College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific alumnus William Henning, DO, has been appointed to the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission.

The commission, part of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), was created by the Song-Brown Health Care Workforce Training Act. Its purpose is to establish standards and make recommendations for the funding of family practice training and residency programs, postgraduate osteopathic medical programs in family practice, primary care physician assistant programs, and programs that train primary care nurse practitioners.

Dr. Henning, a 1986 COMP graduate, said he is honored to serve on the commission, and is also honored that WesternU nominated him for the position. He has served as the chief medical officer of Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) since 2007.

“I’m fortunate in my current position at IEHP to have the opportunity to participate at the state level,” he said. “I look forward to ensuring the right agenda is always on the table. We want to do our best to have the right people with the right background available to help influence policymaking at the state level.”

In recommending Dr. Henning for the position, COMP Dean Clinton Adams, DO, wrote, “He exhibits the highest degree of professionalism, personal accountability and responsibility. These admirable characteristics, combined with his commitment to lifelong learning, equip him to make the kind of contribution that the commission will need to address the challenges ahead.”

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Dr. Henning to the position prior to leaving office earlier this month. The commission meets in person quarterly for two days, and also holds teleconferences.

Dr. Henning will represent private medical schools on the commission, but he will also help bring greater visibility to osteopathic medicine, he said. Dr. Henning is also president-elect of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OPSC).

“One of many goals in this position is to be sure osteopathic physicians have a voice,” he said. “We need more visibility at the state level.”

Dr. Henning directs all medical services for more than 450,000 members enrolled in a Medi-Cal managed care health plan. The Inland Empire Health Plan is a public, not-for-profit local initiative plan covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties.