Jorge Riopedre | St. Louis Public Radio

Jorge Riopedre

Jorge Riopedre, the outgoing CEO and president of Casa de Salud, poses for a portrait in his office on Oct. 23, 2019.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After nine years as president of the Casa de Salud health clinic in St. Louis, Jorge Riopedre has announced he’s leaving the health center on Nov. 1.

During his tenure, the clinic opened a mental health office and debuted a program to help patients, most of whom are immigrants, find low-cost care at hospitals. It also more than doubled its staff.

Casa de Salud’s board of directors is searching for a new director, and Riopedre has said he doesn’t know what he will do next.

Patricia Powers went a few years without health insurance and was unable to afford regular doctor visits. So the Missouri resident, who lives near St. Louis, had no idea that cancerous tumors were silently growing in both of her breasts.

Jorge Riopedre, Executive Director of Casa de Salud.
File Photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Jorge Riopedre, president and CEO of the Casa de Salud clinic, said Monday he’s leaving the St. Louis nonprofit in November. 

Riopedre started as executive director of the clinic, which offers low-cost health care to uninsured foreign-born people, shortly after it opened in 2010. Since then, Casa de Salud has more than quadrupled its number of employees to 28, doubled in physical size and served patients from more than 90 countries.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 20, 2012 - Nonprofit organizations are experiencing a tectonic shift in the way they function, requiring many organizations to experiment with new practices, said Rob Reich at the annual Philanthropic Landscape event on Thursday. The event presented the results of the organization's survey of more than 500 St. Louis area nonprofits, grant makers and community representatives.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 15, 2011 - A Hispanic male in his 30s showed up recently at Casa de Salud, a health center on the south side, feeling ill, distrusting hospitals and lacking health insurance to cover whatever care was needed.

Providers at Casa de Salud, Spanish for House of Health, were grateful that he dropped in. He turned out to have an active case of TB, and the care he got meant he wouldn't spread the disease to others.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 24, 2010 - At Missouri's statewide Lincoln Days, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt -- Republicans' best-known candidate for the U.S. Senate -- warned that his party needs to do a better job of courting Hispanic candidates and voters.

"Don't wait until Hispanics are in the majority," Blunt said, citing the influx of Hispanics that he has seen in his southwest Missouri district. "Hispanics are very pro-family. They're socially conservative,'' he said. "They should be Republicans."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 15, 2009 - It's a muggy Sunday morning in Cahokia, and the Joses are right where they want to be -- watching soccer.

Jose Andrade, president of the Cahokia Latin American Soccer Association, is reclining in a fold-up chair that's planted in the middle of an 18-acre field he recently purchased. Andrade whistles to get the attention of Jose Luis Gonzalez, a longtime friend and fellow soccer aficionado. With a wide grin, Gonzalez hustles toward the midfield sideline but stops first to speak with his son, who's preparing for a game.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 5, 2009 - On a recent weekday evening, about two dozen people gathered at the cozy Nicaraguan restaurant Fritanga to celebrate the inauguration of El Salvador's new president, a leftist former television host named Mauricio Funes.

"It's good to be here to celebrate a happy day," said Marilyn Lorenz, program coordinator of the nonprofit group St. Louis Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America, just moments before reading translated excerpts from the inauguration speech. Her audience was a mix of Central American natives and St. Louis natives who travel frequently to that part of the world. (Lorenz has been to El Salvador 16 times.)