Rogelio Riojas has served as President and CEO of Sea Mar Community Health Centers since 1978. Sea Mar is a health and human services non-profit organization committed to providing quality, comprehensive health, human and housing services to diverse communities, specializing in service to Latinos. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from a small community clinic in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, to a large multi-faceted health and human services organization serving more than 240,000 individuals annually in eleven counties throughout Washington State.
While Sea Mar’s core mission has been related to affordable, quality healthcare, Mr. Riojas has led Sea Mar to provide additional human services, including a Latino/a educational achievement project (LEAP), a scholarship program for children of migrant farmworkers, an employment training program, and a summer internship program that helps students realize their potential and shape their career goals. Sea Mar has also bolstered partnerships with several educational institutions to create opportunities for a new generation of health professionals, including establishing the first community family practice residency program in partnership with Swedish (Providence) and the University of Washington, establishing a certified nursing assistant program that has resulted in an established registered nurse training program in partnership with South Seattle Community College, and hosting international health education students in partnership with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Additionally, Sea Mar offers many training programs for future health professionals including medical, pharmacy, behavioral health and nutritional internships.
Mr. Riojas has also built Sea Mar to be a statewide advocate for those most in need. Sea Mar, in collaboration with its community partners, has been a strong voice and has led social justice advocacy in Washington State. This includes advocating for medical coverage of undocumented children through the state Medicaid program, safe and clean affordable housing for migrant farmworkers, the Basic Health Plan for low income individuals and families, and immigration rights, among many other issues.
Mr. Riojas has served on several advisory boards, including Western Governors University and South Seattle Community College. He is currently on the Board of Sound Community Bank, serving as the Audit Committee Chair and a member of the Loan Committee. He has also served on the Seattle Market Community Advisory Board for JP Morgan Chase and the Board of Directors for Community Health Plan of Washington. Mr. Riojas was the 2012 recipient of the University of Washington’s Charles E. Odegaard Award. He passionately believes quality education is the first step in empowering future generations to become strong, professional members of diverse communities.
Mr. Riojas is a graduate of the University of Washington with bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science and a master’s degree in health administration. He and his wife Leticia have four children and two grandchildren and live in Seattle.
- Appointed by Governor Jay Inslee from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2019
- Confirmed by Senate on March 6, 2014