Dulce Esteves Fernandez first earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Mount St. Mary’s University in 1994 and has also been certified as a public health nurse by the California Board of Registered Nursing and as a master trainer through the California Department of Health Care Services. She began her career with a year and a half working as a hospital nurse before transitioning into home health care. In 1999, she made another transition, joining the L.A. Care Health Plan as a senior facility site review specialist, a position she held until 2013. Becoming the manager for facility site review in 2008, Ms. Fernandez went on to serve as the senior manager for facility site review from 2016 to 2018 and the director of provider support services from 2018 to 2019.
Today, Ms. Fernandez contributes her expertise in quality management, facility site review, disease management, Medicaid, physician relations and medical compliance to the Inland Empire Health Plan, where she has excelled as the director of quality management since 2019. In her current role, she is responsible for potential quality incidence, facilities site review and medical record review processes, the quality management budget, and overseeing and training their 25 staff members and new hires. She is also closely involved with several committees with Inland Empire Health, including the peer review committee, the quality management committee and the quality improvement subcommittee.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Fernandez intends to stay on in her current position, working to continue to improve the state of health care. She has been particularly interested in how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased emphasis on quality in the field. Her ultimate goal is to help the Inland Empire Health Plan be a gold standard for quality among health plans. Attributing much of her success to her drive, Ms. Fernandez is also incredibly grateful to the mentors she has had throughout her career and considers the highlight of her career to be the collaborations that have led to the solid professional network that she has established for herself.
Standing out in the health care industry, Ms. Fernandez has made a name for herself through her passion for her work. She is proud to work for a company that truly cares about serving the communities in their area and changing the way that health care is delivered. Noting the importance of continued improvement and a focus on quality, she strives to grow as a responsible leader who looks at problems from both her perspective and the perspectives of others and to not let personal judgement and prejudice influence the care she provides.
For her excellence, Ms. Fernandez has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. In 2017, she was named both a Professional of the Year and a Woman of Excellence by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide, having previously been inducted into the Tier of Excellence by Oxford Who’s Who in 2015 and recognized as a featured member of Covington Who’s Who in 2014. Earlier, Ms. Fernandez had received several accolades from the California Department of Health Care Services, including both a Most Improved Quality Award and a Special Acknowledgement Quality Award in 2008.
Feeling strongly about the importance of work-life balance, Ms. Fernandez enjoys spending time with her friends and family, which includes her two children, Philip and Charlene; her brother; and her mother, Rosalinda Esteves Fernandez, DVM, who is a veterinarian. She notes that her mother has been her biggest role model, support and inspiration throughout her life, and demonstrated to both her and her brother the importance of hard work. Furthermore, Ms. Fernandez also spends her free time scrap booking, playing the piano and traveling.