2009 Conference Presenter Biographies

Bruce G. Bodaken

Bruce Bodaken is chairman, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California, a 3.4 million member not-for-profit health plan that serves the commercial, individual and government markets in California.

A native of Iowa, Mr. Bodaken doesn't fit the typical profile of a health plan CEO. He earned a masters degree and taught philosophy at the college level before embarking on a career in health care.

During Mr. Bodaken's nine-year tenure as CEO, Blue Shield has been among the fastest growing health plans in California. Membership has more than doubled and company revenues have risen from $3 billion to $8 billion. In recent years, the company won vigorous competitions for two large government contracts covering California state employees and U.S. military families enrolled in the TRICARE program.

Passionate about his company's not-for-profit mission, in 2002 Mr. Bodaken became the first health plan CEO to offer a specific proposal for universal healthcare coverage. His plan for universal coverage based on shared responsibility is similar in many respects to coverage expansion legislation enacted in Massachusetts in 2006, as well as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2007 health reform proposal and the positions staked out by the two leading Democratic presidential candidates. He also transformed the Blue Shield of California Foundation into one of the state's largest healthcare grantmakers, with nearly $100 million in donations in the past three years.

In addition to his work at Blue Shield, Mr. Bodaken serves on numerous professional and civic boards. He is a member of the board of directors of the California Business Roundtable, WageWorks, the University of California, Berkeley's Health Services Management Program, and Youth Tennis Advantage (a non-profit organization dedicated to serving youth in inner-city communities). He is co-author (with Robert Fritz) of The Managerial Moment of Truth, published by Simon & Schuster (Free Press) in 2006.

Mr. Bodaken joined Blue Shield in 1994 as president and chief operating officer.

Previously, he served as senior vice president and associate chief operating officer of FHP International Corporation in Southern California. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
 

Carmela Castellano-Garcia

Carmela Castellano-Garcia, Esq., is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), an organization of over 650 nonprofit, community-based primary health care clinics, whose mission is to promote and facilitate equal access to quality health care for individuals and families through organized primary care clinics and clinic networks. Ms. Castellano-Garcia has been committed to advancing multi-cultural health policy issues for over 15 years, focusing on areas such as cultural and linguistic competency in health care delivery, ensuring the viability of safety net providers, health care reform, and access to care for vulnerable populations.

Presently Ms. Castellano-Garcia sits on the Board of Directors for the Chicana/ Latina Foundation, the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, and Capital Link and is a member of the Prevention and Early Intervention Committee of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

Prior to joining the CPCA, Ms. Castellano-Garcia served as the Founder and Executive Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC), a health care policy and advocacy organization seeking to improve access to health and human services for California's Latino population.

Ms. Castellano-Garcia's legal background includes six years as a Managing Attorney with Public Advocates, Inc., a public interest law firm in San Francisco. Ms. Castellano-Garcia has litigated in the areas of employment discrimination, insurance redlining, and ensuring access to the information superhighway for California's minority, low-income populations.

Ms. Castellano-Garcia holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She spent a year at La Universidad Central de Venezuela as a Rotary Foundation International Scholar. She is a graduate of the Yale Law School.
 

Rick Foster and Greg Hicks

As internationally recognized pioneers in the field of happiness and leadership experts, Foster and Hicks' extensive and acclaimed research has taken them to all seven continents to interview people who are thriving and happy, even under the most adverse circumstances. They just completed the first-ever happiness workshop in Antarctica. Their early findings culminated in a system of nine choices that is continually being studied by mind-body researchers at leading institutions, including The Mayo Clinic, and is proven to lead to good health, high quality of life, and better healing.

Rick and Greg's first book, How We Choose to Be Happy (Putnam, 1999) became an immediate national bestseller and has been on bestseller lists ever since. Available in 18 languages, it was selected by the Book of the Month Club as one of the Best Books of the Year, and was nominated as Best Motivational Book by the prestigious Books for a Better Life. Hicks went on to write LeaderShock - And How to Triumph Over It which revealed a new brand of behavioral leadership and was chosen as the #2 Best Business Book of 2003 by Amazon.

Since the publication of How We Choose to Be Happy, Foster and Hicks have gone on to interview and work with thousands of patients, doctors and nurses. In their new book, Choosing Brilliant Health, they present the first practical guide to the new science of positive emotions and how anyone can choose thoughts and behaviors that enhance our brain function, pump up our immune systems, and bring vitality to our lives.

With a reputation for dynamic and transformational presentations on health, happiness, stress management, professional self-care, leadership and team productivity, Rick and Greg have taught their Brilliant Health program to over 10,000 doctors and nurses, to patients battling serious illness, and to countless others in organizations such as G.E., Mercedes-Benz, Wells Fargo, and AXA-Financial, NYU Medical Center, and are on the faculty of the American Hospital Association Fellowship programs.

