NEWS | October 3, 2005

Assessing California's emergency health-care system

UC Davis symposium looks at trends, troubles and potential solutions


From Hurricane Katrina to Capitol Hill, issues surrounding the health of the nation’s emergency medical systems — everything from preparedness to critical care services — remain a top concern for the general public and health-care workers alike.

On Wednesday, October 5 — one week after thousands of doctors converged on Congress seeking help in keeping emergency rooms open and viable  — UC Davis Health System is hosting a day of discussion about the status of California’s emergency care network at the Sacramento Convention Center, 1030 15th Street, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The day-long event brings together leading physicians, research experts, legislative representatives, nurses and other health-care workers to address pressing issues facing emergency medical services in the state today.

“With emergency rooms being shut down, uninsured patients crowding ERs, and questions about how well we can respond in times of major disaster, it’s critical that we assess California’s current emergency care system and determine how we can better prepare for the future,” said Richard Kravitz, professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Health Services Research at UC Davis, the symposium sponsor.

Speakers include Howard Backer, the state’s interim public health officer, and Brent Asplin, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Minnesota and a member of a national panel on the future of emergency care in the United States.  Additionally, three panel discussions will tackle topics ranging from California’s ER overcrowding and mental health capabilities to financial challenges and potential solutions.

The Center for Health Sciences Research at UC Davis, established in 1994, facilitates policy-relevant research in the areas of health care access, delivery, costs and outcomes. The Center’s research integrates clinical, social, behavioral, economic and statistical sciences to improve the organization, quality and effectiveness of medical care.