CHCF Health Care Leadership Program

Photo of CHCF Cohort 18 clapping and smiling


The California Health Care Foundation's (CHCF) Health Care Leadership Program helps to transform today’s clinicians into tomorrow’s leaders. Up to 32 physicians, behavioral health providers, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and other health care professionals are selected annually for this two-year, part-time fellowship.

Fellows participate in the program while continuing to work at their home organizations. They attend six seminars during the course of the fellowship and meet in regional groups with designated leaders between seminars. Each fellow also completes a California Health Care Improvement Project of their choice, according to fellowship guidelines.

The program is led by national experts in health care and leadership development from Healthforce Center at UCSF and addresses health care issues from the perspectives of business management and public policy.

Fellows broaden their management skills and sharpen their leadership capacity while gaining insights into the trends and challenges facing health care in California. Alumni become part of a network of over 600 leaders that continue to collaborate and develop their skills. Since 2001, over 600 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 at UCSF. Watch the 2023 prospective applicant webinar to learn more about the program and curriculum and to hear directly from CHCF alumni about their experience.


Funded by 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. Learn more about CHCF.


Managed by Healthforce Center at UCSF

The program is located at Healthforce Center at UCSF, a leading source for research insights into the evolving health care workforce and for pioneering training programs that empower leaders to navigate change. Please contact Gina Lima, program manager, with any questions.

Program Details

The CHCF Health Care Leadership Program is grounded in Healthforce Center’s adaptive 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. 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.

Curriculum threads addressed in the learning seminars that help build participant skills include:

  • Self-awareness
  • Business acumen
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Working with others
  • Environmental context and systems
  • Communication and presence
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Policy and advocacy


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 Health Care Leadership Program gives participants access to over 600 clinician leaders that make up the CHCF Alumni Network. This unique collective of leaders serves as a trusted community of peers connected by shared values and approaches to leadership. Strong relationships help leaders tackle some of the most difficult challenges in the field. Nearly all alumni (90%) agree that the network plays a role in transforming health care in California. Learn more about the CHCF Alumni Network.

See a list of current fellows and all alumni.



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, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

“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

“To learn how we as clinicians can be influential and to be able to meet decision makers for California, is really an incredible opportunity.” — Efrain Talmantes, MD, MBA, MSc, Medical Director for Health Equity, AltaMed Health Services  


To Apply

The application period for the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program Cohort 23 is April 10 – June 9, 2023. APPLY NOW!

Watch the prospective applicant webinar from April 27.

A full application includes: a completed online application, resume, and two recommendations. 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.

Contact us with any questions.




The CHCF Health Care Leadership Program is for licensed clinicians with at least five years of leadership experience who live and work in California. We seek diversity across disciplines, regions, racial/ethnic groups, and organizations with a special focus this year on:

  • Clinicians in San Joaquin Valley and the San Diego area
  • Black, Latino, and Indigenous health care providers
  • Safety-net providers
  • Behavioral health clinicians



The California Health Care Foundation covers most program costs, but fellows’ home organizations must pay tuition, as shown below. In addition, fellows are responsible for travel expenses.

The tuition for Cohort 23 is:

  • Safety net organizations*: $6,500 per person
  • Not-for-profit organizations: $9,900 per person
  • All other organizations: $11,900 per person

The full tuition amount will be due before the first seminar.

Financial assistance is available. As with past cohorts, the ability to pay is not a consideration in the selection process. Up to a 50% tuition waiver is available for individuals working at safety net organizations located in the Inland Empire, San Joaquin Valley, and the San Diego area (San Diego and Imperial Counties). Financial assistance might not be available for future cohorts. If you have questions or if your participation in the program is dependent on financial assistance, please contact us.

* 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 includes 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.


COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements (April 2022)

Proof of vaccination is required to participate in the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program.