Foster and Hicks are often sought out by the media for their advice and have appeared on numerous national T.V. and radio shows and featured in such magazines as Health, Fitness, Self, Good Housekeeping, Fit, Working Mother, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Readers' Digest, and The New York Times.

Rick and Greg continue to explore the diversity of cultural health practices and beliefs around the world and are excited about continuing to integrate new discoveries about neuroplasticity, immune function, and other mind-body research into their programs on self-care and leadership.

Foster and Hicks can be reached at: www.fosterhicks.com
 

Tony Iton

Tony Iton M.D., J.D., MPH is the Alameda County, California Health Officer. Most recently, Dr. Iton was the Director of Health and Social Services for the City of Stamford, CT. Dr. Iton received his medical degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School and subsequently trained in internal medicine and preventive medicine at New York Hospital, Yale, and UC Berkeley and is board certified in both specialties. Dr. Iton has also received a law degree and a Master's of Public Health degree from UC Berkeley and is a member of the California Bar.

He has worked as an HIV disability rights attorney, a health care policy analyst with Consumers Union West Coast Regional Office, and as a physician and advocate for the homeless at the San Francisco Public Health Department. Dr. Iton's primary interest is the health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography, and employment to health status. He has asserted that the biggest single contributor to our country's vulnerability to bioterrorism is the lack of a universal system of health insurance for all Americans.
 

Edward O'Neil

Edward O'Neil, Ph.D., M.P.A., is a Professor in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine, Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences (School of Nursing) at the University of California, San Francisco. He also serves as the Director of the Center for the Health Professions, a research, advocacy and training institute which he created to assist health care professionals, health professions schools, care delivery organizations and public policy makers understand the challenges and opportunities of educating and managing a health care workforce capable of improving the health and well being of people and their communities.

The Center for the Health Professions houses a number of initiatives that are designed to understand and address the issues facing health care and health professionals. The Center's programs include the Pew Scholars Programs in the Biomedical Sciences, the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program, the California Health Care Foundation's Health Care Leadership Program, the Integrated Nurse Leadership Program, the Pharmacy Leadership Institute, the Health Workforce Tracking Collaborative, the LEADing Organizational Change Program and the Clinic Leadership Initiative.

Dr. O'Neil served as the Executive Director of the Pew Health Professions Commission from 1989 through 1999; the Commission was a nationally recognized advocacy group focused on reform in health workforce issues. He has published numerous articles, chapters and books on this and other work. He is or has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, Government of New Zealand, Rockefeller Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Fetzer Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, California HealthCare Foundation as well as a number of federal, state and institutional agencies. He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Alabama and a Master's of Public Administration and Doctorate in History from Syracuse University. In addition he has received honorary degrees from New York Medical College, the Western University of Health Sciences and two other Universities. In 2003 he was elected to an honorary Fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing.
 

Robert Pearl

Dr. Robert Pearl is executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. As CEO of the largest medical group in the nation, Dr. Pearl is responsible for the health care of more than 3.1 million Kaiser Permanente Northern California members. The Permanente Medical Group is composed of approximately 4,400 physicians and 20,000 staff members.

After joining The Permanente Medical Group in 1978, Dr. Pearl served as assistant physician-in-chief of the Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center from 1980 to 1995. He then served as their physician-in-chief from 1996 to 1998. He was selected as executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group in 1998.

Dr. Pearl is board-certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine and completed his residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University, where he has been a faculty member since 1978. In addition to being clinical professor of plastic surgery, Dr. Pearl served as the residency director of Stanford's Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery program from 1984 to 1990.

Dr. Pearl has published more than 100 articles in various medical journals and has been a contributor to many books. He has given more than 50 presentations at national meetings in the areas of clinical medicine and medical economics. He has been recognized with seven awards by the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation for outstanding clinical medicine and research. In the past several years, he served as a visiting professor at Stanford Business School, Duke University School of Medicine, and Harvard School of Public Health.

As a frequent lecturer on health care, Dr. Pearl is an advocate for the power of physician-led, integrated medical delivery systems. He believes that organizations like Kaiser Permanente, in which physicians collaborate rather than compete and in which a multispecialty medical group works in partnership with a nonprofit health plan and hospital system, are able to provide superior quality of care over fragmented insurance-based systems. By building on its integrated structure, Dr. Pearl believes that Kaiser Permanente is uniquely positioned to be the leader in implementing Internet technology and redefining the practice of medicine as we know it today.
 

Mary A. Pittman

Mary Pittman, DrPH., is president and CEO of the Public Health Institute (PHI) an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. As one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the nation, we are at the forefront of research and innovations to improve the efficacy of public health statewide, nationally and internationally.

