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The Center's 2018 Health Policy Seminar Series

February 21, 2018

    The Center is pleased to host leading health policy experts at our
    monthly seminar series.

    March 19: ''Critical Policy Priorities for Breast Cancer Care in California''

    In 2018, over 29,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in California and an estimated 4,500 will die of the disease. Yet patients and survivors continue to face serious economic, emotional and structural barriers to care, all while balancing family and work obligations. On March 19, the Center will release key findings from a two-year study of the obstacles breast cancer patients face accessing care in California. At a noon seminar on the same day, authors Ninez Ponce, associate Center director, and researcher AJ Scheitler will discuss three of the most pressing obstacles: 1) A need for patient navigators to help breast cancer survivors understand and access services; 2) A lack of continuity of care within the complex system of providers, support services and insurance requirements, and; 3) The particular obstacles facing low-income women, including narrow provider networks and time limits on coverage. Please join us for this critical discussion of how California can better extend life-saving, life-extending treatments and services that enhance quality of life for survivors of this highly-prevalent disease.



    "Critical policy priorities for breast cancer care in California"

    ​Date: Monday, Mar. 19, 2018
    Time: Noon - 1:00 p.m. PST 

    UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
    10960 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1550
    Los Angeles, CA 90024 [Map]

    Join us in person or by livestreaming webinar here:
    Previous seminars:

    February 21, 2018: "Paul Dourgnon: Addressing Undocumented Immigrants' Health Care Needs through Safety Net Systems in California"

    A common myth about undocumented immigrants in the United States is that they place an undue burden on the nation’s health care system and particularly the safety net. In 2016, the Center was host to Paul Dourgnon, the research director at the Paris-based French Institute for Research and Information in Health Economics, and a 2016-17 French Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice. Using data from the California Health Interview Survey, as well as county stakeholder interviews, Dourgnon assessed how well immigrants are served by California’s safety net and what the health outcomes are for immigrants who are able to access services. On Wednesday, Feb. 21, Paul returns from Paris to, among other things, talk to us about the results of this research, which could not be more timely in light of current political debates.

    January 25:  ''Older Californians and the Mental Health Services Act: Is an Older Adult System of Care Supported?" 

    Mental health care for older Californians is a critical issue with opportunities for improvement. In this Jan. 25, 2018 seminar, Center Faculty Associate Janet Frank and Center Research Scientist Kathryn Kietzman discuss results from the first study to assess how California's public mental health delivery system has served adults age 60 and older since passage of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) in 2004. Study findings show many unmet needs among older adults with mental illness in the public mental health delivery system, but they also reveal evidence of promising programs and strategies that counties have advanced to address these deficits. Based on their evaluation, authors recommend policy changes than can improve care to older adults with mental illness.
    Nov. 30: "LA's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program: Predicting the Effect Over the Long Term"

    Farmers markets. Community gardens. Nutrition and exercise classes. Will they make people healthier over time in vulnerable areas like Metropolitan and South Los Angeles, where nearly 1 in 3 adults is obese and more than 1 in 3 is overweight? 

    In this Nov. 30 seminar, Center researchers Susan Babey and Xiao Chen will discuss their evaluation of various obesity prevention programs implemented by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

    Locally, the initiative brings together a broad range of community partners to implement comprehensive nutrition education and obesity prevention strategies where people live, learn, work, play, pray and shop. Using a predictive model, the team will discuss what the likely long-term effect of these programs may be on LA's residents.

    October:  "CHIS 2016 data release + transgender people study"
    The California Health Interview Survey released new 2016 data, including eagerly anticipated data on gender identity, on Oct. 31. At a noon seminar on that day, Ninez Ponce, CHIS principal investigator, and Todd Hughes, CHIS director, highlighted the latest trends in insurance coverage, diabetes and other chronic condition prevalence, access to care, and much more.

    The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law's Jody Herman, Scholar of Public Policy, and Bianca D.M Wilson, Rabbi Barbara Zacky Senior Scholar of Public Policy, presented a new analysis of CHIS data about transgender Californians, some of the first data of its kind to be nationally available.
    September: "Hard CHOICE? Why aren't more Angelenos enrolling in Cal Mediconnect?"

    Los Angeles has the lowest enrollment rate of consumers enrolled in Cal MediConnect, a program that is responsible for the delivery and coordination of the medical, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports (LTSS) benefits for those that are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal. In this Sept. 27 seminar, Center Research Scientist Kathryn Kietzman and Graduate Student Researcher Kate McBride will describe the factors that may contribute to LA’s low enrollment rate. Kietzman has been conducting qualitative studies of dual eligibles, both through one-on-one interviews and through focus groups as part of the Center’s Consumer Healthcare Options Investigating Cal MediConnect Enrollment (CHOICE) project. She and McBride will describe the unique challenges of getting these vulnerable consumers signed up for a program in a county of widespread diversity and languages, in a program that offers five different plan options, and among a group that is fiercely devoted to their existing network of care. 

    August 22: "Parks After Dark: How Los Angeles Transformed Recreational Public Spaces"

    Parks After Dark is a Los Angeles County program that began in 2010 as the prevention strategy for communities with higher rates of violence, economic hardship, and obesity prevalence. The Center was the evaluator of this innovative program, in which PAD parks stayed open late on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in the summer months to offer a variety of safe, free recreational and cultural activities for people of all ages.  
    What started as a program in three parks has now been implemented at 21 throughout Los Angeles County. Please join us at this August 22 seminar to hear lead evaluator Nadereh Pourat, director of the Center’s Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program, and HEER Senior Research Associate Ana Martinez, talk about how the Parks After Dark Program evolved into a key County strategy to promote health, safety, equity, and community well-being.

    July 31: "Partnership Strategies of Community Health Centers: Building Capacity in Good Times and Bad"

    Federally Qualified Health Centers — commonly referred to as Community Health Centers (CHCs) —  serve as critical safety net providers to those who are uninsured or are on Medi-Cal. With the uncertainties ahead about whether Medicaid expansion will be continued or be handed over to the states with limited oversight, partnerships both among CHCs and with others in the health care system and beyond may become even more important. 

    In this July 31 seminar, Center Associate Director Steven P. Wallace and Graduate Student Researcher Maria-Elena Young will discuss findings from a new study on these centers' efforts to serve the remaining uninsured. Specifically, they will examine strategies undertaken by CHCs in four states that reinforce the local safety net through partnerships, improvements to the local health system, and advocacy. 

    June 28: "Reforming California's Public Hospitals: Key Findings from the DSRIP Evaluation"

    California has 12 county hospital systems and five University of California public hospitals that deliver the majority of inpatient and a significant amount of outpatient care to Medicaid patients in the state. In this June 28 seminar, Nadereh Pourat, the Center’s director of research, discussed findings from a comprehensive evaluation of a major effort to promote innovation and improve care at these hospitals: the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program. California was the first out of several states nationally to implement DSRIP, making these findings significant to the broader national experiment in health system reform. Pourat, who was the lead evaluator of the five-year California DSRIP program, describes newly assessed measures of progress, what interventions were the most successful, and whether a “pay for performance” incentive system worked.
    May 31: "Stopping Sugar: Findings from the Kaiser Permanente/American Heart Association Roundtable on Added/Free Sugar Consumption"
    Leading experts from the across the country convened in Los Angeles on May 3 for a roundtable discussion on how to remove added and excess sugar from foods. Researchers and experts from the Harvard School of Public Health, Dannon, Partnership for a Healthier America, multiple University of California campuses, Duke University School of Public Policy, ChangeLab Solutions and others discussed topics ranging from menu labeling and federal nutritional standards to the most vulnerable communities who are "extreme consumers" of sugar. 
    In this May 31 seminar, Susan Babey, co-director of the Center's Chronic Disease Program, and William McCarthy, adjunct professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, will present the results of a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion on cutting-edge research and policy trends.
    See all previous seminars here.