Health Care Pioneer Cástulo De La Rocha’s Salary Questioned

By Dave Bryan

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In the battle to save California adult day care centers from extinction, Cástulo de la Rocha, the president and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation, is a general leading the charge, even going so far as to run TV ads defending the centers from the plan to eliminate state funding.

De la Rocha is a legend in the East L.A. health care community, having joined AltaMed more than three decades ago when it was a small neighborhood clinic, which eventually grew into a $183-million-a-year, government-supported non-profit health care giant, with more than 40 medical and dental clinics across L.A. and Orange Counties and seven adult day health care centers.

No one speaks more passionately about the devastating toll closing the adult centers would have on senior citizens.

“The personal toll is huge. It is huge… We have worked with thousands of people over the years… There are huge changes in their lives and how they feel about themselves,” De la Rocha said.

But what most people may not know is that in 2008, when AltaMed’s annual revenue was $130 million, De la Rocha’s total compensation package went from $396,000 a year to nearly $800,000 — in a year when California’s economy hit bottom, the state’s budget deficit went off the charts, and health care and seniors programs like his faced the budget axe.

Dave Bryan: “Some people look at that and say, ‘wait a minute, you mean we’re talking about eliminating this program for these poor people and this guy’s making, close to, pushing a million bucks a year to run the organization?'”

Cástulo de la Rocha: “Based on the advice we have received, it is within reason the compensation level, which is also based, plus bonus and other benefits that are part of that, is within the reasonable standards that are expected by the Internal Revenue Services.”

But “reasonable” wasn’t the first word that came to Governor Jerry Brown’s mind when I asked him about the generous compensation package.

“It sounds excessive to me. But without knowing the facts I think it would be inappropriate for me to make a conclusion,” Brown said. “But I can tell you this, being Governor of California is a tough job and I get paid I think about $171,000 a year, so anything over and above that I view with some suspicion.”

Brown, who was given a copy of our report, was a little on the low side about his salary, which is actually about $174,000.

De la Rocha said it was the AltaMed board of directors that approved his compensation package, not him. He said the board consulted with two national salary survey companies, which agreed the increase was justified by the size of the company and De la Rocha’s responsibilities.

But when a third national compensation research organization ran the numbers for us, they came up with a different conclusion.

“The percentile that the CEO of AltaMed would be at, would be near 90 percent,” said Linda Lampkin of Economic Research Institute.

This at a time when the state budget was crumbling into deficit and these programs came under fire.

“It took me 33 years to take the organization to $100,000. In the last two years we have risen from 100 to $200 million… That is a substantial increase in this organization,” De la Rocha said.

But Mary Michlovich, who runs a much smaller adult day service center in West L.A., said it was the timing of the big raise that bothered her.

“If they’re doing that well that they can afford that type of a salary, why isn’t it going back into the programs and benefitting the people that they’re serving?” asked Michovich the Executive Director Opica of Adult Day Service Center.

State Assemblyman Allan Mansoor from Costa Mesa, who sits on the committee that oversees the adult day care centers, said he was appalled by a government-supported, non-profit executive getting a compensation package of nearly $800,000 at a time like this.

“That is an absurd amount,” Mansoor said. “You know if someone wants to go off to the private sector and make more money, that’s fine, but there should be some type of reasonable limits and oversight.”

Dave Bryan: “Do you think you’re being paid the right amount, you personally?”

Cástulo de la Rocha: “You know, it’s 33 years that I devoted here, as a professional here. Do I think that devoting 33 years of my professional career to this organization and working for this, do I think it’s fair? I absolutely think so. Yes.”

The chairman of the AltaMed board of directors, which approved Mr. De la Rocha’s compensation package was unavailable for an interview, but he released the following statement.

“The board is confident that the CEO’s compensation is not only in line with industry norms, it is well deserved. By this talented and tireless chief executive, who has devoted his professional life to building a network that employs nearly 1,900 professionals and annually serves the health care needs of close to 150,000 low-income patients,” the statement said.

More from Dave Bryan
  • Former Employee

    Unfortunately, this type of negative media coverage on the inappropriate use of public funds by AltaMed was a long time coming. I wonder how the underpaid employees that also tirelessly devote their professional time to the organization feel about their salary increase in 2008? So, so sad and disappointing from a man that is so well regarded.

    • Concerned TaxPayer

      Unfortunately the public is just now learning about the excess spending, lack of ethics and greed that has consumed the executive team at AltaMed. This of course takes nothing away from all the dedicated and loyal employees that work throughout AltaMed.

      What many people may not know, either inside or outside, is that in early 2008, most of the issues raised here were brought to the attention of the Board of Directors, including the current Board Chair. After an extensive internal audit, the Board was presented with the findings. Because the Board would not take disciplinary action against Mr. De la Rocha or Ms. Escobar, FOUR members of the Board rendered their resignation effective immediately. A few months later as we now know, Mr. De la Rocha’s compensation package doubled.

      The point. This is not a smear campaign or budget tactic. All the IRS, Feds, and OIG need to to is talk to one of the four member that left which is a matter of public record.

    • Nancy

      We are given many chances in life to improve on ourselves and improve on the life of others. I am a former AHS employee. I have seen good and bad. I admired Mr. de la Rocha. He is always so charasmatic and down to earth. The others in his command-PHONY! Sorry. Mr. de la Rocha was admired by me, he was warm, compassionate and truly has a great concern to “learn what the employee has to say”. There are employee survey’s of appreciation but does anyone listen? I question if he gets all the information others have? He may be protected from hearing the actual truth by the “PHONY” ones? I was always treated with the respect that I gave others until: I wanted to talk to Castulo before I resigned. I called mulitple times, to no avail would he even give me the time of day. I lost the respect from a man that I admired, THAT DAY!

    • How do you know?

      You don’t know what Brown does all day.

    • Here's Jerry's second try...

      The real issue is not his pay it’s the fact that he was fighting to keep the much needed senior services that Jerry Brown is trying to cut. Unfortunately Jerry Brown has nothing to loss and will destroy those that oppose him. He was an inefficient governor when he was young and seems to be so now. A governors job is to protect the people he governs not throw them off a cliff…

    • R. Hahn

      Tom Priselac at Cedars earns almost $3 million with a $120 million budget. AltaMed’s budget is $10 million more, De La Rocha and Priselac have been with their organizations for equal amounts of time and yet De La Rocha earns a fourth of what Priselac does. The top paid execs at White Memorial, St. Vincent and Children’s Hospital LA all make more than De La Rocha. The CEO of Mission City Community makes almost as much as De La Rocha, but they only have a budget of $7 million rather than $100 million. This is a non-story.

    • Really?

      R. Hahn, are all those examples “non-profit” organization being paid by state funds only?



        NO!! Theyre RUN of the mill hopitals… their brands are not held accountable for being MORAL AND ETHICAL values required in serving the poor and indigent… compare apples with apples!

        And stop protecting criminals! YOU’RE ON THE WRONG SIDE HERE!


      • Enrique

        I agree

    • Honest Employee at Altamed

      “Look, if I want to build a swank mansion with a sweet dome at Monticello with my own dough and roll my own financial dice, so be it. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to swipe your wallet to fund my pet political projects. That’s theft. That’s wrong.” Thomas Jefferson. Castulo can learn a thing or two from Jefferson. Btw… Who’s attending AltaMed’s swanky gala at the Beverly Hills Hilton? March 11th for interested parties…boy, all this does stink fishy!

  • Former Employee

    AltaMed is not alone in L.A. County. L.A. Care Health which was created by the County Board of Supervisors is another example of the fleecing of California. Don knabe was a previous Board member of L.A. Care and now Gloria Molina sits on the Board. Howard A. Kahn, the CEO makes over $500,000 annual salary and he hired a labor attorney (using company funds of course) to negotiate his salary. At least Mr. De La Rocha has worked at AltaMed has worked in the community for 33 years. Mr. Kahn has been with L.A. Care 9 years and has doubled his salary. The General Counsel, Senior Advisor, Chief Medical Officer, HR Officer are all well over $250,000 salary. All this using State Medi-Cal dollars. Do a public records request of L.A. Care and you will see the waste.

    • Clinical Physician

      Reading the # in the article, I don’t think the salary is way too high. It is rather on the higher end, like the lady says,but he did his time successfully. His salary is on the high end of reasonable! That’s what she said. He did spent 33 years of his life taking a small clinic into a huge multi-million $ operation. Why don’t you folks who are blasting him for doing his job successfully try to put 33 years of your life in a single endeavor? Try to use that time to expand and be successful as much as he did. Comparing the President of the US and the Governor of California salary to this man is ridiculous. 33 years of one’s life compared to 4 or 8 years? C’mon folks. Don’t be a hater because he is more capable than all of us combined. This sounds like a political hit against AltaMed for their ad in support of ADHC. DON”T FALL FOR IT.

      • B.C. Williams

        Amen! He has done more for seniors than any politician! Don’t fall for this
        mess….as usual…..

  • Current Employee

    You are all so incredibly ignorant and ill-informed. You are talking about a man who works 18 hour work days 7 days a week. This man has devoted his life to his community. Even during the week of his wedding he and his secretary were talking phone calls and setting up meeting after meeting. He never has down time because all he does is give. When was the last time any of you even thought of giving this much time an effort to anything. This is a wonderful man who goes above and beyond for all around him and after 33 years of dedicated service to AltaMed he deserves this raise and so much more. The real issue is not his pay it’s the fact that he was fighting to keep the much needed senior services that Jerry Brown is trying to cut. Unfortunately Jerry Brown has nothing to loss and will destroy those that oppose him. He was an inefficient governor when he was young and seems to be so now. A governors job is to protect the people he governs not throw them off a cliff…

    • JANINE


    • juan dela cruz

      Maybe your present experience at Altamed is as “marvelous” as Mr. De La Rocha’s. Can I ask you if you are aware of how many longtime employees terminated during this period? Have you seen them so nervous every Friday, so fearful of getting an envelope with a last paycheck and a termination letter? Have you seen them cry, some even escorted by security to vacate the building? Professionals who even begged to do kitchen work just to have a job? Can I ask you how much you make a year at Altamed?

    • Former AltaMed consultant

      I have met him, he is nice and dedicated but nt worth 800,000. He makes more tahn the president of the United states.

    • Taxpayer

      I think maybe his working 18 hours a day had a little to do with his affair with his employee than his dedication to his community . . .

    • Anonymous

      The top execs don’t make their money from the ADHC’s. There are many other programs and fundraisers.



        It’s common knowledge that NO ALTAMED FUNDRAISER ACTUALLY raises funds AT ALL except maybe… the East LA meets Napa Event… outside of that, at the end of every year, it’s comon knowledge here in the 4th floor that ZOILA Escobar’s department ALWAYS COSTS ALTAMED MONEY…

        Her management is a big fail!! The goal of her department is to be a HIGH RETURN ON INVESTMENT, for AltaMed, but sadly it’s an annual DEEP COST CENTER FOR AltaMed! Why even have such a department?

        IT would serve the community better to NOT have a community fund raising department, because AltaMed would save MILLIONS of dollars!

      • Altamed Funderaisers do make money - For Castulo

        CASTULO, being a co-owner of The Rivera Restaurant & Bar in Downtown Los Angeles with the Board President Stu. They hold many of the Altamed events their. So Castulo can steel more of Altameds money. Boy, I would call this a conflict of interest. BTW – I love the “Zoila & Castulo” the Telenovela post. I can’t wait for the next episode. LOL

      • former employee

        LOL. Ask them to have a show called “Honeymoon Months in Europe.”

