Advocating for Children
Advocating for Children
While the Partnership for Children started as a program within the Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC) in 2007, it is now an independent nonprofit organization that works in partnership in partnership with CHPCC.
CHPCC has been advocating on behalf of children with life-threatening conditions and addressing gaps in services at the state and local level since 2001. In partnership with the California’s Department of Health Care Services, CHPCC launched a Medi-Cal Pediatric Palliative Care Waiver Program in 2009, enabling children to access a system of care combining curative or life-prolonging treatments with in-home hospice and palliative care services, without the hospice eligibility requirement of a six-month or less prognosis.
Jennifer Ramirez, Executive Director founded Partnership for Children as its own independent organization in April 2016 and is responsible for the vision, strategy, and delivery of Partnership for Children services. Her passion for improving children’s access to medical care was born out of her personal experiences with her daughter, who has complex medical conditions. Jennifer became director of Partnership for Children in 2011 when it was a program of Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC), for which she served as Deputy Director. Over the first four years as director, Jennifer more than tripled the number of children and families served and the transportation and financial support services provided. As Deputy Director of CHPCC, Jennifer advocated statewide to increase access to pediatric hospice and palliative care services and to address gaps in services. Prior to CHPCC, Jennifer worked for over fourteen years in the nonprofit independent living movement, advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, including those with serious illnesses, at Central Coast Center for Independent Living (CCCIL). Jennifer spent the latter five years of her work with CCCIL as Deputy Director, overseeing internal operations and directing the Independent Living Services Program as well as the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) program, expanding services to people with TBI, and facilitating support groups for TBI survivors. Jennifer served two terms as President of the Human Care Alliance (HCA), a partnership of over sixty nonprofit organizations in Santa Cruz County, California collaborating to maintain a comprehensive safety net of services for the community, and is currently a member of the Hospice of the Valley Professional Advisory Council. Jennifer and her husband, Ralph, live in Salinas and have two daughters.
Michelle Carlos, Family Services Coordinator joined CHPCC officially in July 2014 after volunteering with the organization for nine months. Michelle brings over five years of experience in office support and project coordination, previously working at Natividad Medical Center in Monterey County. Michelle coordinates Partnership for Children direct family services, including transportation, financial support, and community referrals.