Dr. Kaz Rafia

Dr. Kaz Rafia

Kaz Rafia is a member of the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health leadership team and serves as the chief health equity officer. In his role, Kaz spearheads strategic initiatives to foster and advance engagement and access to integrated oral healthcare for the underserved and underrepresented communities. He also drives the organization’s efforts to elevate the integration of oral health and overall healthcare through the oversight of the health improvement and grantmaking teams.

Kaz brings more than two decades of experience in successful startups, academia, managed care, government and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining CareQuest Institute, Kaz served as the state dental director for the Oregon Health Authority, where he set the equity centered state oral health strategic plan, focusing on population health measures, health care workforce development, optimization of the value-based care coordination model and telehealth. 

Previously, Kaz was the director of operations for the Partnership for International Medical Access – Northwest, working to build sustainable long-term international partnerships with culturally diverse authorities and leaders to better understand and serve their needs. Kaz was also a founding partner of Rafia Dental, a clinical associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University, and a clinic director at Kaiser Permanente

Kaz holds a doctor of dental surgery degree from The Ohio State University, a master of business administration degree from University of Illinois, and a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Elevating Community Voice in Grantmaking

Community voice is vital in philanthropic efforts. It highlights the poor outcomes when the process of developing solutions excludes the very population at the center of the intended impact — and why it is critical to engage the community meaningfully from the onset and throughout the process.