CHCF Health Care Leadership Program

Two women smiling while participating in health care fellowship program by Healthforce Center.

The California Health Care Foundation's (CHCF) Health Care Leadership Program prepares clinically trained professionals to lead California’s health care organizations and creates a network of strong and effective leaders who are focused on improving health care for all Californians. Each year, 32 highly qualified fellows are selected to participate in the rigorous, two-year program which builds leadership and management skills and covers business aspects of health care as well as environmental trends, policy topics, and more. This rigorous, part-time, two-year fellowship addresses essential leadership and management skills, as well as health care trends and policy topics. Since 2001, over 500 health professionals have participated in the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program. The California Health Care Foundation sponsors this program, which is administered by Healthforce Center.

Are you interested in the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program? Sign up for updates to learn more.

California Health Care Improvement Projects (CHIPs)

CHIPS are designed by CHCF Health Care Leadership Program participants with the goal of addressing meaningful challenges or opportunities in health care. Browse CHIPs to leverage the work, expertise and experience of CHCF alumni and find opportunities to collaborate in order to improve health for Californians.

CHCF Alumni Network

The CHCF Alumni Network offers access to more than 500 clinician leaders who transform health care - and communities - across California.

To learn more about the network, please click here.

Stories from CHCF Fellows:

What is a Health Care Fellowship?

This two-year fellowship offers clinically trained health care professionals the experiences, competencies and skills necessary for effective vision and leadership of the health care system.

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The fellowship is grounded in Healthforce Center’s competency-based leadership model, which consists of four interlinked domains – Purpose, Process, People, and Personal. Each domain consists of a set of distinct leadership competencies.

Elements of the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program include onsite learning experiences, interaction with colleagues from the field, and exposure to nationally recognized faculty experienced in business, leadership, health care, and public policy. Fellows are actively engaged throughout the two-year program by means of:

  • Seminars. In-person seminars focus on the skills and competencies needed to advance in executive leadership positions. These sessions provide interactive, experiential lessons that allow clinician leaders to explore challenges and develop strong peer networks.
  • Intersession activity. Between seminars, fellows participate in a variety of activities to reinforce skills and lessons and to prepare for seminars. Assignments include readings and case studies; peer group interactions; telephone and web conferences with faculty and advisors; and tools to track development goals and share experiences and progress. Fellows are expected to devote five to ten hours per week between sessions to program-related activities.
  • Pods. Pods are teams composed of five or six fellows. The primary role of the pod is to provide support, feedback, and learning opportunities to each other throughout the fellowship.
  • Coaching. Each fellow receives five hours of individual executive development coaching.
  • Organizational project. Each fellow completes a leadership project at their home organization on a topic of their choice following program guidelines.
Here’s what participants have said about the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program:
“The CHCF Health Care Leadership Program was and continues to be a transformational experience for me. Through its network of fellows and alumni, I believe the program is making quality, cost, and health care experience improvements at every level of policy and operations throughout the state.”
– Susan Ehrlich, MD, MPP, CEO, San Mateo Medical Center
“Health care providers are trained to excel in utilizing clinical skills to provide patient care. When I assumed leadership responsibility, I was challenged to acquire the necessary skills to lead an effective health care team. The CHCF fellowship closed that gap. It will also provide the origin for your leadership journey.”
– Amy Gutierrez, PharmD, Vice President, Chief Pharmacy Officer, Kaiser Permanente
“The program has been the best thing I have ever done for my professional and personal development. Leadership is not a sprint, but a marathon. To be successful, you can’t run it alone.”
– Michael Scott, MD, Department Chair, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, Los Angeles County

Thirty-two clinical leaders have been selected to participate in the California Health Care Foundation’s Health Care Leadership Program to expand their leadership and management skills to meet the challenges facing our state’s health care system. This year’s cohort includes a great diversity of clinicians including physicians, behavioral health specialists, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and a dentist. They hail from across the state – from San Diego to the North Coast. More than 500 health care professionals have participated in the program since its inception in 2001. 

