Health Care Professionals Gather To Highlight Equity and Mental Health Concerns for 2023 and Beyond

April 24, 2023 • By The UCI Paul Merage School of Business

On February 23, 2023, UC Irvine’s Beckman Center hosted the 32nd Annual UC Irvine Center for Health Care Management and Policy Health Care Forecast Conference. The event brought together national health care experts and scholars to share lessons learned and explore ideas for the future of the health care industry.

Since 1992, the Center for Health Care Management and Policy at UCI has held the Health Care Forecast Conference to assemble top industry leaders to discuss health policy. The event plays a critical role in the development of policies to improve quality of care for patients.

At this year’s event, national health experts and scholars presented visions of the near-term forecast of the health care industry’s core economic and operational policy challenges. Participants also held discussions of strategies and delivery system innovations to adapt and drive change based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.



At the welcome reception the evening before the conference, attendees heard from California Surgeon General Diana Ramos, who offered insights into the importance of broadening the scope of health care to include an integration of mental health services.

The next day, keynote speaker Kaakpema “KP” Yelpaala, CEO of InOn Health and Chief Impact Officer of Health Equity Moonshot at Startup Health, gave a presentation on the importance of health equity and equitable innovation. His talk focused on how our social structures are linked to biological outcomes when it comes to racial equity in health care.

Other speakers offered unique insights into how sectors of the health care system are working to address health equity and social determinants of care, how providers and organizations are managing the shift to value-based care, and how innovation is enabling improved operating efficiency, patient access, care quality and health equity.

“The Health Care Forecast Conference brings together the most respected national leaders in health care to share the most up-to-date research and insights on the industry,” says Ian O. Williamson, Dean of The UCI Paul Merage School of Business. “For the last few decades, their work has had a positive impact in improving the quality of care in Orange County, and across the country.”

Additional presentations and panel discussions were also hosted by key leaders, executives, government experts, and medical practitioners, including UC Irvine Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice Chancellor Romona Agrela, Stephanie Anthony of Manatt Health, Managing Director of Medicare Amy Bassano of Health Management Associates, and Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Steve A.N. Goldstein of The UCI Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences.

In a final wrap-up panel at the end of the event, keynote speaker KP Yelpaala summarized his experience at the conference this way: “I was surprised at the level of discourse around health equity that’s still continuing. I think for a lot of us, particularly as people of color, there’s a concern that, coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, these conversations were going to slip into the background. I’m very encouraged by the depth and honesty in conversations about the nature of these challenges.”

In total, over a two dozen key representatives from notable health care organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Medi-Cal/CalAIM, SCAN Health Plan, and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, among others, provided vital insights into the state of health care in America, and specifically in California.