Bay Area Council Blog: Healthcare Archive

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New BACEI Report Measures Medi-Cal Impact on CA Economy

Last Friday (June 3), the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released a major report at an event hosted by Blue Shield of California that documented the massive positive impact the state’s Medi-Cal program has on the economy.  The analysis shows that this program is now the source of coverage for over 13 million people in the state, 6.4 million of whom are working Californians or their children.  According to the report, Medi-Cal coverage adds $1.7 billion to the state’s economy by avoiding lost personal income from illness as a result of being uninsured.

Read the report: Mainstreaming Medi-Cal>>

California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley was on hand and praised the report as “essential reading.”  Dooley, who also chairs the state’s Affordable Care Act marketplace, Covered California, discussed with the members of the Bay Area Council’s Healthcare Committee how we can build on recent innovations to create a more consumer-centric healthcare system of competing stable networks and work together across sectors to improve the health of the people of our state through initiatives such as Let’s Get Healthy California.  To get involved in the Council’s healthcare work, please contact Economic Institute President Micah Weinberg.


Council Leads High-Level Executive Delegation to D.C.

The Bay Area Council this week (May 24-26) led a high-level business delegation to Washington, D.C. for meetings with top White House and legislative leaders on a range of critical issues, including water, transportation, housing, trade and healthcare. The delegation, led by Council Chair Michael Covarrubias of TMG Partners and Government Relations Committee Co-Chairs Andrew Giacomini of Hanson Bridgett and Peter Brightbill of Wells Fargo, met with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Energy Sec. Ernest Moniz and Leader Nancy Pelosi, among others.

Senator Feinstein was thrilled to hear Bay Area Council is advocating for a second southern crossing across the Bay and was interested in the Water Committee’s request to include language in her drought bill to streamline federal regulatory approvals. Delegates got a briefing from White House and Health and Human Services officials on President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative and Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The meetings with Leader Pelosi centered on the Bay Area’s traffic and housing problems and the delegation updated her on the Council’s support of legislation to ease barriers for creating second living units and fast tracking approval of affordable housing developments.

At a dinner generously hosted by the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center, delegates enjoyed speaking with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and hearing from both Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and Congressman Honda about trade, water transportation, and the current political landscape. In meetings with Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez, Chair Covarrubias and Transportation Committee Co-Chair Jeff Heller of Heller Manus talked about the dire need for increased transportation investment and briefed Mendez on the Council’s work to expand regional ferry service. The Council looks forward to participating in a follow up meeting with DOT and a transportation strategy task force team of long term transportation planners for Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose.

To end the trip, delegates sat down with Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Department of Energy Officials to discuss next week’s 7th Clean Energy Ministerial hosted in partnership with the Bay Area Council. Secretary Moniz and DOE thanked the Bay Area Council for their work organizing this major event and were very excited to use this event to empower citizens and businesses to sustain and enhance quality of life while forwarding clean energy goals.

The Council extends its deepest thanks to major trip sponsors Intel, Oracle, Microsoft, and DLA Piper. To engage in our federal policy work, please contact Senior Advisor George Broder.


Outlook Conference Goes Bigger Better Bolder

Hundreds of business, government and academic leaders gathered Tuesday, May 17 at the Bay Area Council’s 2016 Outlook Conference presented by Wells Fargo to hear from major CEOs and other top thinkers about some of the key challenges facing our region, our economy, employers and workers. Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf delivered the opening keynote to an audience of 600 at the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco, giving his unique insights on national and global economic trends, California’s housing crisis, and the outlook for the fast-emerging financial technology sector before sitting down for an engaging Q&A with PG&E CEO and Council Executive Committee member Tony Earley.

Rudy Giuliani, chair of Greenberg Traurig’s cybersecurity and crisis management practice, closed the conference with entertaining, informative and wide ranging remarks on his time as New York City mayor, the ubiquity of digital technology and the massive threat that cyber attacks pose to the economy, national security, consumers and business.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, CEO of The Representation Project, delved into the damaging role of gender stereotypes in limiting opportunities for women and challenged executives to examine how their workplace and leadership practices can remove obstacles to advancement. Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker talked about the digitization of everything and the challenges of an open Web.

Microsoft’s Oliver Parker led a fascinating discussion with Kaiser Permanente’s Manish Vipani and Nexenta CEO Tarkan Maner on how big data and cloud computing are transforming healthcare. Xerox Chief Technology Officer Sophie Vandebroek explored some of amazing technologies driving the clean energy and energy storage sectors. And Chauncey Lennon of JPMorgan Chase led a discussion with Tumml CEO Clara Brenner and Jewish Vocational Services Director Abby Snay on the major themes from JPMorgan Chase’s new report: Tech Jobs for All? Exploring the Promise and Pitfalls of Technology Training in the United States.

