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Letter from the Director 
 
Greetings! Welcome to CHBRP's Summer Quarterly Newsletter.

We hope that all of our readers are managing interrupted lives while staying safe and healthy. CHBRP staff are staying busy this summer while also continuing to work from our homes amidst family members, children, and pets (and in some cases, all of the above)!

We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Michael V. Drake as the incoming 21st president of the University of California (UC). Dr. Drake is a physician with a long and distinguished career in higher education, most recently as president of The Ohio State University (OSU) from 2014 until this summer. Prior to his six years at OSU, Dr. Drake's entire academic career was at UC, including as Chancellor of UC Irvine for nine years from 2005 to 2014 and as the system-wide vice president for health affairs from 2000 to 2005 at the Office of the President. Dr. Drake was an early supporter of CHBRP and in the first few years of our operations, CHBRP reported up through his office.

2020 has been a year of changed plans, cancellations, contingency planning, and adjusting to new norms. We are holding our annual stakeholder meetings virtually, instead of the majority taking place via in-person meetings. The meetings, which typically take place over the summer will occur a bit later this year in recognition of the upheaval that many of our stakeholders are experiencing and the late August legislative deadlines. CHBRP's annual stakeholder meetings are an important opportunity for CHBRP staff to collect feedback and input on the quality and utility of our work.

In this issue, we welcome two graduate interns, share some key information, and profile two important long-time Taskforce contributors.

We thank all of you for your involvement and interest in CHBRP. On behalf of all CHBRP faculty, staff, and contributors, it remains a privilege and deeply satisfying to support evidence-based policymaking in California. We hope everyone finds some ways to recharge their batteries this summer, and that we all stay healthy and well.

Warm regards,
Garen 


Welcoming our 2020 Summer Graduate Interns
We are so pleased to welcome our 2020 Summer Graduate Interns, Sam Lau and Niloufar Nasrollahzadeh. Sam and Niloufar are both working with us remotely from Southern California. CHBRP is grateful to have them supporting our many summer projects. Their bios are below.


Sam Lau  is a 2020 Summer Graduate Intern at CHBRP, who is pursuing his MPP at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs and MPH at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health in Health Policy and Management. Previously, he has worked as the lead analyst and programmer for health economics research projects on Medicare, affordable housing, and healthy aging. He has also worked as an analyst at Charles River Associates conducting economic and statistical analysis for antitrust litigation. Sam has an undergraduate degree in Economics from UC Berkeley.



Niloufar Nasrollahzadeh  is a 2020 Summer Graduate Intern at CHBRP, who is in the midst of pursuing her MPP at UC Riverside's School of Public Policy. She also graduated with her Bachelor's in Business Economics at UC Riverside. Niloufar gained her extreme passion for health reform and policy due to her research involvement in water economics/policy, as well as her time volunteering with free health clinics where she worked with uninsured patients. As a graduate student, she teaches economics and is involved with UCR's Healthy Campus, an organization that promotes a culture of health through initiatives that develop, implement, and institutionalize polices and environments for the overall health and well-being of staff, faculty, and students on campus.
2020 Completed Analyses and Status
 
In 2020, the Legislature requested that CHBRP analyze 14 bills. Of those, two bills, SB 855 (Wiener) Mental Health Parity and AB 2203 (Nazarian) Insulin Cost-Sharing Cap are active. SB 855 is scheduled to be heard next week in Assembly Health, and AB 2203 is currently in the Senate Health committee. CHBRP's reauthorization (for two years) is contained in SB 406, currently in Assembly Health.

CHBRP has published complete analyses for 13 of the 14 bills that the Legislature requested we analyze. For AB 2640 (Gonzalez) Genetic biomarker testing, CHBRP will soon be publishing a policy brief on the topic rather than publish a full analysis. The resource will be posted on our website, and readers will also be notified of its availability by email.

As in 2019, CHBRP is publishing an "Amendments Update" document ahead of key hearings that will indicate the portions of CHBRP analyses that remain relevant after amendments are made to analyzed bills. This is available on CHBRP's website at  http://chbrp.org/completed_analyses/index.php. CHBRP will also notify readers when a new version is posted via our email listserv.
Task Force Spotlight: 
Margaret Fix, MPH

Ms. Fix is a Clinical Research Analyst at the University of California, Davis and a Research Data Analyst at the University of California, San Francisco.  She serves on CHBRP's medical effectiveness team.

Ms. Fix is passionate about using data to tell stories, and to inform changes in the California health care system. She is currently working on projects related to teen contraceptives and intervention, the California physician workforce, and rural health clinics.

In her work with CHBRP, Ms. Fix reviews literature related to Medical Effectiveness, and synthesizes it for CHBRP reports. This is a particular challenge in cases where there's a dearth of literature, or, conversely, there's a great deal of research that needs to be synthesized. She's worked on bills related to many topics, including telehealth, opioid use, autism, and lipodystrophy. She enjoys working with CHBRP because it allows her to quickly gain expertise on a variety of topics.

For Ms. Fix, being involved in health policy is a way to affect the lives of many people at once. She is energized by data-driven systemic change, and is most proud of her development as a research analyst, having gained many skills to help her in her quest to inform decision-makers with data. 


Task Force Spotlight: 
Bruce Abbott, MLS

Mr. Abbott is one of three Masters-prepared librarians at the Blakestone Medical Library at UC Medical Center in Sacramento. As a member of a small (but mighty!) library, he's able to perform multiple functions, including interacting with patrons and working with collections.

As a medical librarian with CHBRP since 2007, Mr. Abbott performs complex literature searches on behalf of CHBRP's Medical Effectiveness, Public Health, and Cost teams. He enjoys working on projects that contribute to significant research, and relishes the opportunity to work with colleagues in addition to his other responsibilities as a teacher. Mr. Abbott is grateful for the opportunities that working with CHBRP provides to explore health care topics with which he was not previously familiar, and is especially interested in some of the health economics components of analyses, which has been a newer area for him in his career.

As a member of CHBRP's team, he has built strong relationships with UC Davis faculty, for example, who also work with the program. He appreciates the opportunities that working with CHBRP give him to build deep and strong relationships with other faculty from multiple campuses.

When asked what's been most rewarding in his career, Mr. Abbott noted that hearing from nurses, doctors, and residents he's worked with in previous years about the impact that he had on them is significantly gratifying. In his 44 years as a librarian, Mr. Abbott still appreciates the opportunities to participate in important research.

  
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