a film by Filiz Efe & Scott Macklin
Rogelio Riojas, president and chief executive officer for Sea Mar Community Health Centers, is the 2013 recipient of the Charles E. Odegaard Award. Riojas graduated from the University of Washington with bachelor’s degrees in political science (1973) and economics (1975), and a master’s degree in health administration (1977). At UW, he was a leader among Latino student activists and participated in campaigns both on campus and in the community. Riojas’ activism inspired his career in public health. In 1978, he started Sea Mar which began as a single medical clinic in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood. Today, it is a comprehensive health and human services organization that serves 12 counties and over 140,000 individuals per year in Washington state. Under Riojas’ leadership, Sea Mar broadened its services to also focus on education. He established a program that has awarded more than 1,000 scholarships to children of migrant farm workers. Riojas is active on several community boards and received many campus and community honors including the 2007 UW Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) Distinguished Alumni Award.