SISC Represented at White House Cancer Moonshot Event

Friday April 26, 2024

Self-Insured Schools of California (SISC) is well-known throughout Kern County and California as a major insurer of school districts and their employees. Its network has more than 400,000 members. The organization, a Joint Powers Authority of KCSOS, recently took its place on the national stage when SISC’s Director of Health Networks, Nicole Mata, joined other insurance providers at a White House event for the Biden Cancer Moonshot. 

The initiative is mobilizing efforts toward achieving two clear goals that the President and First Lady set: To prevent more than 4 million cancer deaths by 2047 and to improve the experience of people who are touched by cancer.

Sitting there and being able to represent SISC and knowing that we belonged at that table. It was an honor. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments.

— Nichole Mata, SISC

SISC CEO Dave Ostash chats with Nicole Mata about her recent visit to the White House.

The Cancer Moonshot has spurred tremendous action across the federal government and from the public and private sectors, building a strong foundation for the work ahead. To date, the Cancer Moonshot has announced more than 70 new programs, policies, and resources to address five priority actions. More than 155 private companies, non-profits, academic institutions, and patient groups have also stepped up with new actions and collaborations.

Mata says SISC recently partnered with Eden Healthcare, a virtual primary care provider working closely with the Biden administration and the Cancer Moonshot. The White House event gathered representatives from 27 large businesses that collectively provided health benefits to 65 million Americans.

Representatives discussed cancer rates, screenings, and the latest data and shared ideas and best practices. During the roundtable discussion, Mata emphasized the importance of early detection and cancer screening compliance.

“SISC spent $160 million on cancer treatment last year, of which about 26 percent was preventable,” she said. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And the cancer screenings are a prime example of that.”

Mata also highlighted the significance of building trusted relationships with primary care physicians to improve patient compliance rates. 

“Getting an early screening can change somebody’s life, and that’s true of any chronic condition. If you catch pre-diabetes before it becomes diabetes, it can make a world of difference,” she said. 

Mata says she learned a lot about how other agencies prioritize their members’ wellness and brought back some of those best practices to implement with SISC. 

“When one of us has a finding, we share it with the others, and together, we can impact 65 million people,” she said.

Mata called the roundtable an incredible experience and was grateful to participate in pivotal discussions on a national scale and represent California public schools.

“Sitting there and being able to represent SISC and knowing that we belonged at that table, it was an honor. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments,” she said

By Katie Avery

By Katie Avery

Katie Avery joined the Kern County Superintendent of Schools in 2023 as a Communications Specialist. As a former journalist and marketing professional, her passions include media and storytelling. Before joining KCSOS, Avery worked for various local TV stations as well as the health care industry.