President and Chief Executive Officer
La Maestra Community Health Centers
4060 Fairmount Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105-1608
Zara Marselian is chief executive officer and co-founder of La Maestra Community Health Centers, a non-profit, federally qualified health center providing comprehensive health care and social services to low-income, immigrant and refugee residents in inner-city San Diego. Since 1990, La Maestra has expanded from one single family home converted into a medical office to include four medical clinics (one of which is Gold LEED certified), five dental clinics, three school-based clinics, a mobile clinic, and mental health clinics. La Maestra served over 40,000 unduplicated patients through almost 175,000 visits in 2011.
Ms. Marselian holds a master’s degree in organizational management and has been actively involved in community organizations and other non-profits for over 25 years. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives; graduate of the National Association of Community Health Centers EXCELL Leadership Program and the Fieldstone Foundation Executive Learning Program; a dedicated member of several boards of directors in San Diego; and former president of the Council of Community Clinics.
Ms. Marselian has been recognized locally and nationally as an ambitious advocate for the cause of helping the underserved and improving access to culturally competent services for diverse communities through innovative models. Prominent awards include the 2004 Community Health Leaders award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the 2007 Greenlining Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of vision and leadership in healthcare; and the 2012 H. Jack Geiger Award for Outstanding Leadership in Program Management from the National Center for Health in Public Housing. In 2010, La Maestra Publications published The Soul Speaks, a collection written by Ms. Marselian of real-life stories told by immigrants and refugees from around the globe who settled in inner-city San Diego. This book is being used to orient students and service providers to different cultural experiences and challenges that these populations face in their countries of origin, in the refugee camps and in the United States, in order to improve health outcomes through more culturally competent services.