Education event

Behavioral Health Care Symposium
Symposium to be held in conjunction with a new Emergency Services Forum

December 7 – 9, 2015
Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Riverside Convention Center


Much has changed in health care since we held the first Behavioral Health Care Symposium 10 years ago. While our new system of care is evolving, the work is far from finished. Behavioral health care providers have a role and responsibility to shape the way care is delivered. Now more than ever, we need to find a common voice and work together. This year’s event will provide participants with inspiration and guidance to meet this challenge.

New this Year — Emergency Services Forum
Many patients with behavioral health care needs arrive through emergency departments (EDs). Our three-day program acknowledges this trend with a format to meet the needs of both behavioral health care providers and ED professionals. Day one of our event will provide the latest information on behavioral health care policy and current issues. Day two offers a blended educational format for both behavioral health care providers and ED professionals. Day three features a new Emergency Services Forum devoted exclusively to our ED providers.

Agenda–Behavioral Symposium

Monday, December 7

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. | Registration/Check-in

9:30 – 9:45 a.m. | Opening Comments

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. | Keynotes

Three Views on How Compassion Can Reshape Care Delivery
Randall Hagar, Director of Government Affairs, California Psychiatric Association; Karen L. Murrell, MD, Emergency Department Medical Director and Assistant Physician-In-Chief, Performance Improvement, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center; and Michael Fitzgerald, MS, PMHCS-BC, Executive Director, Behavioral Health Services, El Camino Hospital

Our conference opens with three micro presentations in the tradition of “TED© Talks” with a common link — how kindness and compassion can improve patient outcomes and the future of care delivery. In this session, you’ll find inspiration and the collective wisdom providers must have to advocate for our patients and profession.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Panel Presentation and Discussion

Partnering for Patients — Bringing Hospitals and County Behavioral Health Together
Dawan Utecht, Behavioral Health Director, Fresno County; Jerry Wengerd, Mental Health Director, Riverside County; Alfredo Aguirre, Behavioral Health Director, San Diego County; and Kirsten Barlow, Executive Director, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (moderator)

As care delivery evolves, so should our public and private partnerships. In this session, County Behavioral Health directors will share their thoughts and goals on how to improve communication and facilitate resources for patients. Learn how to find a balance between weaknesses and strengths of stakeholders to better meet the needs of Californians.

12:00 – 1:15 p.m. | Luncheon
Šimanek Distinguished Service Award

LPS Consensus Guidelines Update
Percy Howard, LCSW, Chief Program Officer, California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS)

The CIBHS, through contract with the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, has been tasked to create guidelines to serve as standards and provide suggested strategies to improve patient experience for involuntary detainment (5150s). This session will update attendees on the progress of the proposed guidelines and elements of their training curriculum.

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. | General Session

County Mental Health Services: A View from the County Risk Manager’s Desk
Linda Garrett, JD, Partner, Risk Management Services

Each of California’s 58 counties has their own way of doing things — not exactly a News Flash. The “why” behind this fact isn’t so well understood, and a little bit of understanding can go a long way to improving communication and collaboration. Listen to a county risk manager share insights from behind the scenes and take home 10 straightforward strategies to improve relations, and ultimately, services for our patients.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Breakout Sessions (choose one)

Breathing New Life into Partial Hospitalization Programs
Cathy Francis, PsyD, MFT, Social Services Director, St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center

Now numbering less than 500 nationwide, partial hospitalization programs (PHP) are on shaky ground. They shouldn’t be — treatment measures prove that PHPs are a vital part of the continuum of care where patients receive effective treatment and skills that result in lower readmission rates compared to inpatient facilities. Presenters will provide you with a thorough understanding of PHP and offer insights on how to develop or expand a PHP program.

Creating Linkages Between Child and Adolescent Services
Lynn Thull, PhD, Consultant for Mental Health Policy and Practice Improvement, California Alliance of Child & Family Services

Connecting children with much-needed behavioral health services has been difficult, especially so in health care environments. This session will explain which programs and resources are available and how to establish “linkages” to ensure services are received. Learn how policy has shaped the way care is delivered and how to advocate for change.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. | General Session

1915b Medi-Cal Specialty Mental Health Services Waiver
Elizabeth Stallings, RN, Director, Clinical Operations, HFS Consultants

Managed at the county level in California, the SMHS waiver was renewed in July for another five years. This waiver renewal reemphasizes the responsibilities of County Mental Health Plans to manage the behavioral health care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Learn how collaboration and partnering with your county is a win/win/win for patients and providers, and for county compliance.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Reception

Tuesday, December 8

Special Photographic Exhibit
For one day only, Dec. 8, attendees will experience a special viewing of a highly unusual photographic exhibit: the Willard Suitcases. In 2011, Jon Crispin photographed the long-forgotten belongings of former patients of the Willard Psychiatric Center in Willard, NY. This unexpected and poignant look into the lives of the owners will be unforgettable.

7:00 – 8:00 a.m. | Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:15 a.m. | Opening Comments and the Willard Suitcases

8:15 – 9:15 a.m. | General Session

From Policy to Practice — Moving Behavioral Health Care Forward
C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO, California Hospital Association and Darrell Steinberg, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Behavioral Health Center of Excellence, University of California Davis and former California Senate President Pro Tem

Two of California’s most prominent health care leaders will share their thoughts on how we can elevate the discussion for greater access to behavioral health care services. Learn how today’s policies will shape tomorrow’s services — and what you can do to influence change.

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.| General Session

Care Transition for Patients with Complex Behavioral Health Needs
Deborah Kania, RN, Post-Acute Care Project Manager, Sutter Health – Valley Area

With psych beds at a premium and reduced community services, it can be challenging to place patients with behavioral health care needs at the next lower level of care. This session will provide strategies and resources to more effectively transition these patients. Attendees will learn the importance of identifying post-acute care needs, medication reconciliation and strengthening community partnerships; all which influence the speed and appropriateness of care transition.

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | General Session

Navigating from the Non-Designated World to the Designated World
M. Steven Lipton, Partner, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC and Linda Garrett, JD, Partner, Risk Management Services

When patients with mental illness come to hospital EDs, it’s not easy to transition these individuals to the care they need and deserve. This session will describe common challenges surrounding medical clearance, methods of transport, relationships with law enforcement and much more. Take home 10 practical ways to appropriately manage patients’ transition to the right level of care.

12:00 – 1:15 p.m. | Luncheon

AB 1300 — LPS Modernization Legislation
Sheree Kruckenberg, Vice President, Behavioral Health, California Hospital Association

In 2009, CHA began the process to modernize the 48-year-old Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. This work culminated in the introduction of AB 1300 (Ridley-Thomas) in Jan. 2015. Hear an overview of the two-year bill and find out what to expect in the next legislative session.

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. | Breakout Sessions (choose one)

24-Hour Holds — Why, When and How to Use in the ED
M. Steven Lipton, Partner, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC

Few patient management issues are as complex and challenging to operationalize as the 24-hour hold. What are the requirements for use? When does the clock start? What do you do if the clock runs out and you aren’t ready to discharge or transition the patient to appropriate care? The answer to these and other complex questions will be addressed in this session. Learn tips to better work with law enforcement, patient advocates and county mental health.

The Intersection of 5150 and Conservatorship
Michael Phillips, Esq, Director of Patient Advocacy, Jewish Family Service of San Diego

The rules around the LPS conservatorship process are complex and when a conserved patient is put on a psychiatric hold, the situation can become even more confusing. This session will spell out rules for LPS conservatorship, explain what authority is granted to providers and which rights the conservatee retains. Learn tips to manage challenging discharge situations and where to go for additional resources.

3:15 – 4:15 p.m. | Closing Session

From Concept to Reality — What it Takes to Build a PES Program
Guy C. Qvistgaard, MFT, FRSPH, Chief Administrative Officer, John George Psychiatric Hospital/Ambulatory Care

There are numerous benefits to implementing a Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) program, but is it realistic for your facility? This session, led by the administrator of one of California’s most successful PES programs, will explore the possibilities, challenges and benefits of the PES model. Find out what you need to know about kick-starting the process, including fostering executive buy-in, funding, licensing hurdles, staffing needs and much more.

