Conference / Symposium

Behavioral Health Care Virtual Symposium – 2021 Forward Motion: Moving a Crisis Into Action

December 6, 2021 | 8:00AM - 1:00PM PST
December 7, 2021 | 8:00AM - 1:00PM PST

Forward Motion: Moving a Crisis Into Action

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence — it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” —Peter Drucker

The strain the pandemic continues to have on the delivery of care to patients and the community is undeniable. Going back to the way it once was is no longer an option. To experience forward motion we must move from Crisis to Action. This requires using lessons from yesterday to advance care in the behavioral health care system.

Over the last year and a half, the issues surrounding the delivery of behavioral health care reached a new high with state and local governments acknowledging the issues within the system and prioritizing the behavioral health care continuum infrastructure needs. This year’s symposium will focus on our government partners and the many new opportunities, and potentially transformative changes, the state budget has funded in the behavioral health space.

Join your peers for two, half-day sessions, where representatives from various government agencies will discuss the changes that will impact your facility and patient care.

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. | Opening Comments

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. | Keynote — Behavioral Health Care in California: Achieving Generational Change Together

Stephanie Welch, Deputy Secretary, Behavioral Health, California Health and Human Services Agency

With new focus on and funding for behavioral health care services in California, there are bound to be questions and maybe some confusion. Ms. Welch will provide a big picture view of the state budget, initiatives, and strategies pertaining to behavioral health care. And she wants to hear from you — your ideas, your questions, your feedback and concerns. This session is your opportunity to learn more and engage with a top state representative.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. | General Session — Opportunities and Partnerships: DHCS Initiatives to Improve Behavioral Health Care

Tyler Sadwith, Assistant Deputy Director, Behavioral Health, California Department of Health Care Services

California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) is a multi-year initiative by DHCS to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of the Medi-Cal population by implementing broad delivery system, program, and payment reform across the Medi-Cal program. Listen as Tyler Sadwith discusses CalAIM and other DHCS initiatives that reflect key opportunities and partnerships to improve the delivery of behavioral health care services. 

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. | Break

Special Presentation from our Gold Sponsor

XFERALL Patient Transfer Network
Shana Palmieri, COO & Co-Founder

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. | General Session — Engaging Communities for Improved Care

Lynne Ayers Ashbeck, Former Chair, Mental Health Services Oversight, and Accountability Commission and Chief Community Impact Officer, Valley Children’s Healthcare
Valley Children’s Healthcare

What is the role of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission in behavioral health? Listen to Mr. Ewing and Ms. Ashbeck share the multiple functions and activities of the Commission including the Transparency Suite. Both speakers delve into enhancing outreach strategies that better equip hospitals to work with their county mental health plans and improve the behavioral health delivery system.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | General Session — Developing Partnerships with County Mental Health Plans to Improve Behavioral Health Care Services

Michelle Cabrera, Executive Director, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California

Veronica A. Kelley, MD, DS, LCSW, President, California Behavioral Health Directors Association of California

2022 will be a historic year for the field of behavioral health due to the launch of CalAIM and with the significant state budget infrastructure commitments the Administration has made. Ms. Cabrera and Ms. Kelley will provide information on how hospitals and MHPs can and should work together to improve behavioral health services within overarching health policy goals — improving health outcomes while containing costs and treating the whole person.  

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. | Special Event– Šimanek Distinguished Services Award

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. | Keynote — Transforming the Los Angeles County Behavioral Health System

Dr. John Franklin Sierra completed his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a focus on Healthcare Systems, from the University of Southern California in 2017. Soon after he joined the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, first as a consultant and then in 2019 as a full-time Senior Staff Analyst. In his 4+ years with DMH he has worked for the Director, Dr. Jonathan Sherin, on numerous systems redesign and strategic planning projects, including as lead coordinator for the development of DMH’s new 2020-2030 strategic plan, as lead author for an analysis of gaps in the county’s mental health treatment bed network, and as lead project manager for Alternative Crisis Response, a multi-departmental initiative in partnership with the CEO’s Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) initiative seeking to significantly bolster civilian, non-law enforcement responses to individuals experiencing behavioral health crises/emergencies throughout the county.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. | General Session — Removing Barriers and Creating Strategies for Individuals in the Criminal Justice System

Brenda Grealish, Executive Officer, Counsel on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health, California Department Corrections and Rehabilitation

What if. What if there was a shift in the paradigm between criminal justice and behavioral health systems? One that will represent effective system of prevention and diversion that involves coordination and information-sharing between health, behavioral health, criminal justice, housing and social services systems. Ms. Grealish will discuss efforts that are currently underway by the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health and other system partners to promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, planned re-entry and the preservation of public safety. The outcome of these efforts will provide a positive change in the way individuals with mental health needs and substance use disorders are treated in our communities.

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. | General Session — From Concept to Execution: Be Well Orange County Success Insights 

Marshall Moncrief, Chief Executive Officer, Be Well Orange County

Be Well Orange County developed a mental health and wellness campus that features 94 beds and has the capacity to treat 100 people daily. This model was not created in a vacuum. It was the result of partnering with county agencies hospitals and many other stakeholders. This program started with a vision, developed into a concept, and became reality. Mr. Moncrief will provide insights on the stages of development, strategies and execution as well as community involvement.

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Closing Session — EMTALA: What We All Have in Common

Alicia Macklin, Partner, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PC

There is a lot to know about the impending changes to behavioral health care services. These changes come in the form of finances, new programs, new initiatives, and new partnerships. But the one constant that still causes confusion is EMTALA. Ms. Macklin will provide information about the ins and outs of EMTALA, as well as analogous state law (including a recent change in California), as it relates to patient care in the behavioral health care space putting to rest as much confusion as possible. 

Stephanie Welch is the Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health at the California Health and Human Services Agency, appointed by Governor Newsom in 2020. Ms. Welch has served as Executive Officer for the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health since 2015. She was Senior Program Manager for the California Mental Health Services Authority from 2011 to 2015, Associate Policy Director at the County Behavioral Health Directors Association from 2007 to 2011, and Associate Director of Public Policy at the Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies from 2000 to 2005.

Tyler Sadwith is the Assistant Deputy Director for Behavioral Health at the California Department of Health Care Services. In July 2021, he was appointed to help oversee the development of behavioral health care-related initiatives and services for Medi-Cal members. Before becoming Assistant Deputy Director, Mr. Sadwith was a senior consultant at Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. (TAC), where he provided strategic advice and technical support to state health leaders on behavioral health policy and delivery system reforms. Prior to joining TAC, he was a technical director at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), where he spearheaded efforts in supporting states to introduce comprehensive benefit, program, and delivery system reforms through Medicaid Section 1115 substance use disorder (SUD) demonstration waivers, with the goal of improving care and outcomes for individuals with SUD. He also helped implement the agency’s opioid strategy and managed the SUD portfolio of the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program, a cross-agency strategic support and technical assistance platform designed to support service delivery and payment innovation.

Toby Ewing, PhD, is the Executive Director for the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. With the Commission, Mr. Ewing launched California’s first Mental Health Innovation Summit and an Innovation Incubator to promote novel approaches to improving mental health systems in California. He has also steadfastly worked to increase public access to high-quality data on mental health funding, programs, and outcomes.

Mr. Ewing has championed community engagement with more than $5 million in annual grants that support stakeholder advocacy, the launch of a youth leadership initiative, and creative ways of reaching the public, including through community engagement and filmmaking. The goal has always been the same: to elevate the voices of consumers, family members, and communities on mental health issues.

Lynne Ayers Ashbeck, MS, MA, RD, is the senior vice president of community engagement and population wellness for Valley Children’s Healthcare. She has also served as vice president at Community Medical Centers; regional vice president at the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California; and the director of Continuing and Global Education at California State University, Fresno.

Ms. Ashbeck is an elected Councilmember in the City of Clovis, first elected in 2001, and has served two terms as Mayor. She is active in a number of community organizations, including the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley Board of Directors, the Vice-Chair of the Fresno County Transportation Authority, and a Board member of the Community Justice Center.

Michelle Cabrera is the Executive Director for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of CaliforniaBefore joining CBHDA, she served as the Healthcare Director for the California State Council of the Services Employees International Union (SEIU California). In this capacity, she advocated on behalf of health care workers and consumers, including SEIU California’s county behavioral health workforce, on issues related to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Health Equity, Health4All, and cost containment, among others. She served as a Senior Consultant for the Assembly Human Services Committee, where she specialized in child welfare issues and staffed legislation that extended foster care in California to age 21. Ms. Cabrera also served as a Program Officer for the California Healthcare Foundation, working as a liaison on state health policy in Sacramento.

