Portland, Maine Office:
Washington, DC Office:
p: (202) 903-0101
f: (202) 903-2790
Opening Plenary: Keynote Address from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and State Leaders’ Respond with a Snapshot of their Efforts to Address Health Care Costs, Access, and Delivery
Tuesday Plenary: State Health Policy Meets the Pandemic: Forging the Path Forward
Wednesday Plenary: Legislatures Confront the Pandemic’s Aftershock – High Unemployment, Less Revenue, and Ongoing Health Threats
Trish Riley, Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, built that organization as CEO from 1988-2003. She led Maine’s Governor’s Office of Health Policy and Finance, and was Federal liaison during the ACA deliberations. Riley held appointive positions under five Maine governors. She served on the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and was a member of MACPAC, an Institute of Medicine’s Subcommittee and served on the Board of the NCQA.
Stanford Law School
State-Only Virtual Summit: New Prescriptions to Lower Rx Costs
Michelle Mello is Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Professor of Medicine in the Center for Health Policy/Primary Care and Outcomes Research in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. She conducts empirical research into issues at the intersection of law, ethics, and health policy. She is the author of more than 200 articles on medical liability, public health law, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, biomedical research ethics and governance, health information privacy, and other topics. The recipient of a number of awards for her research, Dr. Mello was elected to the National Academy of Medicine at the age of 40. From 2000 to 2014, she was a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she directed the School’s Program in Law and Public Health. She holds a J.D. from the Yale Law School, a Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.Phil. from Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar.
Chief Executive Officer
Washington Health Benefit Exchange
Tuesday Plenary: The Path Forward: Lessons from COVID-19
Pam MacEwan is the Chief Executive Officer for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Prior to joining the leadership team at HBE, Pam served as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Governance for Group Health Cooperative. She directed Medicare and Medicaid program performance and strategy, government relations, public policy, communications, and consumer governance serving on Group Health’s leadership team for 16 years. Previously Pam served as a Commissioner with the Washington Health Services Commission implementing the Health Services Act. She worked with a broad coalition to pass health reform legislation. Pam has served on several health policy initiatives in the public and private sector, chairing the Association of Washington Health Plans, serving on the Washington State Hospital policy committee, the King County Health Action Plan, and the Children’s Health Initiative. She holds an MAT in history from Brown University and a BA in economics from The Evergreen State College.
Office of Child and Family Services, Department of Health and Human Services
Telehealth for Vulnerable Populations
Dr. Todd A. Landry is the Director of the Office of Child & Family Services for the State of Maine. Dr. Landry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. He earned his Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, in 2018. Landry most recently was chief executive officer of Lena Pope in Fort Worth, Texas, a nonprofit that serves children and families with an array of prevention and early intervention services, including childcare, public education, mental health counseling, and juvenile justice. He previously served as director of Nebraska’s Division of Child and Family Services and sits on national boards, including the Child Welfare League of America.
Senior Policy Advisor for Public Health and Health Care
Office of Governor Jay Inslee
Molly Voris (pronouns she/her) is the Senior Policy Advisor for Public Health and Health Care for Washington Governor Jay Inslee. In this role, she leads policy development and advises the Governor on health care issues, including advising the Governor on COVID-19 policy since the beginning of the pandemic.
Prior to her role in the Governor’s Office, she served as the Chief Policy Officer for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange for nine years. Molly previously worked at the National Governors Association on state health insurance coverage issues when the ACA was enacted, and at the Kaiser Family Foundation on Medicare issues when Medicare Part D was enacted.
Molly has an M.P.H. from George Washington University and bachelor degrees in political science and Spanish from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She lives in Olympia, Washington with her spouse, three kids and their dog.
National Association of Health Data Organizations
Bridging Data and Policy: Utilizing Data as a Tool for Driving Policy Change (Joint Session planned by NASHP and NAHDO)
Dr. Thurston has a Masters and Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University, and an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Agribusiness Management from Brigham Young University. His areas of specialty include insurance markets, health care provider markets, labor markets, and public finance/economics. Dr. Thurston is currently the executive director at the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO). NAHDO is a national non-profit membership and educational organization dedicated to improving the collection and use of healthcare data. Dr. Thurston was a policy analyst and health economist for the Utah Department of Health from 2003 until 2019. From 2013 to 2019 he was the Director of the Office of Health Care Statistics which is responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data related to health care cost and quality for the State of Utah. In previous roles he served as policy adviser and executive staff for health system reform efforts in the State of Utah. Before joining the state, Dr. Thurston worked for eight years as an assistant professor of economics at Brigham Young University. He has published several articles on health care markets in nationally recognized economics journals. He is a life-long resident of Utah, growing up in Morgan County. He has native-level fluency in Spanish and was a Fulbright Scholar teaching economics in Argentina in 2001. He and his wife Maria have three children and two grandchildren. Dr. Thurston was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2014 from District 64 (Provo, Springville).
Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program
Adolescents and Behavioral Health: Recovery, Resiliency and the Journey Ahead
Dr. Straus is a primary care pediatrician and the founding director of the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Program (MCPAP). Begun in 2004, MCPAP was the first statewide program designed to address the shortage of child psychiatrists. Dr. Straus was responsible for the expansion of MCPAP to include MCPAP for Moms to address perinatal depression, mental illness, and substance use. MCPAP is the model for the implementation of access programs in 38 other states and for the federal legislation in the 21st Century Cures Act which led to the 21 state pediatric HRSA grants and 7 state maternal HRSA grants. He is president of the National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs, a non-profit dedicated to providing technical assistance and support to child psychiatry access programs. In 2019, Dr. Straus designed the Massachusetts Consultation Service for Treatment of Addiction and Pain (MCSTAP) to assist adult PCPs with their patients with SUD and chronic pain issues.
Institute for Clinical and Economic Review
State-Only Summit on New Prescriptions to Lower Rx Costs
Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc is the Founder and President of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), an independent non-profit organization that evaluates the evidence on the value of medical tests, treatments, and delivery system innovations to encourage collaborative efforts to improve patient care and control costs. Dr. Pearson is also a Lecturer in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Previously, he has served as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Bioethics at the NIH, a Special Advisor on Technology and Coverage Policy at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Vice Chair of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MedCAC). His publications include over 125 peer-reviewed articles and commentaries on the role of evidence in the health care system, and the book No Margin, No Mission: Health Care Organizations and the Quest for Ethical Excellence, published by Oxford University Press.
Maine State Legislature
Telehealth for Vulnerable Populations
Rep. Drew Gattine is in his fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives. He is House Chair of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and previously chaired the Health and Human Services Committee.
Rep. Gattine has over 25 years of experience in implementing and operating programs designed to deliver more effective and efficient health care. He is nationally known on the topic of program integrity and has presented at numerous national conferences on this subject. He is also a former state assistant attorney general.
