Conference / Symposium

2023 Behavioral Health Care Symposium

Kimpton Sawyer Hotel | Sacramento
December 12, 2023 | 9:00AM - 4:45PM PT
December 13, 2023 | 8:30AM - 4:00PM PT

Did you see the Symposium is in Sacramento this year?

Bringing California’s hospital leaders, policymakers, and experts on behavioral health together, the symposium will dive into the public policies, politics, and financial issues shaping behavioral health care in our state.  

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8:45 – 9:45 a.m. | Registration and Continental Breakfast 

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. | Opening Comments 

Kirsten Barlow, Vice President of Policy, California Hospital Association 

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.  | Keynote | The Honorable Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health

CHA is honored to have the Assistant Majority Leader representing Senate District 05, Dr. Susan Talamantes Eggman, Chair of the Senate Health Committee and a leader on behavioral health in our state legislature, as a keynote speaker for the 2023 Behavioral Health Care Symposium. The author of both Senate Bill (SB) 43 (which significantly updates California’s conservatorship laws) and SB 526 (legislation modernizing the Mental Health Service Act), and the joint author of SB 1338 (which created CARE Court), Senator Eggman will share her vision and priorities for behavioral health in California.

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. | Break

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. | Introduction and Welcome 

Carmela Coyle, Chief Executive Officer, California Hospital Association 

11:00 a.m. – 12 noon | Keynote | Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg

City of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg will welcome attendees to this year’s Sacramento location of the Behavioral Health Care Symposium! As current mayor of Sacramento, former president of the state Senate, author of California’s Mental Health Services Act, and founder of the Steinberg Institute, Darrell Steinberg has been a relentless advocate for mental health care. Mayor Steinberg will discuss the current state of mental health care in California and new opportunities it has to interrupt the harsh cycle of homelessness, crisis, and hospital emergency room visits.

12:00 noon – 1:15 p.m. | Lunch 

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Have We Decriminalized Mental Illness?  

Kate Warburton, MD, Medical Director, Deputy Director of Clinical Operations, California Department of State Hospitals; Judge Larry Brown, Esq, Sacramento Superior Court

Over the past several decades, California has tried through criminal justice reforms, collaborative courts and diversion programs, and the Stepping Up initiative to reduce the connection between living with a severe mental illness and coming into contact with the justice system. And yet, from 2009 to 2019, the proportion of incarcerated people in California jails with a psychological disorder who are actively receiving mental health services rose 63%. Dr. Warburton and Judge Brown will describe the mental illness decriminalization landscape in California and how we got here, informed by their unique state hospital and courtroom points of view.

2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | Break and Vendor Visits 

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. | What Keeps Hospital Leaders Up at Night? (Part 1)    

Tristan Ivy, Santa Rosa Behavioral Health, Sonoma County; Joseph Sandoval, Director, Scrivner Center, Mental Health 7 Addiction Services, El Camino Health; Christiana Paul, Vice President of the Patient Care Continuum, Sharp Mesa Vista Behavioral Health Hospital 

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, but the demands of playing a leadership role at work are known to “keep you up at night.” In this session, leaders from three dissimilar hospital settings will share their most pressing concerns and day-to-day realities of the delivery of inpatient psychiatric care to children, adolescents, and adults in acute distress.

3:45 – 4:45 p.m. | General Session | Building Behavioral Health Capacity & Workforce

Stephanie Welch, Deputy Director of Behavioral Health, California Health and Human Services   

Since 2019, California has embarked on investments and policy reforms to re-envision the behavioral health system. This presentation will provide an update on the implementation of several key initiatives, with a specific focus on the crisis care continuum, services for the most vulnerable, and strategies to tackle complex infrastructure challenges, both physical and human capital.

4:45 – 5:00 p.m. | Pass Through  

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Reception

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. | Continental Breakfast 

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. | Opening Comments 

Kirsten Barlow, Vice President, Policy, California Hospital Association  

8:45 – 9:45 a.m.  | Keynote | It’s OK not to be OK: A Talk About Mental Health in the Workplace

Bobbin and Patrick Mulvaney, Proprietors of Mulvaney’s B&L

The sudden rash of suicides and overdoses in the restaurant industry that hit Sacramento in late 2018 and early 2019 inspired Bobbin and Patrick Mulvaney to create “I Got Your Back” (IGYB) as a resource for their employees.
IGYB is a promise to work together to support peers and reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health and related issues. It was created for hospitality workers to help them identify warning signs associated with a person in crisis while in the workplace. IGYB establishes a safe environment of acceptance to talk about personal crises and provides access to resources for those who are struggling with mental health issues. Their mission statement is, “It’s okay to not be okay. It’s not okay to stay that way.”