      • RE: Fundraising @ FalterMed

        Yes, true this… Castulo has made HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS for the local politicians and his DESIRE to try to OWN the local politicos… has been successful. And yes his restaurant has indeed BEEN PROFITABLE….

        However, the Zoila department has been a DIRECT FAIL… AND COMPLETE FARCE. Nothing but a MAJOR COST for AltaMed. Absolutely NO ROI from Zoila’s work at all!


      To Current Employee: The IGNORANT one is you. If you were appalled at the fleecing that the officials at the city of Bell for their RIDICULOUS salaries there, at such a small town… how MUCH MORE RIDICULOUS is it for this CEO to rape people’s tax money, WORSE YET, WELFARE money, as he supposedly “helps” the poor. Heck for $800,000 per year, WHO WOULDN’T BECOME a wannabe mother Teresa! You’re a fool, because if you really are a current employee then you also know that the CEO had an affair whlle he was married with his VP of development (fund raising), which at Hewlett Packard a tech company that isn’t in the business to serve the disadvantanged and not known for it’s integrity, is an ACT THAT MERITS TERMINATION! This VP: Zoila now his new wife, earns $395,000. THis woman has no verifiable DEGREE AT ALL WHATSOEVER! No education, so if you combine her fleecing of our welfare tax money, and his and let’s not forget his son who’s there at just under $100k/year Castulo is FLEECING ALTAMED AND TAXPAYERS AND THE POOR of nearly $1.4 million per year!! You need to get an education, and btw, Castulo doe NOT work 18 hours a day. Believe me many of us know! Ridiculous and DISGUSTING frankly!
      TRUTH 4 ALTAMED! With vacations, Castulo is earning $500+ per hour at what’s supposed to be a community non-profit. anyone that tries to defend that IS A FOOL! There is no way to swallow that HUGE PILL! NO WAY!

      PS: Castulo and the entire Board should be taken over the California officials and FIRE THE VP of HR Robert Turner while you’re at! This garbarge has occurred on his watch as HIS INCOMPETENCE is obvious to everyone there!

      • blanca

        Robert Turner is useless!


        TO: AltaMed Health Activist: you SURE sound like a Teabagger, someone that cares only for the RICH!

        IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT THE underserved patients, YOU TOO WOULD SAY AMEN TO CLEANING up the appalling salary abuse at at AltaMed. THIS CAN NOT BE DEFENDED or deflected with “what about the underserved that AltaMed assists?” That’s a complete RED HERRING! But you’d rather keep A WELFARE THIEF, in his chair, maybe b/c you’re in his pocket too? Just like the teabaggers YOU’D DEFEND CORPORATE INTERESTS, THE INTERESTS OF THE RICH over the people that need health services from a righteous ORGANIZATION, with matching leadership that’s equally MORAL!


        You’re very sick if YOU CAN NOT SEE HOW DISGUSTING THIS IS. No org that professes to serve the underserved should have GREEDY CEO PAYING HIM $800k per year, and his incompetent undereducated ADULTERESS $400k
        At Hewlett Packark Castulo would have been on the streets just because of the affair.. .Shouldn’t AltaMed, a non-profit have at least the same MORALITY AND INTEGRITY as a lame tech company?

        If anyone cares about the underserved and AltaMed FIRE THE FOLLOWING:

        FIRE Castulo de la Rocha
        FIRE ZOILA,


        ALL FUNDING SHOULD STOP FROM THE STATE AND FEDS, and patients should be sent elsewhere! And finally if it’s not a law yet that such non-profits limit the pay of execs, then someone draft a law FAST!

      • LOLA

        How about the fact that the organization has the same auditors year after year and look the other way…. someone should look at that. Are they independent?

      • Health Access Activist

        You are disgusting. Stick to watching TMZ … sounds like you value that babble instead of the real issue which is the 38,000+ people who are losing health care services throughout the state! It’s people like you who make Americans look bad and unfortunately need scapegoats for unmerited blame and treatment. AltaMed has been a leader for over 30 years providing health care and speaking out to protect, provide, and aide those the governor lacks any remorse for. No wonder these attacks are specifically funded by the governor. Get off your hidden computer soapbox, stop addressing us as if we are interested in the slightest about your maliciously embellished novela, stick to real issue at hand–saving people’s lives, and get into the community. What have you done to help? I thought so.

      • JKL

        I agree that an audit is in order. As a current employee, I am glad that light is being shed on the abuse of public trust. His VP is his wife. A woman that has little formal education. His son is on the payroll & so his his sister. Do I hear nepotism? I work for the organization & see plenty of good deeds, but I am not blind to the waste. Also, employees are let go with little to no reason & it’s shameful! For those that support his salary, pay more taxes to support him & his family. Better yet, go to Altamed’s gala on Friday, march 11 at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills. Can you imagine a nonprofit partying it up in Beverly Hills? If you don’t believe it, drive by or contact Altamed for tickets, although I may have sold out. If you want to make the big dollars, go private & stop pocketing medical dollars.

      • Yuumy

        It is sad but true and is a shame for the Latinos.
        Do a full clean up and don’t have mercy on them.
        They don’t care about the patients

    • Former Employee

      Yes, there are many other programs and fundraisers but AltaMed’s money train is the ADHC and PACE funds. This information is shared at management meetings.

      • former employee

        Thanks both of you.
        I am hoping one day AltaMed will face answering the gov. Where are the grants going? Are invested grants for “researches” being spent appropriately and are the researches “successful” or “failing” on their ways? Failing – here is the answer. Now, Altamed getting billion dollars from the government and infusing into a new pilot program called PCMH. AltaMed is proud to announce that they are the first in the Southern CA to implement this. More, they do not want anyone outside to know how much money they get from the government and how much they infuse for this pilot program. This is irony because AltaMed is growing so fast in this economic crisis, but hospitals are not getting reimbursed for saving human lives.

