Sunday, January 19

Health for Tomorrow conference explores UC’s mental health research

University of California President Janet Napolitano presented Thursday at a conference at UC San Francisco about several federally funded research programs that different UC campuses are working on for the treatment of mental health disorders.

In the wake of the killings of six people in Isla Vista, a community near the UC Santa Barbara campus, last week, Napolitano said at the Health for Tomorrow conference that she thinks improving healthcare for individuals with mental health disorders is a pressing issue.

The Health for Tomorrow conference was a two-day event this week sponsored by the New York Times. The conference featured several panel discussions that addressed the UC’s role in the future of health care research and implementation, among other topics.

Napolitano talked about a UC San Francisco-led research project to develop an implantable device meant to help the brain during a patient’s recovery from mental illness, among other initiatives.

She said the Santa Barbara shootings have reinforced the UC’s efforts to educate students about how they should treat each other.

Napolitano, whose remarks initiated the conference, identified the importance of having dependable funding for academic medical centers to provide consistent innovative medical treatment.

“I worry about the cost structure and support for medical education … expenses will outstretch revenues four years from now,” Napolitano said.

At the UC Board of Regents meeting earlier this month, John Stobo, the senior vice president for health sciences and services for the UC, said the University must make efforts to find innovative ways to lower the expenses of medical centers.

If declining government reimbursement from Medicare and Medi-Cal and other factors continue their current trend, UC medical centers are expected to lose money by 2017.

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