Blue Shield of California Foundation appoints new trustee, Helen DuPlessis, MD, MPH

Dr. DuPlessis brings decades of leadership experience and a passion for children’s health to the Foundation’s work toward achieving health equity and ending domestic violence

SAN FRANCISCO (October 27, 2021) – Helen DuPlessis, MD, MPH, an accomplished physician executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience, has been appointed to serve on Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Board of Trustees. As part of the nine-person board, Dr. DuPlessis will help to ensure that the Foundation continues to fulfill its mission and vision. She begins a three-year term in January.

“Dr. DuPlessis brings to the Foundation valuable insights about the health and lives of children,” said Evelyn Dilsaver, chair of Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “Her commitment to caring for children at a holistic level as well as her broad leadership in many aspects of health care will provide an important perspective and expertise to our planning and discussions.”

Improving the lives of children, in particular addressing exposure to trauma, such as domestic violence, is core to the Foundation’s mission, which is to build lasting, equitable solutions that make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is multigenerational, and breaking the cycle requires that we ensure children can grow up in stable homes that are free of domestic violence and free of the inequities that can lead to violence. Helen brings essential skills and expertise to these issues,” said Debbie I. Chang, MPH, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation. “Dr. DuPlessis’ leadership in addressing social drivers as part of a holistic approach to improving family and community health is aligned with the Foundation’s mission, and her broad experience positions her as a strong contributor to the board.”

Dr. DuPlessis, a principal with Health Management Associates and a member of the Blue Shield of California Board of Trustees, was previously a pediatrician and senior advisor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. In addition to her time on the Blue Shield of California Board of Directors, Dr. DuPlessis has served on multiple local, state, and national committees and additional boards, including non-profit school health partnerships, professional organizations, quality improvement organizations, National Children’s Study National Advisory Committees, and other health programs in California. She was the first permanent chief medical officer of L.A. Care Health Plan.

“I have long admired the Foundation for its strategic and stunningly effective support of organizations working to advance health equity and to end domestic violence. The Foundation effectively wields its influence to shift the grantmaking paradigm toward sustained structural and policy change that transcends the impact of individual programs,” Dr. DuPlessis said. “I look forward to the opportunity to support this exceptional organization.”

Dr. DuPlessis has also served as chief medical officer for a large network of federally qualified health centers (FQHC) in south Los Angeles, where she built a quality improvement infrastructure, enhanced performance improvement revenues, instituted and certified patient-centered medical home model, and significantly expanded staffing and service scope.

Dr. DuPlessis will take the place on the board of Dilsaver, whose term ends in December. Upon Dilsaver’s departure, Kim Belshé will become the board chair and Ray Baxter will become vice chair.

Blue Shield of California Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that is funded entirely by Blue Shield of California. Learn more about Blue Shield of California Foundation and its Board of Trustees here.




About Blue Shield of California Foundation

Blue Shield of California Foundation supports lasting and equitable solutions to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. When we work together to remove the barriers to health and well-being, especially for Californians most affected, we can create a more just and equitable future. For more information, visit: