L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, is pleased to announce it is launching a Health Equity Department. This is a part of the health plan’s continuing commitment to advancing health equity for its members and their communities by giving them the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Marina Acosta, who was promoted to Manager of Health Equity, will supervise the development of the new department under the leadership of James Kyle, MD, L.A. Care Chief of Equity and Quality Medical Director. Acosta, who joined L.A. Care in 2016, has been L.A. Care’s Health Equity Program Director since October 2018.
Establishment of a Health Equity Department aligns with the Statement of Principles on Social Justice and Systemic Racism adopted by L.A. Care’s Board of Governors in 2020. In addition to the statement, L.A. Care implemented an Equity Council to focus on equity issues involving employees, members and its contracted provider network and vendors. Through the council, Dr. Kyle and Acosta have executed several enterprise-wide initiatives to address member health disparities and social determinants of health. The initiatives included partnering with the LA vs Hate coalition in support of United Against Hate Week activities, and a screening of the Black Men in White Coats documentary, which included a panel discussion. Acosta also led efforts to implement cultural humility training for L.A. Care leadership.
The new department, which will include two new full-time employees who will report to Acosta, will allow L.A. Care to expand activities related to health equity. Among the upcoming projects is a COVID-19 vaccine project targeting the Black/African American population in South Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley. There will also be cultural humility training for a larger group of L.A. Care management. Health disparities have been under a glaring spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic, and L.A. Care is committed to doing all it can to erase those disparities. The Health Equity Department will help the health plan meet that goal.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.4 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered™, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.