March 7 2019

The California Endowment Appoints Family Physician, Leader in Medical Education and Research to Board of Directors

Fresno, CA (March 7, 2019) – The state’s largest health foundation today announced the appointment of Katherine A. Flores, MD, a national leader in primary health care and the development of a diverse health workforce, to the Board of Directors of The California Endowment.  Dr. Flores spent her early years as a farm worker until the age of 16, and currently serves as a family physician in private practice in an all-woman, bilingual medical group in Fresno, CA.  She will begin her service on the board effective May 20, 2020. Dr. Flores is also an Associate Clinical Professor in Family Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and the Director of the UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research (LaCMER), an organization that works with disadvantaged students to help prepare them to become healthcare professionals who will ultimately return to the Central Valley to provide culturally competent healthcare to the medically underserved.

“We’re thrilled to have Katherine join the board,” said Zac Guevara, board chair of The Endowment. “Not only does she have skills essential to the board’s decision making, but she also has the life experience of those from the very communities we are targeting through our efforts to improve community health.”

Dr. Flores has been active over the past 30 years in developing and overseeing programs that recruit and retain Latino and other underrepresented youth into the health professions. She has worked collaboratively with multiple partners to establish a comprehensive health careers pipeline program in the Central Valley of California, targeting disadvantaged youth, particularly from migrant farmworker backgrounds. The goal of the Junior and High School Doctors Academies and the Health Careers Opportunity Program at California State University, Fresno, is to academically enrich, nurture and support disadvantaged youth from 7th-12th grade through college to assure their academic success and ultimate acceptance into health professional schools. Incorporated within the developed curriculum is a research focus that requires these students to explore health disparity issues in their local communities and provides them the scientific research skills necessary to address them.

Through her work in developing health professions pathway programs for disadvantaged students, Dr. Flores and others jointly formed the California Health Professions Consortium in 2006 to explore the development of a statewide strategy to address increasing the diversity of the healthcare workforce. The Consortium has grown to include members from academic institutions (faculty and administrators from universities and health professions schools), K-12 educators, direct service providers (hospitals, clinics, health plans, nurses, and physicians), health policy advocates, and others who have similar interests.

Dr. Flores, a resident of Fresno, is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Medical Association and serves on many national and statewide committees and boards.

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment’s website at www.calendow.org.

 

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