Jonathan Freedman

Course: Health Reform: Policy, Research, and Implementation Issues


Jonathan Freedman works with plans, providers, associations, and governmental and non-governmental entities in the areas of public health, safety net health care, and public policy. His work focuses on strategic planning, public health improvement and transformation, and the health care safety net. He is regularly sought after for complex strategic and operational planning situations.


Jonathan held a variety of management and leadership roles for more than 25 years with the County of Los Angeles, including Chief Deputy Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH). While at DPH, Jonathan was directly responsible for more than 4,000 FTEs and a $900 million budget encompassing the County’s delivery of public health services including surveillance and assessment, communicable disease control, substance abuse services, clinical public health services, maternal and child health, environmental health, and numerous other programs.


Jonathan was also the Chief of Strategy at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the nation. He also served as L.A. Care’s interim Chief Operating Officer. He led L.A. Care’s entry into the commercial market with the launch of L.A. Care Covered on the California health insurance marketplace, Covered California. He was also intimately involved with L.A. Care’s substantial growth related to the Medicaid expansion and a dual demonstration known as CalMediConnect, and forging initiatives with partners regarding the justice-involved population and homelessness.


Jonathan has led many high-profile initiatives, including the public health response to the 1994 Northridge earthquake; Los Angeles County’s Master Tobacco Settlement negotiation; solutions to funding crises in the Los Angeles County safety net; and the 2010 H1N1 influenza response.


He has also led many special projects on behalf of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Chief Executive Officer including: negotiation of the County’s interests in California Medicaid Waivers; revenue and tax options for local government; workers’ compensation and pension reform legislation; development of a successful partnership between the Los Angeles and the University of California to re-open the MLK Hospital in South Los Angeles; and negotiation of state-county fiscal and program realignment.


Jonathan has received outstanding leadership awards from the California State Association of Counties and Los Angeles County. His work has been published in Health Affairs, and he is a contributor to Public Health Practice: What Works by Oxford University Press.
Jonathan was raised in Los Angeles and holds degrees in political science and public health from UCLA.