Radawn Alcorn, MSW, LCSW

Director of Primary Care Behavioral Health
San Francisco Health Network
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Aline Armstrong, BSN, MSN

Maternal Child Adolescent Health Coordinator
San Francisco Department of Public Health
Priya Batra

Priya Batra, MD, MS

Senior Medical Director, Family and Community Health
Inland Empire Health Plan
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Anh Thu Bui, MD

Associate Medical Director, Psychiatry
LifeLong Medical Care
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Connie Casillas, MD

Co-Chair, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity
Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center
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Karen Chin, PharmD

Director, Kaiser Permanente National Specialty Pharmacy
Kaiser Permanente
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Suzanne Eidson-Ton

Suzanne Eidson-Ton, MD, MS

Chief Medical Officer
CommuniCare Health Centers
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Priti Golechha, MD

Associate Chief Medical Officer
Golden Valley Health Center
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Clemens Hong head shot

Clemens Hong, MD, MPH

Director, Whole Person Care - Los Angeles
Los Angeles Department of Health Services
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Karen Jazmin, RN, BSN

Clinic Manager
Stanford Health Care

Sandi Jones, MSN, RN-C

Nurse Manager
United Indian Health Services
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Tasnim Khan, MD MSc

Chief Medical Officer
One Community Health
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Erin Knight, LCSW

Director of Care Coordination
Sutter Health
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Delphine Lee, MD, PHD

Chief of Division of Dermatology
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
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Sarah Lopez, MD, MBA

Patient Safety Officer
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
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Jessica Moore

Jessicca Moore, MSN

Director of Innovation
Petaluma Health Center
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Payam Parvinchiha

Payam Parvinchiha, MD

Regional Medical Director
CareMore Health
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Kimberlee Pitters, BS

Children's Medical Services (CMS) Director
San Francisco Department of Public Health
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Edwin Poon, PhD

Director of Behavioral Health Services
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Lisa Michelle Richardson, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
USC Keck School of Medicine
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Lucero Robles, MSW, LCSW

Deputy Director of Behavioral Health Access and SUD Programs
Monterey County Behavioral Health

Gina Rossetti, MD

Associate Medical Director, Director of Behavioral Health Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Comprehensive Health Center

Navneet Sachdeva, PharmD

Interim Pharmacy Director
Central California Alliance For Health
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Carolyn Senger, MD, MPH

Medical Director of the Medical Specialty Clinics
San Mateo Medical Center
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Manisha	Sharma

Manisha Sharma, MD, FAAFP

Chief Medical Officer, Interim
Community Health Group
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Shira Shavit, MD

Executive Director
Transitions Clinic Network
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Kevin Smith, MD

Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Alameda Health System
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Melanie Thomas, MD, MS

Solid Start Initiative, Director
Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center
David Tian

David Tian, MD, MPP

Medical Director, Buprenorphine Clinic
Alameda Health System
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April Torres, MSW, LAADC-S

Vice President of Behavioral Health
HealthRight 360

Yousef Turshani, MD

Pediatrics Medical Director
San Mateo Medical Center
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Konita Wilks, DDS

Dental Director
Los Angeles Department of Health Services

How to Apply

The application period is now closed. Please contact Gina Lima if you would like to be notified when applications open for the next cohort.

Before submitting an application, we encourage all applicants to work closely with their organizational leaders to identify the internal process for choosing applicants. It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm organizational support to participate, including attendance at all seminars and payment of tuition. If applicants selected to participate are unable to confirm organizational support for tuition payments, applicants will be personally responsible for paying tuition.

Who Should Apply

The part-time program is for clinically trained health care professionals with at least five years of leadership experience who live and work in California.  

