The Center for Behavioral Health
Mission Statement

The California Hospital Association (CHA) Center for Behavioral Health was formally established in 1992 to emphasize the importance of mental health and chemical dependency services and programs in California’s hospital and health care community.

Members of the center include CHA members that provide mental health and/or chemical dependency services. The center is governed by a 21-member advisory board that is proportionately representative of its membership.

CHA News Article

Jenifer Nyhuis Receives Šimanek Distinguished Service Award
For CEOs, behavioral health directors

Jenifer Nyhuis, CEO of Vista del Mar Hospital in Ventura, was presented with the 2019 Šimanek Distinguished Service Award on Dec. 9 during the 14th annual Behavioral Health Care Symposium in Riverside. Named for its first recipient, attorney Joe Šimanek, the award recognizes outstanding leadership and achievements in the behavioral health setting.

CHA News Article

Symposium Next Week Highlights Positive Changes in Behavioral Health Care
For CEOs, CNOs, clinical directors, psychiatric administrators and managers

Nearly 300 people will gather next week to learn more about the positive changes happening in behavioral health care. CHA’s annual Behavioral Health Symposium, to be held Dec. 9-10 in Riverside, will deliver valuable and timely information and provide an opportunity for attendees to network with their peers.

CHA News Article

Center for Behavioral Health Calls for Nominations
For Behavioral Health Staff

The CHA Center for Behavioral Health (CBH) is calling for nominations to fill four vacancies on its advisory board.


Center for Hospital Medical Executives

The CHA Center for Hospital Medical Executives (CHME) represents hospital- or health system-employed physician medical executives in California and serves in an advisory capacity to the CHA Board of Trustees. In this capacity, CHME advises CHA on the needs and priorities related to public policies, hospital or health system medical staffs and related issues.

  • Serves as liaison between hospital or health system medical executives and CHA.
  • Identifies and analyzes issues and develops solutions proposed to be implemented through CHA and the co-sponsoring organizations.
  • Reviews and comments on related actions proposed by CHA or by one or more of the co-sponsoring organizations which affect medical or medical staff issues.
  • Makes recommendations on such issues as quality, patient safety, clinical best practices, technology, medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, medical staff and management coordination, and other relevant matters.
  • Carries out related assignments made by the CHA Board of Trustees.

Center for Post-Acute Care

The Center for Post-Acute Care represents the interests of CHA member post-acute care providers,  including inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and units,  long-term acute care hospitals, distinct-part skilled-nursing facilities and home health agencies.  As a part of CHA, the Center for Post-Acute Care serves as the primary public policy arm of the hospital association for post-acute care issues. The center also advocates for hospital-based post-acute care services  in the federal and state legislative and regulatory arenas.

The Center for Post-Acute Care is guided by an advisory board made up of  CHA member organizations at all levels of the post-acute patient care continuum.  The board oversees and coordinates the activities of three member forums; inpatient rehabilitation and therapy services; skilled nursing and subacute care; and home health and hospice.

Staff support for the Center for Post-Acute Care is provided by Patricia Blaisdell, vice president, continuum of care,  (916) 552-7553,

CHA News Article

CMS Issues Home Health PPS Proposed Rule
For directors of reimbursement, home health leaders, infusion services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the proposed rule for the calendar year (CY) 2021 home health prospective payment system. 

CHA News Article

DHCS, CDA Solicit Input on Long-Term Care at Home Benefit
For CFOs, directors of reimbursement, case managers

The Department of Health Care (DHCS) and the California Department of Aging (CDA) have released the first draft of the Medi-Cal Long Term Care at Home benefit design for public comment, which includes an overview of key goals, target populations, model of care, financing structure, and federal authority.

Education event

FFY 2021 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility PPS Proposed Rule




In late April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule for the inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system.  If finalized, provisions of the rule will go into effect October 1, 2020.    

Education event

FFY 2021 Skilled Nursing Facility PPS Proposed Rule




In late April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule for the skilled nursing facility prospective payment system.  If finalized, provisions of the rule will go into effect October 1, 2020.    

CHA News Article

CHA Issues Summary of Proposed Changes to Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model
For COOs, post-acute care staff, finance & reimbursement staff, government relations staff

CHA has issued a detailed summary, prepared by Health Policy Alternatives, of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed rule that would make changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model to include outpatient hip and knee replacements.


Advisory Board



Adam Darvish
Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategies/California Hospital Division
Kindred Healthcare, Los Angeles

Past Chair

Phillip C. Hill
California Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles


Rural Healthcare Center
Serving Small and Rural Hospitals

The CHA Rural Healthcare Center represents small and rural hospitals, facilities that have a unique, personal relationship with the communities they serve. Their smaller size, distance from population centers, and proximity to patients each present a distinct set of challenges.

The Rural Healthcare Center also serves the needs and interests of Critical Access Hospitals (CAH), and advocates for their interests on federal and state legislative and regulatory policies.

