Incoming CEO: Rafael Vaquerano

Gardner Health Services has announced its choice for its next Chief Executive Officer. After a year-long search, Rafael Vaquerano has been tapped to replace Reymundo C. Espinoza, who is retiring in January 2024. 

Vaquerano most recently served as the Vice President of Practice Development and Innovation for John Muir Health. Previous held roles include Director of the FQHC at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, System Director of Patient Access and Revenue Operations at Alameda Health System, and Clinics Manager at San Mateo Medical Center. Vaquerano joins Gardner Health Services with over seventeen years of healthcare experience where his leadership has supported providers and staff in meeting the needs and demands of patients, community members, and achieving organizational objectives. 

“I am humbled and honored, but above all, extremely grateful to lead California’s first community health center established in 1967 during the Civil Rights movement,” expressed Vaquerano.

Vaquerano received a Bachelor of Science in biology/biological sciences from Notre Dame de Namur University and a Master of Public Health from the University of New England. Vaquerano previously served as Vice President of the Board for Youth ALIVE!, an organization focused on the prevention, intervention, and healing of gun violence.

Dr. Noe Lozano, Gardner Health Services’ Board Chair, released the following statement after Vaquerano was ultimately selected as CEO:

”Congratulations to Rafael Vaquerano on being named the next CEO of Gardner Health Services. We welcome Mr. Vaquerano and look forward to working together to provide patients and communities with patient-centered interactions and high-quality, high-value primary medical and mental health care at Gardner Health Services.

The CEO search was a lengthy process, and we appreciate the time and effort of all candidates involved in the process. On behalf of the members of the board at Gardner Health Services, we thank Reymundo Espinoza for his thirty-seven year successful leadership and legacy of creating a fruitful and inspiring staff environment. We are grateful for his devotion to Santa Clara and San Mateo counties’ patients and communities.” 

“I am blessed to have enjoyed a career in service to the hundreds of thousands of patients, clients, employees and community partnerships touched by Gardner Health Services. The conditions are precisely right to pass the baton and to ensure that the next CEO takes forward the progress and momentum we have made and built together as an organization,” stated Reymundo Espinoza, Gardner Health Services’ outgoing CEO.