News Release
Posted by The Molina Cares Accord

The MolinaCares Accord and UCLA Launch Health Equity Challenge

Program Grants $125,000 for UCLA Grad Students to Develop Health Equity Solutions


Caroline Zubieta, Caroline.Zubieta@MolinaHealthcare.com 562-951-1588

LOS ANGELES – Feb. 3, 2022 – The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”), in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of California (“Molina”), today announced a $125,000 grant to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) to engage a diverse group of UCLA graduate students in developing solutions to California’s most pressing health equity concerns through the Health Equity Challenge. This grant is the latest partnership in the $1.6 million MolinaCares California Equity and Accessibility Initiative, launched in 2021 to advance health equity throughout the state.

“MolinaCares understands from our work across California and the country that health disparities are widespread and require ongoing resources and solutions,” said Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California. “We are excited to partner with UCLA to invest in the public health leaders of tomorrow and spur creative thinking on how to solve persistent issues faced by vulnerable communities in California.”

Under the Health Equity Challenge, MolinaCares will enlist a group of graduate students at UCLA to develop realistic community-based solutions to a set of health equity problems identified by a panel of independent, California-based health care experts, including representatives of relevant state and local government agencies. The identified problems will emanate from the fields of health, behavioral health, and long-term care for children and adults of all ages and abilities.

“We know students can bring new insights and ideas to address some of our most pressing challenges,” said Kathryn Kietzman, Ph.D., project lead and director of the UCLA CHPR Health Equity Program. “In partnership with MolinaCares, mentors across the university, and California’s public health community, students will fully develop their ideas and have the chance to turn these ideas into action. We’re very excited to work with UCLA students in this way and give them a unique opportunity to make an impact on issues they care about.”

UCLA will coordinate and promote student participation in the Health Equity Challenge. Interested UCLA graduate students will submit proposals in February. Ten (10) students will be notified in March that they have been selected to receive a stipend of $2,500 and policy/program mentorship over a 10-week period. The solutions students develop will be submitted in June for review by the independent panel, which will select the two top ideas for Health Equity Challenge Awards.

A community organization identified during the policy/program mentorship in each winning proposal will receive an implementation grant of $50,000 and the student proposer will be eligible for an additional $2,500 to support their continued involvement in the selected projects. For details about this program, please visit https://healthequitychallenge.com/.

About The MolinaCares Accord:

Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc., The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities. The MolinaCares Accord funds such measures through The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc.

About Molina Healthcare of California:

Molina Healthcare of California has been providing government-funded care for over 40 years. The Company serves members through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Covered California (Marketplace). Molina’s service areas include Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County, and Imperial counties. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, served approximately 4.8 million members as of September 30, 2021. For more information about Molina Healthcare of California, visit MolinaHealthcare.com.