8th Annual Healthcare Symposium

Keynote Speaker: Al Gore

UCLA Covel Commons
7:30am - 1:30pm
Saturday, Jan 24, 2004

The UCLA Health Care Symposium is a student-run event designed to highlight important issues in medicine. In 2004, they chose to explore the concept of rationing in the current and future health care system because they realized that the limited distribution of health care resources among 300 million people relied on a form of rationing.

But what are the different models of rationing? How well does each harmonize with American ethics, ideals, and values? What are the political and economic implications of alternate health care models? In the end, which model, if any, can bring amelioration to the crisis that now faces American health care?

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM Registration
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM Introduction by Gerald Levey, M.D., Vice chancellor of medical sciences and Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
8:45 AM - 10:15 AM Keynote address: Al Gore
Q&A following address
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 10:40 AM Video clip
10:40 AM - 11:00 AM Panel introduction by Mark Peterson, Ph.D.
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Panel discussion, panelists:
Ronald P. Bangasser, M.D.
John Golenski, Ed.D.
Michael Moreno
Judy Spelman, R.N.
12:00 PM - 12:45 PM Audience Q&A with panelists
12:45 PM - 1:00 PM Conclusion and door prizes

(Bios are for archival purposes)

Keynote Speaker

Albert Gore

45th Vice President of the United States



As vice president of the United States, as a presidential candidate in the mind-whirling campaign of 2000, as a congressman, as a Vietnam veteran and a working journalist, Al Gore offers a unique perspective on national and international affairs. Known around the world for his visionary thinking and an uncanny ability to predict the challenges and opportunities posed by technology, the global economy and a changing environment, he remains an inspiring and innovative national figure. As a key member of President Clinton’s economic team, Gore was integral to the creation of America’s longest period of sustained economic growth. He cast the tie-breaking vote for Senate approval of the first balanced budget in 30 years and, during his tenure, helped to create 18 million new jobs and raise wages at twice the rate of inflation. As vice president, Gore’s positions included president of the Senate, member of the Cabinet, member of the National Security Council and leader of a wide range of administrative initiatives, including the fight for family and medical leave. Acclaimed for his environmental achievements, his pioneering efforts were outlined in the best-selling Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit.


Mark A. Peterson, Ph.D.

Faculty Associate, Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA

A specialist on American national institutions and a political scientist, much of Professor Petersons scholarship focuses on interactions among the Presidency, Congress, and interest groups, evaluating their implications for policy making, both within the general domain of domestic policy and with special attention to health care policy. He has written extensively on how Congress responds to presidential legislative initiatives, exploring how different political, economic, and institutional settings affect coalition building, promote inter-institutional conflict or cooperation, influence the presidents legislative performance, and establish the baseline for assessing the performance of individual leaders. He has also investigated the ways in which presidents use relationships with organized interests to promote their administrations political or programmatic agendas, based on the presidential objectives and strategic calculations. His most recent research examines how transformation of the interest group community, institutional dynamics in Congress, changes in the context and demands of political leadership, and various dimensions of social learning by policy makers promote or constrain enacting major health policy innovations. These various projects have been supported by, among others, the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Dirksen Congressional Leadership Research Center, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, and time as a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

From 1993 to 2002, Professor Peterson was the editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, a leading bimonthly scholarly journal in the field. He now chairs the journals Executive Committee and also serves on the Board of Editors of PS: Political Science & Politics. Previously he was on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Politics.

Professor Peterson has also been engaged with politics and policy making more directly. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, he was Democratic Party Ward Chair in the First Ward, and worked on many political campaigns. As an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, he served as a Legislative Assistant for Health Policy in the Office of U.S. Senator Tom Daschle. Currently he is on the Study Panel on Medicare and Markets organized by the National Academy of Social Insurance. He has often been interviewed for television, radio, and print media stories, including for National Public Radio, Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor.

In addition, Professor Peterson chairs the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Scholars in Health Policy Research program and is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the Foundations Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) program and its Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program.

At UCLA, he is a Faculty Associate of the Center for Health Policy Research and on the faculty boards of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy, the Center for Policy Research on Aging, the Center for Governance, the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, and the Institute for Social Science Research.

Before coming to UCLA, he was an associate professor of Public Affairs, Political Science, and Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Henry LaBarre Jayne Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University.


Ronald P. Bangasser, M.D.