  • UCSF adheres to the San Francisco Department of Public Health COVID-19 health requirements, and, in some instances, our requirements are more stringent given UCSF's unique role as an academic, medical, and research enterprise.
  • UCSF faculty, staff, learners, and vendors must comply with the mandatory UC Office of the President Vaccination Policy to attend an in-person meeting or event.
  • Fellowship seminars will be held in person. Thus, proof of full vaccination will be required to participate in the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program.
  • All UCSF meeting and event guidance is being reviewed weekly for any changes to policy.

Program Participants

In September 2022, 32 clinical leaders were selected as Cohort 22 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 new 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. Over 600 health care professionals have participated in the program since its inception in 2001.  

Cohort 22 fellows (in alphabetical order) with their organizational affiliations and a link to each person’s LinkedIn profile if available:

  • Pouya Afshar, MD, MBA, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Presidium Health/Presidium Medical Group (San Diego County)
  • Aislinn Bird, MD, MPH, Director of Integrated Care, Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless
  • Bradley Chappell, DO, MHA, ED, Medical Director, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • Carrie Cunningham, MD, MPH, Medical Director, UCSF Division of Citywide Case Management Programs
  • Tri Do, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Community Health Center Network (Alameda County)
  • Dana Edgull, MSW, Behavioral Health Services Manager, Monterey County Health Department
  • Tonya Fancher, MD MPH, Associate Dean for Workforce Innovation and Education Quality Improvement, University of California, Davis
  • Pranav Garimella, MD, MPH, Acute Dialysis Director, University of California, San Diego
  • Amy Garlin, MD, Medical Director, Communicable Disease Control, San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • Malia Honda, MD, MS, Site Medical Director, Eureka Community Health Center, Open Door Community Health Centers (Humboldt County)
  • Kara James, MSN, FNP-C, Clinician, Black Health Initiative Leadership Team, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
  • Tiffany Jimenez, RN, MSN, Chief Operating Officer, Petaluma Health Center
  • Helen Lee, PharmD, MBA, Senior Director, Pharmacy Services, Alameda Alliance for Health
  • John Ludlow, MD, MBA, Clinical Lead, Emergency Department Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Initiatives, The Permanente Medical Group (Stanislaus County)
  • Roberto Madrid, MD, MBA, VP of Medical Group Operations, PIH Health (Los Angeles County)
  • Lucy Marrero, MA, LMFT, Director of Behavioral Health and Social Programs, Gold Coast Health Plan (Los Angeles County)
  • William Martinez, PhD, Director, Child and Adolescent Services, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
  • Gaurav Mishra, MD, MBA, Chief Behavioral Health Officer, San Ysidro Health (San Diego County)
  • Katina Murray, MD, Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, Department of Family Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, USC (Los Angeles County)
  • Rita Nguyen, MD, Assistant Health Officer, Director of Population Health, California Department of Public Health (Sacramento County)
  • Manish Patel, MD, Regional Assistant Medical Director for Medicare Strategy, Kaiser Permanente (Los Angeles County)
  • Raymond Perry, MD, MS, Director, South Los Angeles Health Center Group, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Evan Raff, MD, MHA, Director of Specialty Care, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
  • Jesse Rokicki Parashar, MD, MSc, Medical Director of Employer Based Primary Care Quality, Stanford School of Medicine
  • Richard Sarpong, RN, MSN, Assistant Hospital Administrator, Quality and Patient Safety, Kaiser Permanente (San Bernardino County)
  • Jessica Schumer, MD, MPH, Deputy Director, Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
  • Rosalba Serrano Rivera, MSW, LCSW, Director of Behavioral Health, Camarena Health Center (Fresno County)
  • Sural Shah, MD, MPH, Division Chief, Adult Primary Care, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center
  • Saba Shahid, PsyD, Director of Primary Care Behavioral Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • Monica Smart, MSN, FNP, Associate Medical Director, La Clinica Alta Vista (Alameda County)
  • Dagim Taddesse, PharmD, Pharmacy Director, K'ima:w Medical Center (Humboldt County)
  • Menbere Tequame, MSN, Director of Nursing Services, Alameda Health 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
View All Testimonials »