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Chief Health Equity Officer, Bakersfield, CA

Organization: Kern Health Systems
Category: Senior Leadership
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Date Job Posted: November 3, 2022
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Chief Health Equity Officer

Kern Family Health Care, 2900 Buck Owens Blvd., Bakersfield, California, United States of America Req #1837

We appreciate your interest in our organization and assure you that we are sincerely interested in your qualifications. A clear understanding of your background and work history will help us potentially place you in a position that meets your objectives and those of the organization. Qualified applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, or any related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, gender expression, military status, or the presence of a non-job related medical condition or disability (mental or physical).

Our Mission. Kern Health Systems is dedicated to improving the health status of our members through an integrated managed health care delivery system.

Primary Purpose:

The position reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Health Equity Officer (CHEO) will be responsible for driving systemic change to increase diversity and representation as well as building programs that foster an inclusive culture of belonging. The Officer partners with other executives to lead the organization’s commitment and strategy to provide health equity and reduce health disparities of our member population, as well as remaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. The position will promote pathways towards raising awareness of health inequities within our membership and concrete plans for addressing them. The CHEO will develop member engagement strategies to carry out the priorities of the organization and address the health inequities. This will include working to track, trend and improve disparities in care, recognizing the diverse cultural language, economic, education and health status needs of those in our service area and organization.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership in the design and implementation of Kern Health System’s (KHS) strategies and programs to ensure Health Equity is prioritized and addressed; Provides leadership for the member and community engagement teams;
  • Ensure compliance with California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) on regulatory and contractual requirements;
  • Ensures all KHS policies and procedures are promoting health equity where possible, including, but not limited to: 1) corporate marketing and communications strategy, 2) medical and health services policies, 3) member and provider outreach, 4) Community Advisory Committee, 5) QI activities including delivery system reforms, 6) Grievance and Appeals, and 7) Utilization Management;
  • Supports and conducts regular Health Equity meetings with key constituents to build relationships, share best practices and health equity tactics, develop a health equity plan, and provide quality resources or services that add value for the members;
  • Researches and implements strategies designed to identify and address root causes of health inequities throughout KHS’s service area, which includes but not limited to systemic racism, Social Drivers of Health, and infrastructure barriers;
  • Develops and implements targeted interventions to address and eliminate health inequities;
  • Works with appropriate internal and external stakeholders to develop and monitor Key Performance Indicators for health equity and analyze and share observations regarding programmatic practice and innovation, internal and external DEI metrics, and organizational culture and practice. Monitors progress toward our DEI vision and achievement of our DEI goals as well as the execution of strategies that map toward those goals;
  • Engages and collaborates with staff, subcontractors, network providers, and entities included, but not limited to local community-based organizations, local health department, behavioral health and social services, child welfare systems and members in health equity efforts and initiatives;
  • Functions as a subject matter expert for senior leadership and report to the Board of Directors as needed;
  • Oversees Health Equity training for business teams and employees, partnering with Human Resources (HR) to develop and deliver inclusion and anti-racism training;
  • Ensures employees, subcontractors, Network Provider staff receive mandatory diversity, equity and inclusion training (sensitivity, diversity, communication skills, and cultural competency training);
  • Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned;

Employment Standards


  • Master’s degree in social work, health care, public policy, business, or related field required.


  • Minimum of seven (7) years' experience advocating for and implementing change within a multi-cultural environment, with at least 3-5 years' experience of project planning, developing and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum three (3) years' experience in human resources and/or staff development.

Knowledge of:

  • Ability to build and manage teams;
  • Health equity concepts;
  • Ability to scope, define and interpret quantitative analyses of operational problems;
  • Evidence of ability to provide leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion in a health care and other settings, and an interest and involvement in the affairs of the health care community;
  • Exceptional leadership and public speaking skills;
  • Must have quality experience with strategic vision to continue to optimize design of health equity improvement programs;
  • Proven track record of successful project and program leadership;
  • Preparation of business plans, analyses, financial projections, programmatic and operational reports;


Required travel up to 20%. Possession of valid California Driver’s License and proof of valid State required auto liability insurance.

We are an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis.

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