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SNI Forward May 2023


Welcome back to the SNI Forward. With all that has been going on at SNI since the beginning of 2023, it feels like this year has flown by! On the personnel front, we are bidding a bittersweet farewell to SNI’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Lown, and to our program associate, Zoe So, both of whom embody the meaning of “lifelong learners” by leaving SNI to pursue their educational interests and passions.


  • Having served SNI for nearly 10 years, Dr. Lown will leave in June to first spend time with his family and then to study astrophysics – for, as he says, as long as he can understand the math. David has been a tremendous colleague and his commitment and dedication to our members is unparalleled.
  • Zoe has been the “glue” that holds SNI together for the past four years, starting as a program coordinator right out of college and most recently serving as our program associate after receiving a promotion. Zoe will leave SNI in June to pursue a graduate degree in design.

We wish both David and Zoe the best of luck!

The good news is that we are beyond excited to welcome Ash Amarnath, MD as SNI’s new Chief Health Officer! Dr. Amarnath will join the SNI team in late May. We are so excited to partner with Ash and for you to meet him.

On the programming front, SNI continues to advance our programming on racial equity, primary care, and QIP. Read on for updates on two recent Racial Equity Community of Practice meetings, our work to support public health care systems as they strive to meet QIP targets, and our upcoming workshop on patient engagement and outreach.

Giovanna Giuliani
Executive Director
California Health Care Safety Net Institute

Creating Change through Collaboration: Updates from our Racial Equity Community of Practice

Our Racial Equity Community of Practice (CoP) has gathered twice this year, bringing together more than 40 equity leaders from across twelve public health care systems in February and April. Participants are hitting their stride in advancing equity at their systems, leveraging the solid foundation of shared language, design concepts, and support and encouragement built since the program started a year and a half ago. Participants are testing ideas at their organizations, delving deeper into sharing strategies, and engaging in deep collaboration and peer learning across systems.

Our recent published feature story, Reaching for Health Equity (With Peers) at Riverside University Health System (RUHS) highlights just one example of the collaboration and change happening as a result of the CoP. Please take a few minutes to read it!

Public Health Care Systems meet in Burbank, CA for SNI’s Racial Equity Community of Practice event in February 2023.

QIP Catalyzes Improvements in Care

One of SNI’s key roles is supporting system success in the Quality Incentive Pool (QIP), a flagship program that challenges public health care systems to improve equity and quality via ambitious pay-for-performance targets. SNI regularly gathers QIP data from members to learn about “bright spots” – high-performing systems who can share successes and lessons learned.

In recent months, SNI organized several QIP learning sessions to showcase these “bright spots”:

  • Depression Screening and Management: Alameda Health System and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services discussed their new staffing models, electronic health record integrations, and clinic intake workflows to achieve universal behavioral health screenings and help patients with positive screening scores.
  • Prenatal and Postpartum Care: Natividad Medical Center and Ventura County Health Care Agency created in which patients can initiate perinatal care regardless of where they interact with the system and addressed common barriers to care – such as transportation, language, and distrust of the medical system – to improve maternal health and perinatal care.
  • Blood Pressure Control and Diabetes Management: San Francisco Health Network shared the core principles of their equity-focused approach to customize support for populations experiencing disparities in blood pressure control, diabetes management, and other QIP measures.

SNI’s support for QIP is reinforced through learning events that support broader, foundational changes to improve primary care capacity:

  • As part of SNI’s Workforce Wellbeing Program, SNI gathered members in April to discuss how quality improvement efforts can be structured to center care team relationships and increase workplace satisfaction. At a follow-up session, Riverside University Health System shared their pharmacy partnership as a model that improves medication management, reduces physician workload, and strengthens wellbeing.
  • And later this month, leaders from public health care systems will gather at our Strengthening Outreach and Engagement to Improve Population Health event in Burbank, CA. In this workshop, participants will share successful outreach and engagement strategies to improve population health, including models for centralizing outreach operations and tech-based approaches. Public health care systems can register here.
Contra Costa Health Services’ staff performing the work that DHCS acknowledged with the Quality Synergy Award at their annual QIP conference in 2023.


SNI continues to collaborate with the California Department of Public Health to increase the appropriate use of COVID-19 therapeutics. Please look at these valuable resources:

  • Communications templates that your system can use and/or adapt, including fact sheets, fliers, and provider talking points.
  • Free COVID-19 Therapeutics warmline: 1-866-268-4322 (866-COVID-CA) for health care providers to receive free and confidential consultation on COVID-19 testing and treatment. Providers can also use a NEW online case submission form. More information is available here.
  • Test-to-Treat FAQ for providers.