His story: Roberto Juarez has been the CEO of Clinicas Del Camino Real for more than 40 years, since he founded the health care system in 1978. The clinic’s roots date back to 1971, when social activists Mary Hummel, Mamie Barger, and Reverend Eleazar H. Echeverria opened the Santa Paula Free Clinic in a shared karate studio in the city of Santa Paula. Dedicated to serving the medical needs of Ventura County’s medically underserved population, the tiny clinic was staffed by a team of volunteers and nurses. Juarez was among the pioneers that helped found the former Santa Paula Free Clinic when he was a volunteer while working for Ventura County Public Health. Prior to his work at Clinicas, Juarez was an administrator for Ventura County Medical Center and has worked for Ventura County Environmental and Public Health Departments.
His influence: Clinicas has 15 full-service health centers throughout Ventura County, as well as a fleet of mobile medical units, and more than 25 school-based health centers throughout the county. Clinicas depends on more than 800 staff members to deliver health care services to over 100,000 patients and offers a full-scale of health care services on a sliding fee scale based on income and family size.