The Alliance’s grant program invests $18.8 million in 2023 to improve local Medi-Cal system

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Scotts Valley, Calif., November 6, 2023 — Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) has approved $18.8 million in grants this year to address health inequity and improve access to health care for Medi-Cal members. The Alliance is the Medi-Cal managed care health plan for Merced, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties and will also serve Mariposa and San Benito counties starting Jan. 1, 2024. The Alliance’s Medi-Cal Capacity Grant Program was launched in 2015 and has since awarded 719 grants totaling $148.7 million to 173 health care and local organizations.

Through the health plan’s strategic use of its reserves, the Alliance awards grant funding in three priority focus areas—Access to Care, Healthy Beginnings and Healthy Communities. The objectives of the local grants are to increase the availability, quality, and access of health care and supportive resources for Medi-Cal members, and to address social drivers that influence health and wellness in the communities served by the Alliance.

“The Alliance’s community investments through our grant program in 2023 have increased the array of healthcare and supportive services offered to a growing number of the most vulnerable people in our communities, many of whom are Alliance members,” said Alliance CEO, Michael Schrader. “We’re also pleased to announce that in September, our board approved an additional $5.8 million in new funding available for future grant awards to expand transportation and doula services in the counties the Alliance serves.”

The $18.8 million in grant awards in 2023 were made in the Alliance’s three current counties, distributed as follows: $5.1 million in Merced; $7.2 million Monterey; and $6.5 million Santa Cruz. From these investments, the Alliance’s provider network is strengthened and expanded through $6.5M in subsidized hiring of primary care, specialty, and behavioral health providers to address workforce shortages in the local area. The remaining $12.3M is invested in other priorities to serve the Medi-Cal population, including training health professionals in equity-based care, new technologies that improve patient experience, childhood development and parent support programs, and partnering with community-based organizations to engage and empower Medi-Cal members to live healthy and active lifestyles and reduce risk of chronic disease. All grants aim to reduce barriers to care and ensure that Medi-Cal members can access high-quality care when, where and how they need it.

The new allocation of $5.8 million in grant funding next year will bolster members’ timely access to care by investing in infrastructure for a Medi-Cal benefit which covers transportation to or from medical, mental health, substance use disorders and dental appointments, especially new members in the rural areas of San Benito and Mariposa. In addition, support for development of the doula provider network through technical assistance and recruitment grants will ensure that pregnant and postpartum Medi-Cal members have access to birth workers who provide health education and advocacy – as well as physical, emotional, and non-medical support – before, during and after childbirth.

Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance) is a regional Medi-Cal managed care health plan, established in 1996 to improve access to health care for over 428,000 members in Merced, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Beginning January 1, 2024, the Alliance will also serve the counties of Mariposa and San Benito. Using the state’s County Organized Health System (COHS) model, the Alliance delivers innovative community-based health care services by connecting members with providers that deliver timely services and care, focused on prevention, early detection and effective treatment. As an award-winning managed care health plan with a vision of “healthy people, healthy communities,” the Alliance remains focused on efforts to improve access to quality health care for its members. For more information, visit www.thealliance.health.


Linda Gorman is the Communications Director at Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance). She oversees the Alliance’s strategic communications plan across all channels and audiences, identifying opportunities to raise awareness about the Alliance and key health topics. Linda has been with the Alliance since 2019 and has over 20 years of marketing and communications experience in the not-for-profit, insurance, and health care sectors. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Communications and Leadership.