Richard Zapanta, MD
National Alumni Council Chair
Dr. Richard Zapanta, a fourth generation Mexican-American, was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He graduated from Garfield High School, East Los Angeles College and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern California in 1968. He attended Haverford College in Philadelphia, where he participated in a one year post-baccalaureate fellowship program supported by the National Medical Fellowships. In 1973 he received his medical degree from the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He completed a one year straight surgical internship, one year neurology residency, and a four year orthopedic residency at LAC+USC Medical Center. Dr. Zapanta has been in private practice since 1979 and is the senior partner of Eastside Orthopedic Medical Associates, where he continues to serve the community where he was raised. Other ventures include Plaza Surgical Center, Monterey Park Medical Plaza, Promerica Bank, Camacho’s Restaurants, and Associated Hispanic Physician’s IPA.
True to his roots, Dr. Zapanta has long been committed to the cause of education in the Hispanic community. Thirty eight years ago he was a founding member of the USC Mexican American Alumni Scholarship Fund that has given 7,500 scholarships and raised upwards to 14 million dollars. He is on the Advisory Board and financially supports the Latino Medical Student Association at the Keck School of Medicine of USC as well as its national organization. He awards a yearly scholarship to a deserving Garfield High School graduate and annually sponsors a high student for the Keck School of Medicine of USC MedCor Summer Work Program. He is also a founding member of the American Association of Latino Orthopedic Surgeons. He frequently mentors high school, college and medical students, encouraging them to continue striving for a better education. He served on the Keck School of Medicine of USC Admissions Committee for many years.
Dr. Zapanta is currently on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Whittier College, Alta Med Health Services Foundation, Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center Foundation and the LA Health Foundation.
Dr. Zapanta has contributed to numerous non-profit and charitable organizations including the USC Mexican American Alumni Scholarship Fund, East Los Angeles College Foundation, Hispanic Outreach Task Force, Latino Medical Student Association, Alta Med Health Services, National Hispanic Medical Association Foundation, Los Angeles Music and Art School, Orthopedic Research and Educational Fund, Disabled American Veterans, National Medical Fellowships, COPE Health Solutions, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the Museum of Latin American Art.
Dr. Zapanta’s passion for Mexican art has resulted in a unique and well recognized collection. He has shared his art and has exhibited it at various venues including the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, San Diego Art Museum, Bakersfield Art Museum, Luckman Fine Arts Gallery at California State University Los Angeles, National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago and several others. He envisioned and saw through the creation of the historic mural completed by the famous Mexican Artist Maestro Raul Anguiano at East Los Angeles College in 2002. Dr. Zapanta most recently held exhibits at the University of Hong Kong Gallery and Art Museum and the Yuchengco Museum in Manila, Philippines.
He is married to Rebecca Zapanta, who wholeheartedly supports her husband’s commitments and endeavors. She is also involved in many community activities and fundraising. They reside in Whittier and have five young adults.