Kara Carter, a health care leader who has helped Medicaid programs in multiple states develop payment models to deliver coordinated, high-quality care to vulnerable populations, has been named chief impact officer at the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF). She will join the foundation on October 3.
Carter comes to CHCF after 10 years with the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., where she most recently served as a partner in the San Francisco office. At McKinsey she dedicated her time to helping public sector health and social service systems in the UK, the US, and globally to improve quality of care while ensuring affordability and broad access. She brings to the foundation an operational and entrepreneurial mindset, a deep understanding of the forces that influence California's complex health care system, and two decades of experience addressing the challenges of serving populations marginalized by poverty and homelessness.
"We are so pleased to welcome Kara to CHCF," said Dr. Sandra R. Hernández, president and CEO of CHCF. "During her time at McKinsey, she partnered with governments, nongovernmental organizations, and philanthropies serving the most vulnerable populations. Her commitment to improving care for these populations, her experience working for complex health systems, and her analytic acumen will be assets to our team."
"I am thrilled to be joining CHCF at this pivotal moment for the foundation and California," Carter said. "I am looking forward to working with the board and staff at CHCF to ensure the foundation delivers maximum impact across its portfolio."
As chief impact officer, Carter will report to and work closely with the foundation CEO and serve as a member of the executive team. She will focus on optimizing the use of CHCF assets to help the foundation make significant progress toward achieving its goals.
Carter began her career in the UK with the National Homeless Alliance before cofounding Groundswell, a groundbreaking program of peer-led learning and horizontal exchange for the homeless. Later she was a development manager for UnLtd — the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, which offers investments, networking, and mentorship opportunities to social entrepreneurs. After earning an MBA from the London Business School in 2006, she joined McKinsey. Initially based in London, she began regularly traveling to the US in 2011, collaborating with public sector health institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Two years later, with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) looming, she moved to the San Francisco office and became a McKinsey leader in Medicaid and government health care service, advanced health care analytics, behavioral health, and long-term care.
"It felt like the right time if I wanted to make a difference in the health system in the country of my birth, and I wanted to be a part of that," Carter said. "As an adopted Californian, I'm excited about the opportunity to have an impact in such a crucial and complex health care environment."
Before earning her MBA, Carter received a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Virginia and a master of science in social anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
About the California Health Care Foundation
CHCF is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.
CHCF informs policymakers and industry leaders, invests in ideas and innovations, and connects with changemakers to create a more responsive, patient-centered health care system.