    • Social Media Consultant

      It’s funny that all the negative comments are being posted by the same two people and that’s why they’re using anonymous names like “Ethics Watch,” “Rage,” “AltaMed Insider,” “Truth4Altamed” and “juan dela cruz.” These two people work for the unions and for Jerry Brown’s PR team. One is trying to take attention away from the real story (the ADHC cuts) and the other is trying to convince AltaMed workers that they’ve been wronged somehow when really their CEO’s pay isn’t even 1% of the total budget.

      • JKL

        The real story is that AdHC and programs like it could stand to survive with a share of de la rocha’s pay & for that matter his wife & son’s pay to keep the program running!

      • anonymous names

        Look who else is using an anonymous name, hypocrite!

      • LOLA

        I posted messages here and I do not belong to any ADHC or government organization. I am just a disappointed tax payer that can not believe the abuse of non for profit organizations. This abuse is stem by the fact that non for profit organizations are not required to switch external auditors. Do you know that Altamed’s auditors have not changed for over 30 years? Do you know that the external auditor and Altamed’s CEO go into trips and are long time friends. No independent audit has ever been performed for this organization.

    • T. Coan

      Many top execs and even billionaires in America don’t have degrees. Others in this forum have pointed to sexism and racism. I’d say claiming that one must have a degree to be an exec is elitist and classist.

      • T.COAN = TROLL

        SHUT UP COAN! What an assinine thing to say. I CALL YOU OUT AS A TROLL!

        it’s a fact that ZOILA “hooked” her way into her position. FACT, and enough said, take your red-herring /spurioius argument that demanding a degree to earn $400k is classist…. as Jay Leno says sometimes…: REALLY? S H U T UP! WILL YOU?

        I got land on the moon for you to buy too…


    • Searching for the Truth

      Thank you for your honesty and pointing out what we would otherwise not know. Please share more.

    • Ruben

      You are a brown noser. I dont blame you for kissing in he hope that you next performance evaluation will be more favorable.

    • Honest AltaMed Employee

      the pay is a valid, moral issue. why are some folks attached to the political arguement? ask the ADHC employees that received a pay cut when Castulo and Zoila doubled their earning if the salary increase isn’t an issue! Also, just this month all ADHC employees received their unemployment notice. Ask them if the salary increase isn’t an issue!

  • juan dela cruz

    In 2008 and 2009 Altamed started cutting benefits and hours of regular employees with it’s anticipation of Medical budget cuts. Every employee was even instructed to e-mail senators and congressmen to appeal. Many long time employees were terminated, some relocated and a few retained. Then this news item comes out in the open, the CEO making double in salaray plus bonuses in this time frame and reverse for his employees who experienced cutbacks or even termination. Other healthcare operators might interest them on this one thing, I was told by an Altamed Employee in a higher position that it is only Altamed in all of California, who is not required a Treatment Authorization Request or T.A.R. to provide services to Medical beneficiaries. Something Mr Bryan could investigate more. If true, this is unfair to other providers who submits this requirement first before treatment is authorized…or declined.

    • Employee

      Employees aren’t getting terminated you misinformed wacko! The size of the staff has been growing exponentially. You aren’t credible.

      • Honest AltaMed Employee

        All ADHC employees received their unemployment notice! Employees are being let go. Honesty please!!! ADHC closure effective September 1, 2011.

    • Ariadma Berkovich Moran

      All healthcare providers who accept Medi-Cal must submit a T.A.R. Medi-Cal will not pay for services without one.

    • Former consultant

      Gee too bad employees may have had to cut benefits. They ONLY got 50 paid days off. Multiple employee appreciation parties and many more benefits. They are better compensated than the senate.

    • Mireya Chavez

      I don’t understand why you sound so angry. As a current employee and Registered Nurse I want to ask. How easy do you think it is to “send these patients some where else?” Some of our patients our 90yrs. + and have no family to care for them. Regardless of whatever $$$ Mr. De La Rocha is making, these people need our services. In terms of his personal life, that is not anybody has the right to judge. He has created a system that works our clients receive the benefits. I think you are missing the bottom line. We need to take care of our elderly sick patients. So instead of sitting around complaining about how much money the next person makes. The energy should be focused on doing good for our community and aging patients. The CEO deserves a fair investigation without people like you attacking him. I personally might be under paid, but at the end of the day I find satisfaction in knowing that a life has been improved.
      To:Juan De La Cruz…. That information is in correct we do submit a T.A.R on all patients. Yes it’s true, that some employees got their hours cut in 2008, but they also were given an opportunity to relocate and get fulltime hours. Many long time employees have been given promotions and have room for growth.

      • Dave

        I am thinking how much did this axxhole pay u to wrote this lie…… Altamed doesnt need to submit TAR because it is federal funded. Oh, maybe u r the axxhole himself………

  • Ariadma Berkovich Moran

    The issue at hand is not about a person’s salary. This is REALLY ABOUT THE 38,000+ PEOPLE WHO ARE LOSING HEALTH CARE SERVICES THROUGHOUT THE STATE. The real issue is what the GOVERNOR’s appalling lack of decency is doing to these 38,000 people. He is closing down ADHC centers throughout the entire state of CA to ‘save’ money. 38,000 people are being denied not only their dignity but the right to continue living in their communities and receiving proper healthcare. This ‘report’ by this hack who calls himself an investigative reporter, should focus on the fact that Governor Brown is proposing to throw away more than 38,000 people. What is the Governor proposing we do? Send our loved ones to nursing homes that are stressful environments, or perhaps let them linger into slow sad deaths? Has anyone at your station ever heard of Journalism School? Perhaps you should look into it.

