Mark Smith

President California Health Care Foundation

Mark’s been President & CEO of the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) since its inception in 1996, when he moved over from the Kaiser Family Foundation. He’s always at pains to point out that CHCF is the smaller of the two Foundations set up when Blue Cross of California went for-profit in the mid-1990s (the California Endowment has more money!), but what it’s achieved has been remarkable. CHCF has supported and published ground breaking research on many aspects of health policy and technology, it supports two major daily newsletters, and is active in both supporting community level services and directly help- ing state officials implement policy directives–like the new insurance exchanges. Under Mark’s guidance CHCF has also directly connected improvements in technology with improvements in chronic disease care and services for the underserved. Mark’s colleague Margaret Laws runs the Innovations for the Underserved program, and since November last year CHCF has doubled down on this idea by introducing a $10m innova- tion fund modeled on social venture capital. All the while Mark has remained an attending physician at the SF General AIDS program, and a major national health policy figure both helping explain the current system, and forcibly reminding the incumbents about the need to improve care–and not just for the underserved. Mark’s especially known for wanting to make health care “cheaper”. After a couple of years trying to get him, we are thrilled to have Mark keynote Health 2.0, and we hope that he’ll leave the Health 2.0 community with a mandate for what we can all do to help improve health care for everyone.