Rebecca Flournoy, senior health policy leader at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, brings more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit, government, and philanthropic sectors. At Kaiser Permanente, she tracks health policy developments, facilitates discussions with leaders across the organization, leads policy research, and shares information, perspectives, and recommendations on telehealth and digital equity, integrated care, housing and health, economic security, health equity, and other topics. In previous roles at PolicyLink, the Alameda County Public Health Department, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and as a consultant, she has led research and advocacy efforts promoting health equity at local, state, and federal levels. One campaign, to support community leaders in developing grocery stores and markets in underserved low-income communities, resulted in more than $220 million in grants and more than $1 billion in private sector investments. She has led advocacy trainings for community-based coalitions, published in peer-reviewed journals, and facilitated and presented at many meetings and conferences. Her philanthropic experience includes working with grant-making committees, developing grant guidelines, vetting grantees, and evaluating philanthropic initiatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Get to know Rebecca
What are your areas of policy expertise?
I’ve worked in many areas related to health equity and community health, including affordable housing and homelessness, healthy food access, economic security, indoor and outdoor air quality, and transportation access. During the pandemic, I very quickly expanded my knowledge about contact tracing and Covid-19. I’ve also worked on Medicare, integrated care, access and affordability, and telehealth.
Tell us about a few of your professional accomplishments.
I bring more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit, government, and philanthropic sectors. At Kaiser Permanente, I’ve been helping advance our housing for health work, writing and speaking on the issue and leading internal discussions on expanding our impact. I’ve led internal processes to define policy principles and priorities for several issue areas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I co-led cross-departmental discussions to identify opportunities for supporting public health, which resulted in a large grant supporting contact tracing in California. And I’m launching a new series of briefs explaining key components of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care and coverage model.
While working at PolicyLink, I launched a new program area on access to healthy food. I conducted research, developed reports, and and co-led a multi-year policy advocacy campaign that has resulted in more than $220 million in grants and more than $1 billion in private sector investments to help community leaders develop grocery stores and markets in underserved low-income communities. More than 1,000 healthy food businesses now have been launched across 35 states.
In various roles, I’ve helped shape policies at federal, state, and local levels, and I’ve also launched and evaluated philanthropic initiatives. I’ve developed many reports on health policy topics and published articles in Health Affairs, Public Health Reports, Maternal and Child Health Journal, and the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
What drives you in health policy?
Across multiple positions, health equity has been an important part of my work. In projects to address racial and economic inequities, I’ve worked on healthy food access, indoor and outdoor air quality, affordable housing, public transit and health, and economic and workforce development.
I’ve also been a Kaiser Permanente member for 20 years and have seen first-hand the advantages of easy, well-coordinated, outcomes-focused care. I’m glad to have opportunities to share our experiences and perspectives, as an integrated health system, in hopes that even more people can benefit.
Outside of work, what interests you?
I enjoy hiking with family and friends, bicycling around town, reading interesting articles and books, and finding great new recipes. Like so many others, during the Covid-19 pandemic I became an avid sourdough bread baker.