CAHF hires new CEO

By Scott Rodd  –  Staff Writer, Sacramento Business Journal

California Association of Health Facilities has named Craig Cornett, a former budget director for two California State Senate presidents, as its new CEO.

He will start his new role on Dec. 4.

CAHF represents 800 skilled-nursing facilities and 500 intermediate-care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities statewide. Its member facilities serve an estimated 370,000 Californians every year.

"The role that long-term care and post-acute care plays in the health care industry is very important, and it’s going to continue to grow in importance over time," Cornett told the Business Journal. "We know that the population is aging and we’ll need to stay on top of that."

Cornett has served as the Senate finance director for the last nine years under current President Pro Tempore Kevin de León, as well as former President Pro Tempore and current Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. Cornett previously served in a similar role under several speakers of the California Assembly and spent 17 years in the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.

“I bring a lot of financial experience having worked on the state budgets for so many years and being the lead financial person in the State Senate and Assembly," Cornett said. "I also understand the importance of building consensus, from working in the Legislature.” 

Looking ahead, Cornett expressed concern about the uncertainty in health care policy at the federal level.

"A lot of facilities are dependent on federal dollars ... and a lot of patients are on Medicare and Medi-Cal," he said. "We want to make sure they’re being properly supported."

Cornett will replace Jim Gomez, who served as CEO of CAHF since 2002. Gomez will remain a consultant to the association to ensure the leadership transition goes smoothly.

Cornett is also a member of the board of Golden 1 Credit Union and previously served as its chairman.