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Press Release

CalOptima Chief Executive Officer Richard Sanchez To Retire

Board of Directors to Conduct a Search for a New CEO

ORANGE, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2021)

The CalOptima Board of Directors announced that Richard Sanchez, Chief Executive Officer of the publicly funded agency that provides health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities, will retire in November. Sanchez served as an interim and permanent CEO of CalOptima since April 2020. He was previously Director of the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA).

“We want to thank Richard Sanchez for his leadership, vision and commitment to CalOptima, its members and stakeholders over these past 18 months,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, Chair of the CalOptima Board of Directors and Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “After working in health care for more than 37 years, Richard joined CalOptima and led the organization through the most challenging time in health care in generations with the COVID-19 pandemic. He put members first and foremost and delivered unprecedented results on quality, access, growth and equity. We wish him well in retirement.”

Sanchez said that his last day at CalOptima will be November 7, and he will work with the Board to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Supervisor Do said that the Board will conduct a search for a new CEO.

“I will greatly miss the members, staff and partner stakeholders,” Sanchez said. “Health care is a calling, and it has been a privilege to serve and help ensure access to quality health care for the most vulnerable members of the community. I am proud of CalOptima’s staff for stepping up, performing remarkably and meeting the health care needs of Orange County during the ongoing pandemic.”

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 in leadership roles for the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Department.

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 847,000 members with a network of 9,300 primary care doctors and specialists as well as 42 acute and rehab hospitals.

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