Noha Aboelata, MD, is founder and CEO both of Roots Community Health Center (Roots), a 501(c)3 community health center licensed by the state of California Department of Health Services sec. 1204(a), and the Roots Community Health Alliance (Roots Alliance), a 501(c)6 professional association comprised of Safety Net providers committed to the care of the underserved. She is a board certified family practice physician, an experienced leader and manager of health care institutions, and an advocate committed to eliminating health disparities among low-income populations in East Oakland and surrounding communities. As CEO of Roots, Dr. Aboelata is responsible for overall organizational strategic direction, programmatic design, contracting and oversight, leadership and management including oversight of financial management, HR management, and community partnerships.
Before founding Roots and Roots Alliance, Dr. Aboelata served in a variety of executive management positions for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).
For five years, from 2001 through 2006, Dr. Aboelata was Associate Medical Officer for Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC), an FQHC located in the Alameda County, California, city of Hayward. In that position, in conjunction with the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Aboelata supervised over 60 clinical staff at four clinical sites. Her responsibilities included recruiting, hiring and orienting provider and nursing staff, conducting performance evaluations, and deciding and enforcing disciplinary actions. Dr. Aboelata also played an integral role in the establishment of a new main clinical site, a new school-based site, and two dental clinics – health care capacity expansion projects for which she handled design, planning, licensing, setup, marketing, and staffing.
To further improve patient access to care, Dr. Aboelata undertook the creation of a Centralized Triage (call center) for all clinical sites, a “Fast Track” (urgent care) clinic at the main clinical sites, and negotiated physician and sub-specialists employment contracts (to insure patient access to specialty care). Dr. Aboelata also served as TVHC’s primary point of contact with pharmaceutical and medical supply companies to insure the maximum utilization of indigent drug and discount drug purchasing programs. To further contain TVHC’s pharmaceutical costs, Dr. Aboelata instituted pharmacy utilization review and other procedures to ensure cost-effective pharmacy spending. While at TVHC, Dr. Aboelata also spearheaded collaborations with other community health clinics, and co-chaired the Clinical IT Council for the network of eight community health centers in Alameda County.
During another five year period, beginning in 2007 (and undertaken in tandem with the founding of Roots), Dr. Aboelata served as Consultant Chief Medical Officer for the Native American Health Center (NAHC) in Oakland, California, an FQHC that provides comprehensive services to improve the health and well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives and residents of the surrounding communities, with respect for cultural and linguistic differences. Dr. Aboelata worked directly with NAHC’s CEO and executive management team on a variety of clinical, financial and medical-legal matters. In recognition of her efforts, Dr. Aboelata was appointed NAHC’s interim Chief Medical Officer. At NAHC, Dr. Aboelata oversaw four clinical departments and assisted the respective department directors on clinical programs, personnel, billing and coding, medical-legal matters, and compliance. She advised NAHC’s leadership team on organizational infrastructure, communication, revenue, and new programs. She helped with the planning and budgeting and staffing needs that enabled NAHC to transition into a new facility that doubled its service capacity. And she frequently served as a surrogate for the CEO in representing the interests and work of NAHC in public and private settings.
In addition to her senior executive roles — and building on her substantial experience in facility design and preparation for facility licensure — Dr. Aboelata has engaged in extensive Medical Management Consulting (2005 to 2013). As a medical management consultant, Dr. Aboelata has helped the management teams of various health care organizations and other medical entities design and implement new programs, evaluate and improve the efficiency of established clinic procedures, improve quality of care and cultural competence, and ensure compliance and quality assurance.
Dr. Aboelata’s professional career as an executive-team leader, public advocate, and healthcare provider, is defined by her unwavering commitment to increasing access to health care for the residents of underserved communities in northern California’s East Bay.
One of Dr. Aboelata’s early initiatives (2000) was to apply for and obtain the official designation of the East Oakland communities of Fruitvale, Fremont, Eastmont, and Melrose as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). This designation paved the way for increasing primary care services in these communities through several mechanisms, including eligibility for state and federal loan repayment programs. In 2001, Dr. Aboelata built on this success to obtain the same designation for the Alameda County communities of Ashland, Brookfield Village, Castro Valley South, Elmhurst, Hayward Northeast, San Leandro North Central and San Lorenzo East.
Dr. Aboelata received her B.S. degree from the University of California Santa Barbara (1993) and her medical doctorate from Howard University (1998) where she was honored as a Trustee Scholar. She served as Chief Resident of the Family Practice Residency Program Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, Pomona, California (2000-2001) and as a National Health Service Corps Fellow from 2003 to 2005. Dr. Aboelata has a strong verbal command of Spanish and cares for her Spanish speaking patients in their native language.