Prior to assuming the leadership of PHI in 2008, she was the president of the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) an independent nonprofit organization that engages in research and education on critical health care service delivery issues. HRET is an affiliate of the American Hospital Association. Prior to assuming the leadership of HRET in 1993, she was president and CEO of the California Association of Public Hospitals (1990-93) and a director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (1984-90).

Dr. Pittman has been nationally recognized for her leadership in improving community health and access to vulnerable populations as well as patient-centered quality and safety. At HRET, she spearheaded research initiatives and innovative knowledge transfer programs on a wide range of health care issues - access and coverage; managing culture change to ensure safety and quality within hospitals; enhancing community collaboration for health improvement; and integrating innovation and new technologies in the delivery of care.

With over 25 years in program planning and design, research, education, and health policy, Dr. Pittman's work has informed policymakers about the need to expand access and quality of health care to underserved populations. She has served as principal investigator on numerous research and demonstration grants. She was co-chair of the Coalition for Healthier Cities and Communities and has co-authored two books, AIDS: Principles, Practices and Politics, and Death, Dying, and Bereavement. Dr. Pittman serves on the boards of a number of organizations, as well as on many national advisory committees. She has traveled extensively internationally and has made presentations at several international forums.

Dr. Pittman received master's degrees from the University of California - Berkeley in Public Health and in City and Regional Planning, and a doctorate from UC-Berkeley in Public Health Administration.
 

Thomas Rundall

Thomas Rundall is Professor of Health Policy and Management and the Executive Associate Dean at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. Professor Rundall received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from Stanford University. He has published extensively across a broad array of topics in health care policy and management, including health information technology, quality of care, hospital restructuring and reengineering, the integration of health care services, the effectiveness of health promotion/disease prevention services, strengthening chronic care management in physician organizations, and hospital-physician alignment. Professor Rundall's most recent book is Implementing an Electronic Medical Record System: Successes, Failures, Lessons. His current research includes studies of the care of patients with chronic disease and the adoption and use of information technology in health care organizations.

In 1985, Professor Rundall was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship, enabling him to serve for a year as a health policy advisor to U.S. Senator David Durenberger, and in 2005 he was awarded the Filerman Prize by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration for his contributions to the field of health services management. Professor Rundall is an elected fellow of AcademyHealth, and he serves on the board of directors for the John Muir Health System and On Lok, a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly.
 

Stephen M. Shortell

Stephen M. Shortell, Ph.D., M.P.H. is the Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and Professor of Organization Behavior at the School of Public Health and Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. He is also the Dean of the School of Public Health at Berkeley. Dr. Shortell also holds appointments in the Department of Sociology at UC-Berkeley and at the Institute for Health Policy Research, UC-San Francisco.

Dr. Shortell received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, his masters degree in public health from UCLA, and his Ph.D. in the behavioral sciences from the University of Chicago.

A leading health care scholar, Dr. Shortell has done extensive research identifying the organizational and managerial correlates of quality of care and of high performing health care organizations. Dr. Shortell has been the recipient of many awards including the distinguished Baxter-Allegiance Prize for his contributions to health services research, the Gold Medal Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives for his contributions to the health care field, and the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Association for Health Services Research. He and his colleagues have also received the George R. Terry Book of the Year Award from the Academy of Management, the James R. Hamilton Book of the Year Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives, and several article of the year awards from the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Institute for Health Care Management. His most recent book (with colleagues) is entitled Remaking Health Care in America: The Evolution of Organized Delivery Systems. During 2006-07 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and is past editor of Health Services Research. He serves on many boards and advisory groups.

Dr. Shortell is currently conducting research on the evaluation of quality improvement initiatives and on the implementation of evidence-based medicine practices in physician organizations.
 

Ron Sims

King County Executive Ron Sims has built his career in public service around the progressive principles of social justice, good government and environmental stewardship. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1948, Ron marched alongside his politically active parents in the struggle for racial equality, and honed a passion for civil rights issues that has been a guidepost throughout his political career.

He has a national reputation for boldness and vision, and is a champion of reforming government processes to better serve the people of the dynamic, forward-thinking Puget Sound region. His accomplishments at home have earned him two national leader of the year awards, the most recent in July 2008 from American City and County Magazine.

During his three terms as County Executive, Sims has compiled a distinguished list of accomplishments. An ardent conservationist, Sims has protected more than 100,000 acres of green space in King County and increased the county's trails to 175 miles. His Climate Plan, which is aimed at reducing and adapting to the effects of global warming, is lauded as one of the most comprehensive in the nation. In May of 2007, Sims, along with actor/environmentalist Robert Redford, was among six individuals given the Climate Protection Award from the Environmental Protection Agency. He has also been recognized nationally for his leadership on a regional effort to stop the degradation of Puget Sound and to restore runs of the prized Chinook salmon, declared threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1999.

Sims has become a regional leader on managing growth in the economically dynamic King County region by driving smart, comprehensive strategies to reduce traffic congestion. The county uses land use planning tools to encourage healthy lifestyles, and alternatives to automobiles. He is a respected advocate for new solutions to moving people in the 21st century. He is widely credited with turning around Sound Transit, an agency that is now on track to reduce congestion with a voter-approved light rail system as well as expanded regional bus and commuter train service. New fuel technologies have made King County Metro one of the greenest large transit agencies in the nation. Already operating the largest fleet of articulated hybrid buses in the world, Metro will purchase of up to 500 additional articulated hybrids as part of a service expansion designed to get 50,000 drivers out of their cars and onto buses by 2016.

Despite a tumultuous economy, he has protected King County's Triple-A bond rating, exercising fiscal prudence tempered by a deeply caring set of values: cutting budgets while protecting core services. His efforts to ensure King County is delivering the highest quality service to its residents has put King County at the forefront of government performance management.

His regional public/private partnership to reform health care is seen as a national model. Sims' vision of a comprehensive approach to the region's health care economy led to his co-founding of the Puget Sound Health Alliance, while at King County his health reform initiative engages employees and controls costs by linking participation in wellness activities to out-of-pocket expense levels. His groundbreaking work led to a 2008 Health Quality Award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance; an honor shared with Senator Ted Kennedy and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

His ability to work successfully across diverse constituencies was illustrated by prestigious awards from both the Master Builders of King and Snohomish Counties and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle in 2006. Nationally, his propensity for innovative solutions earned him a Public Official of the Year Award from Governing Magazine and a national award from the Sierra Club. He was also named 2006 Husband of the Year by Seattle Magazine.

In January, Sims was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next Deputy Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
 

Quint Studer

Quint Studer, founder of Studer Group, is considered by many as the main impetus for developing tools and techniques for organizations attaining great results. The systems he and the Studer Group have invented hardwire techniques and behaviors to sustain these great results. Quint has done it.

After ten (10) years teaching special education, Quint entered healthcare as the Community Relations Representative with Parkside Medical Services.

He then went to Mercy Health System in Janesville, Wisconsin, moving from Director of Marketing to Senior Vice President of Business Development. From July 1987 to January of 1993, Quint was involved in taking Mercy Health System from a single location to a large vertically integrated system. Quint was also placed in charge of focusing on employee satisfaction.

From January 1993 to June of 1996, Quint served as COO of Holy Cross Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. His focus on patient care helped Holy Cross gain a national reputation in operational excellence by being named Hospital Magazines 'Great Comeback Winner' in 1994.

In June of 1996, Quint was named the Administrator of Baptist Hospital, Inc. in Pensacola, Florida. While President of Baptist Hospital, Quint used his past experiences to lead this organization to unprecedented success. In 1997, Baptist was named by Modern Healthcare magazine as their Service Excellence winner as well as being named by Voluntary Hospital Association as winner of their Leadership Award. In 1999, inc. (pronounced Ink) magazine named Quint its March Master of Business, making him the only healthcare leader to have ever won this award. In 2002 and again in 2008, Quint received the honor of being named to Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.

In January 2000, Quint formed the Studer Group. Today the Studer Group is the leading company in assisting organizations to achieve their desired results. Along the way, Quint has written two (2) best selling books. Hardwiring Excellence is the best selling leadership book ever written for healthcare with over 300,000 copies in print. His latest book, Results That Last, a general leadership book published by Wiley, came to print on October 17, 2007 and in just four (4) weeks after publishing, hit the Wall Street Journal's best seller list of business books.

Most importantly, Quint stays in the field creating tools and techniques to make organizations better. Quint mixes passion with prescriptions to help us achieve our goals. Quint is called 'healthcare's fire starter' for igniting the flame in each of us to make a difference.
 

Laura Tyson

Laura D'Andrea Tyson is a S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management at the Haas School of Business, at the University of California Berkeley. She served as Dean of London Business School from 2002-2006, and as Dean of the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley from 1998-2001.

Dr. Tyson is a member of the President Barack Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB). She served in the Clinton Administration and was the Chair of The Council of Economic Advisers between 1993 and 1995, and the President's National Economic Adviser between 1995 and 1996.

Dr. Tyson is a Senior Advisor to the McKinsey Global Institute, the Center for American Progress, and Chartwell Education Group. She is a Director of LECG (Law and Economics Consulting Group) and is a member of the Boards of Directors of Eastman Kodak Company; Morgan Stanley; AT&T, Inc.; the Brookings Institution; the Peter G. Peterson Institute of International Economics; and the New America Foundation.