Art in Health Care

The AltaMed Art Collection is one of the largest Chicano art collections in the world. As part of AltaMed Health Services’ holistic approach to health care, art is used to enhance the health and well-being of our patients and participants. Every single clinic and every office within the AltaMed organization (more than 60 sites) proudly display multiple pieces from the collection. The art pieces rotate and are curated by the AltaMed Art Collection team, led by Susana Smith Bautista, Associate Vice President and Chief Curator. The people who visit our clinics benefit from the art, not just because of the beauty of the pieces, or the brightness of the environment, but because they see themselves reflected in these pieces. They see their experiences, their culture, and their language. At AltaMed, we believe that representation matters! We believe that feeling seen impacts the quality of a person’s care for the better!

In addition to showcasing art at all of our health centers, AltaMed offers weekly art therapy sessions that promote wellness and healing at our Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE ). The creation and enjoyment of the arts have helped our senior participants emotionally navigate illness, process difficult emotions, manage daily pain from chronic conditions, and boost their cognitive and social skills.


“Psalm 23” was commissioned by AltaMed CEO, Cástulo de la Rocha, for the AltaMed PACE center in Norwalk, California. The mural is now part of the AltaMed Art Collection, and it is one of the ways that AltaMed takes “cultural competence” to the next level. This piece is also special because of the affinity Margaret Garcia has for our elderly participants. When creating the mural, Garcia put herself in their place and created an image that would provide peace and tranquility, as well as stimulate memories and positive emotions.

Cástulo de la Rocha

AltaMed Art Collection President & CEO

J.D. Berkeley School of Law, UC Berkeley
B.A. Political Science, UC Santa Barbara
Certificate in Management, Stanford University

Cástulo de la Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation, is a pioneering force in community health. Under his visionary leadership, AltaMed evolved from a small East Los Angeles clinic into California’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center and a top-five nationwide.

Recognizing the link between community health and prosperity, Mr. de la Rocha addressed the critical need for healthcare in low-income neighborhoods, transforming AltaMed into a substantial health care system with 60+ sites, 4,000+ staff, and nearly 500,000 patients annually.

His innovative “whole community” health care approach earned him accolades and a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Medallion of Excellence. In 2023, he received honors including the Los Angeles Business Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Business Leader Award and induction into the Roosevelt High School Alumni Hall of Fame.

Notably, the University of La Verne named their health sciences department the “Castulo de la Rocha College of Health and Well-Being” in recognition of his trailblazing legacy. AltaMed, accredited by the Joint Commission, consistently ranks among the top nonprofits, exemplifying community-focused health care.

Mr. de la Rocha’s commitment extends to arts, reflected in the AltaMed Art Collection. With 30 years of dedication, it showcases artists portraying the history and struggles of underserved communities.

Mr. de la Rocha is a respected figure on various boards, including the Museum of Latin American Art and the Latino Victory Fund. His expertise aligns health care, public policy, and social advocacy on boards like National Medical Fellowships and America’s Physician Groups.

Artists Featured in Our Collection

Ester Hernandez

Roberto Gil de Montes

De La Torre Brothers

John Valadez

Harry Gamboa Jr

Linda Vallejo