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 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 more than 2,800 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 health care has earned him a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Impact Award in Community Service (2014), the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement award, and 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.

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 was recognized as #1 among 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 health care, public policy, and social advocacy. Currently, he serves on the boards of National Medical Fellowships and America’s Physician Groups (formerly the California Association of Physician Groups).


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

Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, and President of the AltaMed Foundation

Zoila D. Escobar

Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer, and President of the AltaMed Foundation

In her role as Sr. Vice President & Chief Administrative officer, and President of the AltaMed Foundation, Zoila D. Escobar is dedicated to leveling disparities in health care by combining her own personal insight into the Latino experience with comprehensive care. For more than 35 years, she’s played an instrumental role in community health leadership, spearheading everything from grassroots initiatives to leading major policy changes at national institutions.

 At AltaMed, Ms. Escobar oversees corporate communications, branding, patient experience, culture and language,  human resources, the office of strategic planning and execution, and the analytics department. In this multifaceted, 360° role, she shapes nearly every dimension of the AltaMed experience, ranging from where people get care, to innovative programs and services for patients, to ensuring that everyone whom AltaMed serves receives patient-centered care in a way that honors their cultural preferences.

A prolific fundraiser, Ms. Escobar has consistently raised $40-46 million annually for AltaMed. She currently oversees AltaMed’s development and fundraising departments, and her fund development experience dates back to 1984 at the American Cancer Society (ACS), as Director of Development for Special Populations. While at ACS, Ms. Escobar also helped develop national policy in the area of uterine and breast cancer screening, smoking cessation, and HIV/AIDS for Spanish-speaking populations. In addition to leading conferences and fundraising galas, some of Ms. Escobar’s most important contributions include helping change attitudes around philanthropic giving in the Latino community, as well as steering an employee-giving effort to engage 100% of the AltaMed workforce.  

Ms. Escobar’s professional accomplishments demonstrate a commitment to forward-thinking advocacy on behalf of underserved populations. She’s had a long and illustrious history focusing on AIDS awareness and prevention, with positions including Program Director of the first Latinas and AIDS Program in Los Angeles County, with AIDS Project Los Angeles; and Clinic Administrator for HIV Services at the UCLA Family Planning Clinic. Ms. Escobar lead the pilot Hemophilia and AIDS program, a joint project between the World Health Organization and World Hemophilia Federation. Ms. Escobar was also involved in policy work that led to the development of the Ryan White Act legislation, and played a role in the inclusion of HIV/AIDS in the American with Disabilities Act legislation. Additionally, she’s served as Director of Education and Government Affairs for the Arthritis Foundation.

Empowerment is one of the pillars of the AltaMed mission, and it’s also the focus of Ms. Escobar’s other professional engagements and memberships. In her role as Treasurer for the American Nurses Foundation Board of Directors, she advocates to advance the careers, well-being, and public image of nurses. As a member of the University of La Verne Board of Trustees, she works to promote equal opportunities for all students. She also serves as a board member for California State University Monterey Bay-External Leadership Council and the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Culture and Health. For nearly 15 years, Ms. Escobar was a member of the international Health Initiative of the Americas.

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

José U. Esparza serves as Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for AltaMed, overseeing close to 100 professionals in departments ranging from Finance and Accounting to Government and Risk Management. Both directly and indirectly, he touches nearly every single financial transaction spanning from revenue and accounts receivable to payables, claims and all expenses in addition to AltaMed’s portfolio of investments.

In 1994, Mr. Esparza joined AltaMed, where he has been essential to the system’s success – both by negotiating reimbursement for its major programs and by ensuring day-to-day operational resources are well utilized for the delivery of services.  He has maintained a robust fiscal outlook for large scale projects, such as the recent opening of new community health centers in Westlake and the City of Commerce.

Mr. Esparza plays a strategic role by helping determine corporate direction and leading the implementation of key business plans and initiatives. Thanks to Mr. Esparza’s oversight, one of AltaMed’s biggest successes has been the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Over the years, the organization took well-planned steps to enhance the program, adding even more health care and social services that improve the health of its participants, thereby preventing the need for institutionalization. PACE has since become the most robust program of its kind in Southern California.

Previously, Mr. Esparza held positions in public accounting, where he managed independent audits and issued certified financial statements for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Early in his career, Mr. Esparza worked as a controller at Northeast Valley Health Corporation, one of Los Angeles’ largest Federally Qualified Health Centers. Here he found a sense of professional satisfaction that had been missing from his work in other industries, and he came to personally embrace the mission of eliminating health care disparities. As a Southern California resident who spent the last three decades living in Los Angeles, he has a true affinity for how diverse cultures enrich local communities.