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. | California’s Political Landscape for Behavioral Health

Kathryn Austin Scott, Senior Vice President, The California Hospital Association, Leah Barros, Legislative Advocate & CEO, Leah Barros, LLC

Nationwide, American voters of all parties continue to show strong support for elected officials to improve access and affordability for behavioral health care. The popularity of these issues among California’s electeds has never been higher, as seen by the growing number of bills and state and local ballot initiatives to support behavioral health. This session will describe California’s current political landscape for tackling behavioral health care needs in our state.  

10:45 – 11:15 a.m. | Break and Sponsor Visits 

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | What Keeps County Behavioral Health Leaders Up at Night? (Part 2)

Ryan Quist, Behavioral Health Director, Department of Health Services, Sacramento County; Michelle Doty-Cabrera, Executive Director, County Behavioral Health Directors Association; Phebe Bell, MSW, Director of Behavioral Health, Nevada County; Karleen Jakowski, LMFT, Assistant HHSA Director, Mental Health Director, Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency

On Day 1 of this Symposium, we featured what kept hospital leaders up at night in the delivery of inpatient behavioral health care. During this session, three leaders from small, medium, and large counties will unveil their most pressing concerns and day-to-day realities as administrators of California’s $10 billion public behavioral health care system.

12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Lunch  

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Improving Behavioral Health Care Transitions

Paul Rains, RN, MSN, System Regional Vice President Behavioral Health, Common Spirit Health; Julianne Sims, LCSW, Assistant Director Clinical Services, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, County of Merced; Suresh Bangara, MD, Psychiatrist and Mental Health Innovator; Maranda Hall, Chief Nurse Executive Officer, Common Spirit Health  

This session tells how one health system’s persistence to introduce and implement a solution to providing better crisis care in emergency rooms has led to an innovative partnership. With buy-in from county and hospital leaders, a highly specialized behavioral health evaluation tool leads to better patient care and more effective transitions from the hospital emergency room.

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. | Break and Vendor Raffle 

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. | Updates on New Statutes, LPS and EMTALA  

Linda Garrett, Esq, Partner, Garrett Law LLP; Alicia Macklin, Esq, Partner, Hooper Lundy & Bookman, PC; Mike Phillips, Esq, Senior Director, Patient Advocacy and Housing Services, Jewish Family Service 

In recent years, California’s legislature has made some sweeping changes to statutes on involuntary holds and treatment. Presenters will give an overview of several of these new laws and highlight both the hope and the practical challenges they bring to the health care system.

3:45 – 4:00 p.m. | Closing Remarks  
Kirsten Barlow, Vice President of Policy, California Hospital Association 

Phebe Bell, MSW 
Director of Behavioral Health 
Nevada County 
As the Director of Behavioral Health for Nevada County, Ms. Bell oversees specialty mental health services for children and adults, a comprehensive crisis system, and substance use disorder services. She is the Past President of the California Behavioral Health Director’s Association.

Judge Larry Brown 
Sacramento Superior Court Judge 
Appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in January 2010, Judge Brown serves as the Supervising Collaborative Court Judge for the Sacramento Superior Court.  In that role, he presides over four mental health treatment courts, Assisted Outpatient Treatment, and several other problem-solving courts. He also serves as Chair of the Judicial Council of California’s Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee.  

Linda Garrett, Esq. 
Garrett Law, LLP 
Linda Garrett has been providing risk management services to public entity healthcare facilities and providers for over 30 years. She currently works with over 50 California public health, behavioral health, school-based wellness, and correctional healthcare programs. She trains providers and administrative staff on a variety of medical/legal topics including consent, mandated reporting, involuntary mental health treatment, and federal and state medical confidentiality laws. 

Tristen Ivy 
Chief Executive Officer 
Santa Rosa Behavioral Healthcare Hospital 
Tristan Ivy is the Chief Executive Officer of Santa Rosa Behavioral Healthcare Hospital. She has been with Signature Healthcare since 2015 and has worked in the healthcare setting since 1993.  Ms. Ivy has an extensive background in healthcare management, strategic planning, and financial oversight with a focus on quality improvement and patient safety working in private Physician practices, Long-term Acute Care Hospitals and Behavioral Health Hospitals. 