Council Chair and TMG Partners Chairman and CEO Michael Covarrubias opened the conference with a look at how the Council is addressing the key issues of housing and transportation. Bay Area Council Economic Institute President Micah Weinberg unveiled their 9th Economic Profile: Promise and Perils of an Accelerated Economy and used it to debunk five myths about the Bay Area economy.

Videos of all the speakers will be available starting next week. To view the full agenda, visit Outlook Conference: Bigger Better Bolder.

The Council extends its deepest thanks to Wells Fargo for serving as presenting Visionary sponsor, and also to Kaiser Permanente for serving as Pioneer sponsor.


Promoting Medical Devices Opportunities in China

The Bay Area Council recently cohosted a medical device reception at the Westin-Shanghai’s Crown Hall in cooperation with the California Center for International Trade and Development. The event was held as part of the week-long China International Medical Equipment Fair and brought California medical device designers together with government officials to discuss regulatory challenges. Representatives from Nanjing and Shanghai Healthcare and Commercial departments fielded questions about product registration, distributor partnerships, and the priorities of China’s healthcare system under the 13th Five Year Plan. The Bay Area Council’s government partners in both cities further pledged their assistance in connecting California’s medical devices designers to qualified buyers in their municipal districts. The event was the first in the continuing partnership between the Bay Area Council and the California Center for International Trade and Development in China.


Council’s Early Ed Campaign Honored

The ground-breaking Talk Read Sign program that the Bay Area Council developed to promote early childhood education has been recognized with a prestigious “Effie” or Effectiveness in Advertising Award under the category of “good works.” Talk Read Sing was born at the Council’s Early Childhood Education Committee as part of an effort by then-Chairman George Halvorson to close the word and language gap experienced primarily by children in low income families.  The Council, supported by several members including Kaiser Permanente, Clear Channel Outdoor, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, retained top advertising agency Goodby Silverstein to design the materials and entered into a partnership with Too Small to Fail and the Clinton Foundation which has grown the campaign from an Oakland effort to now Fresno, Tulsa Oklahoma, with several other cities in the pipeline. Halvorson was subsequently appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to chair California’s First 5 Commission, where the Talk Read Sing campaign has served as a key messaging tool. To engage in the Council’s early childhood education work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.


Precision Medicine Summit Zeroes in on Cost, Quality

Top leaders in the emerging field of precision medicine gathered Thursday (Feb. 25) for a day-long summit convened by the Bay Area Council and hosted by Oracle with major support from Genentech. An audience of 200 heard from leading experts about the promise of precision medicine to improve how we treat individual patients, combat disease and bring down the cost of healthcare through scientific and technological advances and the use of Big Data. Delivering on the promise of precision medicine requires the ability to leverage unprecedented amounts of data, and enabling seamless access to that data for researchers and clinicians is one of the most important things we are doing here at Oracle, Oracle CEO Safra Catz said in opening keynote remarks.

Included on the agenda was a conversation on scientific advancements with Joseph DeRisi of the UCSF School of Medicine, Garret Hampton from Genentech and Jonathan Sheldon of Oracle. Genomic CEO Kim Popovits sat down with Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich for a candid and informative conversation on public and private funding of precision medicine. And Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) President Dr. Micah Weinberg led a discussion on the promise of precision medicine to improve health and lower costs with Dr. Elizabeth Baca from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Manoja Lecamwasam of Dignity Health and Dr. Michael Seiden of McKesson. Dr. Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society closed out the summit with remarks on the new frontiers that precision medicine is exploring.

To highlight just how important this emerging field is, the Council’s summit coincided with a similar gathering that President Obama convened on Thursday at the White House. To engage in our healthcare policy work, contact BACEI President Micah Weinberg.



Premature births cost businesses nationwide more than $12 billion annually in excess health care expenses. To address this problem, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute partnered with the March of Dimes Foundation to develop a new tool that lets businesses estimate the potential cost to them of premature births and provide a range of resources to help employees avoid preterm births. The new Cost of Prematurity to Business Estimator was unveiled Thursday (Dec. 10) at an event hosted by the Bay Area Council.

The event featured presentations from Economic Institute President Micah Weinberg, PhD, as well as from Dr. James Byrne, Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Santa Clara Medical Center; Tre’ McCallister, Principal at Mercer; and Dr. Maurice Druzin, Professor and Vice Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University School of Medicine outlining steps businesses and individuals can take and on the progress leading medical researchers are making.

Visit the Institute’s blog to view a recording of the webcast, and try the new — and free — tool and estimate the cost of prematurity to your business here.



The Bay Area Council is taking dead aim at solving the region’s crisis-level housing and traffic problems with a 2016 policy agenda adopted this week (Dec. 3) by the Executive Committee that also targets critical water and drought issues and the growing challenge employers are facing in attracting talent across a range of skills. Under the leadership of Council Chair Michael Covarrubias, Chairman and CEO of TMG Partners, the Executive Committee developed the policy agenda over the past two months with input from the Council’s 275 member companies.

