CEO of MLK Community Healthcare is a nationally-known advocate for health equity
Willowbrook, Calif., July 25, 2022 – Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of a safety-net health system that has become a model of how to provide high-quality care to an underserved population, has been appointed a Regent of the University of California.
The Regents comprise the governing board of the University of California (UC), a state university system that generates more than $41.6 billion in revenue every year and which sets the policy and educational direction for one of the largest and most influential university systems and health systems in the nation.
Batchlor will be one of 26 voting members, the majority of whom are appointed by the Governor of California to serve 12-year terms.
Batchlor is the CEO of MLK Community Healthcare (MLKCH) a private, non-profit hospital and health system in South LA, one of the most medically-underserved communities in the state. Under her tenure, MLKCH has garnered state and national recognition for providing excellent, innovative clinical care, most recently earning a 5-star quality rating from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Batchlor has spearheaded development of programs to train a diverse healthcare workforce, including opportunities for members of under-represented communities to pursue careers in healthcare. This year, MLKCH launched an internal medicine residency program in order to attract physicians to South LA. MLKCH also sponsors programs to train nurses and to mentor local students who are interested in clinical and nonclinical healthcare careers.
“Training the next generation of diverse leaders, fostering innovation and delivering the highest quality healthcare are all causes dear to my heart,” said Batchlor. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board to maintain and elevate these strengths of the UC system.”
Since MLKCH opened in 2015 and during the multiple COVID-19 surges that made South LA emblematic of how health disparities fuel a pandemic, Batchlor has been an impassioned and outspoken advocate for equity, particularly in regards to healthcare access and quality.
During this time, Batchlor helped contextualize the reasons behind South LA’s devastating COVID numbers, explaining that high infection rates and poor outcomes were rooted in decades of health and structural inequity, something that the Los Angeles Times subsequently wrote about in depth in their award-winning series “Disease, Equity and Resilience in South LA.”
Her advocacy on behalf of the underserved has garnered awards and recognitions, including the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award and election to the National Academy of Medicine. Batchlor’s commentaries on the effects of structural racism in healthcare have been featured in The Atlantic, The Washington Post and the Milken Institute’s “Power of Ideas.”
Batchlor is a Harvard and Case Western Reserve University-trained rheumatologist with a master’s degree in public health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Prior to MLKCH, she was the Chief Medical Officer of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest public health plan providing care for a safety net population. She has also served as Vice President at the California Health Care Foundation.
Please contact: Gwen Driscoll