Administrator and advocate for patient-centered care brings deep experience in LA's safety net
January 31, 2019
The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) today announced the election of Zoila D. Escobar, MBA, to its board of directors. Escobar, who will join the board in March, is the senior vice president and chief administrative officer of AltaMed, the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in California and caregiver to 300,000 people in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
“We are extremely fortunate that Zoila is bringing her talent and experience to our board,” said CHCF Board Chair Daniel Gross, DNSc, RN. “She has had a front row seat to the health challenges that safety-net providers are working so hard to address, and she knows what it takes to innovate effectively in that environment.”
“Zoila is one of California’s most important health leaders,” said CHCF President and CEO Sandra R. Hernández, MD. “As a pioneer for HIV education, a champion for health in the Latino community, and an advocate for patient-centered care in the safety net, she has been a force for positive change.”
In her efforts to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities, Escobar serves as an important bridge between the Latino community and the state health care system. She has been especially focused on using the experiences of AltaMed patients to drive improvements in how and where care is delivered.
She spent much of her early career as a clinical administrator and advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the Latino community. She led Los Angeles County’s first program for Latinas and AIDS, directed HIV Services at the UCLA Family Planning Clinic, and was involved in the policy work that laid the foundation for the Ryan White Act. Escobar served as a field officer for development for special populations at the American Cancer Society, where she helped develop regional policies to improve breast and cervical cancer screening, reduce smoking, and prevent HIV/AIDS among Spanish-speaking populations.
“The work of CHCF is vital to the advancement of health care policy in the state of California,” said Escobar. “I am honored to have been invited to join their board, and I look forward to a fruitful relationship in advocating for improved health care outcomes for Californians.”
In addition to her role as president of the AltaMed Foundation, Escobar serves on the boards of the American Nurses Foundation, Center for Latino Culture and Health at California State University — Long Beach, and the University of La Verne, from which she holds both a bachelor’s degree in health services administration and a master’s degree in business administration. She lives in the La Habra Heights area of Los Angeles.
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.