    • Gloria Mendez

      I agree!

  • YolandaGutierrez

    Not true about T.A.R. either. That requirement doesn’t apply to federally qualified community health centers, such as AltaMed. Federally qualified health centers exempt from having to submit T.A.R.s.

  • juan dela cruz

    My rejoinder comes in two, on Ms Moran’s proposition, I respectfully submit my disagreement on her argument that the issue is not the salary of Mr De La Rocha, on the simple premise of reading the heading of the report. With regards to a TAR, both Ms Moran and Ms Gutierrez have posted unique inputs. My questions are, if true, why is Altamed exempted when others are not? Is Altamed also getting funds from the federal government? What qualifies one to be exempt from TAR requirements? Lastly, Ms Moran, all healthcare settings have their own personality, be them acute, sub-acute, out-patient, adhc -pace or a nursing home. A very good example is a previous adhc client was referred to a nursing home because care required was not met at the former.I will defend every setting for the dedication of the workers and I would respectfully ask you to look closer on how well regulated each is, compared to the adhc setting.Journalism is simple mind you, write what you see, unless you don’t trust your eyes.

    • Former consultant

      AltaMed is an FQHC. They do not bill Denti-Cal, thet bill Medi-Cal a single encounter and get paid on the medical side. They do not need a TAR.

  • juan dela cruz

    I tried posting a trivial pursuit but thrice each failed to make it. If at a later time they do, my apologies.

  • juan dela cruz

    What’s in a name? Altamed got it’s name from a young Castulo’s drinking habit, that of announcing “ALTA” before raising his glass to popose a toast…hence the company was named “AltaMed”.

    • JMP

      This is a lie…a very strange lie. In Spanish “Alta” means the tallest, the highest, the pinnacle. Therefore, AltaMed means the highest quailty medical care. Juan Dela Cruz just proved how ignorant they really are. This persion is not to be believed!

    • Happy AltaMed employee

      @Juan dela TROLL, how’S that unemployment check coming along? you’re a complete loser, and a moron.

  • Altamed Insider

    All this explains why the employees at Altamed are always told there is no money for raises even after working hard for the company for many years. Work hours for non-exempt employees have been reduced while other employees pay have been moved to the bare minimum to be considered exempt to be forced to work many overtime hours without getting paid. Now we know the reason for all this, Mr. De la Rocha was siphoning a good portion of the money for his own personal uses; which include his many “affairs” in the office. His new wife (a previous mistress) who also works for Altamed; is highly paid for an unjustified executive position. Rebuttal: Mr. De la Rocha did not work 18 hours a day 7 days a week. That is what he was telling his ex-wife as an excuse why he wasn’t home before he divorced her. Mr. De la Rocha hasn’t even visited many of his Altamed sites ever in person just to see how they are running. I think he should be investigated further.

    • Anonymous

      Someone else posted that this is a smear campaign and this comment makes me believe that is the case. I work at the Corporate building and have for nearly a decade. None of the above is true.

      • Justice

        I invitw you to visit the Adult Day Health Care Centers and you will see how employees with degrees are striving to put a decent dinner on the table. We are expected to work 6.5 hours and hold a full caseload of an eight hour. We should also blame the VP and directors from Long term care who ignore the needs of the employees so they could look good to Castulo in not spending money. For what so Castulo could take all the money home. We try hard to work with the seniors since there is a great need for them and sometimes we are their only hope. BUT come on, most of the employees at the site I am working for is over stressed and some are on stess leave. Many Employees are looking for the possibility to transfer or looking for another job, but with this economy and no jobs, We also have families to support. It is a shame how Castulo claims to work 18 hours 7 days a week. I have over 8 years woring at AltaMed, Castulo has visited the ADHC about 2 times and I am going high. Truely these programs shouldn’t be extinct but be further investigate, employees should get back the 8 hours and a just pay.

  • Momma

    Unfortunate, but not uncommon. And it’s chump change compared to what the county is paying the head of LACMA . They report his salary as $150k but then, through a foundation, bring it up to over $1.3 MILLION. Same thing on a smaller scale at the Natural History Museum.

    These execs are generously paid once through direct county payroll and again through these “foundations” at the same time they don’t even let their minimum wage employees get in enough hours to qualify for medical insurance.

    Check them out at charitynavigator (dot) org and guidestar (dot) org and see how generous the L.A. County taxpayers really are. Too bad they don’t know it. And too bad it isn’t being made public.

    Sorry about the doctor’s paycheck, but he certainly isn’t alone. And it’s legal…like most of what happened in Bell was “legal.”

  • RageAgainst TheMachine

    What a scandal! I cant beleive ADHC employees have been working 6-6.5 hour days for over a year now due to ” budget cuts ” while Mr. De La Rocha makes an obscene amount of money. Altamed states one of there ” CORE VALUES” is ” Employees are our most valuable asset”, What A Crock! This is a disgusting INJUSTCE! Kaiser nurses are on strike this very moment demanding for fair nurse patient ratios, Altamed employees should do the same and fight for a full paycheck!

    • Gloria Mendez

      This is obviously a comment from a union organizer trying to get AltaMed employees to form a union. Unions are great when workers are mistreated and need to join together to be heard, but I’m at the clinics regularly for myself and my kids and my mom is at an ADHC and the employees are happy. They tell me they love their jobs, they are respected and they make a living wage. How sad that people are going to use this as an opportunity to push their own agendas.

      • RageAgainst TheMachine

        All altamed employees should and need to be treated / paid fairly. Clinics were not affected by the reduction of hours so they are not experiencing the hardship that other employees are. And yes this is the perfect opportunity to show this injustice and do something about it! What is so sad that about that? People should always fight for there rights, hard workers should be appreciated and given the opportunity to provide for there families as needed. They deserve 40 hours a week , are you saying they dont?


