Carlos grew up in La Paz, Bolivia, and graduated from Pepperdine University in California. Prior to coming to the Yakima Valley, he served in various administrative positions at health centers in California. Over the years, he has gained a reputation for being a respected voice for people who lack access to quality healthcare. He is also considered an expert in the provision of cost-effective medical services for migrant workers and low-income uninsured and underinsured populations.
He is a founding Board member and, for the first five years of its existence, served as chairman of Community Health Network of Washington/Community Health Plan of Washington, agencies that administer state-subsidized medical insurance for over 250,000 patients.
Carlos participates as a Board member of Willamette Valley Community Health, a newly Coordinated Care Organization in the Salem, Oregon area. They currently have 60,000 Medicaid members. He is also a current member of the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization that has enrolled 60,000 Medicaid Oregon clients.
He was a founding member and chairman of the Board of Adaptis, a Seattle company that provided computerized tracking of health insurance plans. Over the years, Carlos has been appointed to a variety of commissions by Washington governors. His latest appointment came from Governor Christine Gregoire, who appointed him to the Washington Prescription Drug Assistance Foundation.
Carlos has been intricately involved in promoting higher education for Hispanic people in the Yakima Valley. He has been a member of HAAP, an organization that promotes and provides scholarships for Hispanic students to pursue higher education. For over ten years, he served on the Board of Directors of Heritage University in Toppenish, Washington, a school that predominantly serves Hispanic and minority students. He is also a founding member of the newly established Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, Washington, a medical school that graduated its first physicians in 2012. Also, he served on the 2020 Commission, a body entrusted with reviewing the higher education system in the State of Washington.
Over the years, he has been involved in the community by participating in various local community committees. He is currently a member of the Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and PBS/Seattle Board of Directors. He was also appointed by the Secretary of Health to serve a two-year term on the National Advisory Council.
Carlos’ commitment to the health of farm workers and others has led him to positions on the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the WACMHC. He served on the Board of Directors of the Northwest Primary Care Association and the Oregon Primary Care Association. The NACHC awarded Carlos the “Luis Garcia” award to recognize him as an outstanding migrant health center administrator.
He serves on the Board of Directors of The Memorial Foundation, which raises funds and allocates healthcare resources in the Yakima Valley.
In addition to his activities associated with health care and education, he has also been active in his community and church. In recognition of his community involvement, he was recently appointed to the Central Washington State Fair Association board of directors.
In 2003, he was honored by the Washington Health Foundation as the recipient of the “Heroes of Healthcare” Award for Leadership.
In 2008, AT Still University in Phoenix, Arizona, honored him by creating the Carlos Olivares Service Award, which is now given to health care administrators throughout the country who are dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for minority students.