Dr. Veronica A. Kelley, DSW, LCSW, is the Director for the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health and oversees the daily operations for both Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services. Ms. Kelley is a member of the Governing Board for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA), serving as the President, she sits on the Executive Committee and serves as the Co-Chair for the Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment (SAPT) Committee. She is also a Council Member to the California Behavioral Health Planning Council, Board Member to the California Mental Health Services Authority, and Associate Member to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. In August of 2019, she was appointed by the governor as a member of the No Place Like Home Program Advisory Committee.

Jonathan Sherin, MD, PhD, is the Director for the  Department of Mental Health in  Los Angeles County. Dr. Jonathan Sherin is a longtime wellbeing advocate who has worked tirelessly throughout his career on behalf of vulnerable populations at local, state, and national levels. In his current role as Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH), he oversees the largest public mental health system in the United States with roughly 6,000 staff, over 2,000 contracts with community providers, and an annual budget approaching $3 billion.

Brenda Grealish is the Executive Officer of the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health, which is part of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. She served as Chief for the Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Division at the California Department of Health Care Services since 2019, where she has served in several positions, including Chief of the former Mental Health Services Division and Assistant Deputy and Acting Deputy Director for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services. She also held several positions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Research including Deputy Director, Research Manager III, and Research Manager II.

Marshall Moncrief is the Chief Executive Officer of Mind OC, a not-for-profit organization created to advance the community-wide mental health collaborative known as Be Well Orange County.  Marshall also serves as a commissioner for the Orange County Commission to End Homelessness. He is a licensed psychotherapist and holds an Executive MBA in health care management.

Before his current role with Mind OC, Marshall served as the executive clinical and administrative leader of mental health and addiction services for the Hoag Health and Providence-St Joseph Health Systems, most recently overseeing hospital and primary care services across LA, Orange County, and the High Desert.

Alicia Macklin is a partner at Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, PCAlicia provides regulatory advice to hospitals, including handling EMTALA investigations, compliance, training and counseling. She also regularly advises hospitals and behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment providers on a broad range of legal and compliance issues, including Federal and California privacy and confidentiality requirements, Medicare and Medi-Cal reimbursement, county mental health plan contracting, and involuntary civil commitment under the LPS Act (Lanterman-Petris-Short Act).  In addition to her work at the firm, Ms. Macklin is also a Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, where she teaches Legal Environment of Health Services Management. 

*Members: $0 (no tuition fee)
Associate Members and Government Entities: $275
**Nonmembers: $375

While this event is free for CHA members you must register to attend. Multiple staff can participate from one location for one tuition fee. Tuition includes all conference materials including CEs

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

Full attendance and completion of the online evaluation and attestation of attendance are required to receive CEs for this virtual conference and, when required, include your professional license number. CE certificates will be emailed. (Amount of CE offered subject to change.)

Behavioral/Social Work

Behavioral Health Care Symposium course meets the qualifications for up to 8 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 1:

  • Discuss the California state budget, upcoming initiatives, and strategies pertaining to behavioral health care.
  • Describe how the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal Program (CalAIM) initiative will impact the future of Medi-Cal.
  • Explain outreach strategies the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission will implement to assist in improving the behavioral health delivery system.
  • Discuss how hospitals and Mental Health Plans can work together to improve behavioral health services while containing costs.

Behavioral Health Care Symposium, Day 2:

  • Discusses the Los Angeles County 2020-2030 strategic plan and how it will transform the Behavioral Health System.
  • Describe the efforts the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health are using to promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, planned re-entry and the preservation of public safety.
  • Describe the Be Well Orange County stages of development.
  • Explain EMTALA obligations in the behavioral health care setting.


The Compliance Certification Board (CCB)® has approved this event for up to 9.6 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 Executive

CHA is authorized to award 8 hours 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.


Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider CEP #11924, for up to 9.6 conference contact hours.

Substitution notification may be emailed to [email protected].
In the unlikely event that the program is cancelled, refunds will be issued to paid registrants within 30 days.

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

We would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their support of the 2021 Behavioral Health Care Virtual Symposium.

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:

Build brand awareness by promoting your products and services to hundreds of key decision makers of California hospital executives of behavioral health care facilities including:

  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Psychiatric Administrators
  • Psychiatric Units/Facilities Directors
  • Chiefs of Nursing
  • Nurse Directors and Managers
  • Clinical Directors
  • ED Directors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists

Select from three levels of sponsorship to enhance your marketing efforts and promote your brand — pre, during and post event! Sponsorship is exclusive, so act now!

Want more information? Contact Lisa Hartzell at [email protected].

December 5 – 6, 2022
Mission Inn and Riverside Convention Center