Al Castro, MS, CSW, is the Program Director of the Health Research Department at the United Community Center, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has been with the UCC for over 20 years. The UCC is a large, multi-services Latino non-profit community organization serving the range of pre-school age to older adults through various programs in the areas of child care, education, youth prevention, substance abuse treatment, elderly services, low income housing, fitness, health, and neighborhood development. With an annual average budget of $26 million, the UCC is able to serve 16,000 to 18,000 individuals yearly, through over 4000 staff among its various programs. The majority are from low income status, over 95% Latino, and range from natural citizens to immigrants from various Latin American countries or backgrounds.
Mr. Castro serves as the primary liaison with the research universities, developing and maintaining collaborations and partnerships for effective community engaged research in the Latino population of greater Milwaukee.
UCC collaborates with various academic research universities (such as Medical College of Wisconsin, UW-Madison, Marquette University, UW-Milwaukee, Carroll University) in conducting community-engaged research in areas of health issues and inequities among the Latino community, to lead towards development of programs and services that addresses these issues and needs. Mr. Castro has been a co-author in various published health research articles related to these community health research projects.
Prior to his position, Mr. Castro had been the program director of the UCC Latino Geriatric Center, which is composed of a memory diagnostic clinic for Latinos and an adult day center designed for Latinos with dementia care needs and to provide support to Latino family caregivers.
Mr. Castro has over 25 years of prior experience as a social worker in county human services programs, including child protective services, juvenile services, and adult services. Mr. Castro has a master’s degree in business management from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, a bachelor’s degree in social work from Carroll University, Waukesha, and is a licensed social worker in Wisconsin.