For Immediate Release: 9/14/2015 1:40 pm
Worcester, MA (September 14, 2015) - City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. announced today that he has appointed Dr. Matilde "Mattie" Castiel as the City's new Commissioner of Health and Human Services, effective September 28th.
Dr. Castiel brings a wealth of professional knowledge and more than three decades of experience to the role. In addition to strong community-based leadership in the fight against drug addiction and homelessness, she is board-certified in internal medicine, and has been Medical Director to a large municipal EMS system, an ER attending physician, primary care physician, urgent care physician and physician to an elderly outreach program.
"When we decided to reconstitute the Department of Health and Human Services, we wanted it to tackle the most pressing social issues facing the City of Worcester," City Manager Augustus said. "Whether as an administrator or a physician, Mattie Castiel has been at the forefront of the community battle against homelessness and drug addiction, and I am thrilled to have her on our team."
Dr. Castiel was most recently the founder, Executive Director and Medical Director of Latin American Health Alliance, a collaboration of diverse community groups dedicated to combating homelessness and drug addiction. She is also the founder of the Hector Reyes House and Casa Reyes, a substance abuse treatment facility and transitional house for Hispanic males in Worcester. Last year, Dr. Castiel opened Café Reyes, an innovative jobs training program in which residents at Hector Reyes House and Casa Reyes run a Shrewsbury Street restaurant.
A Cuban immigrant who speaks fluent Spanish, Dr. Castiel has an MD from the University of California-San Francisco and a BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Cal State-Northridge. She previously worked as a physician at UMass Memorial Medical Center, Family Health Center of Worcester, and St. Louis Regional Medical Center.
This summer, the Worcester City Council approved a budget that reconstituted the City's Department of Health and Human Services, which was eliminated as part of budget cuts in 2009 during the national economic crash. The department will be responsible for the City's divisions of Public Health, Youth Services, Human Rights and Disabilities, Veterans Affairs and Elder Affairs.
"Filling this new position is a critical step to coordinate the efforts of these vital divisions, and Dr. Castiel is the right leader to advance the important initiatives that fall under their scope, including reducing youth violence and tackling the current opioid crisis," Augustus said.