J. Mario Molina, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Molina Healthcare

Western University of Health Sciences will honor Molina Healthcare at its 35th annual fundraising gala, “A Tribute to Caring,” Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California.

“Molina Healthcare mirrors WesternU’s own core value of a humanistic approach to care by placing patient needs first,” said WesternU Senior Vice President Thomas G. Fox, PhD. “Molina is a vital health care resource for growing numbers of adults, families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities. The pivotal role that Molina plays in organizing and improving the delivery of quality, accessible services for approximately 3.5 million members across the country is truly worthy of recognition, and reflects well on Molina’s values and commitment.”

Molina Healthcare will receive WesternU’s Access to Caring Award, which honors organizations that make a significant contribution to advancing health care access and availability to people in underserved communities.

“It’s a great honor for a health care organization like ours that has been around now for 35 years as an anchor in the Inland Empire,” said Molina Healthcare President and Chief Executive Officer J. Mario Molina, MD. “Our mission is to provide access to health care for low-income people who are receiving some form of government assistance. It’s the reason we exist.”

WesternU and Molina Healthcare were each founded by visionary leaders. WesternU President Emeritus Philip Pumerantz, PhD, opened the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WesternU’s founding college) in 1977 with an emphasis on producing humanistic, compassionate and skillful caregivers.

Emergency room physician C. David Molina, MD, noticed that low-income, uninsured or non-English speaking patients were coming to the emergency room in need of general health care services. Without family doctors, they were not always getting the right care and information. These underserved families deserved better, and Dr. Molina responded by founding Molina Healthcare in 1980. He opened a clinic in Long Beach, California to provide low-income individuals and families with a place to get personalized health care from Molina doctors.

After Dr. Molina’s death in 1996, his son, Dr. J. Mario Molina, assumed leadership of Molina Healthcare, keeping alive the tradition of its commitment to physician management.

Dr. J. Mario Molina and his family have grown the company from $100 million in revenue in 1996 to $9.7 billion in 2014. They led the company through a successful initial public offering in 2003, making Molina Healthcare a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

“My father knew Dr. Pumerantz when he first started WesternU,” Molina said. “If you look at the history of that organization, nobody believed it would get off the ground. He took over an empty shopping mall. He basically started with nothing and built that into a health care campus. There are similarities. Both men were very entrepreneurial. Both men had a vision that nobody else could see at the time, and both of them were right.”

Molina Healthcare’s mission is to provide high-quality health services to financially vulnerable families and individuals covered by government programs. Molina Healthcare has health plans, medical clinics and a health information management solution. No other organization of its kind does all three.

Molina Healthcare arranges for the delivery of health care services, and offers health information management solutions to millions of individuals and families who receive care through Medicaid, Medicare, and other government-funded programs in 17 states and two U.S. territories. At the core of this Fortune 500 company is the belief that when it comes to health care, everyone should be treated like family.

Dr. Molina and his siblings all worked at Molina clinics while growing up — sweeping floors, filing papers and stocking shelves. John C. Molina, JD, is Molina Healthcare’s Chief Financial Officer, and Martha Molina Bernadett, MD, is Executive Vice President of Research and Development and president and founder of The Molina Foundation.

“Martha and I came back to work in the clinics as physicians, so this was always a part of my life. John has been here his entire life,” Molina said. “It’s sort of my family’s mission, if you think about it. We wouldn’t exist without our patients. They are at the center of what we do.”