5 Things California: Biden transition players, Detailed Agenda, Behavioral health lessons

When we build our conferences, we crowd source topics and speakers through the engagement of our Convening Panel. So, the agenda becomes full of these sessions that reflect the conversations taking place in California health care right now.

This newsletter tries to do that, too: to think through and reflect to you the conversations taking place in California health care and health policy. So, as we near our SoCal event next month, it makes sense that the sessions we have teed up for you next month are things we’re watching in this newsletter. We feature some of those for you below, in addition to some of the other items we have on our watch list…





With help from Emily Boerger

1. ICYMI: Detailed Agenda now available!

We are excited to announce the release of our Detailed Agenda for the 2020 Southern California State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference! We’ve got a very strong lineup of over 50 speakers that we are excited to bring together on December 8th for one of the largest, most diverse convenings of senior health care executives and policy leaders in the state.

Be sure to check out the Topical Agenda to get a feel for the day, and take a look at our Convening Panel to see some of the folks who helped put the agenda together. If you haven’t registered to be with us yet, we’d be honored to have you join us!

2. MemorialCare discusses BH lessons learned

During a recent conversation hosted by the Healthcare Leadership Council, Dr. Tanya Dansky, Senior Medical Director at MemorialCare Medical Group, discussed MemorialCare’s work in meeting the behavioral health needs of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. She described the two-year results of MemorialCare’s Collaborative Care Pilot program which show about 80% of participating patients achieved remission for depression within 90 days.

Dansky will present these findings at State of Reform next month during our “How the Pandemic has Catalyzed Innovation” panel. Joining her will be Tashfeen Suleman, CEO of CloudMedx, and we’ve invited David Wetherelt, Director of Business Development for 3M to join them as well.


3. Racism as a public health issue

From the boardroom to the exam room, from the finance department to the community health worker, race and racism are present in health care in meaningful ways that aren’t always fully understood. At our conference next month, we will bring together three thought leaders in this space to discuss what racism looks like in California health care, and how race continues to be a factor in the experience our community has when they engage in the institutions meant to keep them well.

During our “Racism as a Public Health Issue” panel we’ll hear from Asm. Rob Bonta, Member of the Assembly Health Committee, James Kyle, MD, Medical Director at LA Care, and Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD, Dean, College of Medicine, at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science.


4. COVID continues to surge

Gov. Newsom announced Monday he was “pulling an emergency break” in response to surging COVID numbers. The new action puts 94.1% of California’s population in the most restrictive tier in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy plan. This news comes after California hit nearly 30,000 new COVID cases over the past three days, and as hospitalizations and ICU cases have increased 52% and 46%, respectively, since November 1.

Amidst all of this, a recent California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) survey finds that 66% of health care providers in California feel “emotionally drained,” 59% feel burned out, and 55% feel overworked. 91% of those surveyed say they are seeing an increase in patients experiencing mental health impacts during the pandemic, and 66% of providers said they are seeing an increased use of alcohol/drugs among their patients.

5. Biden’s transition team for health care

The Biden-Harris transition team took a step forward in preparing for its transition to the White House by announcing the members of its agency review teams last week. The teams include over 500 individuals who will lead the transitions for each federal agency, and it appears Biden’s team is looking to California to fill several of those positions including Phil Washington, who is slated to lead the Department of Transportation team, and Linda Darling-Hammond who will lead the Department of Education team.

The Department of Health and Human Services team includes 30 individuals with a broad range of expertise in the health care sector. The team features several Obama administration alums including Manatt Health Managing Director Chiquita Brooks-LaSure and Robert Gordon, Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, who will both serve as team leads. Also on the list is HMA’s Jon BlumMeena Seshamani, MD, with MedStar Health, Eliot Fishman with Families USA, and Perrie Briskin at UC Berkeley.