Sam Karp Appointed Chief Program Officer for California HealthCare Foundation


Sam Karp has been appointed chief program officer for the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF). In this role Karp will be responsible for leading the programmatic and grantmaking activities of the Foundation’s priority areas: improving care for people with chronic disease; strengthening the capacity of hospitals, emergency providers, and nursing homes to serve the public; helping health insurance better serve the public; and improving California’s public health care financing and policy.

Karp will also lead CHCF’s cross-program strategic emphasis on Health Information Technology, Consumer Information, and Publishing and Communications.

Each year CHCF makes approximately $35 million in grants to improve health care delivery and financing in California.

“Sam’s broad health care knowledge and reputation for developing innovative solutions to health system problems will be invaluable in guiding our programs,” said Mark D. Smith, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of CHCF. “Sam’s creative energy, passion for improving California’s health care system, and can-do approach will serve us and the people of California well.”

Prior to his appointment, Karp served as CHCF’s chief information officer and director of health information technology for the past seven and a half years. Under his leadership, CHCF sponsored initiatives to accelerate the adoption and effective use of new information technologies in health care and to increase understanding of the emerging health policy and regulatory issues resulting from the speed and magnitude of technological change.

In partnership with the State of California, Karp led development of the first Web-based application in the United States to enroll low-income children in public health insurance programs, which has recently been expanded in several California counties to enable families to apply for a range of state and local services through a single application process.

He also spearheaded several nationally recognized initiatives to safeguard the privacy of personal health information on and offline, and to evaluate the quality of health information available on the Internet. Karp led the development of the nation’s first community-wide network for the secure exchange of clinical information across all of the health care institutions in Santa Barbara County (Calif.) to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care.

Before joining CHCF, Karp served as the founder and chief executive officer of HandsNet, Inc., a national nonprofit technology intermediary. He previously directed a large community health and nutrition organization in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he pioneered the development of integrated service delivery systems for low-income children, families, and the elderly. He has been active in a variety of nonprofit organizations, state and national campaigns, and has consulted internationally. Karp received a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College.


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.