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Kristen's story

February 15, 2023
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Kristen Slater is CCA Health California’s Director of Clinical Operations

Kristen Slater’s background in social work brought her to CCA Health California. As Clinical Operations Director, she is working to implement CCA’s uncommon care® model from the ground up. Through the deep ties CCA Health has established with providers in California, she will work to create a seamless experience for members as they navigate the healthcare system.

As a social worker, Kristen has spent her career observing the relationship between social factors and the health of individuals. These factors, such as where you live and your relationship with friends and family, can influence one’s wellbeing in many ways.

For instance, difficulties getting to a doctor’s office or scheduling a follow-up appointment with a specialist may prevent someone from receiving the care they need. Likewise, someone living in a food desert is less likely to have access to healthy and affordable food. These circumstances can lead to poor health outcomes.

“The goal of CCA Health California is to be a culturally competent health plan that understands the specific needs of the community and how they intersect with the medical needs of the member,” she said.

Traditionally in the medical field, physical health and mental health have often been treated separately. Similarly, doctors have not always asked about the challenges that someone might face in their typical life outside the clinical setting. Having witnessed this throughout her career, Kristen has become focused on viewing things holistically—that is, taking all of this information into account at the same time.

“All the individual elements of someone’s life can impact their health and wellbeing. Our job as a health plan is to meet all our members’ needs and integrate healthcare services that may not currently be integrated,” she said.

For example, when a patient is seeing multiple providers, their offices might not communicate with each other unless the patient drives the process. This can create big and significant gaps in the care, which are often made worse by social factors. For example, it can be hard for patients to advocate for their care if they do not speak English, have challenges with getting to medical appointments, and more.  

CCA Health works to improve this process for members.

One of Kristen’s main objectives is to ensure members receive the care they need on an ongoing basis. With CCA Health’s assistance with follow-up appointments and integration of care between different providers, the hope is that members with significant medical, mental health or social support needs face fewer challenges to getting the care they deserve.

Kristen has spent her professional life tackling complicated issues. As a result, she has become a “serial hobbyist,” often spending her free time on activities with more immediate results. She teaches yoga, cooks, bakes, and has taken knitting and pottery classes.

At the end of the day, though, she cares most about building better ways of delivering care to those who need it.

“What keeps me passionate about this work is the resiliency of the human condition. It is such a privilege to be able to support individuals in making positive changes in their lives.”

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