Board Profile: Juan Cotto

“Mental Health is important because it has a ‘stigma’ which exists with a number of diseases, conditions, and social concerns. The ‘stigma’ about mental health exists because people don’t understand or are not well versed on the topic and they don’t like to nor want to talk about it. Which is exactly the reason we need to discuss Mental Health more.”

Juan Cotto is the Director of Outreach, Inclusion and Diversity for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA as position he has held since August 2006. Mr. Cotto has served on the Board of Sound Mental health for four years and is a member of the Community Resource Committee.

In his current role with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centers, he works to raise awareness in Seattle’s traditional communities of color about scientific research being conducted at Fred Hutch. Mr. Cotto has also worked to establish programs aimed at increasing pathways for minority youth in scientific fields by establishing relationships and partnerships with Seattle’s Technology Access Foundation, Rainier Scholars and the Seattle Public Schools.

Mr. Cotto is a Seattle native who attended 12 years of Archdiocesan Catholic Schools and graduated from O’Dea High School in 1983. Mr. Cotto received his Bachelors degree in Social Science from Western Oregon State College in Monmouth Or where he played baseball and was elected Student Body President and President of the Multi-Cultural Student Union.   Mr. Cotto is a highly respected High School football coach and currently serves as Offensive Coordinator at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School.  Mr. Cotto and his wife Sara reside in the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle with their son Clemente and daughter Araceli.

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“My wife Sara is a mental health therapist and has worked for several organizations in the Mental Health Field. We believe that Mental Health is a community concern and is an issue that needs more awareness and consideration from many different levels of our community. I hope that my participation as a Board Member will allow me to help raise awareness especially with the government, corporate and non profit corporate leadership in our community.  Sound Mental Health is an incredibly well run organization with tremendous leadership and outstanding results. It is an organization that has proven over time to be a vital resource in our community.”