Rep. Gattine is passionate about helping vulnerable people access high quality health care and live better lives. His service has been recognized by organizations such as AARP, Disability Rights Maine, Maine Council on Aging, Maine People’s Alliance, Cancer Action Network Maine and The Maine Primary Care Association.
Rep. Gattine lives on a small family farm in Westbrook with his wife, Elizabeth. They have two children and a bunch of animals.
Deputy Director of Health
Rhode Island Department of Health
The Urgency of Racial Inequities and What States Can Do Now
Ana Novais holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, UCLN, Belgium, and is a graduate of the Northeastern Public Health Leadership Institute, University at Albany, and Leadership RI. Ana has worked in public health for more than 30 years, including 5 years in Cabo Verde, 5 years in Portugal, and 23 years in the US.
Ana has worked for the Rhode Island Department of Health since 1998, first as a children’s health Education and Outreach Coordinator and later as Chief of the Office of Minority Health and Director of the Division of Community, Family Health, and Equity. In this role, Ana led the department’s efforts to develop and implement a framework for achieving health equity at the state and local levels through Rhode Island’s “Health Equity Zones” initiative.
In her current role as Deputy Director, Ana is charged with implementing the Department’s strategic priorities across all divisions and assuring the alignment of departmental resources and operations with these priorities.
Interim Division Director
Florida Department of Health
Melissa Jordan has worked at the Florida Department of Health, primarily in the field of applied epidemiology, since 2003. Since November of 2019, Melissa has served as the Interim Division Director of Community Health Promotion, managing an office of approximately 300 public health professionals and an annual budget of approximately $1 billion in state and federal funding. In this role, she is responsible for a wide range of health promotion activities including tobacco and chronic disease prevention, family health services, and WIC. She is leading Florida’s public health efforts to improve drug overdose surveillance and implement innovative prevention strategies.
Manager, Health Data Services Center
Minnesota Department of Health
Karl Fernstrom, Manager of the Health Care Data Service Center in the Health Economics Program at the Minnesota Department of Health: Karl Fernstrom leads the operational efforts for the acquisition and maintenance of health care administrative data for the Minnesota Department of Health which includes the MN APCD, MN HDD, and CMS data streams. In this role he also oversees the creation and release of MN APCD Public Use Files, collaborates with the Health Services Research unit on emerging research questions and policy issues relevant to health care research and health reform within the state. His background is in chronic disease epidemiology with areas of focus on conducting research using electronic health record and administrative data.
Medicaid Health Systems Administrator, Bureau of Long Term Services and Supports
Ohio Department of Medicaid
From Case Zero to Hero: Transforming Long-Term Care in the Age of COVID-19
Julie has 30 years of experience in long term care policy with the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Her policy experience includes long term care facilities, home health, reimbursement and electronic visit verification. Recently she has been focused on issues facing long term care facilities as they address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
VP of Data Analytics
Center for Improving Value in Health Care
Bridging Data and Policy: Utilizing Data as a Tool for Driving Policy Change (Joint Session planned by NASHP and NAHDO)
Vinita is Vice President of Data and Analytics at CIVHC and has decades of experience directing analytical work at a variety of health care organizations. Prior to joining CIVHC in 2019, Vinita served as Director of Performance Assessment & Clinical Effectiveness at the University of Michigan Health System. Vinita has expertise in the design and development of performance measurement systems, development of analytic capabilities to respond to new payment and care delivery models, analysis to drive performance improvement, and design of public reports. She holds Masters of Public Policy and Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees from Harvard University.
Chief Program and Services Officer
Texas Health and Human Services
Addressing Health Equity during a Budget Crisis
Michelle Alletto serves as the Texas Health and Human Services Chief Program and Services Officer. She provides oversight to the programs that make up the full Texas HHS medical and social service array including Medicaid, food assistance and women’s health programs, residential care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and behavioral health services.
Michelle has over a decade of experience working in public health and management. Recently, she worked with the Milbank Memorial Fund, advising a multi-state collaborative on Medicaid long-term services reform. She previously served as deputy secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), the deputy director for the LDH Birth Outcomes Initiative, and the assistant director for public policy at the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs in Washington, D.C.
Alletto holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission
Curbing Costs to Achieve Affordability in the Health Care System
Katie Wunderlich began her tenure as Executive Director of the Health Services Cost Review Commission in September 2018. In that role, she has lead the Commission through the transition from the hospital-based All-Payer Model to the Total Cost of Care Model, which focuses on hospital and non-hospital system transformation to enhance patient care, improve health, and lower costs. In order to successfully transform the delivery system, the new Total Cost of Care Model gives the State the flexibility to tailor initiatives to the Maryland health care context, encourages providers to drive health care innovation, and provides new tools and resources for primary care clinicians to better meet the needs of patients with complex and chronic conditions and help Marylanders achieve better health status overall. Previously, Ms. Wunderlich was the Principal Deputy Director at HSCRC overseeing the Center for Provider Alignment and Engagement that works with hospitals, physicians and other health care providers in partnership with patients to achieve the goals of the new model and transform healthcare delivery. Before joining the HSCRC in 2016, Ms. Wunderlich was a Deputy Legislative Officer in Governor Hogan’s Legislative Office. She also served as Director of Government Relations for the Maryland Hospital Association and as a budget analyst for the General Assembly’s Legislative Services department. She has a Masters in Public Policy from George Washington University.
Data Intake Analyst
Center for Improving Value in Health Care
Julia Tremaroli has worked as the data intake analyst for the CO APCD at the Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) for over two years. Day-to-day, she engages data submitters to ensure their submissions to the CO APCD are timely, accurate, and of high-quality. She also works as an analyst on several projects that utilize data from the CO ACPD, including the support for HB19-1174 Surprise Medical Billing legislation. Julia is driven by the goal of achieving the Triple Aim: lower costs, improved quality, and healthier people.
Julia holds a degree from the University of Denver in Business Information and Analytics.
Chief Medical Officer/ Medical Director
Division of Managed Care, New York State Office of Mental Health.
Mind Over Matter: Reimagining Behavioral Health Services in a Changed World
Dr. Smith is Chief Medical Officer, New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH); Co-Director, NYS OMH Center for Behavioral Health Integrated Performance Measurement, and Special Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He oversees clinical and quality aspects of the New York State public mental health system with a focus on improving access to prevention, recovery and rehabilitation services for persons with serious mental illness (SMI). He is the recipient of numerous NIMH and foundation grants for studies of engagement strategies for persons with SMI, services for persons with first episode psychosis, and care management approaches for high-need persons with SMI.