CMA President
Director of External Affairs,
Beaver Medical Group, Redlands

Dr. Bangasser is a board-certified family physician and Director of External Affairs for the Beaver Medical Group in Redlands. He is also the Medical Director of the Wound Care Department at Redlands Community Hospital. In March 2003, he was elected President of the California Medical Association. From 2001-2002, he was Speaker of the California Medical Association House of Delegates, CMA’s policy-making body. Previously, he served as Chair of the CMA Committee on Managed Care, Vice Chair of the CMA Hospital Medical Staff Section Executive Board, and President and Board Chair of the California Foundation for Medical Care. He currently is a member of the California Delegation to the AMA and in June 2001, he was elected to AMA’s Council on Medical Service.

In addition to his activities on the state and national levels, Dr. Bangasser has been President of the San Bernardino County Medical Society, Chief of Staff at Redlands Community Hospital and Medical Director of the Beaver Medical Group and the Redlands Medical Group.

Dr Bangasser was installed as President of the Pacific Chapter of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society in 2003.

In 2002, he was appointed to the NCQA’s Committee on Performance Measurements and the Practicing Physicians’ Advisory Committee. He also joined the Board of the Integrated Healthcare Association in 2001 and serves on their Pay for Performance Committee.

Dr. Bangasser received a medical degree from Chicago Medical School and served his residency at the San Bernardino County Medical Center and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and an associate professor at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

John Golenski, Ed.D.

Designer of the Medicaid
Prioritization Project in Oregon

In his twenty-five year health care career, Dr. Golenski has worked at the bedside as a clinician in a hospice and a children’s hospital; founded a children’s hospice; established and trained over 300 ethics committees in hospitals, hospital systems, nursing homes, hospices, health plans, and corporations; designed and facilitated major health reform efforts such as the Oregon Health Plan, Hawaii’s Cost Containment Plan, and the Essential Benefits Project for Blue Shield of California’s Universal Coverage, Universal Responsibility Plan; consulted with major health insurers such as Kaiser Permanente, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Group Health Cooperative, AvMed, Excellus, ChoiceCare; and worked with government from the county to Congress and the Executive. From 1999 through 2001, he established and directed RxHealthValue, a national stakeholder coalition which supported legislative proposals, conducted research and developed policy proposals to enhance Americans’ access to prescription drugs.

Dr. Golenski received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College and his doctorate in Human Development from Harvard University in 1978. He studied theology and ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. A former member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), he is now a priest of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

Michael Moreno

AARP's Legislative Representative
for the California State Office

Michael Moreno currently serves as the Legislative Representative for AARP in the California State office in Sacramento. He was the Legislative Director for the United Farm Workers of America and Principal Consultant to the California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC).

Prior to coming to California Mr. Moreno served on the Cabinets of two Arizona Governors for five years. He was a Special Assistant to United States Senator John Mc Cain and Dennis De Concini in Arizona.

Mr. Moreno earned a Masters Degree in Organizational Management with an emphasis in Business Administration in 1999. He earned his undergraduate degree from California State University Fresno in 1985. He is a native Californian born in Fresno, California.

Judy Spelman, R.N.

Health Policy Consultant for
Senator Sheila Kuehl,
Health Care for All Californians

Judith Ann Spelman, R.N. is a health policy consultant for Senator Sheila J. Kuehl who serves on the Senate Select Committee on Health Care for All Californians.

Ms. Spelman has been a health care advocate for over 20 years during which time she has authored several legislative bills including "Cal-Care," a universal health coverage proposal and has served as the chair of multiple organizations such as the "Committee to Bring Paramedic to the San Geronimo Valley" and is the founding chair of "Health Care for All Californians." She also has served on the board of directors for "Coastal Health Alliance Clinics."

In addition to her involvement in health care policy, Ms. Spelman is a registered nurse and has received training as a nurse practitioner and physician assistant. She has worked at numerous institutions in Northern California where she has gained experience in the emergency room, intensive care unit, medicine and labor and delivery units. Although currently employed at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Rafael, Ca. as an Emergency Room staff nurse, Ms. Spelman has practiced around the world including voluntary work in Mozambique and Israel.

Ms. Spelman received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her nursing degree from the College of Marin in Kentfield, California.

(Bios are for archival purposes)

Bruce Chernof, M.D., FACP



Bruce Allen Chernof, MD, FACP, currently serves as the Regional Medical Director for State Health Programs in Southern California at Health Net, California's largest network-model managed care plan. Dr. Chernof joined Health Net in 1997 to work on the development and implementation of Health Net's "Healthy Families" plan, California’s version of the Federal Children's HealthInsurance Program (CHIP) which provides low-cost health insurance for uninsured poor children. He is also responsible for Health Net’s Managed Medi-Caid Program in Los Angeles County, covering more than 500,000 lives. Dr. Chernof completed his residency and served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the UCLA-San Fernando Valley Program. After residency, Dr. Chernof completed a Fellowship in Medical Education at the UCLA School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from UCLA and completed his undergraduate work at Harvard University. Currently, Dr. Chernof is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA and serves as the Director of the MD/MBA and MD/MPH Programs. In 2002, the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA recognized Dr. Chernof with Award for Excellence in Education for these innovative programs. Dr. Chernof has lectured widely on a variety of subjects including Total Quality Management, health services research on the underserved, and the role of learning within the doctor-patient relationship. He has had work published in a variety of journals including Medical Care, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and The Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement.

Neil H. Parker, M.D.

Neil H. Parker, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Graduate Medical Education, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine.

Among his numerous responsibilities, Dr. Parker oversees medical student admissions, provides guidance for outreach services, assists in negotiation of affiliation agreements and regularly counsels medical students.

Dr. Parker has shown his dedication to medical education through his chairmanship of the 1st year Foundations-Orientation course and the Medicine Subinternship elective for 4th years as well as serving as a co-chair for the 3rd year Clinical Foundations course. He has also taught medical students as a tutor for both the Clinical Applications of Basic Sciences and the Pathophysiology of Diseases Case Studies courses. From 1981-1995, he served as Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine residency program before which he was an attending physician for residents and fellows in the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Parker is hailed as one of UCLA' s best instructors and consistently receives the highest marks from medical student and resident evaluations. He has twice been honored with the Outstanding Fulltime Faculty Award from the Department of Medicine in addition to receiving the UCLA Medical Staff Service Award. Dr. Parker is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and is a member of the national honorary medical society, Alpha Omega Alpha.

Dr. Parker received his M.D. degree cum laude from the State University of New York, Downstate in 1972 and joined the faculty at UCLA as Chief Resident in Medicine in 1977.

J. Thomas Rosenthal, M.D.

J. Thomas Rosenthal, M.D. Associate Vice Chancellor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Dr. Rosenthal joined the faculty of UCLA School of Medicine in 1986 as Associate Professor of Urology and Director of Renal Transplantation. Under Dr. Rosenthal’s leadership, the Renal Transplant program tripled in size while maintaining the highest graft survival results in the country. Clinical research was developed as an important part of the program, culminating in the program’s receiving NIH funding for participation in the first NIH sponsored clinical trials in transplantation.

In 1990, he was appointed Executive Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Vice Chairman of the Medical Faculty Board. He was responsible for improvements in contracting for specialty services, development of the Department of Surgery practice plan, and for hospital-wide clinical pathway development. In 1995, Dr. Rosenthal was appointed Interim CEO of the UCLA Medical Group, and in 1996 was formally appointed by to be Vice Provost and Director of the Medical Group. As Director of the Medical Group, he provided oversaw development of managed care services, including contracting, quality management, clinical effectiveness, utilization management, and claims. In 1999, Dr. Rosenthal’s duties were expanded to include a role as Chief Medical Office of UCLA Medical Center. This position was created to improve coordination efforts of key services among the Medical Staff, Hospital Systems, and the Medical Group.

In 2003, he moved from clinical enterprise to School of Medicine to become Associate Vice Chancellor responsible for a variety of School functions including affiliate relations and research integrity. He remains Professor of Urology and a member of the renal transplant team.

Dale Tate

Dale Triber Tate, Executive Director, Health Sciences Government Relations and External Affairs, UCLA Center for the Health Sciences.

Dale Triber Tate serves as the Executive Director, Health Sciences Government Relations and External Affairs at UCLA’s Center for the Health Sciences. She has responsibility for overseeing health sciences communications and government relations for UCLA’shospitals, as well the David Geffen School of Medicine.

Before coming to UCLA, Ms. Tate was Associate Director of Government Relations at Stanford University. During more than twenty years in Washington, D.C., she was a journalist, Capitol Hill press secretary, presidential campaign spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sondra Vazirani, M.D.

Sondra Vazirani, MD, MPH is a Hospitalist in the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine/Health Services Research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Clinically, Dr. Vazirani serves as the Medical Director of the Medicine Consult Service at the West Los Angeles VA and also attends on the wards and in the ER. Administratively, Dr. Vazirani serves on the Residency Advisory Committee and the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Dr. Vazirani is submitting a manuscript regarding a research study that compares the effectiveness of care management by a hospitalist/ nursepractitioner/ multidisciplinary care management team versus conventional approach for acutely ill general medicine inpatients. Dr. Vazirani additionally teaches an elective in the UCLA Medical School in Health Policy. She has been married nine years to an attorney and has a gorgeous seventeen-month-old baby girl.

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