President, AltaMed Foundation
Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
AltaMed Health Services
Zoila D. Escobar has an extensive history in the health care arena both in program design and implementation as well as in the area of fundraising and policy development. Escobar’s experience with community health centers began when she joined AltaMed Health Services Corporation in 1979 as part of the Teen Advocacy Project. There she served as a teen advocate/peer counselor, and later became project coordinator.
Escobar’s administrative experience includes working with AIDS Project Los Angeles, as program director of the first “Latinas and AIDS” program in Los Angeles County. At the UCLA Family Planning Clinic, Escobar served as clinic administrator for HIV services and later became the director of education and government affairs for the Arthritis Foundation. Escobar was involved in policy work that led to the development of the Ryan White Act legislation and played a role in the inclusion of HIV/AIDS in the Americans with Disabilities Act legislation. In 1991, Escobar served as technical assistant/international director for the World Health Organization in a joint project with the World Federation of Hemophilia. During her tenure, Escobar developed and implemented a comprehensive training program to help physicians and other health care professionals improve Hemophilia and HIV Infection Health Care Systems and piloted the First “Hemophilia and AIDS” workshop in Santiago, Chile. This training model has been replicated in Sao Paulo, Brazil; New Delhi, India; Budapest, Hungry; and Warsaw, Poland. The Chilean Government credited Escobar with the development of a separate HIV Testing program form for the blood bank system making the Chilean blood-supply safer. She is also responsible for the introduction of the first 15 million units of factor into Chile’s hemophilia treatment system of care.
Escobar’s experience in the area of fund development dates back to 1984 when she joined the staff of the American Cancer Society - San Diego Unit (ACS) as the director of development for special populations for South Bay and Imperial Counties where she was responsible for all fundraising components directed at minority communities, including the recruiting and staffing of 13 volunteer committees to plan and implement special events, direct mail, telephone and door-to-door campaigns, and individual gifts. While at ACS, she helped to develop a national policy in the areas of uterine and breast cancer screening, smoking cessation, and HIV/AIDS for Spanish-speaking populations.
She served as co-chair of the first “Bi-national U.S./Mexico AIDS Conference,” the “Latino Artists against AIDS” Art Show, and the “Big Sisters of Los Angeles - Latina Advisory Dinner and Gala” fund-raising committees. Escobar also provided leadership as a member of the fundraising committees for events such as “The National Latino AIDS Teleconference,” the first Latino HIV Fundraising Gala “A la Vida,” and “The Surgeon General’s Hispanic/Latino Health Initiative Regional Conference.”
Escobar returned to AltaMed Health Services in 1992. Under Escobar’s leadership, her department conducts the functions of corporate strategic planning, implementation and tracking of business and development plans, public and private fundraising, compliance, and marketing. AltaMed consistently raises more than $25 million annually. Additionally, she provides marketing oversight for all AltaMed’s product lines, with a bottom line average contribution to the organization of $22.4 Million per year.
Escobar received the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation Woman of the Year award in 2007. She was also recognized for her contributions to health by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Latina Business Women Association in 2008 and the Latino Spirit Awards of the California Latino Legislative Caucus in 2011.
Escobar has served as LA Area Coordinator the Health Initiative of the Americas responsible for organizing a Bi-National Health Week - Health Awareness Campaign aimed at immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala who are working in the United States or Canada, and was one of the primary architects of Health Care Summit and Professional Exchange held in Mexico City in February 2003.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Health Services Administration and a Master’s Degree from the University of La Verne.