In the summer of 2016, Sandra Perez became the director of the California Program on Access to Care (CPAC), bringing more than 30 years of experience and leadership in community and administrative health care programs and policies.
Prior to CPAC, she was a principal consultant at the California Senate Office of Research, where she analyzed health policy and provided nonpartisan research to 40 state senators and their staff and related committees. When California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was developing his health reform plan, he appointed Perez as the director of the state’s Office of the Patient Advocate, where she represented the interests of health care consumers and reported on the quality of health care services, consumer education, consumer protection, and health insurance issues.
Perez also worked for California State Assembly Speaker Willie Brown and California Assembly member Phil Isenberg in the State Capitol, she was a researcher in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis, and she directed the nationally renowned California Capitol Fellows Executive and Judicial Fellowship programs at Sacramento State University’s Center for California Studies.
Before she started working in California’s capital, Perez was a bilingual health educator for farmworker families in the Sacramento River Delta area, she had her own consulting business and worked with clients ranging from Kaiser Permanente to the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation’s Rural Health Institute, and she was a pre-med student.
Perez has represented community needs on several boards, including the University of California, Davis, Medical Center Community Advisory Board, Sacramento Community Services Planning Council, California Superior Court Community Board, and Methodist Hospital’s Birthing Center Advisory Board.
Perez holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in community health and nutrition from the University of California, Davis. She also completed Harvard University’s Executive Leadership Program; the National Hispana Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C.; the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Leadership program; and the Center for Creative Leadership in La Jolla, California. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.