Alicia Macklin, Esq. 
Hooper, Lundy & Bookman PC 
Ms. Macklin is a trusted advisor to a range of inpatient and outpatient behavioral health care providers, along with hospitals and health systems.  She has counseled many of California’s hospitals on unsettled areas of law, with an emphasis on compliance with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).  Her work with behavioral health providers includes advising on licensing and accreditation, Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursement, federal and state privacy and confidentiality requirements, and operational issues.  She also helps California providers navigate voluntary and involuntary treatment under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS Act). 

Patrick Mulvaney
Proprietor and Chef
Mulvaney’s B&L

Bobbin Mulvaney
Proprietor and Marketing Director
Mulvaney’s B&L

Patrick and Bobbin Mulvaney are the owners and operators of Mulvaney’s B&L, a restaurant widely admired for its hyperfocus on local, seasonal foods, and elegant, comforting hospitality. They are revered for their community values and ‘pay-it-forward’ philosophy. Their promise of “I Got Your Back,” came as a direct response by the pair after losing too many comrades to death by addiction and suicide, spurring them to create a space where restaurant industry people could turn to in times of need.

Christiana Paul, MA, LMFT 
Vice President of the Patient Care Continuum 
Sharp Mesa Vista Behavioral Health Hospital 
In her role, Ms. Paul collaborates with Sharp Metropolitan Medical Campus leadership, medical staff, and outlying health care facilities to facilitate and enhance the patient experience, patient management, and throughput.  This includes hospital operations, oversight of inpatient and outpatient clinical programming, and hospital facilities.

Mike Phillips, Esq. 
Senior Director of Patient Advocacy and Housing Services 
Jewish Family Service of San Diego 
In his role as Senior Director at JFS, he provides instruction and training for the behavioral health community, including providing information on due process rights for individuals receiving behavioral health treatment throughout San Diego County. He is currently consulting at the state level on behavioral health reform, including participation in the statewide Behavioral Health Action Coalition, and provides both local and statewide law enforcement training on behavioral health issues.

Ryan Quist, Ph.D. 
Behavioral Health Director 
Department of Health Services, Sacramento County 
Dr. Quists’ work in Behavioral Health started in Riverside County Behavioral Health where he worked in various roles dedicating more than 20 years to County Behavioral Health. 

In Sacramento County, his focus is on mental health and substance use services for the homeless and criminal justice populations, and bolstering the crisis continuum of care to prevent psychiatric hospitalizations. For children’s services, he is dedicated to promoting field-based and school-based services and collaborating to support the foster youth and probation populations. 

Paul Rains, RN, MSN 
System Senior Vice Presidents Behavioral Health 
Common Spirit Health 
President, St. Joseph’s Behavioral Health Center, Stockton, California 
Mr. Rain’s experience spans numerous care and treatment settings including residential substance use disorder, acute inpatient, long-term adolescent, correctional, and outpatient. Paul serves on the Centers for Behavioral Health Advisory Board, the Behavioral Health Action Coalition and numerous other workgroups and committees that address a wide variety of mental health issues.

Julianne Sims, LCSW
Assistant Director Clinical Services, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
County of Merced

Julianne Sims has spent the last 20 years working in the public sector, many of those in Child Welfare which led to implementation of AB403 (Foster Care Continuum of Care Reform) for Merced County. In her current role, she oversees Clinical Services for Merced County Behavioral Health, including mental health and substance use services.

Katherine Warburton, DO
Medical Director & Deputy Director of Clinical Operations
California Department of State Hospitals

Dr. Warburton has been the statewide Medical Director for the California Department of State Hospitals (previously Department of Mental Health) since 2011. She also serves as an Associate Professor on Volunteer Clinical Faculty within the UC Davis Division of Psychiatry and the Law. She has published and presented on a wide variety of forensic topics and is editor of the textbooks Violence in Psychiatry and Decriminalizing Mental Illness and works as a non-federal member of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee.

Stephanie Welch 
Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health 
California Health and Human Services Agency 
Committed professional with 20 years of professional experience in mental health policy analysis and advocacy, program development, management and evaluation, and public and community relations at state and local levels.


*Members: $399
Associate Members and Government Entities: $399
**Nonmembers: $750

*Members are CHA member hospitals. **Nonmembers are non-hospital health care providers, clinics, and post-acute facilities that serve hospitals. Education programs and publications are a membership benefit and are not available to eligible non-member California hospitals.

Cancellation Policy

A $75 non-refundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation. Cancellations must be made in writing 7 or more days prior to the scheduled event and emailed to No refunds will be made after these dates. Substitutions are encouraged. In the unlikely event that the program is cancelled, refunds will be issued to paid registrants within 30 days.


