Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Welcomes New Senior Director Of Provider Contracting

HONOLULU — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has hired Maria Regina “Gina” Rafer as the senior director of Provider Contracting. She is responsible for overseeing contracts for hospital, ancillary and provider services, and for maintaining relationships with Kaiser Permanente’s network providers.

Rafer has 20 years of experience in health care management, serving most recently as director of Provider Contracting and Value Based lead at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and as corporate director of National Provider Relations at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. There, she led provider innovation, provider initiatives and network strategy for the New York division of Blue Cross Blue Shield. She has held management positions with a focus on provider relations and network management at WellCare of New York, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna. Rafer also served as an adjunct professor and instructor at Bryant & Stratton College in Syracuse, New York, teaching pre-license training for life, accident and health insurance to work in commercial, Medicare and Medicaid health plan markets.

Rafer earned bachelor’s degrees in history and mechanical engineering from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, and holds her New York State license to sell life, accident and health insurance.


About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

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NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Announces Senior Leadership Team

PASADENA, Calif. — The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine reached a significant milestone today as it announced the newest members of its senior leadership team, composed of a world-class, multidisciplinary and diverse group of leaders who will oversee the planning, design and implementation of all areas of the school.

“I am thrilled to welcome these distinguished individuals to the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine leadership team,” said Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, founding dean and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. “Their progressive and thoughtful leadership, combined with their innovative ideas and vision for the future of medical education, will play a vital role in establishing a world-class, 21st-century academic medical institution. We aim to train students to be outstanding physicians who also will join with others in transforming health care delivery across the nation and beyond.”

Dr. Schuster, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, was previously William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chief of general pediatrics and vice-chair for health policy in the department of medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The new leaders, consisting of seven deans, three department chairs and a senior vice president, represent decades of academic and health care experience and will play an integral role in driving the strategic direction of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine. They are:

José M. Barral, MD, PhD, appointed chair of the department of foundational science. Dr. Barral comes from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he served as tenured professor in the department of neuroscience, cell biology and anatomy in the school of medicine; senior associate dean for academic affairs in the graduate school of biomedical sciences; and director of the MD-PhD combined degree program. Dr. Barral is a Pew Scholar in the biomedical sciences and has garnered numerous awards including the University of Texas System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award.

Paul Chung, MD, MS, appointed chair of the department of health systems science. Dr. Chung comes from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital, where he was a professor of pediatrics and chief of general pediatrics. He also served as a professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Dr. Chung, who also is an adjunct senior scientist at RAND, has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other public and private agencies. He is president-elect of the Academic Pediatric Association.

Maureen T. Connelly, MD, MPH, appointed senior associate dean for academic and community affairs. Dr. Connelly comes from Harvard Medical School, where she served as dean for faculty affairs. She is a founding member and former leader of the New England Network on Faculty Affairs and recently served as the chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Faculty Affairs. Dr. Connelly’s academic appointment was in the department of population medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, a managed care organization committed to population health strategies and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, where her research focused on women’s health and patient decision-making. 

Walter D. Conwell, MD, MBA, appointed associate dean for equity, inclusion and diversity. Dr. Conwell comes from CPMG (the Colorado Permanente Medical Group), where he held the positions of physician director of diversity, equity and inclusion and medical director of sleep medicine and outpatient sleep diagnostics. Prior to joining CPMG, Dr. Conwell completed an administrative fellowship in diversity and inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver during which he focused on pipeline program development and assessment. Dr. Conwell previously served as the program coordinator for the Summer Medical Education Program Chicago Consortium which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and administered by the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Anne Eacker, MD, appointed senior associate dean for student affairs. Dr. Eacker comes from the University of Washington School of Medicine, where she was associate dean for student affairs and a practicing general internist. She has served as medical director of the general internal medicine center in the department of medicine at the University of Washington, and as an associate professor for the division of general internal medicine in the department of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Eacker is a recipient of the 2018 American College of Physicians Washington State Chapter Outstanding Clinician-Educator Award.

Walter Harris, MBA, PMP, appointed senior vice president for administration and finance. Mr. Harris comes from the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., where he served as senior associate dean for administration and operations and associate vice president for operations and chief operating officer. He previously served as deputy commissioner for operations and chief operations officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Abbas Hyderi, MD, MPH, appointed senior associate dean for medical education. Dr. Hyderi comes from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine (UIC), where he was associate dean for undergraduate medical education. He was the co-chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges Core Entrustable Professional Activities Pilot’s Entrustment Concept Group. He was chair of UIC’s curriculum transformation task force and co-chair of UIC Provost’s interprofessional education task force. He founded the Essentials of Clinical Practice and Professionalism 2 course and is a recipient of UIC’s College of Medicine Alumni Council Emerging Innovator of the Year Award and Illinois Academy of Family Physicians Teacher of the Year Award.