For more information, contact Peggy Broussard Wheeler, vice president, rural health & governance at (916) 552-7689.

Education event For Members

Wildfires During a Public Health Disaster: Incident Action Planning Webinar

July 29, 2020
9:30 – 10:30 a.m., Pacific Time
A complimentary, CHA members-only webinar

The world has been so focused on COVID-19 that it seems both summer and wildfire season snuck up on us. Responding to wildfires in the midst of a pandemic is another example of how important it is for health care personnel and communities to work together. Preparing and thinking outside the box when it comes to wildfires while dealing with a community spread pandemic helps improve our response. How do evacuation and shelter-in-place change with a highly communicable disease?

CHA News Article

DHCS Funding Available for Behavioral Health Counselors in Hospital EDs
For CNOs, CMOs, behavioral health staff, emergency department directors, human resources executives

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is now accepting applications for its Behavioral Health Pilot Project (BHPP). General acute care hospitals are eligible to receive $50,000 for one year to integrate trained behavioral health counselors into emergency departments.

CHA News Article

CHA Provides Input on Improving Health in Rural, Underserved Areas

Last week, CHA responded to a request for information from the House Ways & Means Committee soliciting input for its Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force, which is working to develop bipartisan legislation to improve health care outcomes in underserved communities.

CHA News Article

National Rural Health Day Is Nov. 21
For CEOs

Thursday is National Rural Health Day, showcasing rural health care providers, their challenges and triumphs, and recognizing the unique health care needs of rural communities.

CHA News Article

Grant Applications Available for Programs That Strengthen Health Care Delivery
Applications due March 1

Nonprofit organizations and counties that participate in the County Medical Services Program (CMSP) are encouraged to apply for funding through the Health Systems Development Grant Program.


CAHHS Volunteer Services

Since 1954 the Volunteer Services Department of the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (CAHHS) has promoted and supported health care volunteerism in the state’s hospitals and health systems.

For more information, contact the CAHHS Volunteer Services Department at (916) 552-7544 or

Volunteer event

Getting to the Positive in Uncertain Times Webinar

The Getting to the Positive in Uncertain Times webinar took place Friday, June 12, 2020.  Thank you to the members who participated and presenter Jane Rogan who provided an excellent educational webinar.  Resource materials are available now.  

General Information

Special Message for California Hospital Volunteers

In a short video, Carmela Coyle, California Hospital Association (CHA) President & CEO updates volunteers and volunteer leadership on how the COVID-19 crisis has economically impacted hospitals and what CHA is doing to assist them.

Her video message also addresses a question that might be on a lot of minds: When can volunteers return to hospitals? Recognizing the integral role that hospital volunteers play, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when,” Coyle said. Your work is deeply missed by everyone — leadership, staff, patients, etc., — she said, but it’s not worth the risk. There remains some work to be done to restore Californians’ confidence in hospitals, but they can’t wait to welcome you back, she said. 

General Information

National Organization Sends Open Letter on Importance of Volunteers Post-COVID

The National Alliance for Volunteer Engagement has released an open letter to decision-makers in volunteer-supported organizations to ensure volunteers are an essential part of each organization’s sustainability plan post COVID-19.   

General Information

Protecting Your Mental Health During COVID-19

In light of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, and the fact that we are all doing our best to social distance from friends and family, California Volunteers and California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris share these tips for protecting your mental health.

CHA News Article

Celebrate National Volunteer Week April 19-25
For CEOs, volunteer staff, public relations staff

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice, and support to causes they care about in their hospital and community. This year’s annual week of recognition is April 19-25.

Volunteers’ stories can serve to inspire others to find ways to take action that creates change. During this time, many California hospital volunteer programs have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the work of hospital volunteers continues. Although volunteers may not physically be in the hospital , here are some of the ways they are supporting their hospitals and communities during this crisis:

  • Handwriting thank you notes to hospital physicians and nurses
  • Identifying local restaurants that are willing to donate food to hospital staff
  • Donating blood
  • Creating greeting cards for patients
  • Keeping staff fueled by creating and delivering “snack packs” with candy, chips, nuts, etc. to each department within the hospital
  • Providing employee food pantries with perishable items, allowing employees who are unable to get to the store to have what they need
  • Connecting and staying in touch via social media outlets
  • Virtually recording stories for patients
  • Making face masks and shields for hospital staff
  • Checking in and assisting neighbors as needed

It is uncertain times like these when the value of volunteers is truly immeasurable.

National Volunteer Week has traditionally been a time of celebration, to honor and pay recognition to the thousands of volunteers supporting California hospitals, but this year many activities have been canceled and/or postponed until further notice.

CAHHS Volunteer Services thanks all California hospital volunteers for your heroism, dedication, and the impact you continue to make day in and day out to support your hospital and your community. We look forward to your return. Until then, email your Volunteer Week photos or videos for our gallery and Facebook to  

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead