Kimberly Belshé, Secretary of Health and Human Services for the state of California, will be the keynote speaker for the second annual Dr. Philip Pumerantz Distinguished Lectureship.

Belshé will speak on the state’s implementation of federal health-care reform and opportunities to advance expanded coverage, delivery system reform and affordability, expanded health workforce capacity, and improvements in the health status of residents. Her presentation will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, in the Health Education Center on the WesternU campus in Pomona.

The lectureship, in honor of WesternU’s founder and president, Dr. Philip Pumerantz, was established in 2009 as part of a $5.1 million pledge to WesternU by Drs. Daljit and Elaine Sarkaria of Orange.

"The changes occurring in our health-care system are profound, and will be long-lasting,” Dr. Pumerantz said. “WesternU is honored that Secretary Belshé will share her insight and expertise on this important issue with our campus and community.”

The Sarkarias dedicated $100,000 of their pledge to create the lectureship to encourage and foster exemplary medical research, education and quality patient care.

As secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, Belshé is responsible for providing leadership and oversight in the agency’s efforts to promote the health and well-being of Californians. Belshé serves as a member of the governor’s Cabinet and as his chief advisor on health, social services, and rehabilitative policies. Governor Schwarzenegger named Belshe as chair of the Administration’s Health Reform Implementation Task Force, composed of senior state officials charged with overseeing implementation of the requirements of the new federal law.

Prior to joining the Schwarzenegger Administration, she served in a number of leadership positions in state government under the administration of Gov. Pete Wilson, including deputy secretary of the Health and Welfare Agency and director of the Department of Health Services. She is a board member of the Great Valley Center and has served as a program director for The James Irvine Foundation and as a founding commissioner of the California Children and Families Commission. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University.