ICYMI: Key Takeaways from ITUP’s 28th Annual Conference 

February 29, 2024 |  By Maia Kosek and Sophie Yang

Share This:
Photo courtesy of ITUP

Sacramento – Earlier in February our staff attended the 28th Annual ITUP Conference: “Engagement Redefined: Harnessing Community Power for Equitable Health.” This conference is a bellwether for key actions to come in health policy for the state, and this year was no different. ITUP’s new Executive Director Crispin Delgado, formerly with Northern California Grantmakers, brought together workshops and sessions that focused on addressing inequities in our health care delivery system in California including workforce, broadband, bias in health care data, and more. ITUP has traditionally focused on access and coverage and this remains critical to them as the landscape becomes inclusive of heath related social needs.  

Since Transform Health focuses on health systems change, the event is a key moment to come together, especially ahead of state budget decisions.  It is an opportunity where we can share and learn about issues important to stakeholders from policy makers and advocates.  

This year’s conversation around health equity and the power of data ties closely to Transform Health’s work with the DHCS PATH Collaborative Planning and Implementation Initiatives to support local providers implementing CalAIM Enhanced Care Management and Community Supports. We also showcased the DxF Implementation Toolkit, developed in partnership with BluePath Health via a CDII DSA Education Initiative Grant. The toolkit educates California providers on how to sign on to the state’s data sharing agreement to effectively share data and increase interoperability. 

Transformative leaders from across the state shared in this important conversation, including CalHHS Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, who presented on statewide initiatives that look to bridge systems and sectors. Breakout sessions included a discussion on health care for justice-involved individuals and health equity for tribal communities (Health Care for AIAN Fact Sheet).  

A multi-faceted approach to equitable health 

Each session stirred questions that are familiar to many in California’s health care system. As social determinants are wrapped into our understanding of health care, how do we integrate services and share information smoothly? How can we ensure that the health care workforce and health data – drivers of quality care – are representative and accessible? How can we continue to put the community at the center of our work and meet them where they’re at? The panelists also explored the importance of practicing cultural humility and creating an inclusive and diverse workforce so patients can get quality care from people that look like them. 

Systems change requires collaboration at every level 

Tracking the successes and challenges of health policy implementation is a multi-sector effort. We were encouraged by the important conversations grounded in health equity and Medi-Cal during the 28th Annual ITUP conference as this is a key forum to reality test policies and how they are being implemented locally in California and beyond.   

Transform Health is a nationally certified women and minority led health care consulting firm. Reach out to us today if you would like to work together. Contact Heather Bates, COO, and VP of Stakeholder Engagement at heather@transformhc.com We would love to hear from you!