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

 

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, a position that also includes property acquisitions, construction and renovation efforts, acquisitions and leasing opportunities. Ms. Roberts has a profound impact on AltaMed by making sure that every individual’s first impression of an AltaMed facility is a positive experience.

Ms. Roberts directly oversees nearly all aspects of each new facility opening, from working with city officials, developers, and financial institutions, to ensuring the AltaMed brand is appropriately represented by the building’s exterior and interior design.

Ms. Roberts has been able to infuse AltaMed’s commitment to advocacy into her job. In addition to making sure each facility is a good fit for the needs of its community, she was instrumental in the company’s practice of recruiting from the local area. She also helped organize job fairs. These well-compensated jobs create opportunities for individuals, strengthen families, and improve the overall health of the community.

When she joined AltaMed in 1997, she was hired for her expertise in information technology to help ‘modernize’ the growing health system, and keep pace with industry trends and best practices. She had already held senior management positions with UCLA and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and served as an adviser to several information technology trade associations. As testament to her skills, her original infrastructure still supports AltaMed today.

Together with AltaMed CEO Cástulo de la Rocha, Ms. Roberts established the Leadership Development Institute, a quarterly program dedicated to improving communication and cooperation throughout the management team. The program helps departments better align around new goals and initiatives, and increases efficiency throughout the organization. Although the program had been intended as a one-off, it proved so successful that it’s become a regularly-occurring event.

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

Dr. Marie S. Torres is Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Community Research Initiatives at AltaMed. In this role she oversees advocacy, public policy, and legislative initiatives. Simply put, her job is to protect a patient’s right to access exceptional health care, and strengthen the communities of all those AltaMed serves.

In 1991, Dr. Torres was recruited by AltaMed CEO Cástulo de la Rocha to help establish the health system’s Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).  Mr. de la Rocha was as impressed with her background in social work and gerontology, as he was with her roots in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles. Her own commitment to social justice mirrored that of AltaMed’s, and soon after she joined, she established the Government Relations department.

Dr. Torres has helped AltaMed seamlessly weave social and political advocacy into its business model and its brand. She combines an affinity for grass roots organization with a deep network of political contacts, to help protect policy on matters of equality. Medi-Cal, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the Affordable Care Act are just a few of the national programs AltaMed has lent its support to, among countless others at the state and local levels.

One of AltaMed’s biggest advocacy successes came with Cal-Learn, a statewide   program providing intensive case management and supportive services to pregnant teens, teen mothers, and their children  to help them graduate from high school or its equivalent, become independent, and form healthy families. Despite the program’s proven track record for fostering self-sufficiency, Cal-Learn was suspended in 2011, and many of the program’s vital resources were eliminated. Working with elected officials and community leaders, Dr. Torres identified the program’s success stories, as well as those who were most vulnerable, and arranged for them to give testimonials at state assembly hearings and conduct legislative visits. Thanks to a concentrated, nine-month campaign, Cal-Learn was fully reinstated.

Most recently, Dr. Torres was integral in launching AltaMed’s My Vote, My Health, Mi Voto, Mi Salud Civic Engagement Initiative, which aims to activate members of under-represented communities in civic matters and social issues and empower them to vote. Health care is at the core of the initiative, but on a broader scale, the program promotes justice, equality, and opportunity.

Dr. Torres’ advocacy extends beyond her work at AltaMed, and her professional efforts have been recognized by organizations at the local, state, and national levels. She was recently honored as Woman of the Year by the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation’s Annual National Latina Women’s Conference. Dr. Torres has also been recognized with the Los Angeles Aging and Advocacy Coalition Champion Award; the 64th Assembly District Women in Leadership Award from Assembly member Mike Gipson; and the Betsey K. Cooke Grassroots Advocacy Most Valuable Player Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers, among many 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, Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers, America’s Physician Groups, the National Association of Community Health Centers and National PACE Association. Her dedication to safe and healthy communities is further evidenced by her volunteer work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Industry Station Community Advisory Committee and as a Neighborhood Watch Captain.

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. In this position, he advises AltaMed executive leadership on the company’s strategic initiatives and provides legal counsel to the AltaMed Board of Directors. He also oversees the efforts of AltaMed’s outside legal teams. Matters under his purview include health care, corporate governance, real estate, human resources, finance, and compliance.