“The Council and this region are extremely fortunate to have the dedicated and visionary leadership that our Executive Committee and Board are bringing to bear against these difficult challenges,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “The priorities they have identified rightly reflect the major issues of our time, and we are confident that with their collective action the Council will start bending the curve to solve them.”

The Council’s 2016 Focus Policy Priorities include:

Workforce Housing. The Bay Area’s historic failure to build housing sufficient to meet employment and population growth is fueling an epic affordability crisis that could have long-term consequences for the region’s economic success. The Housing Committee, Co-Chaired by Lennar Urban President Kofi Bonner and TMG Partners Managing Partner Denise Pinkston, is working to significantly increase the supply of housing units and commercial space throughout the region by mitigating regulatory barriers to development of all kinds. To engage in our Workforce Housing work, contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

Commute Improvement. Traffic has reached crisis levels, and our public transportation systems are bursting at the seams. Under the leadership of Heller Manus Architects President Jeffrey Heller and UPS Northern California District President Rosemary Turner, the Transportation Committee is working on a range of innovative solutions that include expanding carpool and toll lanes, leveraging new traffic management technologies, emphasizing overall transportation corridors and developing new financing tools and local revenue sources for investing in maintaining and expanding capacity. To engage in our transportation policy work, contact Senior Vice President Michael Cunningham.

Water Supply and Security. Our economy relies on access to clean, reliable and affordable supplies of water. With historic drought, competing demands and a historic lack of investment in our water system, the Bay Area faces major questions about its water future. The Water Committee, Co-Chaired by Montezuma Wetlands Managing Partner Jim Levine and Suffolk Construction Company West Coast President Andrew Ball, is uniting the region’s diverse water stakeholders around these issues, working to prioritize critical investments and educating policy makers in Sacramento and Washington on the region’s needs. Ball is also leading the Council’s effort to generate support for a regional ballot initiative in 2016 that would raise $500 million from a parcel tax to fortify the region’s defenses against extreme storms and sea-level rise. To engage in our Water Supply and Security work, contact Policy Director Adrian Covert.

Workforce of the Future. The Bay Area’s fast-changing, high-value innovation economy requires highly skilled graduates for today’s in-demand jobs. Under the leadership of Co-Chairs Teresa Briggs of Deloitte and Glenn Shannon of Shorenstein Properties, the Council’s Workforce of the Future Committee is building stronger connections between the region’s employers and the universities and colleges that are educating the region’s future workforce. To engage in our Workforce of the Future work, contact Senior Vice President Linda Bidrossian.



Council Chair Michael Covarrubias called for a moment of silence at yesterday’s (Dec. 3) Board of Directors meeting to honor beloved Bay Area business and philanthropic titan Doug Shorenstein, who passed away Nov. 25 after a long battle with cancer. Shorenstein was Chairman and CEO of Shorenstein Properties, a real estate development company founded by his late father Walter Shorenstein. He previously served on the Council’s Board of Directors and was a 2011 inductee into the Council’s Bay Area Business Hall of Fame – Walter was a member of the 1998 Hall of Fame. After taking over the company in 1995, Shorenstein transformed it from a local developer to one of the largest and most-respected real estate development and management companies in the nation. He will be sorely missed.

Read about Doug Shorenstein’s life in the San Francisco Chronicle>>

Watch the Hall of Fame video of honoring Doug Shorenstein>>



The University of California’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) will establish a new global innovation center in Hangzhou, China, under a five-year, $90 million partnership that the Bay Area Council was instrumental in bringing together. Del Christensen, the Council’s Chief of Global Business Development, recently joined Costas Spanos, CITRIS Director, and Zhao Xikai, Deputy Director of Future Sci-Tech City in Hangzhou’s Yuhang District, in signing a memorandum of understanding formalizing the partnership.

CITRIS is a world-leading innovation institute that works to translate cutting-edge information technology research among various UC campuses, including at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz and Merced, into new products, companies and industries aimed at solving some of society’s biggest problems, including in the areas water, energy, transportation, health, education, robotics and cybersecurity, among others.

Through our office in Hangzhou, the Council introduced CITRIS to leaders of Future Sci-Tech City, one of China’s premier technology and innovation centers that was established by the Hangzhou and Zhejiang provincial governments, and facilitated the many months of discussions that produced this exciting partnership. Under the MOU, Zhejiang will work with to establish a program at the Future Sci-Tech City modeled after the CITRIS program. The agreement also outlines an ongoing and robust exchange of research and collaboration in the development of new technologies.

Separate from the MOU, Hangzhou’s Yuhang District is also looking to establish its own business organization modeled after the Council’s to convene business and civic leaders in addressing key challenges and promoting economic growth.

CITRIS was founded in 2001 as a public private partnership, and its primary research center at UC Berkeley was funded in large part with a $20 million donation by Bay Area Council Executive Committee member and Marvell Technology Group Co-Founders Weili Dai and her husband Sehat Sutardja. To engage in the Council’s Global Initiatives work, contact Chief of Global Business Development Del Christensen.