Carmela R. Castellano-Garcia, Esq.
President and CEO
California Primary Care Association
Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Esq., is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), overseeing an organization of over 700 nonprofit, community-based primary health care clinics which serve over 3.9 million patients a year, half of them Hispanic. During her tenure, clinics have had significant income growth, almost tripling their collective income from $569 million in 1995 to over $1.6 billion in 2005. Patients served increased 66% during this same 10 year period. Total annual encounters grew by more than 4 million.
Ms. Castellano-Garcia has been committed to advancing multi-cultural health policy issues for over 16 years, focusing on areas such as cultural and linguistic competency in health care delivery, ensuring the viability of safety net providers, health care reform, and access to care for vulnerable populations.
Presently Ms. Castellano-Garcia sits on the Board of Directors for the Chicana/Latina Foundation and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. She is also a
member of the Advisory Board of the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA), the OSHPD California Healthcare Workforce Diversity Advisory Council, the Social Justice Advisory Committee (SJAC) of the California Mental Health Directors Association, and the Statewide Advisory Committee for the CA Initiative to Increase Health Professions Workforce Diversity.
During the past ten years that Ms. Castellano-Garcia has led the California Primary Care Association, the capacity of community health centers has grown by over 56% in terms of patients served, and their collective income has nearly tripled. Considerable investments by the federal government, the state legislature and the foundation community have resulted in a sizeable increase in the capacity of community health centers to serve our states vulnerable populations. Currently, California CCHCs serve over 3.9 million patients, representing over 12 million encounters per year.
Prior to joining the CPCA, Ms. Castellano-Garcia served as the Founder and Executive Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC), a health care policy and advocacy organization seeking to improve access to health and human services for California's Latino population. In this position, she was involved in building a statewide coalition of Latino health organizations and health care professionals who provided significant input into health care reform and advocated for access to health care for the uninsured. The LCHC also played a leadership role in advocating for, and ultimately achieving, the adoption of cultural and linguistic standards in the Medi-Cal managed care program in California and in the state’s mental health program. These standards and the advocacy process that led to their adoption have served as a national model of cultural and linguistic access to care.
Ms. Castellano-Garcia’s legal background includes six years as a Managing Attorney with Public Advocates, Inc., a public interest law firm in San Francisco. Ms. Castellano-Garcia has litigated in the areas of employment discrimination, insurance redlining, and ensuring access to the information superhighway for California's minority, low-income populations.
Carmela Castellano-Garcia was a member of the National Health Service Corp’s National Advisory Council from 1997-2000. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Public Health Institute, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, and the California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness Program. Ms. Castellano-Garcia has also served as Chair of the Department of Health Services’ Cultural and Linguistic Standards Task Force from 1995-1999.
In 2009, the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Health Foundation honored Ms. Castellano-Garcia with their prestigious Hispanic Health Leadership Award. Also, a 2007 Finalist for Hispanic Business Magazine’s Woman of the Year Award, Ms. Castellano-Garcia was listed in the February 1996 issue of the Medical Herald's Who's Who Top 20 in Latino Medicine, and the Hispanic Business list of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.
Ms. Castellano-Garcia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She spent a year at La Universidad Central de Venezuela as a Rotary Foundation International Scholar. She is a graduate of the Yale Law School.