SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Yale Law School Association has announced Carmela Castellano-Garcia as its 2018 Award of Merit recipient. Since 1957, Yale Law School has recognized distinguished alumni or faculty that are exceptional in his or her field and have made a substantial contribution to public service or to the legal profession with the Award of Merit. Other notable recipients include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor ('79), Hillary Rodham Clinton ('73), and California Governor Edmund G. Brown ('64).
"Ms. Castellano-Garcia, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Primary Care Association, has dedicated herself for more than 25 years to advancing multi-cultural health care delivery to millions of patients each year," said Toni Hahn Davis, Associate Dean for Alumni and Public Affairs, Yale Law School. "The Yale Law School Community is enormously proud to be giving her this Award -- she truly embodies the leadership qualities we strive to instill in our law students."
Ms. Castellano-Garcia served for six years as a staff attorney and managing attorney with Public Advocates, Inc., a public interest law firm in San Francisco where she litigated in the areas of employment discrimination, insurance redlining, and ensuring access to the information technology for minority and low-income populations. In 1992 she founded the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC), a healthcare policy and advocacy organization seeking to improve access to health and human services for California's Latino population. She was the Executive Director of LCHC from 1992-1997.
In 1997, Ms. Castellano-Garcia became the President and CEO of the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) the statewide leader and recognized voice representing the interests of California health centers and the 6.5 million patients they serve. She has been committed to advancing multi-cultural health policy issues for more than 25 years, and has become a leading expert in a wide array of health policy issues including access to care for vulnerable populations, health care reform, payment reform, and primary care workforce. She continues to be a staunch advocate of social justice issues including immigrant and women's rights, educational equity and access.
"It is truly an honor to receive the Award of Merit and be recognized for my contributions to expanding health care access for all Californians. As a leader in the non-profit advocacy sector, I am thrilled to be acknowledged for all of the work I have done to impact the lives of so many individuals throughout our state," said Castellano-Garcia. "The true value of me receiving this award is it highlights what can be accomplished when a community comes together and unites around an important issues such as the human right of healthcare access. My goal is to use this opportunity to demonstrate to other young women, and particularly young women of color, what can ultimately be achieved through advocacy, leadership and dedication."
Ms. Castellano-Garcia also serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Castellano Family Foundation. Founded by her parents, Alcario and Carmen Castellano, in 2001 after winning the California State Lottery, the Castellano Family Foundation has donated more than $5 million in grants to Santa Clara County nonprofits supporting Latino education, arts, and culture, leadership and diversity.
Ms. Castellano-Garcia will officially receive the Award of Merit from the Yale Law School Dean Toni Davis at the school's Alumni Weekend on Saturday, October 20. For more information on the Yale Law School Award of Merit and to see past recipients, please visit https://law.yale.edu/info/alumni/alumni-glance/award-merit
Ms. Castellano-Garcia is a graduate of Leigh High School in San Jose, California. She attended San Jose State University before transferring to University of California Berkeley, where she graduated with highest honors and received a bachelor's degree in political science. She also spent a year at La Universidad Central de Venezuela as a Rotary Foundation International Scholar. Castellano-Garcia went on to receive her juris doctorate from Yale Law School in 1991. To learn more about Carmela Castellano-Garcia, please visit http://carmelacastellano.com/
Contact: Andrea Chavez, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE California Primary Care Association