Sarah Triano is the associate director of long-term services and supports (LTSS) and disability policy at the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). In this role, she helps manage CHCS’ portfolio of projects to improve health care justice and equity for people with LTSS, including disability of all ages. In addition to her lived experience as a woman with lifelong disabilities, Sarah’s professional career spanning over 25 years makes her uniquely qualified for this work.
Sarah currently serves on the CMS HCBS Measurement Technical Expert Panel and was a board member for the Center for Racial Equity and Job Quality in Long-Term Care.
Prior to joining CHCS, Sarah was the senior director of complex care policy and innovation for Centene Corporation, where she provided support and technical assistance to 15 managed LTSS and Medicare-Medicaid health plans across the country serving 400,000 consumers with disabilities. Under her leadership, Centene launched the Provider Accessibility Initiative (PAI) which distributed over $1.4 million in grants to doctors’ offices to make disability improvements. The PAI increased access to preventive care for over 186,000 people with disabilities in the U.S. and earned Centene the 2019 CMS Health Equity Award.
Prior to Centene, Sarah served as an appointee in California Governor Brown’s administration where she advised the Secretaries of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and Health and Human Services Agency on a comprehensive disability health and employment strategy. That strategy increased the disability labor force participation rate in California from 32 percent in 2011 to 34 percent in 2015.
Sarah also served on the 2008 Obama Presidential Transition Team and led a bipartisan team that provided the President-elect with recommendations on strategic disability-policy issues. She is the author of, “Lift Every Voice: Modernizing Disability Policies and Programs to Serve a Diverse Nation,” which was presented to Congress in 1999 by the National Council on Disability.
Sarah is an internationally known disability activist, having served as executive director of the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center and program director at Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. She represented the U.S. at the 2012 Asia Pacific Disability Conference in South Korea, represented Centene at the 2022 Harkin International Disability Employment Summit in Belfast Ireland, and presented at the fifth session of the United Nations Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in history of public policy from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and participated in the doctorate program in disability studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Sarah lives in rural California with her husband, two children, a rabbit, chickens, goat, fish, guinea pig, a dog named Xena Princess Warrior, and a horse named Misty/Little Miss Fancy Pants.