NEWS | May 19, 2014

UC Davis nursing leader tapped for White House advisory group

Editor's note:

View or download a high-resolution photograph of Heather Young


Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis Founding Dean Heather M. Young serves as the only nurse leader on the 14-member Systems Engineering for Healthcare Working Group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The group, which includes hospital CEOs, health-care leaders, physicians and other experts, is developing a report for President Obama that focuses on how to improve quality and lower costs of health care from the management and design perspectives.

Heather Young Heather Young

“Because interprofessional collaboration is essential to improving health systems,” Young said, “I was honored to be a part of this group and add a nursing leadership perspective. We know that it takes input from all members of the health-care team to effect change. To me, this opportunity to participate in a national work group affirmed that our UC Davis programs and research are on the cutting edge of this important area of system improvement.”

PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. The council convenes a number of work groups to study various issues and report back to the president.

The Systems Engineering for Healthcare project builds on the council’s previous assessment of information technology for health care. The council sought recommendations for improving health care that utilizes systems engineering. The group recently presented its recommendations which include:

  • Accelerating alignment of payment systems with desired outcome
  • Increasing access to relevant health data and analytics
  • Providing technical assistance in systems engineering approaches
  • Involving communities in improving health-care delivery
  • Sharing lessons learned from successful improvement efforts
  • Training health professionals in new skills and approaches

The council will use the work group’s study to develop a final report to the President.

You can view a webcast of the group’s report here. View the final PCAST report here, which includes a highlight of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, and view the White House press release here.

About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was established in March 2009 through a $100 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation's largest grant for nursing education. The vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is to transform health care through nursing education and research. The school’s first programs, doctoral and master’s degrees, opened in fall 2010. Master’s degree programs for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with a focus on preparing primary-care providers for rural and underserved communities, opened in summer 2013. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit