Molina Healthcare of California Celebrate Three Heroes Through Annual MolinaCares Community Champions Program


Each Honoree Receives $5,000 to Donate to Nonprofit Organization of Choice

SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 24, 2024 - Molina Healthcare of California recently celebrated three San Diego-area residents for their commitment to serving under-resourced populations and improving health equity in their communities. Through the annual MolinaCares Community Champions program, each honoree received a trophy and $5,000 grant to pay forward to the nonprofit organization of their choice. 

“The MolinaCares Community Champions award is an important way to recognize people who are making a difference in the health and well-being of communities in need throughout the San Diego area," said Abbie Totten, plan president of Molina Healthcare of California.

This year’s San Diego MolinaCares Community Champions are:  

Elsa Morales-Roth of San Diego serves as the first Latina executive director of the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF) where she champions the rights of cancer patients and helps refugees navigate the health care system and get connected to resources such as shelter, food, translation services and more. As co-lead of the cancer workgroup at the Border Health Consortium of the Californias, Morales-Roth spearheads public health initiatives and fosters international collaborations. As chair of the International Community Foundation, her dedication to serving vulnerable populations is unwavering. As a volunteer at Operation Artemis, Morales-Roth was pivotal in providing support to over 2,400 unaccompanied migrant children. She was named one of the San Diego Business Journal’s “40 Leaders Under 40” and Revista Binacional Magazine’s “Hispanic Leader in San Diego.” Morales-Roth’s grant will be donated to ENF.

LaCretia Kelly of La Mesa has served as volunteer co-chair of the board of directors at Doors of Change (DOC), where she has been instrumental in helping homeless youth get access to housing, health/mental health resources, employment opportunities and more. Kelly also volunteers for North Park Church’s Common Ground program, which focuses on mentoring youth and young adults. For the last four years, she has assisted with holiday food distributions. Kelly donates her time and financial resources to various organizations, including JC Penney’s Back to School program, where students are taken shopping for school clothes and shoes; Super Pantry, where she hands out food to those in need; and the Lindsay Community School’s Christmas program, supporting pregnant and parenting teens. Kelly’s grant will be donated to DOC.

Molina Healthcare of California Doors of Change Check Presentation

Carla Vanegas of National City has served as outreach director of San Diego Rescue Mission, (SDRM), having overcome her own crippling trauma, drug addiction and homelessness. In 2020, she volunteered with a homeless ministry through her local church. That led to a position with the Downtown San Diego Partnership, where she played a crucial role in helping hundreds access health care services and recovery resources. During this time, Vanegas volunteered with the SDRM, teaching a weekly Celebrate Recovery class. Her dedication and effectiveness led SDRM to offer her a job as the lead outreach worker serving the high number of unhoused individuals in Little Italy. In 2022, she was commended by the mayor and earned SDRM’s Above and Beyond Award for her advocacy work. Vanegas’s grant will be donated to SDRM.

Molina Healthcare of California San Diego Rescue Mission Check Presentation


About Molina Healthcare of California
Molina Healthcare of California has been providing government-funded care for over 40 years. The Company serves members through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Covered California (Marketplace). Molina’s service areas include Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County and Imperial counties. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, provides managed health care services under the Medicaid and Medicare programs, and through state insurance marketplaces. For more information about Molina Healthcare of California, visit