More California Clinics Set to Work with Encore Fellows

Program will expand to more than 30 community clinics

As a former senior executive at Pepsi Chicago, Novartis, and Seagate, John Arnold knows his way around large, complex, fast-paced organizations.

Now, as an Encore Fellow, he puts his financial management skills and operational expertise to work on behalf of the Oakland-based La Clinica de la Raza, a key provider of health care to low-income and uninsured patients in three counties.

In 2011, the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) launched Encore Fellows in California Community Clinics (EFCCC) in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley. EFCCC matches experienced talent to community clinics undertaking critical changes in strategic planning, financial management, process improvement, health IT adoption, and human resource development.

Based on the positive outcomes of the work by Arnold and other Encore Fellows, demand is growing. The program will double in size, adding 32 new fellows and beginning service in San Diego and in new sites in the Central Valley.

Adapting to Change

The timing of the expansion is significant: community clinics face unprecedented challenges, with more patients and reduced government reimbursements requiring dramatic improvements in overall performance.

“Clinics face real changes in how they operate as a result of health reform and the poor state of the economy,” said Sophia Chang, MD, director of CHCF’s Better Chronic Disease Care program. “Matching experienced professionals with clinics hungry for organizational and managerial expertise is a win-win for everyone.”

EFCCC is a core program within the Encore Fellowships Network created by Civic Ventures, which launched the original Silicon Valley Encore Fellows program in 2009. CHCF initially supported the clinics program with a $500,000 grant and is investing an additional $465,000 to expand it.

During the one-year, half-time placements, fellows — experienced professionals at or near retirement — take on a specific role designed to deliver significant, sustained impact. Organizations that host fellows pay a stipend of $25,000 (a limited number of partial scholarships are available for first-time hosts).

“Encore fellows working with community clinics can make a big difference for thousands of people who rely on these organizations every day,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures. “The fellows program is a proven model that can be adapted by other organizations, inside and outside of health care and across the US.”

Individuals and clinics interested in participating in the program are encouraged to complete an online application at

About Civic Ventures and The Encore Fellowships Network

Civic Ventures, a San Francisco-based think tank on boomers, work, and social purpose, is the innovative force behind the original 2009 Silicon Valley Encore Fellows program and The Encore Fellowships Network. The EFN is a rapidly growing community of independent organizations and individuals with a common interest in the Encore Fellows’ mission of bringing significant new talent to the task of solving social problems. For more information, visit

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation 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.