My Health LA Program Advocate Ray Plaza, who has spent more than 32 years working for the LA County Department of Health Services, is retiring this month. Ray has had a long and impactful career at the department, tirelessly working on behalf of vulnerable populations and increasing access to care.
“I am finishing up at a real high point in my career,” he said.
Ray started at DHS in 1989 after graduating from the UCLA School of Public Health. His first job was as a health educator in the department’s AIDS program office at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He went on to work with the Community Health Plan, improving clinics’ performance and ensuring access standards were met.
He spent the last decade of his career with Healthy Way LA and then My Health LA, helping start the program and serving as a program advocate to problem-solve for clinics and patients alike. He also led the program’s work on communications, designed and conducted One-e-App trainings, coordinated specialty care access and more. Recently, he redesigned the website and the CP Connection newsletter, started the first ever text campaigns, managed a mobile teleretinal screening project and helped onboard dozens of clinics to LANES.
“Everything I did in LA County prepared me to do this job,” he said. “It was a great fit. It was extremely satisfying working with the community partners and being part of a program that really made a difference in people’s lives in the community.”
Ray said he will miss the work but will miss his colleagues even more. “The best part of my career was the people I worked with and for,” he said. He is starting his retirement with a trip to the Carolinas and is planning another one to Europe.
Ray will be missed by everyone at My Health LA!