About Cecilia (pronounced “Sessy”)
Cecilia Oregón (formerly Cecilia Oregón Echeverría) is the executive director for Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy. In her role, Cecilia leads strategy and operations for the Institute. Her specific areas of expertise include access to health care for underserved populations as well as behavioral health, school-based health, and early childhood issues.
Cecilia joined Kaiser Permanente in 2013 as the director of safety net partnerships for the National Community Benefit program. In her role, Cecilia fostered the development and spread of national and regional safety net partnerships and helped accelerate the organization’s safety net grant strategy and initiatives. She transitioned to her current role in 2016.
Prior to Kaiser Permanente, Cecilia served in program officer roles for several foundations including the Blue Shield of California Foundation and The California Endowment where she managed grant portfolios focused on strengthening California’s healthcare safety net and improving access to health care. She has also served policy analyst at the California Healthcare Foundation, an analyst of social legislation for the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C., and a special projects associate for the Alameda County Public Health Department.
Cecilia has a bachelor’s degree in social welfare, a master’s in public policy, and a master’s in public health from University of California, Berkeley. She currently serves as the vice chair of the Alameda County First 5 Commission and sits on the boards of directors for the national School-based Health Alliance, Insure the Uninsured Project and Northern California Grantmakers.
Get to know Cecilia
What are your areas of policy expertise?
My current focus is on mental health and wellness including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma. I also focus on early childhood issues, school-based health, and health care for underserved populations.
Tell us about a few of your professional accomplishments.
In 2018, I received a Latino Heritage Leadership Award from California Senator Bob Wieckowski for my record of leadership and service to the Latinx community in California. I am also an alumnus of the Presidential Management Fellowship program and the Grantmakers in Health Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy.
What drives you in health policy?
I have focused my career and many of my board engagements on serving the underserved. Access to health services for children and adolescents has been a particular passion of mine. Having grown up in an underserved area of Los Angeles, I appreciate the extent of the need and am familiar with the barriers that people face when seeking services – especially immigrants and those with language barriers.
Outside of work, what interests you?
I have two great kids that I enjoy cooking for. Honestly, I have always enjoyed cooking and baking, but I admit that I wasn’t very good at it until a few years ago when I decided it was time to follow recipes. That was a brilliant decision, and the kids have been happy with the results.
When we aren’t sheltering in place due to pandemics, smoke, or other natural disasters, I enjoy traveling and seeing live music.