        Gloria… do you drink kool-aide for a living? Stop the defense of the indefensible… you sound foolish! IT’S NO DEFENSIBLE THAT SALARY!
        Are you an ALTAMED BLOG PLANT HERE TO QUELL THE RIGHTEOUS VOICES of the victims of all the people Castulo has ripped off?

        Shut it already, you’re sounding like a pea brained republican… LOL!

      • Honest AltaMed Employee

        lol…how sad that employees are discouraged from joining the union by Zoila! easy for her to preach that line. a union would benefit AltaMed employees. we are NOT as fairly treated as you may think!

  • Marilyn Ross

    The gossip going on in these comments is juvenille, but to be expected following reporting that’s on par with the National Enquierer. Real investigative reporting would have noted that many nonprofit health care execs in L.A. are paid similarly to Mr. De La Roca. Perhaps we’re not talking about them because they’re white. Nearly all of the people who spoke in this report are also white. If that’s not racist, it’s certainly not PC.

    • Happy AltaMed employee



        Oh my Lord… “because they’re white?” I think this is an appalling salary for any any color exec, and it’s a DISGUSTING salary for any CEO in any other similar non-profit! That’s the point! Just because other non-profits play Russion Roulette with public welfare money, doesn’t mean it’s NOT A SINFUL APPALLING PRACTICE!

        If this is the norm… then it MUST change, and those that are lucid the this terrible salary abuse as it was noted in the City of Bell should equally be appalled and disgusted at this news! Castulo’s household earns the following:
        Castulo: $800k+
        Zoila-VP/Wife: $400k+
        Son- $70-85K+

        This wreaks Marilyn, and to you “Happy AltaMed Employee” (sounds oxymoronic) what goes around comes around, and I don’ t think this will go unpunished. It should be punished quickly.

        Even Castulos face during the interview SHOWED HIS SIN, HIS GUILTY CONSCIENCE… it was the face of A BUSTED CRIMINAL!


    • Anonymous

      Really Marilyn? So that makes it ok??? I can’t believe you’re trying to throw the race card here. They ALL should be investegated. This has been going on for FAR TOO LONG!

  • Happy AltaMed employee

    I have been employed at AltaMed since 2008 and I couldn’t more proud to have someone like Mr. De La Rocha lead our organization. His dedication to this company and the cause for 33 years is unparalleded, if I had any say so in his compensation, I would give him more than what he’s currently getting paid. The man is not only relentless in his cause but loves his employees and is committed to serve the underserved community.

    Furthermore, some of the negative commentators on here are just simply jeaulous of Mr. De La Rochas success, some are probably bitter former employees who were terminated because they were lazy, and AltaMed did not want to waste “tax-payer money” on these lazy folk. The other disgruntled folks are owners or former owners of privately owned ADHCs that were shut down by the state for committing MediCal fraud.

    And to the poster juan dela cruz (I know it’s a fake name), it’s obvious you’re one of the lazy employees that AltaMed wasted “tax-payer money” supporting your laziness, sorry Juanito – maybe on you next job you will work a little harder and really earn your paycheck, get a life Juanito

    • Hard Worker

      Dear HAPPY, get off your swivel and do some real work! you obviously work in the corperate office and sit on your butt all day working your full 40 hours a week or more, How dare you call altamed employees lazy? If you had a clue you would know that there is no time to be “lazy” when your dealing with over 170 clients on the daily basis! Stop being such a kiss ass its not going to get you very far, the truth is coming out and lets see how happy you will be once your nice little desk job is no more!

    • LAZY!!!

      I never saw a lazy employee the whole time I was there. This is a non profit orgnaniization. We are a social services health care provider. You don’t get into a job like this if you are “flojo”.

      • former employee

        Yes, we have seen this at AltaMed. Especially, if you paid attention the “Last Fridays” are more frequent when AltaMed bargains from gov grant programs and at the middle of pilot programs decides to eliminate positions or make employees to leave.


      Will the PAID TROLL: “HAPPY ALTAMED EMPLOYEE” please leave the room now. If I were you I’d send out my resume asap. LOL, most companies like brainless workers that swallow kool-aide. YOu’re perfect. don’t forget to add that to your list of skills ok dear?


      If only you saw the number of people that QUIT ALTAMED voluntarily… it’s NOT A GREAT PLACE TO WORK dear. Unless you’re one of the execs which it sounds like you are…. the retention rate there is DISMAL! Maybe you’re NOT an exec, you’re actually just lucky to have a job? The level of execs there and their education was really low. I was always disappointed at the level of polish and knowledge in the execs there. A lot of incompetence.

      If anyone really cares about AltaMed, they’ll PRAY things get cleaned up, and NOT FIGHT IT. The people demand a major house cleaning.

      • Former Employee

        Applaud your comments

      • Employee at Altamed

        On the bright side, i see lives improved but plenty of room for improvement. Agree on all your points & I work there. Turnover rate is high & work processes are inefficient. Education levels are low within management. I like my job & colleagues, but one’s job is always on the line. One day you got a coworker, the next he or she is gone.

  • Smear Campaign

    $800,000….big deal….how about the banking execs who ruined our economy and made millions or billions doing so. At least De La Rocha works hard for his money and actually helps people in the process. There’s no story here. So I wonder what’s really going on. Could it be that Jerry Brown didn’t like Mr. De La Rocha fighting the ADHC cuts and so Brown’s communications staff launched a smear campaign. I just don’t see what the big deal is.


      I call BS on Smear… nice deflection, but again I repeat:

      If anyone really cares about AltaMed, they’ll PRAY things get cleaned up, and NOT FIGHT IT. The people demand a major house cleaning.