Agenda–Emergency Services Forum

Wednesday, December 9 — New Emergency Services Forum

7:00 – 8:00 a.m. | Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:15 a.m. | Opening Comments

8:15 – 9:15 a.m. | Keynote Session

Reinventing Emergency Care Through Integrated Services
Ricardo Martinez, MD, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, North Highland

ED services are evolving — will your model of care survive? Currently, much of ED care and coordination is fragmented and poorly integrated in our health care system. Integrated care models may provide the key to not only survive, but thrive in our changing health care world. This session will challenge your thinking with new ways to integrate care and improve quality of service. Learn about the resources you will need to remain viable.

9:15 – 10:30 a.m. | Panel Presentation and Discussion

The Future of Emergency Services: Challenges and Opportunities
Howard Backer, MD, MPH, FACEP, Director, California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA); Karen L. Murrell, MD, Emergency Department Medical Director and Assistant Physician-In-Chief, Performance Improvement, Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center; Dr. Marc Futernick, President, California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (California ACEP); California State Senator Richard D. Roth, Senate District 31; and William J. Emmerson, DDS, Senior Vice President, State Relations & Advocacy​, California Hospital Association (moderator)

What will the future hold for emergency services? How will key stakeholders work together to overcome obstacles and improve quality of care and service for patients? In this session, panelists will provide attendees with their view of the road ahead on topics such as throughput, community paramedicine, alternate destinations, triage expansion and more. Bring your questions for our distinguished panel.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | General Session

ACA and Reforming Payment for Acute Unscheduled Care
Jesse Pines, MD, MBA, MSCE, Director, Office for Clinical Practice Innovation and Professor of Emergency Medicine and Health Policy, George Washington University

As the U.S. transitions to a value-based system of reimbursement, our way of providing care will be changing along with it. It’s going to be complicated and vulnerable populations must be protected in the transition. This session will help participants understand the current landscape of care and how things may change with the rollout of the ACA. Explore ideas on alternative payment models, and how care may change in a variety of settings from EDs and urgent care to retail clinics and telemedicine.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. | Luncheon Session

Legislative Update
BJ Bartleson, RN, MS, NEA-BC, Vice President, Nursing and Clinical Services, California Hospital Association

Hear an update on recent federal and state legislative activity impacting emergency services and find out what to expect in the coming year.

1:15 – 2:45 p.m. | Breakout Sessions (choose one)

CURES 2.0 and Safe Pain Subscribing
Mike Small, Administrator and Manager, Law Enforcement Support Program, California Department of Justice and Roneet Lev, MD, Director of Operations, Scripps Mercy Emergency Department

California’s new Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) 2.0 went live in July. Learn about how the improved functionality and new features of CURES 2.0 will help ED physicians, staff and other medical professionals prescribe safely. Hear an update on Safe Pain Prescribing activities across the state, and take home tips on how to deal with pain management and drug seeking issues.

ED Crowding: Novel Approaches to Improving Throughput in a Value-Based World
Jesse Pines, MD, MBA, MSCE, Director, Office for Clinical Practice Innovation and Professor of Emergency Medicine and Health Policy, George Washington University

ED crowding is a major public health problem. But in today’s value-based world, it’s not just about moving patients through quickly anymore. The structure and operations of EDs must now be reconsidered in light of value-based care and reimbursement. ED patients need to be treated not just quickly, but efficiently. This session will help you rethink your current processes and focus on new models that integrate precision diagnostics, specialists and other services to better serve patients.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Closing Session

Making the ED Workplace Safe for All
Matthew Powers, President, Emergency Nurses Association; Jennifer Denno, MSN, RN, CEN, Clinical Nurse Educator, Sutter Medical Center Sacramento and Government Affairs Co-Chair, California Emergency Nurses Association; and Gail Blanchard-Saiger, Vice President, Labor and Employment, California Hospital Association

Hospitals are continuously working to improve patient and employee safety. In this session, you’ll learn about the Emergency Nurses Association’s grassroots efforts that led to the development of AB 172 (Rodriguez), the proposed legislation to increase penalties for violence against ED workers. On a parallel track, hear an update on the status of the anticipated Cal/OSHA workplace violence prevention regulations and find out what you can do now to prepare.


Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA 92501

The historic Mission Inn Hotel and Spa is the host hotel. This year’s symposium will coincide with the Inn’s “Festival of Lights,” the crown jewel of annual holiday festivals in Southern California. Rooms are available at the discounted rate of $179, single or double occupancy. For reservations call (800) 843-7755 and mention “Behavioral Health Care Symposium” to receive the special rate. Don’t delay, the discount deadline is November 13 and room availability is limited.

Additional sleeping rooms have been made available at:
Marriott Riverside at the Convention Center
3400 Market Street
Riverside, CA 92501
Be sure to mention the California Hospital Association to receive the discounted rate.


Educational sessions will be held at the remodeled Riverside Convention Center, just a short walk away from the Mission Inn.

Riverside Convention Center
3637 5th Street
Riverside, CA 92501


Register by November 13 and save
The Behavioral Health Care Symposium and Emergency Services Forum runs three days: Monday’s program is devoted to behavioral health care policy, current issues and updates. Tuesday’s program will focus on behavioral issues in EDs. Wednesday is a new Emergency Services Forum focused solely on emergency services issues and solutions.

Choose from four registration options:

  1. Symposium plus Emergency Services Forum (Mon., Tues. & Wed.): Members* $695, Nonmembers** $850
  2. Symposium only (Mon. & Tues.): Members $495, Nonmembers $650
  3. Symposium day two plus Emergency Services Forum (Tues. & Wed.): Members $495, Nonmembers $650
  4. Emergency Services Forum only (Wed.): Members $295, Nonmembers $390

Registrations received after November 13, add $100.
Tuition includes reception, luncheon, symposium materials and CEs.

* Members are CHA member hospitals, CHA associate members and government agencies. ** Nonmembers are limited to non-hospital health care providers, clinics, post-acute facilities, and consultants, insurance companies, law firms and other entities that serve hospitals. Education programs and publications are a membership benefit and are not available to eligible nonmember California hospitals.


A confirmation will be sent to all registrants. On-site registrations and any unpaid registrations may be subject to an additional 10% fee.

Cancellation Policy/Late Payment

A $75 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation. Cancellations must be made in writing seven or more days prior to the scheduled event and emailed to No refunds will be made after these dates. Substitutions are encouraged. Cancellation and substitution notification may be emailed to In the unlikely event that the program is cancelled, refunds will be issued to paid registrants within 30 days.

Special Accommodations

If you require special accommodations pursuant to the American’s with Disabilities Act please call (916) 552-7637.

Continuing Education

Full attendance at each day’s educational sessions is a prerequisite for receiving continuing education. Attendees must sign in each day at the symposium and include professional license number, if required. CE certificates will be emailed after the symposium.

Compliance — The Compliance Certification Board (CCB) has approved this event for up to 13.2 conference CCB CEUs and for 7.2 CCB CEUs for the Emergency Services Forum. Continuing Education Units are awarded based on individual attendance records. Granting of prior approval in no way constitutes endorsement by CCB of this program content or of the program sponsor

Health Care Executives — CHA is authorized to award up to 11.25 conference hours and 6 forum hours of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education Credit (non-ACHE) for this program toward the advancement or recertification in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program wishing to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit should indicate their attendance when submitting application to the American College of Healthcare Executives for advancement or recertification.

Nursing — Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, CEP 11924, for up to 13.5 conference contact hours and 7.2 forum contact hours.

Social Work/Behavioral — Course meets the qualifications for 11 conference hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs, LEPs, and/or LPCCs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Provider # PCE 1735.


Call the Education Department at (916) 552-7637.


On behalf of the California Hospital Association, we would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their support of the 10th Annual Behavioral Health Care Symposium.

For sponsor opportunities, call the CHA Education Department at (916) 552-7502 or email Lisa Hartzell.

Click here to download a sponsor registration form.


Platinum Sponsors:


Silver Sponsors: