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In Focus: Health Care Reform - Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Monday, December 1, 2014
10:00am - 12:00pm PST
Center for Healthy Communities
1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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As a follow-up to our member-led Peer Learning Lunch on Mental Health and Substance Abuse last August, we're holding an in-depth session exploring the complexity of health care delivery systems as they relate to behavioral health and substance abuse.

This is the final session of SCG’s 2014 In Focus: Health Care Reform series.  The panel will feature experts in this field:

  • Clayton Chau, Medical Director of Behavioral Health, LA Care Health Plan
  • Wesley Ford, Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
  • Shoshanna Scholar, Executive Director of LA Community Health Project
  • Dr. Marvin J. Southard, Director, Los Angeles County, Department of Mental Health

You’ll learn about efforts to improve outcomes for those affected by behavioral health and drug abuse and get insights into major issues within the L.A. County Department of Mental Health. We’ll also identify challenges and opportunities that will strengthen care and service delivery for this population.

Signed into law in 2010, the staged implementation of the Affordable Care Act is rapidly impacting communities that we serve. Recognizing the need to understand—and quickly adapt—SCG members met quarterly over the past year to hear from experts about pressing changes and exchange ideas about how funders can respond and prioritize emerging needs. Read more about past sessions in this series here.

About the In Focus Program Model
SCG’s In Focus program series convenes funders to learn about a specific topic, tackling an emerging trend or policy issue of concern to philanthropy. In this focused learning environment, participants exchange ideas about how philanthropy can address evolving issues and share updates about their work. By bringing funders together on a quarterly basis over the course of one year, In Focus provides a platform for funders to address key issues through collaboration and action.


Clayton Chau
Medical Director of Behavioral Health, LA Care Health Plan

Clayton Chau joined LA Care Health Plan as the Medical Director for Behavioral Health Services in 2013.  Prior to joining LA Care he was briefly with CalOptima, another health plan in Orange County.  He also worked for the Orange County Health Care Agency Behavioral Health Services for 13 years, providing care to people living with severe persistent mental illness and integrated care for the county’s Public Health HIV clinic. He served as Director of the Center of Excellence in Education, Training, Research and Advocacy for Reducing Health Disparities.  He completed his psychiatry residency at UCLA/San Fernando Valley followed by a fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health in psychoneuroimmunology focusing on substance abuse and HIV.  Dr. Chau has conducted training in the areas of health care integration, health care reform, cultural competency, veteran’s health, homelessness and mental health policy.  He is featured in the 2013 documentary “A New State of Mind:  Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness” narrated by Glenn Close.  He is a Lecturer for the UCLA School of Public Health and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UC Irvine School of Medicine.  Dr. Chau was named the 2012 Visionary Leader by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Dr. Clayton Chau has a MD in Psychiatry and a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Wesley Ford
Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Wesley Ford has worked in the field of public health for nearly 30 years. He currently serves as the Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and manages a budget of more than $250 million. His previous positions include: Director of Children’s Medical Services; Director of Research and Evaluation; Director of Ambulatory Care for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services; and Director of HIV Seroepidemiology. Ford first joined the Department of Public Health in 1989, and served as the principal investigator for a number of large scale HIV/AIDS research studies and conducted the first HIV/AIDS studies in Los Angeles County’s sexually transmitted disease and tuberculosis clinics, and methadone drug treatment centers. He also conducted the first comprehensive research study of HIV infection and risk behaviors among young men in Los Angeles County and founded the first youth-focused HIV testing site in West Hollywood. Ford served as the principal investigator for a number of research studies conducted at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is a recipient of the Public Health Excellence award. He received his Master’s degree in Medical Sociology from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, and his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Shoshanna Scholar
Executive Director of LA Community Health Project

Shoshanna Scholar is the Executive Director of LA Community Health Project. LACHP reaches some of Los Angeles' most vulnerable populations through three specific, evidence-based public health interventions: LA's oldest syringe exchange program, which operates in Hollywood, downtown LA/ Skid Row, Pico Union and Watts; the Overdose Outreach Project, which trains doctors, medical workers, people who use drugs and their communities in overdose prevention and response; and Transition Partners, a pilot project seeking to integrate drug users and homeless clients into the emerging community clinic health system. Since 2003, Scholar has developed, tested and adapted innovative public health strategies for drug-using populations. She is especially focused on activating peer networks to reach hard-to-find populations, working with government to implement better public health policies and raising public awareness around overdose prevention. She currently serves as a Los Angeles County HIV Commissioner.

Dr. Marvin Southard
Director, Los Angeles County, Department of Mental Health

Dr. Marvin Southard, D.S.W., joined the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health as Director in 1998. In his current role, Dr. Southard leads the largest public mental health system in the country, serving over 250,000 clients annually in one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation. He has overseen a 304% growth in the system from a gross budget of $495+ million in Fiscal Year 1997-98 to nearly $2 billion in Fiscal Year 2013-14. Dr. Southard received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate in Social Work at UCLA.

SCG members: free
Eligible non-members: $100 per session.

SCG members: register online. (You must log in to your SCG account to register online.)

Eligible Non-members: If you already have an SCG account, log in to register. If you do not have an account yet, contact us [email protected].

Space is limited. Participants are encouraged to attend all five meetings of the In Focus: Health Care Reform series.

If you have additional questions regarding this program, contact Tuly Martinez at [email protected].

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