Elvia Delgado is a Principal at Health Management Associates (HMA). She is a bilingual leader with a deep understanding of the healthcare market including Medicaid, Medicare, Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), CalAIM, Latino/multi-ethnic populations and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Covered California marketplace. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Elvia has 25 years of government programs experience and has served in various leadership roles throughout the healthcare industry.

We asked her what advice she might give herself if she were just starting her career in healthcare:

“I’ve been very intentional about my career. I knew early on that I wanted to start in strategy consulting. My first client was a large national payer, and I fell in love with the industry. I got a broad view of the industry as a consultant, then went in-house at a payer, so I got the payer experience, and then went into a healthcare delivery system, and got closer to the patient and to the provider. Hands on experience has been how I’ve built my career.”

“One accomplishment that I am proud of is my time at AltaMed Health Services Corporation, where I served as VP of Sales and Marketing. As a federally qualified health clinic in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, AltaMed serves primarily Latino and other historically underserved populations. I worked to help AltaMed become the #1 enrollment entity in state of California where it remained for 3 years. The growth and expansion of coverage during the rollout for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) greatly increased enrollment, resulting in insignificant positive impact on health outcomes for the Latino population. My efforts developed Altamed’s strategy, drove enrollment for that previously uninsured population and got them to choose Altamed as their health care provider. The ACA growth strategy included opening AltaMed Resource Centers that offered free enrollment assistance by certified enrollment counselors who were not only bilingual, but also, had the cultural competency skills that are important in building trust and community engagement. In addition, AltaMed established strategic partnerships with local community-based organizations, health plans and elected officials, and mobilized over 1,500 AltaMed employees who served as ACA ambassadors. Lastly, I was an invited advisor to Covered California and had a seat at the table developing statewide enrollment campaigns. It gives me great joy knowing that thousands of Californians were able to obtain access to quality health care they deserve.”

“If there were three things I could tell my younger self, I would probably say:

  1. Build your network! Healthcare is a big industry, but it really has a small network of decision makers, so it is important to get to know as many people as you can.
  1. Understanding the business model is very important.  Learn to speak the language of the stakeholder, payer, provider or patient, whichever group you are focused on. Get a foundational understanding of how your business operates. Learn to understand the clinical and financial drivers of your company and how they compare to the competition. It will help you better navigate your career, not just where your interests lie, but also where the growth opportunities exist. 
  1. Go to grad school. After some time at my first employer, I knew I wanted to stay and work in Southern California but wanted to open up more opportunities, so I went to UCLA Anderson for my MBA. The Anderson network is strong, highly engaged and very successful in every industry. I continue to be part of various alumni programs and have strengthened relationships throughout the years. I currently serve as vice-chair advising on payer strategy for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Los Angeles, an opportunity that came about because of one of my classmates in business school.

And now at HMA, I’m able to utilize all of my experience in different parts of the healthcare industry, to support payer, provider, and government organizations, and to continue to improve health outcomes for people in California, and in states across the nation. If you are interested in a career in healthcare consulting, give HMA a look.