The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) today announced the election of Carolina Reyes, MD, to its board of directors. Reyes, a practicing physician recognized nationally for her work in maternal-fetal medicine, will join the independent Oakland-based health care philanthropy at its June board meeting.
Reyes returns to California after seven years in the Washington, DC, area, where she specialized in the care of high-risk pregnancies at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and, before that, at Virginia Hospital Center. During that time, she also served on the US Preventive Health Services Task Force, which advises the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the effectiveness of preventive medications, medical screenings, and counseling.
Growing up as one of eight children in a family of third-generation farmworkers grounded Reyes' perspective on health, starting with pregnancy and birth. It fueled a lifelong dedication to improving the quality of care, especially for the underserved. In 1998, she was appointed to an HHS advisory committee on reducing infant mortality. In 2001, she was tapped to serve on an Institute of Medicine committee on understanding and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Later, through her work with First 5 LA, she led the $28 million Healthy Births Initiative and coordinated the LA Best Babies Network focused on improving the coordination of health care services for high-risk patients. She also led the design of First 5 LA's home visitation program.
"Dr. Reyes is one of California's best and brightest when it comes to bringing healthy children of all backgrounds into the world," said CHCF Board Chair Barbara Lubash. "She offers experience and expertise we need to ensure that our health care system works for all Californians, from the day they are born and throughout their lives."
"I am honored to have the opportunity to join the board of such an outstanding organization at such an important time," said Reyes. "CHCF has a proud legacy of working to strengthen the health care safety net in California and in making sure all Californians have access to high-quality care. I am so excited about what we can do together to build on that success."
"Dr. Reyes brings national leadership, strong California roots, and valuable experience as a practicing physician to our board," said CHCF President and CEO Dr. Sandra R. Hernández. "Her national public service and her lifelong dedication to caring for the underserved makes her the perfect addition to our team."
Reyes has won numerous awards for her professional and community service, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Community Service Award for dedication to women's health and underserved populations. In addition to her role with CHCF, she also serves on the boards of Providence St. Joseph's Health and the Catholic Health Association. She received her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her MD from Harvard Medical School. She completed her ob/gyn residency and maternal fetal medicine fellowship at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.
Reyes is married to Xavier Becerra, who represented downtown Los Angeles in the US House of Representatives before recently being confirmed as California Attorney General. She and her husband, who are relocating to Sacramento, also have three daughters: Clarisa, 24; Olivia, 22; and Natalia, 19.