Our Organizational and Project Structure

We reached a historic milestone on Monday, March 31, 2014. With the open enrollment period now over for Covered California, our state has processed Medi-Cal applications for upwards of 2.7 million Californians, and 1.2 million for Covered California private insurance plans. Hundreds of thousands more are likely covered by non-Covered California individual market plans and more applications are in the pipeline to be processed by April 15. Despite the many challenges along the way, your commitment never wavered, and these figures surpassed projections. At the start of this effort, we pledged California would lead the nation in implementing Obamacare.  Today, California has in fact led the way with more enrollments than any other state.

Much of that is due to demand—Californians want coverage for themselves and their families, and for many, this year was their first opportunity to access affordable, quality coverage. Earned and paid media cut through the misinformation and communicated the facts directly to millions of households. But that’s only part of the story. California’s success was the direct result of countless people on the ground, educating people about the law, the benefits of coverage and enrolling families in communities across the state. I want to thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure that Californians were aware of this coverage opportunity and your activities to help enroll them. Millions of Californians have the peace of mind they and their families deserve, thanks to your efforts.

Jonas Salk once said, “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” And as we reflect on our success this last year, we also look forward to the work still ahead of us. After all the talk of deadlines, we need to inform Californians they can continue to enroll their families in Medi-Cal.  True success will come when families stay enrolled and take advantage of their health benefits. This means simplifying the annual renewal process so they can retain their coverage.

Furthermore, we cannot forget about Californians left behind by Obamacare, including one million undocumented Californians.  California’s health as a state depends on everyone. And Covered California has a little known opportunity with great potential to strengthen our democracy. All Californians who sign up with Covered California can be offered a user-friendly opportunity to register to vote. Our state is healthier and stronger when everyone participates. We need to pull together to help all Californians make their voices heard.

That’s a tall order, to say the least. But these goals also show how far we’ve come. A decade ago it seemed unlikely that access to affordable, quality health care would be available, but today not only do Californians have expanded access; but state leaders and community members are fighting for health care to be extended to those left out of Obamacare, including undocumented Californians.

I am incredibly proud of what California was able to accomplish by working together, working in collaboration with each other. Let’s celebrate this extraordinary victory and prepare for the important work ahead as we continue to make California healthier and stronger.

Yours Truly,


Robert K. Ross, M.D.
President and CEO, The California Endowment


The Latino Physician Legacy

Creación de el legado patrimonio para nuestros hijos que es una tradition de academica sera la responsibilidad de Latinos y la communidad collectiva que beneficia a todos en California.

The above sentence can be translated as, “Creation of the legacy for our children that is a tradition of academia is the responsibility of Latinos and the collective community – benefitting all Californians.” The Latino Physician Legacy is a Latino cultural mainstay, handed down from one who has gone before. The LPOC aims to create the foundation and infrastructure to make the connections and to pass on the skills, training and fortitude it takes for a greater number of young Latinos to become tomorrow’s physicians. That is our legacy. With a $10,000 grant from the Sierra Health Foundation, LPOC is researching the elements that should comprise a ‘model of educational attainment’ to support young Latinas and Latinos early on, starting at eighth grade to ensure they have the opportunity to become physicians in California. A key strategy for this LPOC project is to work with universities, medical schools, and other education systems to increase the number of Latinos trained as physicians in California. Providing culturally competent healthcare is one of the most longstanding and difficult issues for the Latino community. It will take the longest to achieve, so we have to start now.

Believing that youth should inform our direction, the LPOC Board of Directors has reserved a dedicated seat since its inception for a young Latina or Latino from the Latino Student Medical Association (LMSA). Their participation has been three-fold: (1) It provides them exposure to and support from leaders in academia, healthcare, administration and government; (2) The LMSA representative provides a much-needed perspective from a young future physician leader that is crucial to our mission and for the creation of the Latino Physician’s Legacy and (3) They share their Board experience with other LMSA members. LPOC also has alliances with the American Medical Students Association that we will continue to build upon.

The Latino Physicians Needs Assessment

With a grant from Dignity Health, the LPOC Board of Directors developed a plan to survey the nearly 3,000 Latino physicians in California. They secured a database of self-identified, licensed Latino physicians from the California Medical Board. In addition, the California Office of Statewide Health Planning, Workforce Development Division agreed to work with LPOC and to provide both staff and contract support. The California Medical Association (CMA) will support this effort by issuing the survey through their 2,000 Latino-member list with the responses going directly to LPOC. We will seek other physician organization partners for like participation. A contract was signed with a survey firm. It is anticipated that the survey will be issued by October and tabulated before the end of 2013.