Dr. Smith earned his M.D. at Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatry residency at the University of Chicago before coming to New York where he has had extensive experience as a clinician, hospital administrator, and researcher, initially at Weill Cornell from 1989 – 2001. He moved to Columbia in 2001 and in 2008, joined the behavioral health services research division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Smith participated in the design and implementation of New York State’s behavioral health Medicaid Managed Care redesign and has played a lead role in OMH programs that support population health monitoring for engagement in care and adverse events. He also oversees NYS OMH mental health parity enforcement efforts as well as initiatives to develop system level quality and performance measures.
Massachusetts Health Policy Commission
Curbing Costs to Achieve Affordability in the Health Care System
David Seltz is the first Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC). The HPC is a first-in-the-nation independent state government agency charged with bending the health care cost curve and providing data-driven policy recommendations regarding health care delivery and payment system reform. Prior to this role, Mr. Seltz was the Special Advisor on health care for Governor Deval Patrick (MA) and Senate President Therese Murray. Through these positions, he advised the passage of historic health care access reform legislation in 2006, a forerunner to the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Subsequently, he worked on landmark cost containment legislation in MA, which has also become a model of success for many states. Mr. Seltz is a 2003 graduate of Boston College and originally from Minnesota. He was a recipient of Modern HealthCare’s 2015 Up and Comer Award and serves as a member of the Executive Committee to the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP).
Minnesota Department of Health
Erinn Sanstead researches, develops, and evaluates procedures and strategies to produce Minnesota All Payer Claims Database Public Use Files (PUFs). In this role, she provides technical assistance on appropriate uses of administrative health care claims data and conducts data validation to assess PUF validity, completeness, and security. Her background is in infectious disease epidemiology with experience in decision modeling and cost effectiveness analyses.
Washington University School of Law
Rachel Sachs is an Associate Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research explores the interaction of intellectual property law, food and drug regulation, and health law. Her scholarship has appeared in journals including the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Sachs was previously an Academic Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics and a Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School.
Quality Management and Special Initiatives Section, Wisconsin Department of Human Services
Gail Propsom has worked for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in a policy capacity for almost 30 years, developing and implementing policy on such varied issues as welfare reform, child support, employment and training, juvenile justice and child welfare. Since 2001, she has worked on long term support policy, including Olmstead implementation, Real Choice Systems Change Grants and Money Follows the Person. She currently manages a Section that oversees program quality, data analytics and several special projects, including implementation of the Home and Community-Based Services Settings rule, Money Follows the Person, housing issues for people with long-term care needs and efforts to support tribal involvement in long-term care.
Virginia State Health
Commissioner State of Virginia
Dr. Oliver is the State Health Commissioner at the Virginia Department of Health. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Oliver served as the Deputy Commissioner for Population Health for VDH. Before accepting the Deputy Commissioner position, he was the Walter M. Seward Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Dr. Oliver has a long record of accomplishments in research and community health work, regarding health inequities. Most recently, his research interests have focused on the area of improving our understanding of the role of racial discrimination, bias, and prejudice in establishing and maintaining these health inequities and the understanding of the interplay between race and socioeconomic position in these disparities.
Dr. Oliver attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University, where he also obtained his Masters degree in medical anthropology. He trained in family medicine at Case, and he then practiced broad-spectrum family medicine in rural Alaska for 2 years before joining the UVA Department of Family Medicine in 1998.
Deputy Director, Health Care Benefits and Eligibility
California Department of Health Care Services
Medicaid in an Era of Policy Unpredictability and Enrollment Shifts
René has been with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) since 1995. In the Medi-Cal program, she serves as the Deputy Director for Health Care Benefits and Eligibility (HCBE). She provides leadership for benefit and eligibility policy planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of health care services and delivery systems under Medi-Cal and for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). HCBE is comprised of five divisions and one office: Benefits, Eligibility, Pharmacy Benefits, Primary and Rural Indian Health, Dental, and the Office of Family Planning. René works to ensure that policies, procedures, and related activities in HCBE conform to applicable state and federal policies, statutes and regulations. She assists the Directorate, Administration and State Legislature in determining program direction consistent with legislative intent and consults with the Director and State Medicaid Director on issues of significant policy impact involving both Medi-Cal and CHIP. René has played a major role in policy planning, development, and implementation on matters pertaining to health care reform implementation and coverage expansions for children and young adults under Medi-Cal.
Chief Medical Officer
Alabama Department of Public Health
Mary G. McIntyre, M.D., M.P.H., SSBB is Chief Medical Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). Dr. McIntyre received her B.S. in biology from Winston Salem State University in Winston Salem, NC. She earned her medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville and served as resident physician in Internal Medicine at the George Hubbard Hospital in Nashville, TN. She obtained a master’s of public health in Health Care Organization and Policy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She studied Lean and Six Sigma at Villanova University from 2010-2011. She is board certified in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine. She joined ADPH in January 2011, and served as Assistant State Health Officer for Disease Control and Prevention and State Epidemiologist before taking her current position. Prior to beginning her public health career, she served in various roles at the Alabama Medicaid Agency for 14 years. She provided primary care for 11 years before joining the state. She is a member of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the American Public Health Association (APHA), the Alabama Public Health Association (Alpha), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama (MASA). She is most proud of being a wife and mother to four amazing adults and a grandmother to three.
Senior Policy Advisor
Department of State Health Services
Mind Over Matter: Reimagining Behavioral Health Services in a Changed World
Dena Stoner, Director of Innovation Strategy for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities / Behavioral Health Division, has over 40 years of policy, design and implementation experience, including long term services, acute medical care, managed healthcare and behavioral health. She currently concentrates on behavioral health, directing research and demonstration projects and making systemic changes to the state’s Medicaid program. Her work has been featured in peer-reviewed publications. Some of her current projects include the state’s Money Follows the Person behavioral health pilot and a randomized trial of self-direction for adults with serious mental illness. She also chairs the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors’ Finance Policy Division, serves on the National Research Institute’s Board of Directors, is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and chairs NASHP’s Long Term and Chronic Care Committee.
Assistant Director, Medicaid Program Operations & Integrity
Washington State Health Care Authority
Jason serves the state through public leadership for our Medicaid program, including joint stewardship of the program key elements such as Medicaid managed care oversight and program integrity. Working across divisions, he is leading managed care strategic planning and working on establishing performance metrics along with other major tasks of managing this large program. He previously served two Governors for Washington state as senior health policy advisor. He led the Governor’s health and related strategic vision, goals and policy initiatives, including long term care. His service has spanned critical times during the deep recession to implementing the Affordable Care Act that has resulted in expanded Medicaid and exchange health coverage to over 800,000 people in Washington. He also currently serves on the NASHP board and a member of the long term care committee.
Aging & People with Disabilities Interim Director
Oregon Department of Human Services
Stand By Me: Supporting Long-Term Care Workers
With more than two decades of state service, and a majority of those with the Department of Human Services, Mike McCormick has extensive knowledge of the agency’s program structure, client needs and policy guidelines.
Mike served as the Deputy Director of the Aging and People with Disabilities program in 2012 and from December 2015 to October 2019, when he assumed the Interim Director position. Mike was a key leader in securing approval for Oregon’s 1915(K) State Plan Option. He then used these tools to dramatically expand the percentage of individuals receiving services in their own home.
Prior to his work with Aging and People with Disabilities, Mike led the Department’s Office of Rates, Contracting and Research. During his tenure, Mike provided leadership on financial management, effective use of data in administering programs and establishing fair, competitive rates for long-term care providers.
During his leadership role for the Provider Audit Section, Mike adopted a data analytics approach towards assessing risk of errors, fraud and abuse in Oregon Health Plan’s medical programs. Under Mike’s leadership, millions of tax dollars were recovered and ultimately were used to fund needed services for Oregonians.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Mike graduated from University of Oregon with a BS in Business Administration.
Chief of Long-Term Services and Supports
Patti Killingsworth is an Assistant Commissioner for TennCare and the Chief of Long-Term Services & Supports (LTSS). She is a nationally recognized leader and highly sought-after expert and adviser in home and community-based services (HCBS), managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS), value-based purchasing for LTSS, and initiatives to improve care for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. She has worked in Medicaid programs for over two decades, leading system redesign initiatives in multiple states. Her commitment is to transforming LTSS systems to better meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities and their families, promoting the development and expansion of cost-effective HCBS options, and ensuring that that the voice and perspective of older adults, people with disabilities, family members, and other key stakeholders is brought to bear in policy and program decision-making processes.
Senior Program Advisor
Department of Medical Assistance Services, Virginia
Ashley Harrell is the Senior Program Advisor in the Behavioral Health Division at the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Ashley’s role in the Virginia Medicaid agency in most recent years was leading the implementation of the transformation of the Medicaid Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment services – “Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services or ARTS”. ARTS has been recognized nationally as the model for States implementing SUD Demonstration Waivers. Ashley is also the Project Director for Virginia’s Section 1003 Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. Virginia is one of fifteen states awarded the Grant to increase SUD treatment and recovery provider capacity. Prior to this, Ashley managed the Maternal and Child Health Division at the Medicaid agency to improve access to and enhance services for women and children eligible for Medicaid. Ashley is licensed in Clinical Social Work in Virginia, with degrees both in Master’s and Bachelor’s in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University.
State of Minnesota
Senator Jeff Hayden was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2011 after serving in the state House of Representatives for four years. Sen. Hayden is the ranking DFL member on the Senate Human Services Reform committee; he also serves on the Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Finance committees. Hayden was elected by his peers as Assistant DFL Leader in 2016.
Senator Hayden has advocated for progressive policies in his community for decades and has been at the forefront of economic justice and health care issues throughout his legislative career. He authored the statewide minimum wage increase and helped pass a guaranteed school lunch program for all children regardless of their families’ ability to pay. He has pushed for enacting a single-payer health care system to expand access to affordable health care and has continually advocated for increased funding of Child Care Assistance Programs. He also authored the African American Family Preservation Act, which would protect the best interests of children and promote the stability and security of African American families. In 2015, Sen. Hayden co-chaired the Senate’s first Select Committee on Disparities and Opportunities which has invested more than $100 million into communities of color. And after more than 30 years, Senator Hayden was successful in securing the first increase in the Minnesota Family Investment Program since 1986. In 2019, Jeff authored and successfully passed legislation that removes certain racial restrictive covenants from housing deeds in the Twin Cities.
Deputy Secretary of Finance
Virginia Office of the Governor
Joe was appointed Deputy Secretary of Finance in January 2018. He provides guidance to the Governor and Secretary of Finance on a range of fiscal policy issues especially those related to Health and Human Resources (HHR). Joe is currently heading up efforts to identify, monitor, track, and provide counsel on expenditures from federal stimulus bills to address the impact of COVID-19 in Virginia. He helped lead Governor Northam’s successful Medicaid expansion efforts that included strategic planning, policy design, fiscal analysis, stakeholder engagement, legislative negotiations, and communications. Joe previously served as Deputy Secretary of HHR for Governor Terry McAuliffe.
For two decades, Joe was a fiscal analyst serving legislators in Texas, Minnesota, and Virginia on the breadth of fiscal policy issues in health and human resources. As a non-partisan legislative fiscal analyst, he was a resource to lawmakers, agency officials, advocacy groups, the media, and the public on issues related to health care, social services, public health, behavioral health, developmental disabilities, children and adult services.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Institute for Clinical and Economic Review
State-Only Virtual Summit: New Prescriptions to Lower Rx Costs
With over 20 years of experience in the business and policy of health care, Sarah leads the strategic operations of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, a leading non-profit health policy research organization, as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to joining ICER, Sarah spent six years in the corporate communications and investor relations department at a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, and several years with a health care communications firm. Sarah began her career in clinical research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Sarah holds a Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in health policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University and received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Smith College. Sarah speaks frequently at national conferences on the topics of prescription drug pricing policy, comparative effectiveness research, and value-based health care.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Stacie Dusetzina is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Ingram Associate Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She is a health services researcher focusing on the intersection between health policy, epidemiology, and economics related to prescription drugs. She received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in 2010 and post-doctoral training at the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School in 2012.
Dr. Dusetzina’s work focuses on prescription drug prices and affordability for consumers, with a special focus on high-priced or complex drugs. Her body of work has led to her participation in the President’s Cancer Panel’s workshops on Access to Cancer Drugs, her appointment to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee on Ensuring Patient Access to Affordable Drugs, and testifying before the Senate Aging Committee on the same topic in 2019.
Deputy Director for Policy Research, Legislative Policy and Research Office
Chief Medical Officer
North Carolina Medicaid, Division of Health Benefits, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Primary Care and Prevention: The Limits and Potential of Telehealth
Dr. Dowler joined NC DHHS as the Chief Medical Officer for North Carolina Medicaid in 2019. Her past experience with Medicaid includes chairing the Physician Advisory Group for Medicaid (an independent legislated non-profit whose sole purpose is advising Medicaid on clinical policy) for many years. In the COVID pandemic she has led efforts across DHHS related to Telehealth and Health Equity with a focus on increasing testing in Historically Marginalized Populations.
Dr. Dowler obtained her medical degree from East Carolina (Brody) School of Medicine and completed a Family Medicine Residency and Fellowship in Asheville at MAHEC. She has spent her career in the service of non-profits including: the local health department providing full spectrum care (OB without deliveries) as well as a long standing role in the STD clinic, as CMO for a large FQHC in WNC, and most recently served as Associate Chief Quality Officer and Chief of Community Medicine for Mission Health System.
Director of Healthcare Reform and Financing
Delaware Health and Social Services
Steven M. Costantino is currently the Director of Health Care Reform for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. His emphases is on driving payment and delivery transformation to more value-based and integrative care models across multiple payers of services. He is actively engaged in the development and implementation of a health care quality and cost benchmark for the State of Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. He was the lead on approval of a 1332 waiver application to CMS for reinsurance. He is also actively involved in the development of an MCO/ACO application process for Medicaid.
As Commissioner and of the Department of Vermont Health Access and Medicaid Director (2015-2017), he provided leadership and strategy for many of Vermont’s expansive Health Care Reform
As Secretary of the Executive Office of Health & Human Services (2011-2015), he applied his extensive experience in government and a variety of fields relating to health and human services to improve the quality of life of Rhode Island residents.
He was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1995 to 2010. He was appointed to the House Committee on Finance in 1999 and rose to the position of Chairman in 2004, retaining that leadership position for seven years.
He was Executive Director of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association of RI from 1986 to 1995.
He is a graduate of Dartmouth College obtaining a Masters in Health Care Delivery Science, class of 2020.
Washington’s 34th District Washington State House of Representatives
Legislatures Confront the Pandemic’s Aftershock – High Unemployment, Less Revenue, and Ongoing Health Threats
Representative Eileen Cody was raised on her family’s farm in Iowa. After graduating from high school, Eileen earned an Associate’s degree in nursing from the College of Saint Mary and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Creighton University.
Eileen recently retired after working at Kaiser Permanente (formerly Group Health Cooperative) in Seattle for the past forty years. In addition to her work at Kaiser Permanente, Eileen is a founding member of District 1199 NW/SEIU Hospital and Health Care Employees Union.
First appointed and subsequently retained to the House of Representatives in 1994, Eileen has dedicated her legislative career to achieving affordable, quality healthcare for all residents of Washington state. Eileen currently serves as chair of the House Health Care and Wellness committee. Most recently, Eileen was instrumental in the creation and passage of Cascade Care, Washington state’s public option plan.
Division of Medicaid and Health Financing, Utah Department of Health
Emma Chacon is the Operations Director with the Division of Medicaid and Health Financing, Utah Department of Health. This position serves as a deputy to the State Medicaid Director. In her role, Ms. Chacon oversees, all aspects of Utah’s Medicaid and CHIP programs including the claims processing, program integrity, coverage and reimbursement policy, eligibility policy, managed care, and long term services and supports.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Chacon served as an Assistant Director for the Division and as the Director of the Bureau of Managed Health Care. In this position she was responsible for the administration of managed health care for physical, behavioral and dental health for both Medicaid and CHIP for the State of Utah. During her tenure the State of Utah implemented Medicaid reform through the creation of Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations. She is also part of Utah’s team to implement Medicaid expansion.
Prior to joining the Department of Health in 2005, Ms. Chacon served as the Director of the Office of Recovery Services, Utah Department of Human Services which is the Child Support Enforcement agency for the state of Utah. Ms. Chacon served in this capacity for 12 of her 29 years with the Utah Department of Human Services.
Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas
Post-Election Reflections: What Will Our Health Policy Priorities Be in 2021 and Beyond?
Dean Rosen has played a leading role in developing and advancing health policy for more than 20 years. He has a deep understanding of America’s complex health care system and an equally intimate knowledge of politics and process. A partner at Mehlman Castagnetti, Dean joined the firm to direct its health care practice in September 2005 after five years as the chief health care advisor to Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist (R-TN). Dean has held senior positions in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, serving in the Congressional Leadership as well as on key health care committees. He also served in several senior positions with the Health Insurance Association of America. He has helped shepherd through Congress major legislation involving a variety of policy areas, including Medicaid and Medicare reform, FDA regulation, health insurance coverage and health
care quality. Throughout his career, he has forged strong working relationships with key decision-makers on both sides of the political aisle in Congress and within the broader health policy community.
Founder and President
Jennings Policy Strategies Inc.
Chris Jennings is a decades-long health policy veteran of the White House, the Congress and the private sector. He served President Obama as Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy and Coordinator of Health Reform, and in a similar capacity in the Clinton White House for nearly eight years. In his decade with the U.S. Senate, he served as the Deputy Director of the Special Committee on Aging for three Senators (Glenn, Pryor, and Melcher). He also served in a major role for the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care. Mr. Jennings has advised eight Presidential campaigns, the 2008, 2016 and 2020 Democratic Platform Drafting Committees, and multiple gubernatorial and Senate candidates. Jennings Policy Strategies (JPS) is a nationally respected health care consulting firm committed to assisting foundations, purchasers, health systems, and aligned stakeholders develop policies to ensure higher quality, more affordable and sustainable health care.
Deputy Cabinet Secretary
Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom
Richard Figueroa is a Deputy Cabinet Secretary in the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom where he is responsible for health and human services issues. He was previously the Director of Prevention and the Affordable Care Act for The California Endowment. He has served twice previously in the California Governor’s Office, where he was a Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Health Care Advisor for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Deputy Legislative Secretary for Governor Davis where he was responsible for health care, human services and health insurance issues.
Director of the Office of Healthy Opportunities
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Erika Ferguson serves as the Director of the Office of Healthy Opportunities for the NC Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she leads the Department’s comprehensive strategy to effectively deliver health, not just health care by addressing the medical and non-medical drivers of health including housing, food, transportation and interpersonal safety. Erika started her career managing a homeless shelter in the Mississippi Delta and has since served in a variety of capacities across health care and human services including positions at Duke University and the World Health Organization. Erika holds a BS in Public Health from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and Duke University and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Transformation Center Director
Oregon Health Authority Transformation Center
Chris DeMars, MPH, is the Director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Transformation Center and the Deputy Director of OHA’s Delivery System Innovation Office. In addition, she plays a lead role in the agency’s value-based payment and social determinants of health work. Before joining the OHA in 2013, Chris spent eight years as a senior program officer at the Northwest Health Foundation, where she managed the foundation’s health care reform grant making. Prior to working for the foundation, Chris spent six years as a senior health policy analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office, contributing to numerous reports for Congress on Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurance payment policy. Chris has also held positions at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and health-policy consulting firms, including Health Management Associates, and she began her career as a policy analyst intern at Indiana’s Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning. Chris holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Michigan.
Ohio Department of Medicaid
Ms. Dickerson has over 30 years of experience in the field of public health and strategic policy development. Currently, she serves as Bureau Chief for Long-Term Services and Supports in the Ohio Department of Medicaid since 2017. Her primary focus is to develop and implement state Medicaid policies in the areas of nursing and intermediate care facilities, home and community-based waivers, maternal and child health and developmental disabilities. Ms. Dickerson also coordinates with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and interpret federal guidelines, draft legislative language and perform comparative analysis to determine the most appropriate delivery of services for individuals and families. Previously, she was Section Chief for Interagency Policy in the Ohio Department of Medicaid 2011-2017, Project Manager for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services 2010-2011; Chief of Human Resources for the Ohio Office of Budget and Management 2008-2010; Assistant Director for the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation from 2003-2008 and held various management positions within the Ohio Department of Health 1990-2003; and she also worked as a contract administrator with the federal government from 1988-1990. Ms. Dickerson has extensive experience in administering health services programs through collaborative partnerships with state agencies, local health departments, managed care organizations, hospitals, pharmacies and community-based organizations. In addition, she has been instrumental in creating non-traditional health education programs for under-served populations and has been nationally recognized for her statewide leadership in the implementation of efforts in high-risk communities. Ms. Dickerson holds a Masters degree in Health Services Administration from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education from Otterbein University, Westerville, Ohio.
Health Insurance Commissioner
State of Rhode Island
Keynote Address from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker State Leaders’ Respond with a Snapshot of their Efforts to Address Health Care Costs, Access, and Delivery
Marie Ganim, Ph.D., is the Health Insurance Commissioner for the State of Rhode Island. In this role, she ensures the solvency of health insurers, protects consumers, encourages the fair treatment of providers, and works to improve health care quality, accessibility, and affordability. The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner was created in 2005 to oversee both health insurance regulation and health policy for the state. Addressing the cost of health care through alternative payment and delivery models has been the focus of the Office’s reform agenda.
Secretary Arkansas Department of Human Services
State of Arkansas
Cindy Gillespie was appointed secretary of the Arkansas Department of Human Services by Governor Asa Hutchinson in March of 2016. She oversees Medicaid, child welfare, juvenile justice and other programs that support the well-being of the state’s most vulnerable populations. Her previous career includes serving as a principal at the multinational law firm Dentons where she led the Health Policy and Health Insurance Exchange Teams, as an advisor to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on health policy and federal programs, and as senior management for both the Salt Lake and Atlanta Olympic Games.
South Dakota Legislature
Jean is a Registered Nurse that has over 30 years in hospital, home care and hospice administration. She holds a masters of science degree in nursing as a clinical nurse specialist and masters degree in hospital administration. She is currently completing her 20th year in the South Dakota State Legislature serving in both House and Senate. She has served on Health and Human Services Committee, chairing for four years in the Senate, Judiciary Committee and Local Government. She has served ten years on Joint Appropriations Committee serving as the Senate Chair. She currently is Vice Chair of House Appropriations and Chair of the Interim Rules Committee. She is a member of the RSG Steering Committee and serves on the Executive Committee for NCSL. She is a small business owner/operator of a Sports Bar and a Fitness Center and operates a small farm operation. She is married and has four children and six grandchildren.
Silver State Health Insurance Exchange
The Role of Marketplaces in Re-Envisioning Commercial Health Insurance Post-COVID-19
Heather Korbulic is the Executive Director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, Nevada’s state agency that runs and operates the online health insurance marketplace known as Nevada Health Link. Heather has over a decade of experience in human service specifically related to health care policy. She specializes in government affairs, public relations, coordinated project management and strategic planning. Under Heather’s direction the Nevada Exchange was the first state to successfully transition functionality away from the platform to operate as a fully autonomous state based exchange. Heather has a degree from the University of Oregon and is a Certified Public Manager.
Chief Executive Officer
Connect for Health Colorado
Kevin Patterson has served as Chief Executive Officer of Connect for Health Colorado since April of 2015. He previously served as chief administrative officer and interim chief of staff to Gov. John Hickenlooper and has an extensive history of public service. Kevin brings a strong understanding of local, state, and federal government and stakeholder engagement to this role. For his time at Connect for Health Colorado, Kevin has been focused on improving the customer experience so they can focus on health insurance with tax credits implications. Kevin has held many senior leadership roles for the city and county of Denver. He was elected to the Denver Board of Education in 2001 and 2005. Kevin graduated with a B.A. in Teaching from Sam Houston State University and holds both a Master’s of Public Administration and a Master’s of Urban Regional Planning from the University of Colorado at Denver. Kevin is known as a collaborative non-partisan problem solver for Colorado issues.
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H. was appointed as Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration by Governor Eric J. Holcomb effective January 9, 2017. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Deputy State Health Commissioner and Director for Health Outcomes at the Indiana State Department of Health. Dr. Sullivan is currently a Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. She served as the Division Chief for Pediatric Emergency Medicine and was the Program Director for the Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics Residency from 2007-2015. Dr. Sullivan continues to work clinically in the Riley Hospital for Children Emergency Department.
She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston Honors College and her Masters in Public Health at the Richard Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University. She earned her Medical Doctorate at Indiana University School of Medicine and is board certified in Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics.
Dr. Sullivan is dedicated to building effective and efficient delivery of health care and social services to Hoosiers. She takes a public health approach to policy decisions and is committed to strategic alignment across government and the private sector to improve health outcomes and fill unmet social needs. She was recognized in 2019 as the recipient of the APHSA Friedman Health and Human Services Impact Award and is a 2017 Indianapolis Business Journal Woman of Influence.
FSSA is a health care and social service delivery and integration agency. The mission of FSSA is To compassionately serve our diverse community of Hoosiers by dismantling long-standing, persistent inequity through deliberate human services system improvement.
Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services
Judith Ann Theriot, MD, CPE, is the Medical Director for the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services and has served in that capacity since May 2019. Prior to that, she was the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs’ Medical Director from July 2013 through May 2019. Dr. Theriot attended medical school at the University of Louisville (UofL) then went on to complete her Pediatric residency and a chief resident year before joining the faculty at UofL. Dr. Theriot served as the director of the General Pediatrics Clinical Research Unit and prior to that as the medical director of the Children and Youth Project; a multidisciplinary primary care clinic serving the inner-city high-risk children of Louisville Kentucky. Dr. Theriot is a certified physician executive and is a professor of Pediatrics at UofL. In addition to her administrative duties with Medicaid, she continues to see patients weekly in clinic at UofL and teach pediatric residents.
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Opening Plenary | Keynote Address from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and State Leaders’ Respond with a Snapshot of their Efforts to Address Health Care Costs, Access, and Delivery
Marylou Sudders serves as the Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, overseeing 12 agencies and MassHealth, with a combined budget of $24 billion and 22,000 public employees delivering essential services that touch the lives of 1 in 4 state residents. Since joining Governor Baker’s cabinet in January 2015, Sudders has advanced strategic policy priorities, including: restructuring MassHealth into a population-based health coverage system, reforming the child welfare system, addressing the opioid epidemic, integrating physical and behavioral health care, and strengthening community-based services. Sudders co-chairs the Governor’s Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, the Governor’s Interagency Council on Aging, and chairs the Autism Commission and the board of Massachusetts Health Connector, the state’s health insurance marketplace. Sudders has held leadership roles across the public and private sectors, including serving as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health, a non-profit CEO, and associate professor and program chair at Boston College School of Social Work, a top ten nationally-ranked program. Sudders holds a bachelor’s degree with honors and a master’s degree in social work from Boston University, and honorary doctorates from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Bridgewater State University. She is the recipient of many civic, social work, and professional honors.
Tim has over 20 years of experience implementing state government systems, including end-to-end management of the entire software development lifecycle from contract negotiations and project initiation, through implementation, certification, and post-production operations. For the past several years, Tim has serves as the project manager for Montana Program for Automating and Transforming Healthcare (MPATH) initiative. The MPATH project is replacing Montanas 33 year old legacy Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) using a modular strategy leveraging existing COTS/SaaS solutions. Tim led the development of Montanas modularity replacement strategy that resulted in the Modularity Blueprint for the replacement of the remaining legacy components supporting the Montana Healthcare Programs. Additionally, he recently led the implementation of the Departments Population Health Data Analytics module to support Montanas Medicaid program.
Mark Greenberg is a Senior Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. His work focuses on immigration issues affecting children and families and implications of immigration enforcement and policy for health and human services programs and agencies.
From 2009-17, Mr. Greenberg worked at the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and was ACF Acting Assistant Secretary from 2013-17. ACF includes the Office of Refugee Resettlement and a wide range of other programs assisting low-income and vulnerable children, families and communities. Previously, Mr. Greenberg was Executive Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy; Executive Director of the Center for American Progress’ Task Force on Poverty; Director of Policy for the Center for Law and Social Policy; and a legal services lawyer at the Western Center on Law and Poverty and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.
From Plain to Supreme, a Children’s Coverage Menu
Marie Zimmerman oversee and lead the major functions Minnesotas Medicaid program, Medical Assistance, and its Basic Health Plan, MinnesotaCare, the program which provide health coverage to 1.2 million Minnesotans. This includes: agency-wide Medicaid policy development and implementation; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) federal relations; health care program eligibility policy and operations (state-run and county oversight); benefits policy; pharmacy benefit management; health services and dental services advisory committees; managed care contracting, provider rate-setting; purchasing strategies and delivery systems reforms; enrollee and provider customer service; provider enrollment and training; provider claims payment; and benefit recovery and program integrity functions.
Most recently Zimmerman has been working as a Vice President at Hennepin Healthcare, but prior to that she served as Minnesotas State Medicaid Director for 4 years, and several roles at DHS over the past decade that included leading the development and launch of the departments purchasing reform initiatives including direct provider contracting through the Integrated Health Partnership program, managed care organization oversight and purchasing reforms, and integrated managed care products for seniors and people with disabilities. Additionally, Zimmerman served as the Health Care Administration policy director, deputy director of managed care and payment policy division and as the budget and legislative director.
Thomas Novak is the Medicaid Interoperability lead in the Office of Policy at ONC where he supports the advancement of Medicaid interoperability in the drafting and review of federal regulations. He is detailed part time to the CMS Medicaid Data and Systems Group where he provides direct support to State Medicaid agencies and state governments on Health Information Exchange funding and strategy.
Medicaid Data for the Future
Virginia Dize is Co-Director of the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) and Program Director at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). She has more than thirty years’ experience in Aging programs, the last 10 years focused on transportation for older adults and people with disabilities. Prior to joining the staff of n4a, she served as an Associate Director of the National Association of State Units on Aging. Ms. Dize oversees n4a’s transportation initiatives, including work on the Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnership project funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) and she previously served as co-director of the National Center on Senior Transportation (NCST; 2008-2015). She has managed several rounds of demonstration grants under the NCST and NADTC. She has a Master of Science degree in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Mary Washington College.
A Two-Way Street: Disruptive Innovation in Transportation
Tara Murphy is the Deputy Director of DSRIP Statewide Investments at MassHealth. Since January 2017, she has led the design, roll out, and management of a $115 million portfolio of Statewide Investment programs aimed advancing Massachusetts efforts to transform healthcare payment and care delivery and improve health outcomes for its MassHealth population. Prior to MassHealth, Tara served as the founding Administrative Director for the Kraft Center for Community Health Leadership at Partners HealthCare, a then-new entity focused on improving access to high quality healthcare in traditionally underserved communities by strengthening the workforce in community health centers. She previously held leadership roles in global health, first at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and then at the Clinton Health Access Initiative. She has also consulted at numerous community health centers and nonprofits.
Tara is a Board member at ParentChild+, a national nonprofit that uses early education and home visiting to help families build a brighter future for their children and themselves. She holds an MPH from Boston University School of Public Health and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Meeting the Behavioral Health Needs of Diverse Populations
Dr. Tisha Holmes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University. She conducts interdisciplinary work on planning for hazards and risks in order to reduce physical and social vulnerabilities and seek ways to build resilience in vulnerable, marginalized communities. Her research also emphasizes active community participation in research, education and decision-making processes to address the present and potential impact of climatological risks.
Holmes is collaborating with researchers in FSU Geography and the Center for Climate Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) to evaluate efforts of climate change adaptation planning in US local public health agencies and their engagement with vulnerable populations through the CDC’s Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) program. She is also conducting research on adaptation approaches to sea level rise in Florida and developing work on climate resilience planning in the Caribbean.
Some Like it Hot: Climate Change and Health
Joe Bryant is currently the Health Care Policy Advisor to Governor John C. Carney (Delaware). Joe has been in his current position since 2017. During his time in the Carney Administration, Joe has successfully championed many of the Governor’s top health policy initiatives. In addition to his work in the Governor’s Office, he serves as a Captain in the Delaware Army National Guard.
Joe graduated with a B.A. from Maryville College (TN) in 2008. As a senior, he successfully defended his thesis paper, “Concussions in sports: How educated are athletes about this diagnosis?” In 2012, he graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, with a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling.
Prior to his current position, Joe worked as a Constituent Relations Liaison during Rep. John Carney’s time in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was Rep. Carney’s liaison for matters concerning the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Social Security Administration. In addition, Joe has several years of experience as a professional mental health counselor.