Michael Kanter, MD, appointed chair of the department of clinical science. Dr. Kanter comes from The Permanente Federation, a physician-led group that provides care exclusively for the more than 12.2 million members of Kaiser Permanente, where he serves as executive vice president and chief quality officer. He also serves as regional medical director of quality and clinical analysis for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. He is a recent recipient of the American Public Health Association’s prestigious 2018 Donabedian Award for Health Quality for his pioneering work in developing and spreading the Sure Net program, which helps reduce missed or delayed diagnoses and increases medication safety.

Carla Lupi, MD, appointed associate dean for assessment and evaluation. Dr. Lupi comes from the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, where she served as associate dean for faculty and before that as assistant dean for learning and teaching. She also was a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. She was a contributor to the American Association of Medical Colleges Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Faculty Development Concept Group. She has served as a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners since 2016.

Elizabeth McGlynn, PhD, appointed interim senior associate dean for research and scholarship. Dr. McGlynn is currently vice president of Kaiser Permanente Research and executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research.  She is an internationally known expert on methods for evaluating the appropriateness and quality of health care. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and is the former chair of the agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s National Advisory Committee and is on the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation Board of Directors.

Lindia Willies-Jacobo, MD, appointed associate dean for admissions. Dr. Willies-Jacobo comes from the University of California, San Diego, where she served as assistant dean for diversity and community partnerships, professor of pediatrics, director of the program in medical education-health equity and member of the recruitment and admissions executive committee. She is principal investigator on two Health Resources and Services Administration grants that focus on developing a diverse health care workforce and is the Western regional representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges Group Student Affairs Committee on Student Diversity Affairs.

“As we embark on this exciting effort, our inaugural leadership team’s expertise, dedication and innovation will drive our pursuit of educational excellence,” Dr. Schuster said. “I am thrilled with the team we have brought together and appreciative of their enormous talent and commitment. I look forward to partnering with our new leaders, our existing leaders and the rest of the medical school team to build a school we can be proud of.”

The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine is based in Pasadena, California. Its mission is to provide a world-class medical education that ignites a passion for learning, a desire to serve and an unwavering commitment to improve the health and well-being of patients and communities.


About the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will offer more than a conventional medical education. It will provide students with the unique opportunity to be taught by the physicians of Kaiser Permanente and immersed in one of the nation’s highest-performing health care organizations. Students will gain real-world experience in an environment that embraces diversity of thought, experience, and culture, and values their wellness and total health. This approach will create physicians with the knowledge, skills, and passion to lead the transformation of health care in our nation and help diverse communities thrive. Learn more at schoolofmedicine.kp.org.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

 

 

 

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NEW PARENT ESSENTIAL UPDATE:

Feminism, Aging and Discovering Senior Space

I am a 70’s feminist. I retired at 63 from my time as a professor of english and women’s studies from the University of Colorado, and I’m now 76. The years between then and now were a period that I have come to call “senior space”—the time between middle and old age. Within them, my feminism evolved even further.

I went to graduate school at Berkeley in the sixties as a married woman with one, then two, children. Later, in the eighties, I became a full professor at a university that did not like, hire or promote women—especially married women, and especially mothers. My feminism, flowering in the early seventies, gave me a politics, a philosophy and a community. It supported my attempt to have a profession in the first place, for in the sixties it was against the rules for middle-class mothers to work professionally. It helped me not to give up after five years of rejection when, after obtaining my prestigious PhD, I sought work unsuccessfully as an assistant professor. It helped me to survive in, and challenge, the university where I finally did work.

This is a long story, and I will not tell it in detail here, although I do so in the book that I have just published: Discovering Senior SpaceBut a few examples will suffice.

In the sixties, for me, there was no feminism. There was no support—except from my generous husband—for me to go to graduate school as a young mother with a child. At Berkeley, professors told women graduate students outright that they should stop at their Masters and teach high school. We were not encouraged to seek out doctorate programs, where we would “only get married and drop out anyway.”

Only later, in 1971, did Ms. magazine’s famous “aha” moment come to me and save my self-esteem during that long period—after I achieved the PhD anyway, and no one would hire me for a tenure track position.

When the University of Colorado gave me a position as an assistant professor in 1974, I discovered, to my surprise and delight, that women were just beginning to try to form a women’s studies program and to think about courses about women. My own research and writing focused on women writers. I considered myself an “academic feminist.” I served on the first board of the new program, and created and taught the first courses on women writers in my department. (In the English department, only one or two women writers were ever included in the curriculum.) Later, I served on newly created committees for salary equity and affirmative action. I fought for women on the Dean’s Committee, and later on the Chancellor’ Committee for Promotion and Tenure, and in less formal ways as well. 

All of this was neither easy nor simple, but there was a small but growing community of women to support such work on campus. Earlier, when I was an Instructor at Bucknell, I had I joined a consciousness-raising group where women met to share our lives and difficulties. Most of our members were also instructors with PhDs. These groups were the backbone of the women’s movement throughout the country, and my group’s great achievement was to write a document on the status of women at Bucknell that we sent to every administrator and published in the school newspaper. I myself addressed the English department’s deplorable treatment of instructors—an issue still very relevant today.

Did it help? I think so. 

This is a condensed version of over 40 years, but it brings me the present—to retirement, and to aging. I had looked forward to this time. In the eighties, my life at CU had grown more and more difficult and unpleasant. My students did not “like” feminists, and my rank as full professor—and the only woman in my department and one of few in my university or indeed in the profession at large to reach it—did not bring the change in status that I had anticipated. I was still a woman. Even at the highest rank, I still did not belong.

I kept calling my early retirement “graduation.” I wanted to use the other gifts that I possess, including what I referred to as writing for the “real world.” As a creative writing major in college, I had been writing poetry, personal essays, even a novel, throughout my academic years—but I never included this work in my vitae, for it didn’t count at the university. I certainly had no idea of the great changes that had occurred in the world of trade publishing, but I did think that I would learn how to do it. I had retired early and ended my academic career for this new start.

Media, books and the world at-large told me in my mid-sixties that I hadn’t really changed at all, that “sixty was the new forty.” I believed them, and I was shocked by my growing sense of confusion and disorientation. Changes in my body and a diagnosis of severe arthritis in my back, hip, neck, knee and ankle didn’t help. More and more, I felt myself on shaky ground, and grew uncertain of my identity.

I needed to understand this new place where I now was living, and I found little out there in the form of guidance. Seniors in the pages of Arthritis Today were all depicted walking briskly, with their sweater thrown over their shoulders and happy smiles on their faces. What was the matter with me? I wasn’t always happy, and I couldn’t always manage that walk. So I wrote about it.

I wrote short pieces about my daily life and about my past. Slowly this writing coalesced into a manuscript, now my recently published book, that explores aging. Looking at the present took me to the past. Writing from my present perspective, I tell of my life as daughter, mother, grandmother, lover, teacher, writer, feminist. Through stories and reflection, I explore the threads of my earlier identity to see how they are woven together and how they might help to define who I am today: an aging woman.

This writing itself was an act of discovery. It showed me my selfhood, rolling along through time, adding on more experience so that things got more complex, and sometimes more perplexing, but staying at heart much the same. I continue to imagine a place for myself where I feel more settled, and thus stronger, more effective. Today, since I’ve been here for a while, and I haven’t fallen off the edge, I can see how the challenges that I experience are as much a part of this time as the vertigo.

Why is this book a feminist act? It is certainly not what I did in academia on committees or in classes or even what I wrote before, when as a feminist literary critic I brought a feminist perspective and feminist theory to my subject, and my scholarship was a part of my political activity.

But the book, using my life as example, attempts to understand a time, a condition, a situation, a state of being barely understood or even truly contemplated in our culture—no matter that more and more people are joining its ranks. Younger people don’t need and don’t want to know about it, and society at large pays lip service only to it. Let’s find some housing for those seniors. Let’s make some disabled parking places. Let’s provide lectures from their “superiors” and maybe offer outings in buses to keep them busy.

Many seniors are still very independent, working as they did before. (Hooray for Ruth Bader Ginsburg!) But whether they continue to hold jobs or, on the other extreme, become “burdens” to their families, what do they feel about who they have become?  What is it like to be older? Who really cares? Most seniors don’t tell—except maybe to their therapists, if they’ve got one. It’s more socially acceptable to dissemble. It’s easier for the world to believe that you haven’t changed.

Discovering Senior Space is an attempt (and there are others, for I’m not alone) to provide some answer these questions. To raise the issue that there are questions. My book is a drop in society’s bucket, just as my full professorship was, and still is, a drop in the university’s bucket.

I’m not “out there” anymore. I choose to be in here. But I am still working as a feminist, believing in my right as a woman to have a full life and not to be discriminated against, and not to feel guilt that my “issues” are embarrassing or my fault.

Working as a feminist, I wrote this book—hoping to help shed some light on today’s deeply ingrained ageism, and to offer information that is missing.

Suzanne Juhasz is the author of many books and essays, most recently Discovering Senior Space: A Memoir. She is a retired professor and the founding editor of The Emily Dickinson Journal, and in 1998, she received the Distinguished Senior Scholar Award from the American Association of University Women. Suzanne lives in Boulder, Colorado with her partner. She is a proud mother and grandmother.

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