Welcome to the twenty-eighth episode of The Gap Minders! Today, we are so fortunate to be able to speak with Dr. James Cruz, who is the Chief Medical Officer of the Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan!Listen to “Episode 28 | Dr. James Cruz, Chief Medical Officer, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan” on Spreaker.
In this episode, one framed by a story of ascent and access, Nancy and Jose are joined in studio by Dr. James Cruz, the Chief Medical Officer of the Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, a position which puts him front and center in providing high-quality and accessible healthcare to many Californians. Whether it is Medicare or Medicaid eligible residents, Blue Shield serves all while focusing on healthcare inequality and the gaps that exist within the state and San Diego. This is the access story that is endemic to the Blue Shield mission.
But what about Dr. Cruz’s mission and ethos? It is fueled by his incredible ascent. The son of a migrant farm worker from California’s Central Valley has become the Chief Medical Officer of one of the preeminent health care providers in America. The son who experienced the work of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers – learning first-hand about dignity and respect. The son who saw his Dad take flight by joining the Air Force and taking his family off the farm to allow his children to climb. The son who remembers vividly his Golden Book encyclopedias at age three and the intellectual curiosity stimulated by the pictures, not the words! The son who always knew he would have a career in healthcare. And how did he know this? Informed by his experiences of traveling to Tijuana for dental care and healthcare – where Spanish was spoken. Informed by experience – this is Dr. James Cruz.
Quite the episode and here are some other amazing takeaways from the interview with Dr. James Cruz:
- His well-informed view that social needs drive healthcare outcomes
- The importance of mental health care and services being integrated into healthcare
- How the Dennis the Menace joke book given to him by his father made him a better doctor
- The answers to the Rapid Fire questions!
A truly uplifting, educational, and impactful interview from a phenomenal gap minder. Thank you, Dr. James Cruz, for your passionate and experience-informed approach to healthcare for Californians, healthy citizens and for joining us on The Gap Minders.
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If you have any questions or want to contact Nancy or Jose, please send an email to email@example.com. Thank you for listening.
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