UC Board of Regents discusses health service spending, entrepreneurship in final meetings

photo of regents meeting
Joshua Jordan/File
According to UC Health Executive Vice President Carrie L. Byington, the university needs to hire more health-care workers in order to mitigate the effects of COVID-19. This photo was taken on January 25, 2018.

Related Posts

On its final day of meeting, the UC Board of Regents discussed health spending plans, entrepreneurship and COVID-19 impacts.

To begin the board meeting, a 30-minute period of public comment was held during which in-person and remote stakeholders expressed support for the UCSF hospital, disappointment over some of the university’s recent actions, concerns for climate change and their wish to reinstate standardized testing.

UC President Michael Drake then turned the microphone over to the UC Student Association and the UC Graduate and Professional Student Association, providing representatives from the respective groups with the opportunity to address the regents.

Among the student speakers was Esmeralda Quintero-Cubillan, UC Santa Barbara senior and president of the University of California Student Association, who urged the regents to take more proactive steps to declare their stance on issues including reproductive rights, the TMT telescope in Hawaii and protections for vulnerable communities.

“I am not asking you for a value statement, I am asking you for a course of action and I am asking for your direct action,” Quintero-Cubillian said during the meeting. “At the end of the day, a statement is beautiful but an action that shows you deeply care about these communities is way more impactful.”

The meeting then moved on to its first action item of the day, where UC Health Executive Vice President Carrie L. Byington provided updates on the 12 goals established under the UC Health Division strategic plan completed in December 2017. Among the 12 goals were promoting diversity and inclusion, improving UC Health service access and strengthening UC Health policy function.

The meeting then pivoted to a report on innovation transfer and entrepreneurship, in which the Innovation Working Group made 13 recommendations surrounding technology, policies and funding.

Concluding with a presentation on the long-term impacts of COVID-19, Byington discussed COVID-19’s future impact on the UC system. Regarding steps the UC system is taking to mitigate the disease’s effects, Byington emphasized the university’s need to hire more health-care workers, as the group continues planning for fall 2022 in regards to masking, booster schedule and vaccine policy.

Byington also stressed the necessity for increased public health literacy on all campuses for both students and faculty.

“We need to be seen as the trustworthy voice and information at UC … and help people no matter what major they have, what job they have, to understand what are the facts of the pandemic today,” Byington said during the meeting.

Contact Erica Jean at [email protected].