About CalOptima

Press Release

CalOptima Welcomes Interim CEO

Richard Sanchez to lead the county’s single largest health insurer

ORANGE, Calif. (April 2, 2020)

Richard Sanchez, REHS, MPH, the former director of the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA), will be Interim Chief Executive Officer of CalOptima, after the Board of Directors approved his appointment today. Sanchez starts his leadership role on Monday, April 6. CalOptima provides publicly funded health care coverage for nearly one in four Orange County residents, with programs for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities.

Sanchez comes to the position after serving on the CalOptima Board of Directors since March 2017. He replaces Michael Schrader who has been at CalOptima’s helm for more than seven years and is leaving for a CEO position with a sister health plan in Northern California.

“I look forward to serving Orange County in this new capacity during the next stage of my career,” Sanchez said. “While there’s no doubt that this is a difficult time as we respond to COVID-19, CalOptima has a strong, longstanding record of delivering access to quality health care services. I will work to ensure CalOptima members and providers can continue to rely on the public agency that is critical to the health of our community.”

Sanchez was HCA Director for three years, after having served as Assistant Director and Director of Environmental Health. Before his tenure in Orange County, he worked as Director of Environmental Health for the Sacramento Environmental Health Department and as Program Manager for the San Bernardino Environmental Health Department. Sanchez holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from UC Irvine and a Master of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University. He is also credentialed as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS).

“The Board welcomes Richard to his new role upholding CalOptima’s mission focused on serving members,” said Paul Yost, M.D., Chairman of the CalOptima Board of Directors. “Considering the current environment, it is especially reassuring to know that he will be able to hit the ground running given his extensive experience with CalOptima and the HCA.”

About CalOptima

A county organized health system, CalOptima provides publicly funded health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Orange County, California. CalOptima’s mission is to provide members with access to quality health care services delivered in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. In total, CalOptima serves more than 720,000 members with a network of more than 8,000 primary care doctors and specialists, as well as 40 hospitals.

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