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Opening Keynote: California Health Care Foundation CEO Sandra Hernandez discusses healthcare delivery 

By

Alex Nelson, Hannah Saunders

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California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) President and CEO Sandra Hernandez said CalAIM (California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal) provides innovative health solutions, particularly for the small group of members who utilize 80 percent of Medi-Cal’s resources. 

“We have a generationally bold program, CalAIM … Built on (an) effort at whole-person care, [which is] really a novel concept … We have a program that puts people at the center. Whole-person care was done by 25-odd counties and they were really focused on those populations that people knew in those counties needed very specialized care in order to both improve their health outcomes, but also help them navigate what is a very fractured, fragmented, siloed delivery system.” 

Hernandez

Hernandez said healthcare cannot be delivered adequately to patients when so many providers are burnt out, which she had seen even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We already knew then that we had a large portion of our workforce that was about to age out, that were thinking about stepping off and doing something else, but there was no comprehensive roadmap.”

Hernandez

State and federal efforts to supplement the healthcare workforce have been beneficial, and Hernandez thinks team-based care, including advanced-practice clinicians and community workers, needs to be expanded in order to grow the primary care space as a patient’s primary hub. Hernandez said primary care has the biggest impact on health outcomes, and needs more investments. 

“In spite of that, we spend pennies on the dollar in primary care today.” 

Hernandez

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