Shawnalynn Smith Thomas
Los Angeles, CA
An experienced healthcare operations and managed care professional, Shawnalynn Smith Thomas has deep expertise in program compliance, policy development, support for safety net providers, community engagement, and strategic planning to improve the access to and quality of programs and services available to underserved and vulnerable populations.
Before joining HMA, she led an accountable community for health project in San Gabriel Valley as a consultant helping to assess the collaborative’s future direction, governance structure, and strategic priorities ranging from health access and mental health to homelessness and socio-economic issues.
In addition, she spent nearly 20 years in multiple management roles with L.A. Care, the largest publicly operated health plan in the nation. She managed the Healthy Kids Program fostering a 10-year public-private partnership with more than 50 community-based organizations, county agencies, foundations, and other stakeholders comprising the Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) Coalition of Greater Los Angeles. She led CHI and Healthy Kids grant management, request for proposal (RFP) development and selection process, policy change, contractual and regulatory compliance, product management, and contingency planning activities.
Shawnalynn also spearheaded L.A. Care’s project to discontinue the state-sponsored Healthy Families Program (HFP) and provide a seamless transition for nearly 200,000 HFP enrollees to Medi-Cal. Moreover, she directed a cross-functional team in launching L.A. Care’s first large group product—the PASC-SEIU Health Plan for In-Home Supportive Services Workers. This included analyzing operational processes, developing workflows, policies, procedures, regulatory filings and compliance reviews as well as establishing the COBRA premium payment and disenrollment process and the benefit configuration for the product’s Individual Conversion Plan. She also facilitated the project initiative to develop policies and procedures for the launch of L.A. Care’s Exchange product—L.A. Care Covered.
In addition, she led efforts to create L.A. Care’s annual state and federal legislative program and processes for conducting policy analyses, establishing legislative and policy positions, and developing recommendations in collaboration with business units, Medi-Cal Plan Partners, and community stakeholders. She also has significant experience writing reports, policy briefs, issue papers, RFPs, and web content.
Shawnalynn began her career with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducting multi-state program audits, evaluations, and compliance reviews of the Medicaid and Medicare programs as well as state health reform efforts. After GAO, she held management positions in health policy, strategic analysis and quality management with managed care organizations.
She earned a Master of Public and International Affairs degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed the Leadership L.A. Fellowship as well as certificate programs in project management and health business development. She earned bachelor’s degrees from San Francisco State University in journalism and international relations.
A long-time resident of Los Angeles, CA, Shawnalynn enjoys traveling, domestically and internationally, and spending time in the mountains of Lake Arrowhead, CA, with her husband.