Leadership Academies

DHCS Academy

DHCS Academy is a custom-designed, comprehensive leadership program for managers and supervisors in the Department of Health Care Services. Its purpose is to improve the capacity of managers to meet the increasingly challenging task of effectively and efficiently administering the Medi-Cal program.

The DHCS Academy curriculum provides a comprehensive overview of the Medi-Cal program and its critical role in the California health care system. It addresses Medi-Cal eligibility and enrollment, benefit design, how services are provided to beneficiaries, and how Medi-Cal is financed. The curriculum also covers state operations and deepens participants’ understanding of the divisions and offices of DHCS and other state government entities involved in the administration of Medi-Cal. Finally, the curriculum addresses how Medicaid agencies have become increasingly sophisticated purchasers of health care, highlighting innovations in integrated care models and alternative payment arrangements that shift health care plans and providers away from structures that reward volume to those that reward value or outcomes.

During the program, all students complete a leadership project and they present their findings at the end of the Academy. The leadership projects focus on policy or operational issues that are outside of the students’ immediate area of responsibility and expertise. Students apply what they’ve learned in the Academy program, stretch their thinking, and engage in critical analysis to propose innovative approaches to current DHCS operational or policy challenges.

To date, nearly 300 participants have graduated from DHCS Academy.

“The DHCS Academy was an extraordinary experience. The instructors did a terrific job in setting the national context and dialogue around major changes in the health delivery systems, specifically, around Medicaid. The cohort has created a network of professional relationships with our peers that would not have existed without this opportunity.” – Cohort 1


DMHC Academy

DMHC Academy is a custom-designed, comprehensive leadership program for managers, supervisors and key staff in the Department of Managed Health Care. Its purpose is to increase the understanding and capacity of participants to implement critical policies and decisions related to managed care.

The DMHC Academy curriculum covers the history of DMHC and the legal framework for its work, the roles of DMHC’s various divisions, the market influences and policy issues it faces, its role in state government and the role of DMHC’s state partners. It also addresses how DMHC sets priorities and assesses its effectiveness to continually advance its mission, how it works with key stakeholder groups, and the impact the Department has in the managed health care market.

During the program, all students complete a “Value & Insight Project” and they present their project findings at the end of the Academy. The projects focus on policy or operational issues that are outside of the students’ immediate area of responsibility and expertise. Students apply what they’ve learned in the Academy program, stretch their thinking, and engage in critical analysis to propose innovative approaches to current DMHC operational or policy challenges.


Covered California Academy

Covered California Academy is a custom-designed leadership program intended to deepen the capacity of managers to successfully manage and lead the organization. The Academy is designed to develop leaders who:

  • Are well-prepared to achieve the mission, vision, values and strategic goals of Covered California;
  • Understand the intricacies of health care insurance and can navigate the organization through the complex changes and challenges facing state health benefit exchanges;
  • Demonstrate leadership skills that foster nimble and innovative thinking and action; and
  • Appreciate and demonstrate cross-divisional collaboration, trust-building, and decision-making.

The Covered California Academy curriculum provides a detailed overview of the marketplace and the policy context for the role that Covered California plays and the work it does. It addresses the nature of health insurance and the implications for consumers and markets and explores California’s plans, payers and health care delivery system. The curriculum also focuses on leadership and innovation, including what it means to lead in a complex, turbulent environment. Participants also learn about trends and projections moving into the future.

All students complete a leadership project and they present their findings at the end of the Academy. The leadership projects focus on policy or operational issues that are outside of the student’s immediate area of responsibility and expertise. Students apply what they’ve learned in the Academy program, stretch their thinking, and engage in critical analysis to provide Covered California with potential solutions to current challenges, and/or to raise awareness within the organization regarding important topics.


Academy Student Testimonials


DHCS Academy testimonials:

  • It was a great training class, but couldn’t be accomplished without the expertise and dedication of your team. I thank you all for taking the time to pass on some of that knowledge to us. Your commitment to making this class a successful experience is much appreciated.
  • What a fantastic program! Best I have attended, by far, in my 5 years with DHCS. I intend to remain involved and will drop in occasionally to listen in on presentations in the future. All of you were just outstanding.
  • All of you did a fantastic job with the DHCS Academy… without a doubt, this was the best and most impactful program in which I have been involved since my academic medical years! I have let our upper DHCS hierarchy know this. I intend to be a great ambassador for your program. 
  • This course was amazing. I learned so many things that, even though I’ve been with the DHCS for over 23 years, I wasn’t aware of. Thanks again for the training. Every speaker and presenter was fantastic. I’ve already recommended the course be taken by others in my branch.
  • It was a pleasure to meet all my fellow students and to be taught by such informed and experienced trainers. I hope to see y’all again soon.
  • Without a doubt I would recommend the Academy to others. This has been very educational – even after 29 years in the Department, I still was exposed to new information about DHCS and Medi-Cal.
  • A great experience to be a part of – thanks to all of you! I am looking forward to affecting change and outcomes in the department with my new knowledge.
  • The DHCS Academy was by-far the best learning, and thought provoking experience I have had in my 25 years with DHCS.
  • I now have a much better understanding of the big picture of Medicaid, its functions, and how it’s financed. I understand the priorities of DHCS and the issues confronting Medicaid. I have a better handle on how senior management systematically look at problems. And I am able to speak with confidence and clarity when presenting to the public.
  • The Academy experience helped me connect and work collaboratively with many areas in the Department to carry out my unit’s goals and responsibilities. I gained a better understanding of DHCS’ overall vision and the various programs and operations that take place throughout the Department. I believe that I have been able to integrate my unit’s work in the overall big picture perspective and conduct a more thorough analysis in the decision-making process.

Covered California Academy testimonials:

  • I was honored to be nominated and really enjoyed the Academy. I learned a great deal, gained confidence in my analytical, presentation and leadership skills, and was very happy to have met and connected with so many from other divisions.
  • I truly appreciated the Academy experience and I will take much of it with me for the remainder of my career.
  • The LRI staff are AMAZING. I really appreciated the program and marketplace understandings. It was also invaluable learning from fellow participants.
  • The Academy was a great opportunity to learn about Covered California and healthcare generally.
  • The Academy is great for networking, great to deepen knowledge about health care and Covered California and keep our finger on the pulse.
  • This was an amazing collaborative experience where I learned the product and made invaluable contacts that I will feel comfortable reaching out to in the future.

DMHC Academy testimonials:

  • I absolutely recommend the Academy – everything from the information gained to the networking has been priceless and as much as I cursed the final project and stressed about doing a good job on the presentation, it was super rewarding!
  • The Academy was overall a great experience.
  • I would recommend the Academy to all of my colleagues.
  • I went in without really knowing what to expect, but I felt that the Academy was informative, interesting, well run and valuable.
  • I think everyone at DMHC should attend the Academy, if possible.
  • I would absolutely recommend the Academy to others! Great way to get to know others within the Department. Networking and extremely informative on so many levels! Thank you for affording me the opportunity to participate.
  • I plan to share with my entire team what I’ve learned in the classes.
  • I found the overall experience very beneficial to my professional growth.
  • I definitely recommend the Academy. I learned more about the DMHC inner workings. I also found that learning about my coworkers was invaluable.
  • This was a great learning experience.