Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan died on November 3, 2021, after being struck by a car while she was walking her dog near her home in Alameda, California.
It was October 27, 2011 that Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan stood to address a crowd of stakeholders who had convened to protest the elimination of the Medi-Cal benefit for Adult Day Health Care. She spoke of the staggering and tragic costs of eliminating such an essential program that keeps adults with complex medical, functional or cognitive needs stable and supports family caregivers in keeping their loved ones at home.
We already knew that Wilma was a champion. In the days surrounding that rally, when we were working feverishly to press every possible option we could to block ADHC elimination, she became a partner and a colleague.
When we needed to bring together county leadership and stakeholders to set a course to begin addressing aging issues in a more integrated way, Supervisor Chan called a hearing and invited us in to create the agenda. Her partnership continued every step of the way as we have worked to improve the system of services and supports for older people.
She was always there for us, using her fierce intellect, compassion and humanity to address complex realities head on… always challenging us to stretch, to speak up, to ask for what we need.
Wilma Chan was irreplaceable, and our hearts are broken, but our spirits are inspired and we will keep her close as we continue to engage in the good work of shaping a community where everyone can thrive.