Frequently Asked Questions

To help you better understand CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates, we have assembled a list of frequently asked questions and provided the answer. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to use our "Contact Us form on this website. 

What is CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates?

CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates is a new 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that is dedicated to advancing the mission of community health centers through state and federal advocacy. CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates represents more than 1,100 community health centers that provide care to 1 in 7 Californians. CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates is an affiliate of the California Primary Care Association.

Does CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates represent me?

CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates represents community clinics and health centers across California, including CPCA members. Even if your health center has not adopted the CaliforniaHealth+ brand, we still stand for your values, patients and community.  Advocates is dedicated to advancing the mission of community health centers through state and federal advocacy.

Why was it important to create a 501(c)(4) organization?

The California Primary Care Association Board of Directors authorized the creation of a new affiliate, CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates, to take the community health center advocacy agenda to a new level. Since CPCA was founded, its advocacy efforts have continued to grow and at this point, CPCA is starting to outgrow the limits placed on it as a 501(c)(3) charity. As a 501(c)(4), Advocates can engage in an unlimited amount of direct and grassroots lobbying and start to engage political candidates and political events in a meaningful way. Using a 501(c)(4) corporate structure for advocacy purposes is very common for membership organizations and trade associations that have grown beyond their 501(c)(3) roots.

Who works at CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates?

Carmela Castellano-Garcia is the President and CEO of CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates and leads a team of government affairs professionals under the terms of a Resource Sharing Agreement with the California Primary Care Association.

Where is the CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates office?

CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates office is co-located with CPCA at 1231 I Street, Suite 400, in Sacramento, CA.

Will anything change for CPCA members?

Other than new phone numbers and e-mail addresses for some staff, CPCA members should not expect to see any changes in their relationship with CPCA or their Government Affairs team. However, Advocates provides an exciting new platform that will allow health centers to take their advocacy to a new level. 501(c)(4) organizations like Advocates, can engage in an unlimited amount of direct and grassroots lobbying and start to engage political candidates and political events in a meaningful way.

Who is on the Board of Directors?

The California Primary Care Association Board of Directors has designated nine healthcare leaders to the CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates Board of Directors. The directors include: CPCA Board Chair Tracy Ream, CPCA Immediate Past Chair Ben Flores, CPCA Board Chair-Elect Naomi Fuchs, CPCA CEO Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Shasta Community Health Center CEO Dean Germano, Gardner Family Health Network CEO Reymundo Espinoza, Livingston Community Health CEO Leslie McGowan, El Proyecto del Barrio CEO Corrine Sanchez, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California CEO Kathy Kneer. 

How is CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates funded?

CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates has been awarded a grant by the California Primary Care Association to advance the mission of community health centers through 501(c)(3) permissible lobbying and advocacy activities. In addition, CPCA members have the option to direct 25% of their annual dues to CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates through the annual dues process. CPCA and Advocates have an “Agency Agreement” in place that allows CPCA to collect dues money on behalf of Advocates.

Is CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates a Political Action Committee (PAC)?

CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates is not a Political Action Committee (PAC). Advocates is a 501(c)(4) organization and as such, may create a Political Action Committee (PAC) if it elects to engage in political candidate activity. As a 501(c)(4), Advocates can also create a 527 organization, sometimes referred to as a “Super PAC.” Currently, Advocates is only engaging in 501(c)(3) permissible lobbying and advocacy activities. It does not have a PAC or a Super PAC.

I want to be an advocate for community health centers, how do I get involved?

If you want to advance the mission of community health centers and improve the health of our communities, visit www.HealthPlusAdvocates.org and click “Become an Advocate” in the top right corner. Our new web page will link you in to our network of advocates where we will ask you to take a few minutes each week to complete simple tasks that have a meaningful impact and positive change.