Assistant Director and Chief Equity Officer, Health Services for Contra Costa County
Gilbert Salinas is the inaugural Chief Equity Officer and Assistant Director of the Contra Costa County Department of Health Services. He works to address racism and inequity of treatment and to foster inclusion, diversity, and health equity throughout the county health system and the county at large. He previously served as Chief Clinical Officer of the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, and has more than 10 years of experience in healthcare administration. Mr. Salinas is a Kaiser Permanente Safety Net Fellow with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).
What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest achievement and honor so far has been working with underserved communities. I’ve had the opportunity to work with patients with highly complex needs, people with disabilities, and at-risk youth ages 12 to 24. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and the love these communities have shown me.
What’s your first health-related memory?
Riding in an ambulance after being shot in the stomach. I asked the emergency medical technician if I would live or die. He responded with great compassion, kindness, and attentiveness, telling me, “You will live, but you have to keep talking to me.” He was right.
What's your secret vice?
When I can’t make it to the gym, my secret vice is to watch brainless television while I work out at home. I usually lie on my living room floor and combine yoga moves with some work with dumbbells. This allows me to decompress and laugh out loud while I work on my physical strength.
What life experience has taught or changed you the most?
My experience living in Cambridge for a year as fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. I had the chance to live with people from all over the world, learning about their cultures and healthcare systems. I also spent time learning from professors at Harvard.