CPCA’s 2018 Quality Care Conference brought over 280 participants, to the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Sacramento on March 1-2. Clinical leadership, community health center executives, quality and information technology directors, among others, came together discuss and learn best practices about the hot-button issues that community health centers are facing as they strive to provide the highest quality of care to their patients. Innovative approaches and navigation of uncertain political times along with changing priorities were at the forefront of the conference content.

This year’s conference was kicked off with a warm welcome by Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Esq., President and CEO of CPCA. She was followed by the opening keynote speaker Dr. Sieji Hayashi, MD, MPH, Director of Medicine at the Human Diagnosis Project, who led a dynamic and interactive presentation of “Mission Impossible: Why the Health Center Mission is Not Enough” which earned rave reviews from conference attendees.

Other highlights of the conference included the plenary panel which discussed “Strengthening Strategic Partnerships within Managed Care.” The panel was comprised of Moderator Margaret Tatar, Esq., and speakers Greg Buchert, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Care 1st; Xiao Chen, MS, Director of Analytics at the Community Health Center Network; and Amit Pabla, MHA, Chief Quality and Transformation Officer at Axis Community Health.  The panel closed with a question and answer period, which allowed for panelists to answer some of the audience’s burning questions about the topic of strategic partnerships within managed care.

Throughout the conference, a wide array of educational break-out sessions were available to attendees and included topics related to key areas such as Data, Quality Improvement (QI), Compliance and Health Information Technology (HIT). The well-attended sessions included time for the audience to ask questions of the presenters as well as offer their own experiences and ideas about how they have overcome certain challenges in the clinical setting, which was invaluable insight for many of their peers.

The conference reception allowed healthcare professionals to network, share ideas and experiences and get to know more about the 16 outstanding exhibitors who showcased their products and services at the conference.  Attendees had the opportunity to play “Exhibitor Bingo” and one lucky player went home with a FitBit Surge.  Special thanks goes to eClinicalWorks, CPCA’s 2018 Exclusive Annual Sponsor, for co-hosting the reception with CPCA.

The second day of the conference began with a heartfelt opening session presented by Michelle Ghidinelli, Population Health Specialist at Santa Rosa Community Health.  Ms. Ghidinelli, spoke about the challenging time they experienced after the devastating wildfires in Sonoma County destroyed their largest health center in October 2017.  Michelle spoke of the everyday heroism of their staff, many of whom were displaced themselves due to the fires, but rallied together to prepare a plan to serve the 27,000 patients who lost their medical home.  It was inspiring to hear of the challenges the staff was able to overcome in the aftermath of the fires and how they continued to focus on quality of care, even in the face of hardship.

The conference concluded with keynote speaker Andrea Ducas, MPH, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation spoke of “Aligning Health and Health Care Systems to Improve Health Equity,” shedding light on the factors that patients find important when selecting a provider and the solutions that providers can implement to improve health equity in their communities. Ms. Ducas provided excellent insight into sustainable solutions for practice transformation in the safety net.

CPCA would like to thank all who participated in this year’s Quality Care Conference including speakers, exhibitors, attendees and staff.  We appreciate all who worked hard to make this conference a success. We aim to offer valuable educational content to our members and our Quality Care Conference will continue to be a vital part of meeting that goal.  We hope to see you next year!