Dear Colleague,

Even amid the darkest weeks of the pandemic and political upheaval at the federal level, California is forging ahead to enact bold new policies that prioritize innovation, efficiency, and equity in healthcare. This month, we’re featuring Governor Newsom’s proposed 2021-22 budget and highlighting those sections that, if enacted, would go a long way in advancing the ideals of Precision Medicine. In addition, our Expert Selection Committee enters the final phase of reviewing full proposals for the $9 million Request for Proposals for research projects that address the health impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences, using a Precision Medicine approach. Many members of our network are scheduled to speak at the special Precision Medicine World Conference about COVID-19 later this month, honoring Dr. Anthony Fauci and other leaders of the pandemic response. And as in every issue, we highlight external funding opportunities to keep your science moving forward. 

In solidarity, 
The CIAPM Team 
Governor's Proposed Budget
In California policy, January brings the release of a highly anticipated document: the Governor’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year (2021-22). This proposal is the starting point for months-long negotiations with the Legislature that will end with a budget bill passed by both the Senate and the Assembly, signed by the Governor, and put into effect July 1, 2021.

The Governor’s proposed budget includes a plan to create a new Office of Health Care Affordability, which would work to increase quality and cost transparency. Additionally, the budget would allow for the implementation of the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative, which would target and coordinate care for the most vulnerable populations with complex health needs. CalAIM would provide housing and wraparound services to address the social drivers of health not traditionally covered by safety-net health plans.

Additionally, the Governor would dedicate resources toward addressing several recommendations from Precision Medicine: An Action Plan for California that will, according to the CA Dept. of Finance, "expand the use of clinical and administrative data to better understand the health and social needs of individual patients for high-quality, efficient, safe, and timely service delivery while improving outcomes. Infrastructure and information systems would be built and supported to facilitate secure and appropriate exchange of electronic health information among health care providers."

More from the proposed budget:

"Despite significant federal investment over the past decade for the adoption of electronic health records and creation of health information exchanges, most patients’ medical information is stored on paper or across hundreds of disparate electronic health record systems. The goals of improved health outcomes and affordability cannot be achieved without unified patient health records and digital infrastructure to support a more integrated provision of health and human services.  

To further build on the promise of health information exchange, the Administration is interested in accelerating the utilization and integration of health information exchanges as part of a network that receives and integrates health data for all Californians. 

The building and operation of this network will leverage existing investments in health information exchange and look for additional federal funding in alignment with federal interoperability rules. 

 To do this the state must: 

  • Enable the right access to health information at the right time resulting in improved health and outcomes for all Californians; 
  • Identify and overcome the barriers to exchanging health information between public programs, as well as with California providers and consumers; and  
  • Engage consumers and their providers in managing medical, behavioral, and social services through appropriate, streamlined access to electronic health information.
The Administration envisions an environment where health plans, hospitals, medical groups, testing laboratories, and nursing facilities—at a minimum, as a condition of participating in state health programs such as Medi-Cal, Covered California, and CalPERS—contribute to, access, exchange, and make available data through the network of health information exchanges for every person."
Programmatic Updates
Farewell to our long-time Policy Fellow 
Policy Fellow April Booth-Griffiths concludes her 14-month fellowship this month. April has been instrumental to numerous projects, including the reference management of the CA Surgeon General’s Report, the ACEs Request for Proposals selections process, an online repository of relevant external events, and the expansion of the California Precision Medicine Asset Inventory. For the latter, she led an extensive outreach effort to community organizations, researchers, and industry, resulting in the growth of the inventory to nearly 500 elements.

April is an advanced doctoral candidate in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology at the University of California, Davis (UCD), and holds two master’s degrees, one from UCD and one from California State University, Fresno. We are grateful to have benefitted from her capable leadership and gracious expertise, and wish her every success in her dissertation and future career.

Capital Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE)
In 2021, as part of CIAPM’s efforts to address historic and ongoing social injustices, we are progressing through the CCORE curriculum into the next stage of detailed planning and drafting of a racial equity action plan (REAP). This month, we considered the succession and maintenance of the REAP, including how it will be shared with stakeholders. Leaders from the CA Coastal Commission, Caltrans, and CA Dept. of Public Health shared their agencies' efforts as models for operationalizing equity:

Precision Medicine Advisory Council
The next meeting of the California Precision Medicine Advisory Council will be February 25. Registration information will be posted on our website and shared in the next newsletter.

Both Advisory working groups, focused on Data Integration and Equitable Consent, will meet prior to the next full Council meeting. These working group meetings will also be open to the public and include an opportunity for public comment. More information will be provided closer to the meeting dates.
External Resources
California Child Wellbeing Coalition e-Guide
The California Essentials for Childhood (EfC) Initiative has released a new document titled California Child Wellbeing Coalition e-Guide. This e-Guide is intended for all those who are serving Californians and interested in collaborating or connecting with local coalitions, boards, and other organized bodies who are working to achieve child wellbeing through policy, systems, and environmental change. The California EfC Initiative is a partnership between the CA Dept. Public Health, Injury and Violence Prevention Branch and the CA Dept. of Social Services, Office of Child Abuse Prevention.
External Events
Precision Medicine World Conference - COVID
January 25-27

The Precision Medicine World Conference - Silicon Valley has coordinated a special program featuring leading experts in the field to address the urgent need to share research, exchange clinical practice experiences, and review public policy related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three-day conference will take place virtually and include invited speaker sessions and abstract presentations with a special focus on the long-term impact that COVID-19 will have on Precision Medicine. A number of CIAPM network members will contribute, listed below.

COVID-19: Disrupter of Biomedical Research and Healthcare 
January 25, 8:00 am
CPMAC Vice Chair Keith Yamamoto, PhD (UCSF) will chair the opening session, which features CPMAC member Bonnie Maldonado, MD (Stanford) as a panelist.

PMWC Honors Dr. Anthony Fauci + Q&A
January 25, 11:00 am

Forging New Connections for a Sustainable Testing Ecosystem
January 26, 2:30 pm
Former CIAPM grantee Charles Chiu, MD, PhD (UCSF) is a panelist.

Tackling the Mental Health Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19
January 27, 1:00 pm
CIAPM Co-Director Julianne McCall, PhD is a panelist.
External Opportunities
Emerging Issues in Maternal and Child Health
This program intends to strengthen state- and/or local-level organizational capacity to respond to emerging public health issues affecting maternal and child health populations.
Applications due April 9, 2021

Advancing Health Literacy to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19
The HHS Office of Minority Health anticipates funding to demonstrate the effectiveness of local “grassroots” efforts to improve the access, use, and outcomes of vaccination, testing, contact tracing, and health behaviors related to COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations.
Estimated application deadline: February 16, 2021
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy, Uptake, and Implementation Among Populations That Experience Health Disparities
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities intends to publish a Notice of Special Interest for community-engaged research.
Estimated application deadline: February 5, 2021

Health Disparities Research Institute 
Professional development will be provided for promising early-career minority health/health disparities research scientists. Hosted virtually August 9-13, 2021.
Application cycle: February 1 - March 8, 2021
STAT Madness 
STAT’s team of journalists will select up to 64 biomedical research projects to feature in the STAT Madness competition. Readers vote for their favorite innovations round by round until a champion is declared.
Enter by January 21, 2021