While Mr. Holguin’s business acumen and experience in health care made him an excellent fit for AltaMed, it’s his personal history that gives him a deeper affinity for the company. Having grown up in East Los Angeles, Mr. Holguin has fond memories of being a teenager, and accompanying his grandmother to the local AltaMed clinic. The fact that his grandmother received personal care, in her own language, and was treated with dignity left a lasting impression on him, and he immediately seized the opportunity to join AltaMed when it arose. A profound respect for the AltaMed mission, as well as Mr. de la Rocha’s leadership and civic engagement, helped close the deal. Like the AltaMed CEO, Mr. Holguin was raised in Chihuahua, MX  and  later grew up in the same East L.A. neighborhood, so he was keenly aware of how crucial the health system’s work is in the community.

At AltaMed, Mr. Holgiun’s biggest priority is expanding health care access to even more people throughout Southern California—which means removing barriers to care, and growing AltaMed’s lines of services. He’s been instrumental in the development of innovative programs that put comprehensive medical services within reach of traditionally overlooked communities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Mr. Holguin’s experience with a broad array of industries and clients helped him develop the business savvy that is such a significant asset for AltaMed. He spent 23 years as the founding partner of Miller & Holguin, a law firm dealing with corporate transactions, mergers & acquisitions, business, health care and real estate matters. After this firm merged with a larger legal practice, Mr. Holguin joined Kelly, Lytton & Williams, LLP, a boutique law firm dealing with business, health care, real estate, land use and governmental relations. 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.

Since 2007, Mr. Holguin has served on the Board of Trustees of the AltaMed Foundation, the health system’s fundraising arm that annually procures between $40-$46 million in donations and grants. In 2008, Hispanic Business magazine named him one of the 40 Most Influential Hispanics in Los Angeles, and one of the 100 most Influential Hispanics in the United States.

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

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. In this role, she touches nearly every aspect of day-to-day care, and helps shape the AltaMed experience across the entire health care delivery system — patients, physicians and care practitioners, and employees.

Ms. Barnes joined AltaMed in 2017 and oversees the health care system. Services under her purview include Senior Care Services (including eight PACE sites and the MSSP/SSP grant programs), Health Care Services (including 30 clinics), Information Technology Services, Operational Excellence, Pharmacy, Aging Services, and IPA network management.

Having started her career as a nurse, Ms. Barnes has always been focused on seeing things from the patient’s perspective—to ensure they experience the best possible care. This persistent belief in always making a bigger difference in the lives of patients is what fueled Ms. Barnes’ rise and 36-year tenure at health giant Kaiser Permanente. From her start as an ICU nurse on the nightshift in San Diego, to growing Kaiser Permanente San Diego membership by 528,000, and then being instrumental in the planning of a new $900 million tertiary hospital, she has earned a profound 360-degree insight into the relationship between the health of individuals and their community.

As the President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Hawaii Region, one of Ms. Barnes’ biggest challenges was taking a large, state-owned hospital system and working with government officials and existing staff to turn the system into true private community hospitals for Maui County. Over the course of this complex initiative, she demonstrated prowess in strategic business planning, clinical and financial operations, government and community relations, and organizational development.

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.

Ms. Barnes has a deep affinity for Southern California, where she has worked for more than 30 years. An additional point of pride for Ms. Barnes is having spent her entire career working with nonprofits and organizations with bona fide records of improving access, affordability, and outcomes for their service communities.

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 at AltaMed, a position that directly impacts nearly every member of the health system’s workforce. He oversees employee compensation, benefits, human resource information systems, talent acquisition, workforce planning, and talent management. In this position, Mr. Gutierrez and his team balance immediate, day-to-day needs with longer-term, strategic initiatives that strengthen AltaMed’s ability to provide quality health care to all of those it serves.

Since joining the company in 2017, Mr. Gutierrez has fostered a work environment that recognizes and rewards accuracy, responsiveness, and sound business judgment. He’s a tireless advocate for education and talent development, encouraging AltaMed employees to learn as much as they can—not only so they can grow within their role or advance within the company, but so that they can reach their own unique potential. While he takes pride in creating a supportive environment for employees to take on new challenges, he understands the importance of developing diverse talent pipelines, especially to grow the AltaMed provider network. The HR team’s work is devoted to supporting the business and people strategies of the organization, and positioning AltaMed as an employer of choice in the health care industry.

Mr. Gutierrez has a demonstrated track record for creating performance-driven environments where employees at all levels are able to do their best work. Prior to joining AltaMed, Mr. Gutierrez held senior human resources and legal positions 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 successfully building and delivering enterprise-wide human capital and organizational effectiveness initiatives that drive business results while enhancing employee engagement and wellness. 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