Pulse Contents
CenCal Health’s Operational Changes in Response to the Coronavirus 
CEO Letter to the Community
CenCal Health Welcomes New Board Members in 2020
New Leadership at CenCal Health
Annual Community Report Released, Now in Spanish, too!
The Loss of a Central Coast Legend
Upcoming Community Activities
Membership Totals
Career Opportunities

CenCal Health's Operational Changes in Response to the Coronavirus

CenCal Health continues to closely monitor developments around the spread of the Coronavirus. In light of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent announcements, and guidance from county and state health authorities, CenCal Health will not be attending public events or in-person meetings. Staff will continue participating in community meetings via phone or web conference only.

CenCal Health will be initiating a variety of measures to ensure smooth operations, continuation of service for members and providers, and to protect staff. These actions come in response to a rapidly-changing business environment due to the Coronavirus. CenCal Health will be implementing social distancing through staggered worktimes and teleworking for most employees as a public health measure. This “employees first” policy is effective as of Wednesday, March 18. 

“As a local health plan with the mission to improve the health and well-being of our community, we decided to make this social-distancing move for both workplace safety and public health,” said  Bob Freeman , CenCal Health CEO. “CenCal Health is definitely open and all departments are operating to serve our members and providers. Because this is an unprecedented situation, our teleworking technology may not be as responsive as business-as-usual, so in that case, we ask that callers have patience with the possibility of increased phone hold times.”  
For more information about handwashing, see  CDC’s Handwashing  website.

Learn more from your county Public Health Department:

CEO Letter to the Community

2020 is now upon us all and like all new years, it brings with it the usual feelings of renewal, motivation, and determination – be it in relation to diet, exercise, financial management, or in CenCal Health’s case: health care. 2019 was a period of evolution for CenCal Health. Not only in the sense of new programs and initiatives, but also in the sense of a generational transition. As with most organizations of some size, CenCal Health has individuals come and go. People move away, change jobs, and have changes in life status (marriage, children). For CenCal Health, we had a number of senior level retirements in 2019. 
A number of the people, who were responsible for getting us from where we were to where we are now, chose to head off into the sunset, so-to-speak. And though that was great for them, it did present the organization with the challenge of replacing these individuals with the same caliber of new contributors - all the while not impacting our day-to-day operations or our mission-driven culture.

So while 2019 did present me with a few moments of pause due to the loss of so much talent in such a short period of time, as 2020 dawns, I’ve never felt more comfortable and confident in the people we now have to take us from where we are today to where we want and need to be tomorrow. 

New leaders in Provider Services, Member Services, Information Technology, Legal, and Health Services, among other areas, have provided both me, individually, and the organization as a whole with an excited sense of renewal, motivation, and determination. 

As we move forward in 2020 and beyond, you may see some new faces, or familiar faces in new roles. But what you won’t see is any difference in our mission-driven culture, our drive for sustained excellence, or our commitment to the community. If anything, you may see some new energy, new ideas, and new approaches. It will be because these new ideas and efforts are being driven by people that are thankful for the opportunity to show what they can do to take the CenCal Health organization and mission to where it wants and needs to be in the future. Welcome to tomorrow.

CenCal Health Welcomes New Board Members in 2020

CenCal Health is pleased to welcome the newest additions to our Board, Sue Anderson, President and CEO of Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, and Dr. Edward Bentley, a CenCal Health provider and active member of the Santa Barbara community since 1986.
Sue Andersen

Sue’s been with Marian and Dignity Health for the last 18 years. She oversees two hospital locations, residency programs, a skilled nursing facility, an acute rehab facility, a homecare entity, outpatient labs, and imaging and infusion centers.
Dr. Edward Bentley

Dr. Edward Bentley is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology by the American Board of Internal Medicine and continues to be involved in education through his clinical associate professorship of medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.
To learn more about Sue Anderson and Dr. Edward Bentley click  here.

New Leadership at CenCal Health

Dr. Farid Hassanpour, D.O., M.B.A 

Dr. Hassanpour has joined CenCal Health in the key leadership position as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Hassanpour has over 25 years of experience in clinical and administrative medicine, including health plans and large physician groups. 

Most recently, he has severed as the Chief Medical Director at Health Net and California Health &  Wellness, both headquartered in Woodland Hills. Prior to this, he was the Medical Director at Anthem Blue Cross. Dr. Hassanpour’s experience reaches further, as he has been with large multi-specialty medical groups, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), and IPAs. 

Karen Kim, J.D., M.P.H.,
General Legal Counsel 

 CenCal Health also welcomes Karen Kim, J.D., M.P.H., General Legal Counsel, responsible for providing and managing the legal services team for CenCal Health, including serving as legal counsel to the CenCal Health Board Members. 

Karen Kim comes to CenCal Health from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, CA, where she was the Compliance Officer and Director of Risk Management. Previously, Kim was with L.A. Care Health Plan in Los Angeles, the largest publicly operated health plan in the U.S. Kim holds a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School and has a Master of Public Health in Health Policy from UCLA’s School of Public Health.

Annual Community Report Released,
Now in Spanish, too!

New this year, CenCal Health's 2019 Community Report is in both English and Spanish. The entirely digital format communicates our mission and vision, current health improvement projects, achievements, leadership, and financial information through multimedia. New this year: the full report is translated in Spanish.

The online community report displays:
  • Video
  • Audio testimonials
  • Content that can be easily shared and repurposed

Most importantly, the report displays key data in a unique way that interacts with the viewer. By increasing the community report’s viewership, we hope to dispel unflattering stereotypes of Medi-Cal beneficiaries, tens of thousands of whom gained coverage as a result of the  Affordable Care Act .
“The structure of the 2019 Community Report reinforces our health plan’s motto of Local. Quality. Healthcare.,” said Bob Freeman, CenCal Health CEO .  “We have three separate sections that each delve into what local, quality healthcare looked like last year for our members and our provider partners. It also shows what sets CenCal Health apart from other health plans.”

To view CenCal Health’s 2019 Community Report go to  www.cencal2019.org .  

The Loss of a Central Coast Legend

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, Khatchik “Katcho” Achadjian, a longtime local politician on the Central Coast, serving as both a State Assemblyman and San Luis Obispo Supervisor, passed away due to health complications.
Katcho made a profound impact on our community through the contributions he gave, supporting civic, nonprofit and service organizations in both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County. He served as both chair and board member on the CenCal Health Board from 2008 to 2010. We are extremely grateful for the service he contributed to our Board and our community.

Upcoming Community Meetings
March 20
SLO Care Coordination Coalition

March 30
Homeless Services Oversight Council – Services Coordinating Committee (SLO)

April 9
Latino Outreach Council Town Hall Meeting

April 15
SLO County Behavioral Health Board

April 16
Santa Maria Medically Vulnerable Program

Due to the precautions taken to decrease the spread of the Coronavirus, CenCal Health will be attending community meetings by phone or web conference only.

Santa Barbara
Membership Totals
Total - 123,162
San Luis Obispo
Membership Totals
Total - 50,136


CenCal Health

We invite you to come join our dedicated team. Below is a list of available positions at
CenCal Health.

To view detailed job descriptions or to apply to an opportunity -  click here .  

4050 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA 93110

1035 Peach St, Suite 201
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 685-9525