California Endowment CEO Robert Ross Talks About his Goal to Help Others

California Endowment CEO Robert Ross Talks About his Goal to Help Others

Dr. Ross thinks the solution is just getting the right message out with the right messenger

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. During his tenure at CE, the foundation has focused on the health needs of underserved Californians by championing the cause of health coverage for all children, strengthening the capacity of community health centers, improving health services for farm worker and ex‐offender populations. Recently, the Los Angeles Sentinel caught up with Dr. Ross, who talked about why he loves his role at CE, the Affordable Care Act, as it relates to underserved communities and what healthcare improvements he hopes to see in communities of color.

About Dr. Robert Ross from the California Endowment:

My roots are in New York City. I grew up in the South Bronx. I am a pediatrician by trade. I practiced in New Jersey and then Philadelphia for a number of years before turning to a career in public health and community health. I came to this leadership position in late 2000. This is my 14th year at the foundation.


Wow, talk about a transition – the Bronx to here. Who was it who had their antennas out and came to you and said, ‘[we want you] at the California Endowment?’


It’s hard to say. I’m not sure how they found me.

The California Endowment went through a series of two or three CEOs, none of whom were deemed appropriate to be the permanent CEO. It was right around that time I got recruited to join the board.

Someone said, ‘Bob, you should resign from the board so you could apply for the position.’ And, the first time I was asked I couldn’t do it. I just had too much going on in San Diego.

Another year went by and they were still on the search. The board vice chair at the time said, ‘you bring a lot of experience and skill that we’re looking for. Why don’t you resign from the board so you can interview and apply.’ So, that happened in the middle of 2000.

And so, that’s how they found me. This job’s been a gift, a privilege. It’s the best job in the world.


‘It’s the best job in the world.’ Why do you say that?


It’s really a blessing to work for a corporation that shares your core values. That’s a gift. Most people don’t have that luxury. With this board, they’ve been clear that underserved, marginalized communities are a priority for us.

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Source: The LA Sentinel | Kenneth D. Miller

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