Martha Santana-Chin, a Latinx of Mexican descent, grew up in extreme poverty. She is the first generation in her family to be born in the United States and knows the struggles that many people on Medi-Cal face – both in accessing traditional health care but also the social determinants of health such as food, housing, and racism. She is now the highest-ranking Latinx executive at Health Net, responsible for the company’s Medi-Cal line of business serving more than two million members statewide, approximately one million of which are in Los Angeles. Her career exemplifies a commitment to advancing health equity, and serving vulnerable populations.
Over the last 18 months, her principled leadership has driven real progress in the quality of care provided to Health Net’s members.
As the pandemic first became real for most Californians with stay at home orders in March 2020, Santana-Chin knew that telemedicine would be an increasingly important way for people to access care. She directed her team to provide access to telemedicine for every Health Net Medi-Cal member across the state – the kind of access you would have if you worked at a large corporation. Within seven grueling weeks, millions of people had easy access to telemedicine via their smart phone or computer. Santana-Chin also was a driving force behind Health Net’s $13.4 million in grants for providers to add or enhance their telemedicine capabilities. As vaccines became available, her team worked to ensure equitable vaccine administration, especially among Health Net’s disproportionally-impacted membership.