Touro University’s 3rd Annual Legislative Banquet

By Julian Aurigui

TPA VP of Legislation 2016-2017 

Touro University California hosted its 3rd Annual Legislative Banquet on Thursday, April 7th 2016.  This is a high-profile inter-professional event designed to foster round-table discussion between legislators, students, physicians, and pharmacists on the importance and advantage of including vital healthcare providers, such as pharmacists, as part of an interdisciplinary team to improve access to better patient care.    

The event began with welcoming remarks by Provost Dr. Marilyn Hopkins, a presentation by CPhA CEO Jon Roth on pharmacy outreach, and a keynote address by Assistant Dean of Administration for the College of Pharmacy Dr. Keith Yoshizuka.  

Roundtable speakers included: CPhA Director of Leadership Development and Student Relations Mike Conner, Assembly member Bill Dodd, Assistant Professor of Public Health Dr. Sahai Burrowes, CSHP President Dr. Kethen So, Director of School of Nursing Dr. Ann Stoltz, Associate Professor Dr. Patricia Shane, Vice Mayor of Vallejo Rozzana Verder-Aliga, MPP Executive Director of Napa & Solano County Medical Societies Kena C. Burke, Congressman Mike Thompson Representative Lorena Barrera, and CPhA CEO Jon Roth. To highlight a more unique aspect of this year’s banquet, TUC invited politicians Assembly member Bill Dodd and Congressman Mike Thompson Representative Lorena Barrera. Students had the exclusive opportunity to personally meet and engage with their local officials to share their thoughts on current healthcare legislation, such as AB 2084, and its direct impact on their profession. 

Discussion topics included:  AB 2084- comprehensive medication management, Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act., H.R. 592/S. 314- an amendment to the Social Security Act to allow pharmacists to get paid for clinical services under Medicare Part B, SB 277 – the elimination of the Personal Belief Exemption of vaccines, Medical Marijuana, and AB 2782 – soda tax. Numerous discussions were created focusing on the promotion of healthcare advocacy through dinner and interactive round-table discussions. Both the attendees and speakers taught each other with their different perspectives on the topics. 

The Legislative Banquet served as an inter-professional convention that facilitated the advocacy of the health profession among students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Physician’s Assistant Program, Masters of Public Health Program, and other College of Pharmacy students from University of the Pacific and California Northstate University.  Although TUC hosts many events, Legislative Banquet is one of the more highly anticipated ones because of the spectrum and caliber of guests, speakers, and interactions facilitated.  Students believe that they leave knowing more about the current state and potential future direction of their professions than they did before attending the event.  Legislative Banquet is an event that grows every year and brings awareness to the profession of health care that most students may not have elsewhere.  Special thanks goes out to our provost, esteemed roundtable speakers, TUC faculty, students, and our sponsors. Thank you again to all who attended and supported this great event! We hope you look forward to next year’s Legislative Banquet.