News Release| L.A. Care; Cal State L.A.

March 3, 2011

Media Advisory

Understanding the impacts of current health care reforms

CSULA faculty and health policy expert appointed chair of L.A. Care, the largest public health plan in the nation

Note to news editor and director: Looking for an expert on the upcoming new health care law and the costs of health care?

Walter Zelman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Health Science at California State University, Los Angeles, is available to provide his professional perspective for developing stories on health care reform issues and policies.

Zelman, who was recently named chair of L.A. Care’s Board of Governors for a one-year term, will play a critical role in ensuring that quality health care is delivered to vulnerable and low-income populations in Los Angeles County. With more than 800,000 members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest public health plan serving residents of the L.A. County.

In this new capacity, Zelman leads a 13-member stakeholder board, which includes representatives of community clinics, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, doctors, members, advocates, and Los Angeles County.  Zelman has been an L.A. Care board member for more than seven years, representing the Knox-Keene Licenced Pre-Paid Health Plans. He served as vice chair for five years.

Zelman also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Insure the Uninsured Project, a non-partisan organization created to increase coverage for the 6.6 million uninsured in California. 

Zelman, who has published two books and numerous articles on health care policy, is an expert on California government and politics and health policy and markets, focusing specifically on the uninsured, insurance and managed care, and health care costs.

Since joining the faculty at Cal State L.A., he produced a study of California’s health reform efforts in 2007-08 led by former Governor Schwarzenegger, and most recently, a study on the possible role of Medicaid-focused health plans in the exchanges to be created under health reform.  

Zelman has served as special deputy in the California Department of Insurance, a senior White House health care advisor during the Clinton administration, and executive director of California Common Cause, a non-profit, non-partisan citizens' lobby organization. He is the former president of the California Association of Health Plans, a trade association of California’s managed care insurance plans.

Zelman, who earned his Ph.D. in American Politics from UCLA, previously taught at CSU Northridge and Long Beach, Pitzer College, USC and UCLA. He also served as an adjunct professor for the Harvard University School of Public Health.

Zelman noted: “As I focus on my teaching and department chair roles at CSULA, my involvement in L.A. Care helps me keep one foot firmly planted in the real world of health care policy and health care delivery systems. The roles complement each other, and each enhances my interest in the other. I have long believed that many academics would benefit from more direct involvement in policymaking or policy implementation and that many involved in the world of policy would benefit from more involvement with academia.”

Other CSULA faculty experts on health-related topics include Mary Anne Schultz, assistant professor of nursing; William London, professor of health science; and Valentine Villa, professor of social work.

To schedule an interview with Professor Zelman or any other CSULA faculty experts, please contact the CSULA Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.