USC Price School of Public Policy

Sandra Perez

Sandra Perez

Master of Health Administration ’95

Policy consultant. Health educator. Patient advocate. Sandra Perez received her Master of Health Administration degree from SPPD in 1995, but her credentials don’t stop there. Sandra also holds an M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She was principal of Perez Consulting from 1994 to 2000, where she helped a variety of clients in the areas of administration, policy, and media. At Kaiser Permanente from 1992-1993, Perez helped the medically underserved with a special task force in Sacramento. She worked for then- assembly member and former Mayor of Sacramento Phil Isenberg in the state legislature from 1985 – 1990, conducted research for UC Davis’s Department of Health Nutrition, and served as a health educator for Migrant Child Education.

But she has really made her mark since receiving her master’s from SPPD. She has become a leader in developing tools and programs that advance healthcare awareness and knowledge among California residents.

Building on her healthcare administration and public policy background, Perez was recently appointed director of California’s Office of the Patient Advocate, where she works closely with the California Department of Managed Care to inform consumers about their rights and responsibilities as HMO members.

One of the primary tools used by the Office of the Patient Advocate to educate healthcare consumers is the California HMO Quality of Care Report Card, which is published by Perez’s office on an annual basis. This well-known patient advocate tool compares quality of treatment and member satisfaction among the state’s largest HMO providers.

The report card also provides information on how California HMOs measure up when compared to similar programs nationwide. Rated on a four-star scale from poor (one star) to excellent (four stars), the Office of the Patient Advocate’s highest ranking of any California HMO in 2006 was “good” – awarded to Kaiser Permanente in the areas of member rating and providing quality care. The report card also offers ratings of medical groups according to geographical location and “services for members who do not speak English.”

Another way Perez’s office imparts knowledge to its audience base is by offering consumer education programs. Available in English and Spanish and ranging in variety, programs include such unique offerings as health fairs on Tzu Chi and Taller de Informacion Sobre Cancer del Seno Para Mujeres con Discapacidades Fisicas (Breast Cancer Information For Women With Physical Disabilities). In 2006, the office also produced a pilot survey of disability access services provided by California health plans.

Before joining the Office of the Patient Advocate, Sandra worked to educate a different group – executive level state employees – as director of the California Executive Fellowship Program at CSU Sacramento. A part of the Center for California Studies, and sponsored in part by the Office of the Governor, Perez oversaw a unique continuing education program integrating professional experience with academic seminars at the graduate level.

Learn more about the SPPD’s Master of Health Administration degree.