We connect individuals and families to the health coverage, primary and preventative care, and other needed health-related services that they need to lead healthy lives.

Our approach is peer-driven, one-on-one, and most importantly, effective. It is our goal to help:

  • Increase understanding of healthcare issues for uninsured and underserved people
  • Help them overcome the challenges that prevent them from getting coverage
  • Educate residents about their healthcare options
  • Offer in-person, in-language assistance
  • Provide onsite assistance for patients in local emergency departments

Our History

Former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna, Jr. had a vision for all children to enjoy good health through better nutrition and medical care. When we originally set out with our Cover the Kids program, that’s exactly what our focus was: the kids.

But over time, our scope changed and the program grew to include children and adults. With a vision of good health for all, SC became an independent organization in 2013. Since then, we’ve worked hard to help the underserved in our community navigate their way to health coverage and care, and we’ve created groundbreaking new programs that tackle the complex issues tied to healthcare access.

Our innovative Navigator Program has become the cornerstone of our work. Through this program we’ve been able to help more than 50,000 people enroll in healthcare, educate them on better health and nutrition, and connect them to primary care, behavioral health and other needed resources.

Though we’ve come a long way, our work will not be finished until every person living in Sacramento County is enrolled in a healthcare plan and has access to the care they need.


Since 2013, we’ve helped more than 50,000 residents find healthcare coverage, family doctors, schedule appointments, and most importantly, improve their health.

Click here to see our map of 2015 enrollment and navigation services.

Click here to see our 2013 – 2015 chart of growth in enrollment and navigation services.

Join Our Team

Our team is at the heart of our work to help improve health outcomes for all in Sacramento.

Click here to find open positions and learn how to apply to become a part of our team.



Our Board

Michelle Odell

Michelle Odell is the Director of Public Affairs for Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento, where she oversees all aspects of Public Affairs including community relations, government relations; community health and community benefit planning; and internal and external communications, including media relations.

In addition to serving as the Chair for Sacramento Covered, Odell also is the Director for the local PBS affiliate (KVIE), and the Los Rios Foundation. She is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and a member of the Mayor’s Gang Task Force. Previously. Odell served on the Board of Directors of WEAVE, Elk Grove Economic Development Corporation, The Sacramento Ballet, The Sacramento Public Library Foundation, Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home, The Sacramento Theatre Company and Stanford Home for Children.

Phil Horn

Phil Horn is the Vice President of Ticket Sales and Services for the Sacramento Kings, where he oversees all strategy and execution related to selling tickets to all Sacramento Kings home games in an effort to sell the arena out on a nightly basis. Phil has championed a “Sales 3.0” philosophy with his team, leading the way in cutting-edge, disruptive sales acceleration technologies in the sports industry. Recently named one of Sacramento’s 40 under 40, Phil is passionate about his community and brings that passion and enthusiasm to Sacramento Covered.

Ashley Brand

Ashley Brand is the Director of Community Health and Outreach for Dignity Health’s Greater Sacramento Service Area hospitals. She provides leadership and oversight for programs and initiatives that are aimed at building safety-net capacity and increasing access to care for the underserved communities. Ashley is responsible for ensuring services and initiatives are aligned with priority health issues in the community, support strategic objectives of the Service Area, and meet state and federal reporting requirements. Ashley has over 10 years of experience developing, implementing and managing programs that target the underserved and uninsured populations in both Northern and Southern California and internationally.

Gordon Fowler

Gordon Fowler is the President/CEO of 3fold Communications, with a mission of "contributing to thriving communities.” Fowler brings Sacramento Covered a wealth of knowledge in the areas of strategic marketing and business solutions and branding. In addition to managing 3-Fold, Gordon plays an instrumental role with The Glue Factory, an innovative incubator space focused on building community-based entrepreneurs, as well as The Impact Foundry (formerly the Nonprofit Resource Center), an association of, and resource for, nonprofits serving the 29 counties in Northern California.

Gary King

Gary King serves as SMUD’s Chief Workforce Officer, where he is responsible for enterprise services--such as procurement, fleet, and facilities management--as well as for human resources, health and safety, workforce development, and inclusion. His role also includes information technology and information security. Sacramento Covered is pleased to have Gary and his wealth of knowledge on our Board of Directors.

Erica Taylor

Erica Taylor serves as the Vice President, Communications and Community Relations for Golden 1 Credit Union. In her role she oversees the internal and external communications, community partnerships, corporate giving, and financial education. In addition to Sacramento Covered, Erica serves on the boards of directors for the Los Rios Foundation and the Sacramento Metro Chamber.

Holly Harper

Francisco Castillo

Francisco Castillo is presently the Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), overseeing and managing UPRR's state legislative strategy and community relations activities. Castillo joined UPRR in January 2015 as Director of Corporate Relations and Media, where he developed, planned and implemented external communications programs that advanced the company's business goals and enhanced its relationship with media.

Francisco is an active community member and volunteers his time serving on several boards and commissions including the West Sacramento Planning Commission, First 5 Yolo Children and Families Commission and St. Hope Public Schools Board. He is a 2018 Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.

Trina A. Gonzalez

Trina Gonzalez is the Director of Community Integration at UC Davis Health, where she is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that ensure the continuity of care for families and individuals with Medi-Cal and underserved populations in the Sacramento region.

Prior to UCD Health, she was Senior Program Officer at the Milbank Memorial Fund, a national foundation dedicated to improving population health by connecting decision makers with the best available evidence and experience. In this role, she was responsible for Milbank’s state health policy and leadership programs including the Reforming States Group, a bipartisan association of state health executive and legislative leaders from across the country.

Before joining Milbank, she served in California state government for over 10 years, where she served as the Interim Chief for the Center for Innovation at the California Public Employees Retirement System, Deputy Director of Pollution Prevention at the Department of Toxic Substances Control, and Assistant Secretary for Public Health and Emergency Medical Services at the Health and Human Services Agency.

Our Leadership Team

Kelly Bennett, Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]

Joil Xiong, Chief Operating Officer
[email protected]

Claire Sinclair, Director of Finance
[email protected]amentocovered.org

Lorena Sanchez, Director of Programs
[email protected]

Jodi Nerell, Director of Behavioral Health Integration
[email protected]


Video celebrates the positive impacts Medi-Cal has on the lives of 1/3 of all Californians

The California Coverage and Health Initiatives Proudly Declares May 2017 Medi- Cal Awareness Month and Releases Video with Senator Richard Pan, MD, MPH

Sacramento, CA — The California Coverage and Health Initiatives proudly declares May 2017 as “Medi-Cal Awareness Month” and releases a Medi-Cal Awareness Video with Senator Richard Pan, MD, MPH.

“California Coverage and Health Initiatives’ members are on the front line of our health care delivery system,” said Mark Diel, Chief Executive Officer of the California Coverage and Health Initiatives. “They create strong, trusted relationships with our most vulnerable low-income and immigrant children and families and help them enroll in and navigate health care.”

The California Coverage and Health Initiatives’ 40 members have a presence in 44 counties across the state and serve over half a million Californians annually. These local organizations build strong relationships with consumers and are the first stop when a consumer enters the health care delivery system. There is action pending at the federal level that threatens to take away Medi-Cal coverage from vulnerable Californians and that jeopardizes funding in California’s state budget.

“To understand Medi-Cal’s vital role, you needn’t look further than who it covers because one-third of all Californians are on Medi-Cal as well as half of all children and half of all pregnant women,” said Dr. Richard Pan, a pediatrician and State Senator representing the Sacramento region. “When you have a third of all people enrolled in one health care system, it is absolutely imperative that it lives up to its promise and keeps people healthy and in turn, our economy strong.”

When a person has health care and is healthy, they are better able to work, support their families, learn, and grow. It is critical to continue to make Medi-Cal available to all Californians that need it.

“At Sacramento Covered, we take great pride in helping Sacramentans enroll in, stay in, and navigate our complex health system,” said Kelly Bennett, CEO of Sacramento Covered and Chair of the CCHI Board. “Our consumers are the life of our community— we love helping families achieve their health goals.”

The California Coverage and Health Initiatives members will be meeting with their local elected officials and conduct Medi-Cal Awareness Month outreach.


California Coverage and Health Initiatives (CCHI) is a statewide association of 40 outreach, enrollment, and navigation organizations covering 44 counties focused on helping Californians enroll in affordable health coverage, and navigate the delivery system to access high quality health services. CCHI represents the largest network of outreach, enrollment, and navigation organizations in the State, including community health initiatives, county offices, independent non-profit organizations, clinics, and family resource centers. CCHI’s 40 members also partner with over 623 local organizations throughout the state to offer education, navigation, and coordination services. Many partners serve multiple generations of families who are referred by friends, church members, or other trusted community leaders. Collectively, CCHI’s member organizations served 560,000 Californians last year.

Sacramento Covered is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the overall health of area residents by connecting them to primary and preventative care, and other needed resources. Through one-on-one assistance, Sacramento Covered helps the uninsured, newly insured, and underserved in our community overcome barriers to accessing health care.



What is Sacramento Covered?

Sacramento Covered is a 501(c)3 dedicated to improving the overall health of residents in the Sacramento region by connecting them to medical coverage, primary and preventative care, and other needed resources.

When was Sacramento Covered created?

Sacramento Covered evolved from the City of Sacramento’s “Cover the Kids” program, which was inspired by the late Mayor Joe Serna, Jr. in 1999.  Sacramento Covered became an independent organization in July 2013, and now operates in five hospital emergency rooms, community clinics, its main office and additional sites throughout the community.

What makes Sacramento Covered unique?

Our innovative navigator program has become the cornerstone of our work.  This highly successful program mitigates specific barriers to accessing care in the region through a one-on-one, peer-driven approach.  Health and patient navigators are responsive to the changing healthcare environment.  As such, they are knowledgeable about the multitude of resources available to area residents and help them improve understanding of the healthcare delivery system.

What does Sacramento Covered do?

Through the deployment of health and patient navigators in area hospitals and throughout the community, we provide one-on-one, in-language assistance that connects people to care and coverage.  We provide  culturally competent outreach, education and enrollment services with the purpose of empowering people with information about the healthcare delivery system.

How is Sacramento Covered different from Covered California?

California Covered is the state-run exchange that offers healthcare insurance.    Sacramento Covered is a non-profit organization that educates people about the enrollment process and teaches them how to use their coverage, as well as helping them access timely primary and preventative care and other services.

What is meant by “coverage does not mean access?”

The Affordable Care Act brings the opportunity for healthcare coverage to more people than ever before.  However, we know that having health insurance does not ensure access to medical care.  Many people who now have insurance do not know how to navigate the system, and basic confusion over managed care creates challenges for many. Sacramento Covered helps the uninsured, newly insured and underserved in our community overcome barriers to care.  We help patients gain access to primary and preventative care, which decreases dependency on hospital emergency departments for primary care and improves the quality and continuum of care.

How many languages are spoken by Sacramento Covered staff?

We are proud to serve the English, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian and Hmong-speaking communities.  These populations are culturally diverse and include those living at or below the poverty line, the undocumented and/or mixed-status families, those with low English fluency, and those who need additional assistance accessing care.

What do navigators do?

Our navigators are extremely knowledgeable about the ever-changing healthcare environment and the resources available to area residents.  They represent the communities we serve and have extensive experience working with various health programs available to Sacramento County residents.  Navigators advocate in many ways like providing education, identifying health resources and assisting patients to reduce barriers to care through transportation, interpreting and other services. Through their efforts, Sacramento Covered is reducing dependency on hospital emergency departments for primary care and improving the quality and continuum of care in this region.  

How often do navigators contact clients?

Sacramento Covered navigators follow up with families at least three times during the first six weeks after our initial contact and are available to clients as needed.  Many families develop a rapport with their navigators and seek services beyond this timeframe. Oftentimes, more than one navigator helps a patient because some patients have multiple needs that require differing expertise.  

How does Sacramento Covered help people overcome barriers to care?

Sacramento Covered helps people address and mitigate specific barriers in order to gain timely access to primary and preventative care.  Barriers may include the lack of transportation; difficulty finding a provider that accepts particular insurance; lack of affordable child care options; and cultural/language barriers – just to name a few.  

How is Sacramento Covered funded?

Sacramento Covered is a grant-funded organization.  The majority of its funding comes from local hospitals, health plans, and state and local health service agencies.

17th Annual Healthy Kids Day Provides Free Health Services and Resources to G1C

May 1, 2017

Thousands of Sacramento families to receive health screenings, coverage assistance, a no-cost Farmers’ Market and more

SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento Covered, the area’s leading health care navigation and enrollment assistance organization, hosts its 17th Annual Healthy Kids Day event on Saturday, May 6 at downtown’s Golden 1 Center.  This centrally-located event draws thousands of area residents and offers FREE health, dental and vision screenings, a farmers’ market and other health-related services to children and adults.

To support its mission of connecting people to health care coverage and primary and preventative care, Sacramento Covered hosts this large-scale event annually to bring health resources directly to the community.

Regional Transit (RT) is providing free Light Rail rides to and from the event, making access to this year’s event particularly easy and eliminating any concerns over parking for event attendees.  Free shuttles also will be running every 30 minutes to and from the Sacramento City Unified School District’s Serna Center, located at 5735 47th Avenue in Sacramento, near the intersection of 47th Avenue and Stockton Boulevard.

“We are thrilled to bring Healthy Kids Day to the Golden 1 Center Plaza, as a means to raise awareness of local health resources and ways to help improve the health of our community,” said Sacramento Covered Chief Executive Officer Kelly Bennett.  “We know that having coverage does not always mean having access to health care.  Healthy Kids Day is an exciting, hands-on representation of our work to bridge the gap between coverage and access and inspires families to stay healthy.” Bennett added.

All attendees can receive free health services including: health, dental, and vision screenings, health care enrollment assistance, and access to a farmers’ market of fresh and organic produce, provided by the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. In addition to a variety of health services, the event offers a strong line-up of multi-cultural entertainment, including performances by local dance troupes, musical acts, Zumba and Tae Kwan Do demonstrations and the Sacramento Kings dancers.

Healthy Kids Day is made possible through the support of sponsors like the  Sacramento Kings, Dignity Health,  Kaiser Permanente Thrive, Sutter Health, UC Davis Hospital and Health Net, along with many other community partners.

The event will be outdoors and will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Golden 1 Center Plaza  (500 David Stern Walk in downtown Sacramento).

Sacramento Covered is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the overall health of area residents by connecting them to primary and preventative care, and other needed resources.  Through one-on-one assistance, Sacramento Covered helps the uninsured, newly insured and underserved in our community overcome barriers to accessing health care.


Editor’s note:  This event offers excellent photo and sound opportunities.  Advance interviews are available in English, Spanish, Russian and Hmong. 


2017 Champions for Coverage – Lizette Rodriguez

March 28, 2017

Health Navigator Lizette Rodriguez with Mark Diel, CEO of California Coverage & Health Initiatives and Kelly Bennett, CEO of Sacramento Covered


On Monday, March 27th, Sacramento Covered Health Navigator, Lizette Rodriguez was presented with the the Assister of the Year award at the 2017 Champions for Coverage reception.

Lizette, who is also a full-time undergraduate student at California State University, Sacramento, helped over 1,000 Sacramento area residents in 2016 get affordable health coverage and connected to needed care services, including primary and preventative care.

Lizette started at Sacramento Covered as a Health Access Specialist in 2013. Today as a Health Navigator, she continues to provide families and individuals with access to coverage and care through her dedicated work in health advocacy, enrollment and navigation.

The 2017 Champions for Coverage is an annual event held by California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI) to bring together member organizations across the state, coalition and community partners, policymakers and legislative leaders, and family and friends to celebrate accomplishments in health coverage and care.


Sacramento County Board Resolution of Recognition

February 28, 2017

On Tuesday, February 28th, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors presented Sacramento Covered with a Resolution recognizing its 16th Annual Healthy Kids Day for increasing access to health care and coverage.  Sacramento Covered CEO Kelly Bennett accepted the resolution presented by Supervisor Serna.  Also in this honor included the volunteer nurses who partnered with us to provide hundreds of free flu shots.


16th Annual Healthy Kids Day at the Sleep Train Arena

December 10, 2016

On Saturday, December 10, 2016, Sacramento Covered hosted its 16th Annual Healthy Kids Day at Sleep Train Arena. With the support from sponsors and community partners, the event provided hundreds of FREE flu shots, dental and vision screenings, blood pressure checks, and over 10,000 pounds of fresh produce to families and individuals of all ages.

If you did not have a chance to see the coverage, check out the links below:

Healthy Kids Day 2016 Sponsors