Newsletter | November 2019

Cal-IHEA Newsletter

News, Information, Updates | November 2019

Image credit:
Keegan Houser

Cal-IHEA Upcoming Evidence Briefing “Achieving Whole Person Care through Workforce Innovation”

In light of the California Future Health Workforce Commission's recent report release, Cal-IHEA is excited to sponsor a briefing titled “Achieving Whole Person Care through Workforce Innovation” on Tuesday, November 12th from 11:30am-1:30pm at UC Center Sacramento. The goal of the briefing is to present evidence about promising policies/strategies to strengthen and diversify the healthcare workforce through expanding training and opportunities for home health and personal care aides, behavioral health workers, and community health workers to support vulnerable patients. We will have a facilitated discussion about the ways in which the State can align with the Future California Health Workforce Commission recommendations and enable a workforce that can improve health equity.  Tickets for the event are still available and can be secured on Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you there!

Please join us for an opportunity to advance the development of policies to enable a workforce that improves health, equity and the well-being of all Californians



  • Joanne Spetz, PhD (UCSF, home health and personal care aides)

  • Miya Barnett, PhD (UC Santa Barbara, community mental health workers)

  • Janet Frank, DrPH (UCLA, behavioral health services for older adults)

  • Janette Dill, PhD (University of Minnesota, credentialing and career ladders in health care settings)


  • Jeffrey Oxendine, MPH, MBA (Co-Director of the California Future Health Workforce Commission, Founder and CEO of Health Career Connection)

  • Elizabeth Oseguera (Associate Director of Policy for the California Primary Care Association)

Announcing the 2020 Health Equity Scholars Program!!

Cal-IHEA is excited to announce its 2020 Undergraduate Health Equity Scholars Program  for the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) Conference on February 24-25, 2020 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento, California! 

All UC and CSU students are eligible to apply, and students from underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged! Please find the application here!

Thank you for forwarding the application to students across disciplines who may be interested in applying to this program! The deadline is November 18th! We appreciate your help in providing this opportunity to underrepresented students.

The Cal-IHEA program provides financial support to defray the cost of conference travel and accommodations. for UC and CSU students to attend the conference, participate in workshops, and engage healthcare researchers, policymakers, and professionals at a networking reception! In addition, in the months leading up to the conference, undergraduate scholars will also gain access to webinars and other enrichment resources on topics ranging from policy-brief and op-ed writing to the state policy making process!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us via email at! Thank you in advance!

Our very own Director, Prof. Hector Rodriguez, is inducted into the National Academy of Medicine!

Originally founded as the Institute of Medicine in 1970, the NAM addresses critical issues in health, science and medicine, and is composed of people from around the world with a variety of areas of expertise. The NAM also works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering to provide “independent, objective analysis and advice” to the United States, according to the NAM press release.

Professor Rodriguez was one of 75 new U.S. members and 10 international members honored at the organization’s annual meeting, bringing the NAM’s total membership to 2,178.

Congratulations to Cal-IHEA Director, Professor Hector Rodriguez on his induction into the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) on October 19th at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C.  Prof. Rodriguez was inducted “for integrating organization science theories and methods to assess the impact of health care teams and primary care re-organization on patient engagement, patient experience of care, and outcomes, particularly for vulnerable populations.”

Along with two other Berkeley faculty honored this year, he joins 12 other active and retired NAM members at UC Berkeley, according to the NAM general directory. We are very proud of Professor Rodriguez’s continued research and larger commitment to vulnerable populations!

Cal-IHEA Evidence to Action Grantee, Professor Cecelia Ayon, publishes a report on Undocumented Older Adults’ health needs

Professor Cecelia Ayon of  University of California Riverside’s Center for Social Innovation recently published a report on Undocumented Older Adults’ health needs in the Inland Empire. The study aimed to shed light on the experiences of undocumented older adults’ health status and process of accessing care. In-depth semi-structured interviews were used to facilitate dialogue with undocumented older adults.

Findings from the qualitative study indicate that “undocumented older adults experience health needs that require medical attention; many have minimal to no access to health care services or pay for services out of pocket, which is not sustainable overtime. While the state of California has been at the forefront of implementing policies that support immigrant integration, including health for all children, undocumented older adults remain without access to health care. Akin to children, older undocumented adults are a vulnerable segment of the population who need to be supported and cared for.”

Professor Ayon previously worked with Cal-IHEA on this topic through our Evidence to Action Award, which supports UC and CSU investigators through 12-month awards to expedite the uptake of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies to appropriate end-users. Read about her work with UndocuElders in the Inland Empire here!

Cal-IHEA Pre-Doctoral Fellow, Alein Haro, Receives IRLE Grant

The purpose of the grant is to document and analyze the characteristics of day laborers in the East Bay Area, their mental and physical health status and needs, and the abuses and risks that workers experience (i.e. discrimination, abuses from employers/business owners/police). The study will also give a more accurate picture of a day laborer’s social context, including their social and family support network. Findings from this study will be used to better inform community-based programs that aim to help day laborers and immigrants in the East Bay by providing economic development opportunities, referrals to local health and legal resources, and vocational skills. Her findings will be used to finetune community-based organizations’ services and inform local policy solutions to ensure that all workers are treated with dignity regardless of legal status.