We seek diversity across disciplines, organizations, geography and ethnicity, with a special focus this year on:

  • Safety net providers 
  • Behavioral health clinicians
  • Underrepresented minorities (African American and Hispanic)
  • Clinicians in Southern California
Candidates are selected based on the following criteria:
  • Clinical background and training
  • At least five years of management or leadership experience
  • Recognition and endorsement of the candidate as a future leader by his or her organization
  • Demonstrated accomplishments in professional and/or civic settings
  • Openness to change and understanding of the nature of the challenges confronting health care
  • Commitment to a rigorous program of study

Participant Obligations

Over the two-year fellowship, participants agree to:
  • Personally and actively participate in all program activities, including attending all in-person seminars
  • Commit to working an average of five to ten hours each week on further study and learning experiences, such as reading articles, using online tools, viewing videos, and participating in conference calls and/or meetings with other fellows
  • Develop and implement a leadership development plan and an organizational project
  • Participate in evaluation of the program
  • Permit the program to include name, organizational information (name, title, address, etc.), biographical sketch, and photo in informational and promotional materials pertaining to the program

Selection Criteria

Each year, program staff selects a cohort of up to 32 highly qualified fellows to participate in the program. Selection is a two-part process. The first phase includes an online application that comprises the following: five essay questions, an online employer reference form (from the applicant’s organizational sponsor), an additional online reference form, and a resume/curriculum vitae. The second phase is an in-person interview of semifinalists by CHCF program alumni. 

This program represents a deep and ongoing investment by the California Health Care Foundation, which covers most costs, including the seminars and other learning experiences, education materials, electronic and print resources, lodging, and most meals related to the seminars.

To ensure full organizational commitment, as well as offset some program costs, fellows’ home institutions pay tuition. It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm organizational support, including payment of tuition. If applicants selected to participate are unable to confirm organizational support for tuition payments, applicants will be personally responsible for paying tuition. There has been a slight increase in tuition payment for all Cohort 19 participants. Tuition is expected to modestly increase with future cohorts.

The tuition for Cohort 19 is:

  • Safety net organizations $6,000 per person*
  • Not-for-profit organizations $9,200 per person
  • For-profit organizations $11,000 per person
In addition, participants are expected to pay for airfare, ground transportation, incidentals, and other costs related to attending seminars and other program events (the program office provides lodging and most meals).
As with past cohorts, the ability to pay is not a consideration in the selection process. Tuition reductions will be considered in cases of unusual hardship for individuals who are selected to participate.
*Safety net organizations are those that organize and deliver a significant level of health care or health-related services to uninsured, Medicaid, and other vulnerable populations, as well as providers who by mandate or mission offer access to care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay and whose patient populations include a substantial share of uninsured, Medicaid, and other vulnerable patients. Examples of safety net organizations include: Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Centers, Indian or Tribal Clinics, non-profit community or free clinics licensed by the state as primary care clinics, clinics affiliated with DSH facilities, governmental health agencies, and publicly operated health plans.

We are located at Healthforce Center at UCSF, the leading source for research insights into the evolving health care workforce and for pioneering training programs that empower leaders to navigate change. In partnership with the California Health Care Foundation, the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program prepares clinically trained professionals to lead California’s health care organizations and creates a network of strong and effective leaders to improve health care for all Californians.

Contact Us

CHCF Health Care Leadership Program
Healthforce Center at UCSF
3333 California Street, Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94143
Voice: 415-502-7979
Fax: 415-476-4113

Renae Waneka, MPH 
Senior Manager for Leadership Development
Email Renae

Gina Lima
Program Manager
Email Gina

Christina Travlos 
Leadership Development Associate
Email Christina

About the California Health Care Foundation

CHCF is leading the way to better care for all Californians, particularly those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. The Foundation works to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, and at a price they can afford.
CHCF informs policymakers and industry leaders, invests in ideas and innovations, and connects with change makers to create a more responsive, patient-centered health care system.

Featured Testimonial

This fellowship was truly a life-changing experience.
Patricia Fajarado, MPH, RN
Director of Nursing, ChapCare (Community Health Alliance of Pasadena)
CHCF Health Care Leadership Program Alumni
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