The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Bridget Kelly
Director, Communications



Legacy Awards Recognize Service to the Community’s Vulnerable Population

ORANGE, California (April 30, 2016) — For two decades, CalOptima has served Orange County’s low-income population with access to quality health care and, this past week, the agency honored 10 industry leaders at the center of CalOptima’s creation as a county organized health system. In an April 21 ceremony at Santa Ana’s Bowers Museum, honorees received Legacy Awards for their leadership and partnership in laying the foundation for CalOptima, which has been repeatedly recognized as the top Medi-Cal plan in California for quality care.

The Legacy Awards were developed specifically for CalOptima’s 20th anniversary and reflect the honorees’ contributions and the agency’s successful operation since October 1995.

CalOptima Legacy Award honorees include:

  • Mary Dewane, Founding Chief Executive Officer, now a resident of Phoenix
  • Kenneth E. Bell, M.D., Former Chief Medical Officer, a resident of Long Beach, California
  • Jean Forbath, Former Board member and Founder of Share Our Selves, a resident of CostaMesa, California
  • Founding members of the CalOptima Board of Directors
  • John R. Cochran III, chairman of the Board and then a hospital CEO, from Portland, Oregon
  • Peter G. Anderson, M.D., emergency medicine specialist and physician leader, from Newport Beach, California
  •  Art Birtcher, commercial real estate developer, from San Juan Capistrano, California
  •  Richard Frankenstein, M.D., specialist and physician leader, from Valencia,California
  •  Claire Heaney, then a nurse and health educator, from Tustin, California
  • Joyce Munsell, then a nurse and health care executive, from Santa Rosa, California
  • Harriett Wieder, former Orange County Supervisor (posthumous). The late Wieder’s award was accepted by daughter Gayle Wieder-Tauber of La Jolla, California.

“Our Legacy Award recipients can be credited with helping to transform Orange County’s health care delivery system for Medi-Cal members,” said CalOptima Chief Executive Officer Michael Schrader. “Through innovation and collaboration, these leaders tackled a crisis in access to health care, overcrowded emergency rooms and unnecessary costs. They were essential in the broad community effort that launched CalOptima to fix those problems, and their legacy is alive in CalOptima’s ongoing impact of improved health for vulnerable children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities.”

Since inception, CalOptima has collaborated with myriad partners and providers to fulfill its mission of providing access to quality care. The Legacy Awards event also brought together more than 200 leaders from local health networks, hospitals, community-based organizations and government agencies to celebrate the success they share as partners in CalOptima programs.

To learn more about CalOptima, visit

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