Introducing the California Health Care Foundation Health Equity Fellowship Program

Note: The application deadline has been extended to July 5, 2021, at 5 PM (PT). Accordingly, the target start date for the program has been moved to September 7, 2021.

To support our vision for health equity for all Californians, CHCF is launching the CHCF Health Equity Fellowship Program. The mission of this program is to identify, develop, and support emerging Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders who have the capacity to become local and regional catalysts for health equity across California.

Applicants will apply to one of the following two project areas that are aligned with CHCF’s strategies for supporting health equity: Impact Investing and Homelessness & Health Care.

  • This two-year fellowship program will focus on developing emerging BIPOC leaders via leadership development, training, and experience with grantmaking for health equity–centered work.
  • For the pilot cohort, we seek to hire two fellows who live in California. We especially welcome candidates who have professional or lived experience in one of our regions of special focus — Central Valley, Inland Empire, Los Angeles — and/or those with experience serving Californians via safety-net programs.
  • Fellows will be full-time, fully benefited, exempt employees of CHCF. Over the two-year fellowship, they will be trained to assume the position of program officer and receive professional and leadership development support. The annual salary will be $120,000.
  • The 2021 application period has closed.

Across California, there are talented people of color who are working to make our systems of care more just. This fellowship will give them an opportunity to bring those experiences and perspectives to philanthropy and to build their capacity to make lasting changes in the delivery system over the course of their careers.

—Sandra R. Hernández, MD, CHCF President & CEO

As full-time, fully benefited employees, fellows will be an integral part of our CHCF staff. In collaboration with a program team and other partners, the fellows will bring their experiences and perspectives to CHCF’s heath equity focus, with each fellow deepening their expertise in their program area while working to support and develop strategies to achieve the program’s goals using the levers of philanthropy.

In addition to their programmatic work, fellows will participate in cohort-based trainings and professional development activities designed to support BIPOC leadership. Upon completing the program, we hope that fellows will have an expanded set of skills, a more diverse network, and a deeper understanding of how their health equity lens could be applied in any number of career areas, including health policy, health care delivery, philanthropy, and/or the broader civil sector.


We are looking for emerging BIPOC leaders who are interested in exploring philanthropy as a tool to support health equity in California. Prior experience with grantmaking is not required.

Required Qualifications

In order to participate, fellows must:

  • Bring a demonstrated commitment to racial and economic equity.
  • Have work experience in a field related to the fellowship’s project — experience can come from any number of fields: health care (including behavioral health) delivery or administration, public health, health policy, health innovation, impact investing, or health financing, particularly in the safety net and Medi-Cal.
  • Live in California.

We especially welcome candidates who have professional or lived experience in any of our regions of special focus — Central Valley, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles — and/or those with experience serving Californians via safety-net programs.

Other Qualifications

We are also looking for candidates with the following qualifications:

    • A passion for CHCF’s mission and values.
    • A bachelor’s degree or similar experience; at least five years of project management, operations, clinical (patient care), or applied research experience in either private or public sector health organizations that is directly related to the subject of their fellowship focus (Impact Investing or Homelessness & Health Care). Experience comes from any number of fields: health care (including behavioral health) delivery or administration, public health, health policy, health innovation, impact investing, or health financing, particularly in the safety net and Medi-Cal.
    • An interest in learning about grantmaking and impact investing as tools to support health equity in California (no experience in grantmaking required), thinking critically and proactively about the unique role of philanthropy in this work, field-wide and at CHCF specifically.
    • Enthusiasm for collective learning models and for actively participating in a cohort-based fellowship program that will be enhanced and shaped by each person’s level of engagement and unique contributions.
    • Curiosity, humility, open-mindedness, and service orientation; eagerness to listen to and learn from our grantees and other partners in the field.
    • A professional and personal commitment to the ongoing work of becoming an anti-racist leader and to participating in CHCF’s organizational DEI programs as a staff member. The patience to understand that change moves at the pace of individuals and the persistence to keep moving an equity-centered strategy despite challenges and setbacks.
    • Comfort with ambiguity and willingness to proactively seek clarity, propose solutions, and bring shape to initiatives where possible.
    • Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills; demonstrated ability in building relationships with and working with people at all levels and across multidisciplinary projects. Able to give, seek, and incorporate feedback in a healthy and productive manner.
    • A strategic mindset, with an ability to view CHCF’s work from different viewpoints, maintaining a broad perspective while also identifying critical details; considering the individual while also working toward systemic solutions; ability to anticipate needs, recommend options, and implement practical solutions that work.
    • An eagerness to learn and grow, and a willingness to commit oneself to developing as a leader who works collaboratively and across traditional boundaries of positionality, practicing the ability to influence and inspire others from various backgrounds and disciplines to move diverse groups of stakeholders toward a shared course of action that centers health equity.
    • Ability to communicate in a clear and compelling manner.

Application Process

Program Dates

Our estimated start date is August 23, 2021 September 7, 2021, and the estimated program end date is August 23, 2023 September 7, 2023.

To Apply

We are only accepting applications submitted online at Impact Investing Fellowship application or Homelessness & Health Care Fellowship application.

To apply, please select your fellowship focus and submit:

  • A resume
  • A cover letter of no more than two pages that addresses the following:
    • What attracts you to this particular fellowship? How would it serve you?
    • Your experience and its relationship to health equity
    • Your availability to commit to two-year fellowship
    • If you have any experience (professional or lived) in one or more of our regions of special focus (Central Valley, Inland Empire, Los Angeles), please share
  • Two work samples on a relevant subject of any kind, length, or format that demonstrates communication skills and/or subject area knowledge. We welcome as many additional samples as you would like to share. These could be written reports, blog posts, videos, webinars, podcasts, project plans, grant proposals, websites, investment theses, meeting agendas, posters, etc.

Application and Selection Process

Submit your Impact Investing Fellowship application or Homelessness & Health Care Fellowship application by June 28, 2021 July 5, 2021.

You will receive an automatic message acknowledging receipt of your application. We wish that we could respond personally to all applicants, but only those selected for interviews will be directly contacted.

The interview process will begin in early July and continue throughout that month. Qualified applicants will be invited to an initial brief screening interview via phone. Selected candidates will then be invited to a longer-form interview via video with CHCF executive team members and other staff. From there, candidates may be invited to meet more informally with additional team members and other staff.

We welcome inquiries and feedback, especially as this is a new program:

  • For questions regarding the fellowship program itself that would impact your decision to apply, please contact CHCF Chief Talent Officer Charles Reader.
  • For questions about your qualifications for this fellowship, application process, internal selection timeline, confidential inquiries, or suggestions for how to improve this announcement or the opportunity itself, please email our talent search partner for this fellowship, People Power Director Kate Brumage at  [email protected].

Start Date, Location, Compensation, and Benefits

The fellowship is scheduled to begin August 23, 2021 September 7, 2021.

Fellows will be full-time (based on a 37.5-hour week), fully benefited, exempt employees of the foundation. The annual salary is $120,000. Read about our generous benefits package.

We welcome candidates who live anywhere in California to apply. Currently, all CHCF staff are working remotely. The foundation is in the early stages of creating a strategy and updating our policies as we think about workplace 2.1, postpandemic. We will work together with this unique cohort to align with this forthcoming policy, which could be any combination of partially remote from a home office, working from CHCF’s Oakland or Sacramento office, working from shared office space with a CHCF partner in another location, or in a coworking space. Fellows can expect to be physically present at two to four meetings per month at our Oakland office and to be available to participate in various conferences, multiday in-person retreats, and other gatherings as planned. CHCF will support this travel and work to take into consideration how caregiving responsibilities may impact a fellow’s ability to travel for lengthier engagements. CHCF provides all staff with the technology tools and home office resources that support their ability to work remotely.

Employment offers will be contingent on a background check that is limited in scope and compliant with best practices for Fair Chance Hiring. We welcome formerly incarcerated people to apply for this fellowship.

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. 

At the California Health Care Foundation, we know that health care is a basic necessity. We work hard to improve California’s health care delivery system so all Californians can get the care they need, when they need it.

One out of three Californians lives in or near poverty. Because this group faces the biggest health burden and the greatest barriers to care, our priority is to make sure they have access to high-quality care. We recognize the historical and continued oppression experienced in BIPOC communities. That is why we also work to create a health care system that is designed to redress, and not perpetuate, the inequities that too many of our fellow Californians face.

The best opportunity California has to advance those goals is to strengthen Medi-Cal — the cornerstone of California’s safety net. We are especially focused on strengthening Medi-Cal in the following ways:

  • Get everyone covered. Right now, three million Californians lack basic health coverage. We need to finish the job and make sure everyone, regardless of income or immigration status, has the opportunity for health that insurance provides. One important part of the solution is to ensure that all Californians who are eligible for Medi-Cal are enrolled in the program.
  • Deliver care better. There are steps California can take right now to increase access and improve the way care is delivered to people with complex health needs, like those experiencing homelessness or serious mental illness. Those steps include modernizing how care is paid for and delivered to allow for more of a “whole-person” approach to care.
  • Make care just. There is an urgent need to remove the structural barriers that prevent people of color from getting the care they need. CHCF is working to better understand and document the inequities in the health care system, hold system leaders accountable, and transform care to uphold the dignity that each Californian deserves.

We understand that Medi-Cal is part of a broader health care marketplace, with many interrelated sectors. For that reason, CHCF also provides market-wide data and supports programs that improve the state’s broader health care system and make care more affordable for all Californians.

Workplace Culture

The California Health Care Foundation’s success depends on our colleagues’ high level of commitment and expertise. Whether working in one of our programs to expand access to affordable, quality health care, or supporting our mission as a member of the administrative team, you will be surrounded by creative and dynamic people who are passionate about their work.

Many of our colleagues have been here for five years or longer, which points to a rewarding professional experience at CHCF. We support a collaborative culture that recognizes both team and individual achievements. Employees are encouraged to contribute innovative ideas. We support transparency with an open-door philosophy that includes regular staff meetings to discuss strategy, projects, and organizational developments. Read more about our values.

Although CHCF is a fast-paced environment, we support a healthy work-life balance. In addition to holidays and flexible paid time off, our office closes from December 24 through New Year’s Day, giving the staff time to relax and recharge. Frequent staff events, such as our summer and year-end celebrations and periodic gatherings on our deck, promote a collegial atmosphere.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The California Health Care Foundation is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff and will honor your experiences, perspectives, and unique identity. We believe the power of diversity enriches all of us by exposing us to a range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions. Read more about CHCF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion vision.

CHCF does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, prior contact with the criminal justice system, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Collage by Favianna Rodriguez, © 2020,