A confirmation will be sent to all registrants. On-site registrations and any unpaid registrations may be subject to an additional 10% fee.

Special Accommodations

If you require special accommodations pursuant to the American’s with Disabilities Act please call (916) 552-7637.


CHA will photograph this event. If you prefer not to be photographed, please email CHA at

Quality Assurance/Grievance

The CHA education quality assurance/grievance policy is available upon request by emailing If you have any concerns or dissatisfaction with the quality of a CHA education program, please contact Robyn Thomason, Vice President, Education at (916) 552-7514, or email


Contact the Education Department at

Full participation in the program is a prerequisite for receiving professional continuing education (CE) credit. Registrant must complete post-event survey, attest to participation and, when required, provide a professional license number. CE certificates will be emailed approximately three weeks after the program. (Amount of CE offered subject to change.)

Behavioral/Social Work — Behavioral Health Care Symposium course meets the qualifications for up to 6.75 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs and LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. CHA is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs and LCSWs. Provider approval number 128427. CHA maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

At the conclusion of each day, participants will be able to:

Behavioral Health Care Symposium, Day One:

  • Understand recent legislation surrounding conservatorship laws and the Mental Health Service Act for Californians.
  • Address the current state of mental health in California including homelessness.
  • Investigate the mental illness decriminalization landscape using state hospital and courtroom viewpoints.
  • Discuss crisis care continuum and strategies to tackle complex infrastructure challenges, both physical and human capital.

Behavioral Health Care Symposium, Day Two:

  • Learn how to organize and implement a safer environment of acceptance for employees to discuss and receive help with their mental health struggles or substance abuse issues.
  • Review California’s current political landscape for tackling its’ citizens’ behavioral needs.
  • Demonstrate how a health system’s persistence surrounding better crisis care in emergency rooms led to an innovative partnership with county and hospital leaders resulting in better patient care and more effective transitions from the hospital’s emergency room.
  • Review LPS and EMTALA updates explaining California’s legislative changes to statutes on involuntary holds and treatment.

Compliance — The Compliance Certification Board (CCB)® has approved this event for up to 8.10 live CCB CEUs based on a 50-minute hour. Continuing Education Units are awarded based on individual attendance records. Granting of prior approval in no way constitutes endorsement by CCB of this event content or of the event sponsor.

Health Care Executives — CHA is authorized to award 6.75 hour of pre-approved ACHE Qualified Education credit for this program toward advancement, or recertification, in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Participants in this program who wish to have the continuing education hours applied toward ACHE Qualified Education credit must self-report their participation. To self-report, participants must log into their MyACHE account and select ACHE Qualified Education Credit.

Legal — CHA is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. Provider number 1980. This participatory activity has been approved for 6.75 hours of MCLE credit.

Nursing — Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider CEP #11924, for up to 6.75 conference contact hours

Kimpton Sawyer Hotel
500 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(877) 678-6255 (reservations)
Discount Deadline is November 11.

The Kimpton Sawyer Hotel has rooms available at a discounted rate beginning at $319 for the meeting. One-time convenience and housekeeping fees are additional. For reservations, call (877) 678-6255 and mention the “Behavioral Health Care Symposium.” Don’t delay; the deadline for discounted sleeping rooms is Saturday, November 11. To book a room online, click here.

Overflow Room Block

Embassy Suites by Hilton Sacramento Riverfront Promenade
100 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, California, 95814
(916) 326-5000 (front desk)
Discount Deadline is November 20.

The Embassy Suites is a 14-minute walk or 4-minute drive to the Kimpton. The discounted rate is $279. For reservations call (916) 326-5000 and mention the CHA’s Behavioral Health Symposium room block. The deadline for discounted sleeping rooms is Monday, November 20. To book a room online at the Embassy Suites, click here.

We would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their support of the 2023 Behavioral Health Care Symposium.

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:

Meet and establish relationships with health care professionals including:

  • Behavioral Hospital CEOs
  • Psychiatric Administrators
  • Psychiatric Units/Facilities Directors
  • Chiefs of Nursing, Nurse Directors and Managers
  • Clinical Directors
  • ED Directors
  • Psychiatrists and Psychologists and
  • Social Workers

Provide Sponsorship Support of the Symposium and Receive:

  • Complimentary symposium registration and invitation to the attendee networking reception
  • 2 days of display space near the educational session room
  • Generous acknowledgement of your company’s support on our web page and during the program

Questions? Contact Lisa Hartzell at