Torres Mowat and Deas Join CHCF Board


The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) announced the election of Kristin Torres Mowat, JD, MBA, and Deborah Deas, MD, MPH, to its board of directors. Torres Mowat lives in the Bay Area and is a partner at Health Velocity Capital, which invests in innovative health care software and services companies. Deas, who lives in Riverside, is the vice chancellor for health sciences and the Mark and Pam Rubin dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside (UCR).

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kristin and Deborah to the CHCF board,” said Carolina Reyes, MD, chair of the CHCF board of directors. “Both of them bring incredible experience working across different parts of the health care system, and both have a deep-rooted commitment to making communities healthier and more equitable.”

Finding and Nurturing Health Care Solutions

Torres Mowat comes to CHCF having spent over 17 years strengthening and leading health care software and services organizations. In her role at Health Velocity Capital, she identifies promising companies and solutions for making health care more affordable, sustainable, and people-centered. She also provides hands-on guidance to help innovators have as much impact as possible. Health Velocity Capital has been an adviser to CHCF’s Innovation Fund since its inception.

Previously, Torres Mowat served as senior vice president for corporate and business development for Castlight Health, enabling employers and health plans to make the complex health care system easier for their employees and members to navigate. Before that, she was a senior executive at DaVita, where she guided corporate strategy, founded and ran the segment of the company’s business focused on electronic health records, and led recruiting for their leadership development program.

Torres Mowat has experience serving as a director on nonprofit and for-profit boards. She earned her undergraduate degree, as well as an MBA and JD, from Stanford University and is from Mexico City.

“Given her expertise around health care innovation, Kristin will strengthen our efforts to drive improvement in Medi-Cal,” said Sandra R. Hernández, MD, CHCF’s president and CEO. “We also have much to gain from her operating experience in a wide range of health care leadership roles.”

“CHCF is special in its profound comprehension of the California health care system and unwavering commitment to helping it work better for all,” explained Torres Mowat. “I am thrilled to become part of a board and organization that shares a vision of fostering more equitable and more effective health care.”

A Trailblazer in Medical Education

Deas has been leading the UCR School of Medicine since she arrived in 2016. She’s directed efforts to increase the class size of the medical and biomedical sciences programs, expand clinical affiliations, and increase federal, state, and private funding. In 2023, the UCR School of Medicine was recognized by U.S. News and World Report as the fifth most diverse graduate school in the nation, with 34% of medical students and 32% of biomedical sciences students coming from underrepresented minority communities.

In addition to her role as medical school dean, Deas also serves as a distinguished professor of psychiatry. In 2022, Deas was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Before joining UCR, she previously served as the interim dean of the College of Medicine and professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). During her tenure at MUSC, she served as senior associate dean for medical education, chief academic officer, and senior associate dean for diversity and admissions. She was also the founding director of the school’s Adolescent Substance Abuse Program.

“UC Riverside is a model for what we want medical education to be in California and in the nation, and Deborah’s leadership is a big reason why,” said Hernández. “Her personal commitment and achievements in fostering diversity, inclusion, and excellence in the health care workforce deeply resonate with our goals of improving California’s health care system and advancing health equity across the state.”

Deas is originally from Adams Run, South Carolina, where she grew up on a rural farm. She earned her BS in biology from the College of Charleston, her MPH from the University of South Carolina, and her MD from MUSC. She then completed her residency in adult psychiatry, followed by fellowship training in child and adolescent psychiatry as well as addiction psychiatry. She is board-certified in each of the three specialties. She also completed a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism substance abuse research fellowship.

“I grew up seeing people denied access to the care they needed because of the size of their paycheck, the color of their skin, or where they lived, and I dedicated my life to removing those unjust barriers everywhere I can,” explained Deas. “My values and passion for making a difference align perfectly with the California Health Care Foundation. I am incredibly honored to join its board of directors.”


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Eric Antebi
Chief Communications Officer


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.