SAN DIEGO, Calif., July 30, 2021 – The MolinaCares Accord (“MolinaCares”), in collaboration
with Molina Healthcare of California (“Molina”), honored four San Diego residents for their
dedication to reducing health disparities and advocating for social equity. Each honoree received
a $5,000 grant through the MolinaCares Champions program to pay forward to the nonprofit
organization of their choice.
“We are pleased to recognize the leadership and service of these inspiring individuals who
demonstrate an unwavering commitment to serving our most vulnerable neighbors throughout
San Diego County,” said Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California.
“MolinaCares is grateful for the opportunity to celebrate these local heroes and further empower
their important work by establishing meaningful partnerships with their organizations.”
This year’s San Diego MolinaCares Champions are:
Cassie Bates of Ocean View: As a volunteer advocate at the San Diego Rescue Mission
(SDRM), Cassie Bates supports women participating in SDRM’s 12-month residential recovery
program and helps them achieve education, career, and housing goals. She has been certified
as a Revelation Wellness instructor since 2016 and hosts book studies and fitness classes for
free. At SDRM, Bates founded RevWel, a course that focuses on meditation, movement, and
breathing. She also worked with anti-trafficking organizations, offering free yoga and resources
to those they serve. Bates helps people who have experienced trauma heal physically and
mentally. She believes access to education and resources on fitness and health should be
available to all people, regardless of their background. Bates is donating her grant to SDRM.
Saw Paw Kay of San Diego: At 14, Saw Paw Kay became a member of Union of Pan Asian
Communities (UPAC)’s Teen Empowerment program, where he led numerous activities, including
neighborhood cleanups and clothing and food distributions for individuals without housing. Kay
grew from an enthusiastic volunteer to a hired employee at age 18. He was instrumental in
developing UPAC’s Neighborhood Enterprise Center (NEC), where youth can access jobs,
training, and mentorship. He also co-founded UPAC’s Taste of Culture event that teaches about
different ethnicities through food. At the start of the pandemic, Kay created momentum for UPAC’s
food distribution through the NEC and eventually started his own food distribution network. His
grant will be donated to UPAC.
Maria Barraza of Chula Vista: For more than 25 years, Maria Barraza has contributed her
leadership and health expertise to support others. She is a certified nurse assistant, certified
domestic violence counselor, and certified nutrition educator. Barraza is currently a nutrition
educator at Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego and works with the senior population to help
them maintain good health. She is well-known as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence
and people who need immigration support, have health questions, or need career assistance.
Barraza takes initiative to help people from all cultural, socioeconomic, or health backgrounds.
Her grant will benefit Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego.
Vincent Hall of San Diego: Since 2017, Vincent Hall has served on the board of Free to Thrive,
an organization that provides trauma-informed and comprehensive legal and other support
services to survivors of human trafficking. The nonprofit provides guidance to a population that is
often alienated and criminalized. Additionally, he is a longtime supporter of Planned Parenthood
of the Pacific Northwest, advocating for access to reproductive health care. Hall also engages in
San Diego State University’s Mentor Program, providing career advice to a diverse group of
students. He teaches networking and job search skills, connects students to accomplished
professionals, and provides constructive feedback on resumes and cover letters. Hall has
selected Free to Thrive as the recipient of his grant.
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,
About Molina Healthcare of California
Molina Healthcare of California has been providing government-funded care for 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
4.6 million members as of March 31, 2021. For more information about Molina Healthcare of
California, visit MolinaHealthcare.com.