Video: one-on-one conversations with Asm. Jim Wood and Blue Shield’s Kimberley Goode

Assemblymember Jim Wood, chair of the California Assembly Committee on Health, and Kimberley Goode, SVP of External Affairs for Blue Shield of California, joined us for our morning keynote at last week’s 2021 Northern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference. The two panelists participated in one-on-one conversations with State of Reform Host DJ Wilson.

 

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In his conversation, Wood talked about how the pandemic created a policy backlog going into this session.

“I think last year was incredibly challenging for us. We all went into the initial lockdown thinking this was just going to be a couple weeks, and obviously that stretched into a much longer period of time. And the health committee, we typically get more bills than any committee in the legislature except for appropriations… We only ended up having one hearing last year, and only carried about 36 bills. So there’s a lot of pent up demand and frustration for health policy this session.”

Goode spoke on Blue Shield of California’s efforts to support the state’s pandemic response.

“For us at Blue Shield of California, getting involved and being asked to support the vaccine administration was really an extension of our mission and our commitment to the health and wellbeing of all Californians. While this has been a really big undertaking this is not our first effort to be supportive of the state’s response to COVID-19. It started way back last year when the pandemic first hit and we found a way to support our people, our employees, the providers and the community through that effort.”

Goode emphasized how ensuring equitable access to vaccines was an important part of California’s vaccine rollout.

“The state had already established a 5 point plan for equity. And in that plan there was real intentionality around embedding equity into our thinking for everything that we do. Whether it was in allocation, network, data analytics, community partnerships and in education.”