  • N. Graham

    I agree that someone on Gov. Brown’s staff probably created this story to take attention away from the Adult Day Health Center cuts. The real story is the cuts. Let’s stay focused on that, rather than slandering a man who has succesfully created places for low-income people to receive health care for their whole lives. As someone who once lost their health coverage and didn’t know where to turn to get treatment for a life threatening illness, I am extremely grateful for the work that Mr. Dela Rocha and AltaMed do.

  • M. Rivera

    Both of my parents were transferred to AltaMed ADHCs. They absolutely love it. Before, they were just left to sit there while I went to work. Sometimes a nurse would come check on them but we had many problems of them not cared for the right way. That place got shut down. And AltaMed took over alot of the failed places. Now both of my parents are happy. They get medical care now and it turns out my dad has diabetes and didn’t know. They get exercise and games and attention. Without AltaMed I would have to stop work to take care of them and I can’t do this. My family needs my pay. My parents are happy and more healthy, so I don’t care that the execs make good pay.

  • RageAgainst TheMachine

    @ Gloria Mendez
    All altamed employees should and need to be treated / paid fairly. Clinics were not affected by the reduction of hours so they are not experiencing the hardship that other employees are. And yes this is the perfect opportunity to show this injustice and do something about it! What is so sad that about that? People should always fight for there rights, hard workers should be appreciated and given the opportunity to provide for there families as needed. They deserve 40 hours a week , are you saying they dont?

    • C. Cornell

      How dare you use the Rage Against the Machine name to slander Castulo! Zack De La Rocha (the lead singer) is Castulo’s nephew!

      • Who cares

        I highly doubt that! Btw, I love u chris cornell! Muah

  • RageAgainst TheMachine

    There is no slander in any of my comments! Only truth!
    WAKE UP!

    • RS

      What truth? Its only an opinion (you are entitled to) of ignorance; it lacks logos and pathos.

  • Ethics Watch

    Its about time! The AltaMed Family has know about this corrupt guy for decades. He openly had an affair with Zoila Escobar for years while they were both married to other people. She is as bright as a rock yet holds a senior level position and is compensated like a fortune 500 executive. Go figure. There also should be an investigation in all his “personal” expenses. Who buys his suits? Trips? Gifts? the taxpayers do! This is outrageous. Its not acceptable. What about ethics? What about morals? This guy needs to go and shame on the board for allowing it. Get rid of him and go back to being a community provider, for the people, not for yourself.

    • Ethics Watch

      Now hear this one – I hear he has an exclusive membership to the City Club in downtown LA and has had it for years!! Who is paying for this? The tax payers? Does he fly First Class or Coach? What do you think??? This is a shame that such an organization that is supposed to be helping the poor has a selected few, living like royalty. Sounds worse than the Bell scandal. Gov Brown, you need to look deep in to this.

      • Ethics Watch

        Castulo calls himself a true professional for 33 years. How is a true professional someone that carries out an affair with his secretary for years a true professional????? No other company would have allowed this. Isnt this against the standards of conduct? Or do they have them? Everyone alway knew they were having an affair while both married but everyone was afraid to talk. He even fired people that spoke out against this. Sooner or later this was coming out and something must be done. Zoila, shame on you. You are a disgrace to all women. I hope you can sleep at night Are you proud of getting what you wanted? How many people’s lives have you affected, for the worse? Wow. Can beleive this story at all. Investigate further!

      • taxpayer


  • RageAgainst TheMachine

    RS- All facts ! they will soon come out. Do you need to see paystubs of employees? Those will be gathered and presented just for you so you can see this has nothing to do with “opinions”! Just truth! What’s fair is fair and this is not!
    The people need to fight for what is right! JUSTICE FOR ALL not some!

    • happy employee

      why dont you give us your name , not just Rage Against The Machine, pendejosay like a men and write your name down so I can see who you are?

      • RageAgainst The Machine

        Che Guevara. whats yours? Chaliso? Or Lazy? Keep backing up the rich at the underserved expense.

  • darkfuture

    The truth is 50% of the $80 per senior per day go to owners of ADHC’s pockets. For senior’s entertament, which any local senior center can provide. The most abusive program in CA Medi-Cal. Thinking of school lay off teachers, what a shame.
    Shut down ADHC! Or give the money straight to employees!

    • ED'sCommonSense

      @darkfuture. Are you serious? $40 goes into ADHC’s pocket for every senior? Please give me some study that leads to this calculation of yours. I would love a business model that give a 50% in profit. Your “truth” sounds like a big lie.

      • darkfuture

        I know some owners of ADHC, they all have mansions and sports cars. Not sure 50% is the exact number, but the business model is filthy profitable. ADHC changed from non-profit to for-profit in 1997, after that the number of ADHC tripled to 300+ statewide. In 2004, Feds reverse its support in ADHC, CA became the only state has such program in the nation. If it’s really medical necessary, the whole nation should have it, the truth is only the welfare seniors have the access of it. no member is willing to pay$80 per day out of their own pocket,. There is no serious link between the hospitalization rate and the paticipating rate of ADHC for seniors. .

      • darkfuture

        $80 is the amount Medi-cal paying ADHC,yes,per senior per day. What they get back? $4 combo lunch from cheap catering. What else?minimum paid ADHC employees taking blood pressure for senior, organizing Mahjang game, dancing class, and one physical on-site physical therapist might be the highest paid employee. There are about 120 seniors each day. You do the math, rental for 10000 ft. What else? Where do you think that $800000 salary come from? And don’t forget the that’s just salary, owner might have business income as well?

      • ED'sCommonSense

        Apparently when you request a study on the calculation of a business P&L, you get some individual’s break down of the cost and revenue. @darkfuture. You sure seem knowledgeable about the operation of ADHC. Do you work for an ADHC by any chance? If yes, then I’ll trust your judgment. If no, well…. You are still a big liar.

  • burn !

