increase to a living wage advances its mission to reduce disparities in underserved communities of color
LOS ANGELES –AltaMed Health Services Corporation, one of the nation’s largest federally qualified community health centers, has announced a living wage increase to $25 an hour by 2025. AltaMed has 46 medical sites providing medical, dental, Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and pharmacy services in southern California.
A living wage is a standard designed to allow every worker to be paid enough for a satisfactory standard of living. This is different from a minimum wage, which is the minimum amount of money an employer must pay based on state and federal laws.
Approximately 80 percent of AltaMed’s more than 3,600 employees live and work in the communities it serves. These communities were some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, disproportionately affecting Latinos and people of color. AltaMed employees and their families have directly experienced the health and economic devastations of the virus; conditions that predated the pandemic and became exacerbated as a result.
Research has found that higher wages are correlated with improved health outcomes. By providing AltaMed employees a living wage increase, it is substantial step forward in reducing health disparities in the communities served by the organization.
“I’m happy that AltaMed is giving employees like me a wage increase that will give us breathing room to pay bills and support our families,” said Ervin Munoz, regional float medical assistant with AltaMed who lives in Anaheim. “We’ve worked hard to take care of people every day through this pandemic, and it feels great to know we’ll be paid in line with the value we’re bringing to our jobs.”
Beginning June 26, 2022, the organization will implement a $23 per hour living wage; by 2024, the hourly wage will increase to $24, and in 2025, AltaMed will reach its goal of providing a minimum $25 per hour living wage to its employees.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff selflessly continued to serve the critical health needs of the communities where they live and now we are recognizing them with a living wage increase,” said AltaMed President and CEO Cástulo de la Rocha. “AltaMed employees are our greatest asset, and they deserve stability in their lives so that they can fulfill our mission to provide exceptional care to our patients.”
For more than 50 years, AltaMed has provided access to primary care, pediatrics, dental services, HIV/AIDS care, senior care, behavioral health services, and health education and more. AltaMed serves more than 375,000 patients in Los Angeles and Orange counties each year, regardless of their ability to pay.
To learn more about AltaMed, visit: www.AltaMed.org.
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As an organization that is rooted in social justice, and committed to health access and equity, this is a devastating stripping of constitutional reproductive rights and women’s health. This attack on reproductive rights will have an immediate and direct impact on the health of people who can become pregnant. Inevitably, this burden will fall most heavily on low income, underserved communities — those who are at the heart of AltaMed’s mission to serve.
AltaMed is committed to reproductive rights as a core part of its values. AltaMed was founded in the activism of the Chicano rights movement and it will continue to lead the way for health care justice and eliminating health care disparities for all people. While women’s health rights will be upheld in California AltaMed stands with women across the country and reaffirms its commitment to providing exceptional health care to women at all stages of life, including reproductive care.