Our Leadership

L.A. Care's leadership is dedicated to serving our members and working with our health plan partners to ensure that members receive quality care in culturally sensitive settings.

Howard A. Kahn Howard A. Kahn, Chief Executive Officer

Howard  A. Kahn is CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, which has more than 1,300,000 enrolled members in Los Angeles County. He is widely recognized as an expert in government health care programs, health care disparities and the safety net.

Kahn has more than 25 years of experience in national and international health care. At CIGNA International, he was Senior VP for Latin America and Global Health, and as a VP at Aetna, he was responsible for the company’s global health business, nationwide governmental managed care and managed health operations. He was founding president and CEO of the $1 billion California Wellness Foundation and founding CEO of the Health Plan of San Mateo. He is the former Chair of the California Association of Health Plans, former member of the Prop 63 Commission and past board member of Cal eConnect, a nonprofit organization founded to develop and support health information exchange policies and services in California.

Currently, Howard serves as a board member for the Charles Drew University School of Medicine, Insure the Uninsured Project and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. He also chairs the Association for Community Affiliated Plans Board of Directors.

Kahn pursued undergraduate studies at Harvard, received his Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies from UC Berkeley and his Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute.

Gertrude “Trudi” Carter, M.D., Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Carter is the Chief Medical Officer at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest public health plan in the nation.  Dr. Carter has over 20 years of experience in medical affairs and health care administration.  As the CMO at L.A. Care, Carter works closely with the leadership team to develop and implement strategies and initiatives to ensure quality health care delivery to all of L.A. Care’s million plus members – some of the most vulnerable in the county.  She oversees the medical leadership of the organization and focuses on enhancing access and the quality of care provided through contracted plans and providers.

Prior to L.A. Care, Dr. Carter was CMO at CalOptima, a public health plan and the second largest insurer in Orange County.  There she spearheaded several innovative programs that focused on care delivery for special populations including children with special health care needs, end stage renal disease, and high risk members.  She also led quality efforts that resulted in the organization achieving four stars performance for the Special Needs Plan, top quality performance for the Medi-Cal plan, and outstanding quality performance in the Healthy Families program.

Early in her career, Dr. Carter held director and officer level roles in Catholic Healthcare West, Schaller Anderson, MedPartners, Mullikin Medical Centers and Hawthorne Community Medical Group (HCMG).  She was also a board certified practicing pediatrician at HCMG.  

She completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg and earned her medical degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School.

Dr. Carter brings to her work a deep commitment to putting the welfare of patients first and a real zeal for partnering with physicians to develop solutions to complex issues.

John Wallace John Wallace, Chief Operating Officer

John Wallace serves as Chief Operating Officer for L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest public health plan in the nation. In that role, John is responsible for Managed Care Services, which includes Member Services, Provider Network Operations, Sales and Outreach, Product Operations, Claims and Information Services.

Prior to L.A. Care Health Plan, Mr. Wallace held a number of positions with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services including responsibility for Communications, Government Relations, Public Policy, 1115 Waiver Office and the Public Private Partnership Program.  Mr. Wallace also worked in the Administrations of Governor Pete Wilson and Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.  Mr. Wallace is a native of San Pedro, California and a graduate of the University of Southern California.


Augustavia J. Haydel Augustavia J. Haydel, Esq., General Counsel

Augustavia J. Haydel is General Counsel of L.A. Care Health Plan. In this role she provides and arranges for legal counsel to L.A. Care's Board of Governors and to senior management. Ms. Haydel's duties involve a wide array of activities, including advice and counsel on health care legal issues, public law and government practice issues, board administration and governance issues, litigation activities, contract strategies and negotiations, and various other general and specialized legal topics.

Before joining L.A. Care, Ms. Haydel served for 10 years as counsel at WATTS Health Systems, Inc., in Los Angeles, California. Prior to that position, she was in private practice. She also has served as an Assistant District Attorney in the King's County District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, New York, and worked as a Market Research Analyst for the Indiana Business Development Foundation in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ms. Haydel earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana. She received her undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Ms. Haydel has instructed students in micro and macroeconomics at Indiana University and at Purdue University in Indianapolis. She is a member of numerous legal and professional organizations, including the National Health Lawyers Association, the Black Women Lawyers Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Jonathan Freedman, Chief of Strategy, Regulatory and External Affairs

Jonathan Freedman serves as Chief of Strategy, Regulatory and External Affairs at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the nation. In this capacity, he is responsible for the following operating units: Strategic Planning, Government Relations, Communications, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance and Community Benefits. Mr. Freedman works closely with other leadership team members at L.A. Care to develop and implement strategies and initiatives to further improve the programmatic impact of L.A. Care.

Prior to joining L.A. Care Health Plan, Mr. Freedman held a variety of management and leadership roles for more than 25 years in Los Angeles County most recently as Chief Deputy Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) which provides comprehensive array of services to protect and improve the health of the county’s 10 million residents. Among his previous roles Mr. Freedman served as Director of the DPH Emergency Preparedness and Response Program; Chief of Policy for the County’s state and federal legislative programs; Director of the Medicaid Demonstration Project for Los Angeles County; Deputy Director of Public Health Programs; and Assistant Deputy for health, welfare and environmental issues to Supervisor Ed Edelman a former member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Freedman holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Masters degree in Public Health from UCLA.

Gene Fernandez Tim Reilly, Chief Financial Officer

Tim Reilly is Chief Financial Officer at L.A. Care Health Plan. In this role, he oversees the financial operations of the organization. He leads the strategic financial direction at L.A. Care to achieve success for its key initiatives, goals and mission. Mr. Reilly has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, and is the industry leader in developing managed care programs for publicly funded populations.

Mr. Reilly brings to L.A. Care over 30 years of managed care administration and consulting experience. In his previous position, Mr. Reilly was a Partner and Founder of Pacific Health Consulting Group for 22 years in Sacramento, California. He also served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for four years at Health Plan of San Mateo in San Mateo, California.
He has the unique experience of being a principal in the development of all the County Organized Health Systems in California (COHSs). He was also a member of the policy team that developed and implemented the Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) to provide health insurance to every child in the Santa Clara County which was then replicated in 28 other California counties.

Mr. Reilly earned his Bachelor’s degree in Experimental Psychology and a Master’s degree in Public and Social Affairs from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Barbara Cook Barbara Cook, Chief of Human and Community Resources

Barbara Cook is Chief of Human and Community Resources at L.A. Care Health Plan. In this role, she is responsible for all aspects of Human Resources and Training and Organizational Development. She also oversees the organization’s Multicultural Community Health Workers/Promotoras Program, Community Health Centers and Community Outreach and Education department.

When she joined L.A. Care in 2005 as Senior Director, Human Resources, Ms. Cook brought with her more than 15 years of progressive leadership responsibility and unique operations and clinical experience. The breadth of her human resources experience includes employee benefit plan design, risk and insurance management, organizational development, regulatory and legal compliance expertise, and employee training and retention program development.

Before joining L.A. Care, Ms. Cook served for five years as Sr. Vice President, Human Resources at Sunstone Hotel Properties, Inc., in San Clemente, CA. Prior to that position, she was a human resources consultant focusing on management development, compensation and benefit plan design, HRIS systems integration, compliance and change management. She also served as Corporate Vice President, Human Resources for a number of years at UniHealth in Burbank, CA.

Ms. Cook earned her M.B.A. from University of Redlands in Redlands, CA, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Management from University of La Verne in La Verne, CA. She also holds an Associates degree in Nursing from Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA.



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