After much thought and deliberation, I have decided not to renew my contract with the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) and May 31st will be my last day with CPCA. After 24 years in this role, I am excited to see what else life has in store for me. Now feels like the perfect time.
Fundamentally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of us to re-evaluate our priorities in life. For me, this meant realizing that spending time with my husband and family is my number one priority going forward.
The decision to move on from CPCA is also possible for me because I know that I am leaving at a great time for CPCA and community health centers (CHCs).
Importantly, the organization has an extraordinary leadership team and staff in place who can and will be excellent stewards of CPCA and its mission during the transition and into the future. Effective June 1st, I will be passing the baton to Robert Beaudry, CPCA‘s EVP/Chief Operating Officer for the past 14 yeas, who will become the Acting CEO.
Under the Biden/Harris Administration, CHCs are recognized as essential leaders not just in the COVID-19 recovery and response, but also as critical linchpins in efforts to improve the health and well-being of all communities, especially marginalized and underserved communities. Given their leadership and expertise, CHCs will play a central role in supporting our communities through this pandemic and beyond.
So, where am I going? Well….I am going to see what life is like hanging out with my husband, Angel Garcia, who has been patiently waiting for me to have more time for the fun things we like to do together. Angel’s list includes reviving our Chicano old school band Q-VO post-COVID (but taking singing lessons this time) and exploring Highway 1 in our new RV. I also plan to continue my mother’s legacy as President of the Castellano Family Foundation, focused on advocating for more funding and support for LatinX nonprofits and leaders through the Blueprint for Change.
Finally, I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given to lead the community health center movement of California. It has truly been the honor of my life to serve as leader of the amazing family of health care social justice warriors at the California Primary Care Association.