June 2021 | Volume 2
I founded my company to contribute to intelligent health policy and practice that benefits real people. I learned through personal experience and the mentorship of many others with the audacity to dream of a better health care system. This edition, I include the obituary of a legend and friend who challenged me to think bigger both politically and in my own personal journey. If we measure our life’s impact by the betterment of others, then Dick van Horn leaves a high bar for the rest of us. Particularly as we grapple with the astounding inequity that continues to pervade our system of care, there is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to a vision like his: no wrong door for services, whatever it takes for recovery and a whole life, and both the humanity and the resources to make it happen.
Richard Van Horn, Episcopal priest who revolutionized California’s approach to mental illness, dies at 81
Richard Van Horn, the Episcopal priest who helped revolutionize California’s approach to mental illness and became a dogged and skillful advocate for mentally ill people, has died at his home in Los Angeles.
Van Horn died June 15 at age 81, said his stepson Mark Slavkin.

A National Goal to Advance Health Equity Through Value-Based Payment
Intention matters in health policy. Nearly a decade ago, federal policy makers set an intention to make health care more financially sustainable, affordable, and efficient by shifting the national health care system toward value. Setting that policy intention proved to be a critical step for signaling direction and informing expectations for the health care industry, prompting years of broad engagement and work to improve health care delivery.
Enlisting Mental Health Workers, Not Cops, In Mobile Crisis Response
Spencer Merritt thought he was going to die. Voices in his head—angry, insistent voices—told him he’d been poisoned by Ivermex, an antiparasite drug prescribed for veterinary use that his mother kept in the house. Other imagined voices belonging to his mother and stepfather told him they had poisoned his beloved dog, Lulu, who had died a year earlier.
Addressing Demographic Disparities in Clinical Trials
Most clinical trials are not representative of the general population or of those with a particular disease. Clinical trials primarily enroll white, male patients, with consistent underrepresentation of women, the elderly, and people of color — especially Black and Hispanic patients. While people of color make up about 39% of the U.S. population, these groups represent from 2% to 16% of patients in trials.
A surprising pandemic side effect: People are more engaged with their health
About a month ago, one of our patients, a man in his mid-40s, came to the clinic for an in-person visit for the first time in more than 12 months. For the past few years, he’s struggled with sky-high blood pressure and always seemed to be teetering on the edge of a major stroke. But this time his blood pressure was perfect.
Why Discrimination is a Health Issue
What does the pervasiveness of discrimination mean for health? Social scientist David Williams explains the physiological response to stress and why a good education or high-paying job doesn't necessarily protect from its effects.
Policy actions for enabling Precision Financing Solutions
With the rise of durable cell and gene therapies, there is the potential to offer patients who suffer from severe and potentially fatal conditions long-lasting and transformative benefits with just a single course of treatment. These therapies pose reimbursement challenges to healthcare systems such as:
UMMS and Johns Hopkins Health leaders: Here’s why we’re requiring vaccination for staff
Hospitals and other health care settings are filled with some of the most vulnerable people in society, by nature. Some years ago, as part of an effort to keep patients safer, it became the norm for hospitals and other health care settings to require flu and other common vaccinations for all employees.

Passion + Quality = Change That Matters
I embrace the powerful opportunities in our evolving health care landscape. I founded Momentum Health Strategies to be a catalyst for change through continuous learning, diverse engagement and thoughtful policy and practice initiatives. I deliver innovative, strategic thinking and a passion for improving the patient experience. My personal drive and dedication to high-quality results will help you navigate the competitive terrain you face and convert your vision to action.

Momentum Health Strategies

Jennifer L Bright, MPA
(703) 628 - 0534