NEWS | April 14, 2017

UC Davis School of Nursing hosts Community Conversation on health care, technology


The fragmentation between the technology and health care worlds took center stage last night at a Community Conversation presented by the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis: “Why is my Smartphone Personalized, but my Health Care is Not?”

Why are there more than 100,000 health care apps on a tech device, yet it’s difficult locating information to help you care for another person? How can Netflix determine what movie best suits your tastes, but your health care provider cannot make personalized recommendations based on your Fitbit? Nearly 100 people gathered at The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento to discuss what it will it take to personalize health care and how faculty, students and alumni at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing be a part of the solution that empowers individuals to take action in their health.

“We wanted to create engagement beyond the traditional panel discussion of people who orbit a vocation and express their ideas,” said G. Russell (Russ) Bell, retired senior vice president and chief scientific officer at Beckman Coulter and chairman of the School of Nursing’s National Advisory Council. “At the end of the day, the U.S. spends more per capita on health care, yet our outcomes are often among the poorest. How can we bring community and the School of Nursing and medical professionals together to make health care better?”

Speakers and panelists included Bell, Joanne M. Disch, professor ad honorem at University of Minnesota School of Nursing; Louis Burns, former chief executive officer of Care Innovations; Kristen Miranda, chief integration officer and California market president for agilon health; and Dan Weberg, director of nursing research and practice innovation with the Nurse Scholars Academy of Kaiser Permanente.

The experts weighed in on topics ranging from creating customized care to improve health to balancing the tension between efficiency and innovation.

“Even in an integrated health system, when we can know someone’s history from birth to death, it’s hard to personalize that,” said Weberg. “With a smartphone, you give it data to personalize. When you visit Amazon, you give it permission to know what you shop for. But in health care, the health system owns your data.”

“It's simple about technology, it's the change that's hard,” Burns said. “We need to change how we always do things.”

“Every stakeholder needs to change,” Miranda added. “These stakeholders are now coming together in ways they never have.”

A question-and-answer session with attendees followed the panel discussion.

“Hearing from people with different backgrounds talking about a topic with great interest reveals unique perspectives and prompts thought-provoking discussion,” says Heather M. Young, founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. “Our school wants to promote this type of dialogue and thinking in a broader way to inform how we prepare our students to lead and transform the status quo of health care.”

The 2017 Community Conversation was made possible by the Dignity Health Dean's Chair for Nursing Leadership at UC Davis and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing master's-degree leadership alumni. To see a video from the event, click here. To learn more about the educational programs and research at the School of Nursing, visit