    @ happy altamed employee you sound like nothing more than an asskiss to me ! lol. i believe this story is true 100% . every single word and there is way more they left out or havent found out about yet.

  • Altamed Insider

    It’s true Zoila D. Escobar was a secretary at AltaMed and after having an affair with Mr. De la Rocha for years was promoted to Vice President of Strategic Development and Community Support on May 8, 2006 with no qualifications what so ever. (Sounds like a made up positoin to me) Now Zoila (his new wife after Mr. Del la Rocha divorced his previous wife) is making $400k+ a year. Wow, what a jump in pay for a secretary. Seems like the entire family is cashing in. Look it up, It is alll true. CBS, look into that.

    • Concerned citizen

      Zoila was never a secretary. She is not qualified. She was a summer youth worker paid for by a government program. She started sleeping with Castulo almost immediately and then they each married someone else and the foursome became compadres,etc. The poor wife…..

      • No Baloney!

        . . . and the poor husband!! They repeatedly confronted them with the accusations and Castulo & Zoila always denied everything. A couple of pinche lowlife cowards!

    • Taxpayer

      Altamed Insider or should I say National Enquirer applicant, you are disgusting. Stick to watching TMZ … sounds like you value that babble instead of the real issue which is the 38,000+ people who are losing health care services throughout the state! It’s people like you who make Americans look bad and unfortunately need scapegoats for unmerited blame and treatment. AltaMed has been a leader for over 30 years providing health care and speaking out to protect, provide, and aide those the governor lacks any remorse for. No wonder these attacks are specifically funded by the governor. Get off your hidden computer soapbox, stop addressing us as if we are interested in the slightest about your maliciously embellished novela, stick to real issue at hand–saving people’s lives, and get into the community. What have you done to help? I thought so.

  • Altamed Insider

    Now Zoila D. Escobar is President of the AltaMed Foundation. In 4 years she went from Secretary, to Vice President and now President of the Altamed Foundation. Boy there are big perks that go with sleeping with the boss.
    Read all about it and see Zoila’s PICTURE.


    Just replace the (dot)s with a real . and paste into your browser.

    • M.B.L.

      Zoila started with AltaMed over 25 years ago and worked her way up. It’s no one’s business who she fell in love with and married. Saying that she didn’t earn her position is SEXIST!

      • No Baloney!

        yeah, worked her way up on her back! I remember when she started . . . and she started her butt kissing to Castulo even before then!!

      • me

        Names like A. Peterson, semi anonymous ARE paid ALTAMED TROLLS in the Altamed offices! This anyone in the communications, this post is a PAID ALTAMED TROLL, SHAME ON YOU FOR SELLING YOUR INTEGRITY TO A MILLIONAIRE… ARE YOU A TEABAGGER TOO?

    • T. Wright

      Zoila was never a secretary. She’s been an Executive for over a decade. All the negative comments are being posted by the same two people and that’s why they’re using anonymous names like “Ethics Watch,” “Rage,” “AltaMed Insider,” “Truth4Altamed” and “juan dela cruz.” These two people work for the unions and for Jerry Brown’s PR team. One is trying to take attention away from the real story (the ADHC cuts) and the other is trying to convince AltaMed workers that they’ve been wronged somehow when really their CEO’s pay isn’t even 1% of the total budget.

      • me

        All these names like T. Wright that are semi anonymous ARE paid ALTAMED TROLLS in the Altamed offices! This anyone in the communications, this post is a PAID ALTAMED TROLL, SHAME ON YOU FOR SELLING YOUR INTEGRITY TO A MILLIONAIRE… ARE YOU A TEABAGGER TOO?

    • Happy AltaMed employee

      What a liar, and a crybaby…you must have been fired from AtalMed, probably for not doing your work but instead, being the biggest chismosa in the company, GOOD RIDANCE!!.


        “Happy AltaMed” employee (AGAIN SOUNDS SO HILARIOUSLY OXYMORONIC)! Your tolerance of UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR is scary! Everything Altamed Insider is saying IS CORPORATE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE HERE AT ALTAMED– but everyone is afraid to say it. BUT NOW THE CAT IS OUTTA THE BAG! Or should I say the kitty is in the sack? LOL.

        In any event, if I were you, I’d crawl back under your rock where you’d rather say nothing to such behavior because the more you type and talk here, THE WORSE YOU’LL MAKE IT FOR ALTAMED… your position is APPALLING!

        And finally, so you know dumbarse- most people ARE NOT FIRED FROM ALTAMED! You got to have done something really stupid to be fired from AltaMed. The FACT IS MOST PEOPLE QUIT ALTAMED! THE RETENTION RATE THERE IS DISMAL. THE TOP TALENT LEAVES B/C MOST OF THEM CAN’T STAND BEING MANAGED BY THE DIMWITS YOU SUPPORT! So anyone here that was an employee at AltaMed more than likely QUIT! And likely had the talent to get better jobs elsewhere. YOu sound like you’d have problem getting a better gig than Altamed, I guess you’re a DMV – level employee….

        payback is a bear! But when justice is meted out, it’s so good to see. And WE SHOULD ALL PRAY THE JUSTICE CONTINUES TO BE DEALT OUT HARSHLY AND WITH A MACHETE.

      • Burn !

        Lol you can’t even spell properly!! You must fit right in with all the uneducated people there !! They probaly still have you employed cuz they love it when you kiss their ASS!!!!

      • Me

        “Happy AltaMed employee” . . . but the chisme is TRUE . . .she undeservedly acquired a position by sleeping with the boss for years! Everyone knew it . . . what did you gain from it? Why do you condone this??

      • Altamed Insider

        Happy AltaMed Employee – Could your name be Zoila D. Escobar? Why else would you care so much or are you being paid to post good things here to save face for the company? Karma always comes back with a vengeance.

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