Dr. Tina Castañares of Hood River received the Lifetime Excellence Award from the Oregon Public Health Institute on Oct. 19.
Castañares, the founder of La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Center, earned the 10th Annual Billi Odegaard Public Health Genius Awards honor for her achievements and contributions to improving public health in Oregon.
She is an original member of the Oregon Health Services Commission, where she participated in the priority-setting work that made the Oregon Health Plan possible.
Castañares also served as health officer for Hood River County for 12 years and medical director for Hospice of the Gorge in Hood River, where she has promoted public health through improving social and economic determinants.
She also served for 11 years as the national ombudsman for farm worker health to the U.S. Assistant Surgeon General.
Castañares won the Oregon Health Forum Leadership Award in 2007.
In 1986, Castañares led a group of public health practitioners who wanted to start a health clinic for migrant and seasonal farm workers in Hood River, which became La Clínica del Cariño. La Clínica services a wide range of local residents.
She retired from La Clínica in 2012 but continues to provide consultation through Providence Connections. She is a board-certified hospice and palliative provider who has served hospice patients throughout the Mid-Columbia since 2003, and was instrumental in developing the Hospice of the Gorge’s Hispanic Outreach Program.
The Oregon Public Health Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of Oregonians through advocacy and support of effective public health policy and activities.