In her own words

Faith Soltero

Healthcare is not a privilege. It is a basic human right. This is why I am pursuing higher education as a first-generation student at California State University, Los Angeles in the Master’s of Healthcare Management Program. My path in healthcare started at fifteen when I volunteered in the Maternity Department at my local hospital, serving residents in San Fernando, a suburb of Los Angeles County. Through my work and personal life, I have witnessed healthcare insecurity firsthand – my family experienced many healthcare challenges due to being uninsured. As an undergraduate student studying Public Health at Sacramento State University, I learned that being uninsured disproportionately affects communities of color, like the community where I grew up. However, it was in my lifetime that I have witnessed what good public policy can do. With the Affordable Care Act, I witnessed how many families, like my own, finally had the opportunity to receive health coverage and feel a sense of security.

My goal is to devote my career to helping establish universal healthcare in California, thereby enabling equitable access, reducing racial and economic disparities by using regulatory actions, and building a robust organizational infrastructure for public health. I am seeking a Master’s in Healthcare Management so that I can further develop my knowledge, and learn the tools necessary to create policies that will promote equitably healthcare systems.

I am working towards this goal by focusing on learning how the current healthcare system works. For the past two years, I have helped low-income and disabled Californians receive access to affordable healthcare services at the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), the State Department that oversees and administers Medi-Cal. It has been an honor serving underrepresented populations and making a difference statewide. At DHCS, I have scanned over 6,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries’ case files from paper copies into an electronic database meanwhile providing clerical support to analysts in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program unit.

I joined Kaiser Permanente as an administrative intern working in project management and business operations. At Kaiser, I am beginning to get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the State’s largest providers of medical care. Through this experience, I had the opportunity to manage a project tasked with replacing over 50 outdated gurneys to ensure patient safety and satisfaction.

When serving my community, I believe in inclusive excellence by staying devoted to equity, diversity, and inclusion. In 2021, at Sacramento State, I was elected to represent over 31,000 students as Associated Students Inc.’s (ASI) Vice President of Finance. At ASI, it was my primary goal to represent the diverse voices in the community and to create a campus environment where all students can thrive. As a part of the ASI Board of Directors, it was my priority to advocate for diverse and culturally competent faculty, support the Division of Inclusive Excellence initiatives, and create a safe space for black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. In the field of healthcare, I will be sure to contribute to increased cultural diversity and express my commitment to serving diverse communities as a healthcare administrator.

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