States on Fire: Innovations to Increase Access and Lower Costs
Wilmarie González has been working for almost 14 yrs. as a PA public servant, first with the Department of Aging, and now with the Department of Human Services as a top executive collaborating with local, state and federal agencies. Wilmarie has represented the state before legislative and executive branches in strengthening advocacy systems. Wilmarie has led teams in state studies and evaluations on elder abuse, financial exploitation, and guardianship issues impacting the aging population; Wilmarie has been a featured speaker at local, state and national forums covering topics from advocacy, protection, quality strategy, performance measures, and state funded programs.
Wilmarie is leading the new MLTSS Community HealthChoices programs quality strategy impacting Medicaid and Medicare services for the dual population. It includes establishing sound quality components that include early implementation strategy, performance measures, performance improvement projects, long-term evaluation while collaborating with internal and external stakeholder engagement.
Wilmarie has served as a board member in national, state and local organizations influencing public policy, education, older adults, and the arts. Former member of the PA Supreme Court Elder Law Task Force and Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts, and current member of the PA Judicial Conduct Board.
Wilmarie is a graduate of Rosemont College with a Masters in Management, and Eastern University with a Bachelors in Organizational Management.
Tom Curtis serves as the manager of Quality Improvement and Program Development for Medicaid managed care at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). In this role, he is responsible for establishing, administering, and evaluating Michigans managed care performance monitoring, improvement, and innovation activity in Medicaid. This role includes supporting the department’s Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health, Payment Reform, and Behavioral/Physical Health Integration policy efforts in the Medicaid managed care program. Tom worked previously as the State Administrator for Michigan’s State Innovation Model (SIM) project, and as a Senior Quality Analyst with the MDHHS Managed Care Plan Division, where he developed performance improvement partnerships with Medicaid health plans. Tom worked for many years on local community engagement and organizing efforts before joining MDHHS.
Kierra S. Barnett is a PHD candidate in the College of Public Health at The Ohio State University and a Graduate Research Associate at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Kierra’s work focuses on the impact of social determinants of health (i.e. socioeconomic conditions, education, and natural, built and social environments) on racial and ethnic health disparities. Her dissertation research specifically explores John Henryism (an active coping mechanism against stressors), socio-economic status, and health disparities among Blacks.
Having joined the Kirwan Institute in 2013, Kierra has collaborated with state, county and city public health departments, as well as non-for-profit organizations, to assess health outcomes, such as infant mortality, and make policy and practice-based recommendations to address the disparities. After completing her doctoral degree, she intends to continue her scholarship to better understand health among Black populations across the socio-economic gradient.
Kierra also holds a Masters of Public Health from OSU and a Bachelors of Science in Community Health from the University of Illinois.
I Can See Clearly Now: Implicit Bias in Policymaking
Chris Taylor is the Chief Inclusion Officer for the state of Minnesota. In his role, he facilitates change across the state system of government, creating more inclusive state agencies and promoting equity in state programs and services.
Taylor received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas and a Master’s degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Program for Museum Studies. He is currently working on a Doctorate of Education in the Organization Development and Change program at the University of St. Thomas.
Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH recently joined the AMA in April 2019 as their inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer and Vice President. Her role is to embed health equity in all the work of the AMA and to launch a Center for Health Equity.
Prior to this in 2014, Dr. Maybank became an Associate Commissioner, and later a Deputy Commissioner, and lunched the Center for Health Equity, a new division in the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene geared toward strengthening and amplifying the Health Department’s work in ending health inequities. Under her leadership, and in a short amount of time, the health department made great strides in transforming the culture and public health practice by embedding health equity in the health department’s work. This work has been recognized and adapted by other City agencies and has captured the attention of the CDC and WHO.
She also teaches medical and public health students on topics related to health inequities, public health leadership and management, physician advocacy, and community organizing health. Currently, Dr. Maybank serves as President of the Empire State Medical Association, the NYS affiliate of the National Medical Association. In 2012, she co-founded “We Are Doc McStuffins,” a movement created by African-American female physicians who are inspired by the Disney Junior character, Doc McStuffins.
Dr. Maybank holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and an MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She is a pediatrician and board certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
A Commitment to Advance Health Equity
Dee Jones is the Executive Director of the North Carolina State Health Plan, which provides health care coverage to more than 725,000 teachers, state employees, retirees and their dependents. Jones has responsibility for the day-to-day strategy and operations of the Plan, working closely with the State Treasurer and the Plan’s Board of Trustees to monitor the financial condition of the Plan, implement quality improvements and maintain cost-effective programs for Plan members.
Before joining the Plan in 2017, Jones held executive leadership roles within the State at NC Department of Health and Human Services and NC Department of Administration. In addition, her private sector senior leadership experience across strategic operations and financial roles includes 11 years with Time Warner Cable and six years at Siemens Energy & Automation.
Dee holds an M.B.A./Accounting degree from the University of Phoenix and B.A. degrees in Accounting and Business Management from NC State University.
Elisabeth Arenales has been the Senior Policy Advisor on Health for Governor Jared Polis since January 2019. Prior to working for Governor Polis, she spent twenty years as the Health Program Director for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. CCLP is Colorado’s unrestricted legal services program and focuses on family economic security. Elisabeth is recognized as a health policy expert and has a strong track record of protecting, preserving, and expanding access to health care, particularly for lower-income Coloradans. She has helped to shepherd legislation and programs that increased coverage, reduced health access barriers and led to significant changes in the Colorado health landscape.
The Latest State Actions to Tackle Rx Prices, And What’s Next?
Lisa Beauregard is the Director of the Home and Community Based Services Policy Lab at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elders Affairs where she previously served as a research analyst. She competed a Ph.D. in Public Policy at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global States at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2019. Previously, Dr. Beauregard received a Masters in International Political Economics from The Catholic University of America and a Bachelors of Arts, cum laude, in Political Science, from the College of the Holy Cross.
Jessica Rhoades is an accomplished health care policy and advocacy leader with broad expertise and experience in Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, health insurance and payment and delivery system reform. She has served as health care policy advisor to two governors. She also served as Policy Director for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, where she oversaw the state’s Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion and served as Montana’s State Innovation Model Design Director, resulting in Montana’s largest ever public-private value-based payment initiative. Her work in the private sector includes working in public affairs for a national health care provider covering 14 states. Most recently, Rhoades led the effort to pass Montana’s reinsurance legislation and waiver submission.
Erin C. Fuse Brown, J.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor of Law and a faculty member of the Center for Law, Health & Society at Georgia State University College of Law. She specializes in health law and policy, and her research focuses on health care markets, consolidation, and cost-control. Fuse Brown has published articles in leading legal and medical journals about hospital prices, medical billing and collection, health care competition and consolidation, consumer financial protection in health care, and state health reforms. She has consulted with NASHP on legal analysis and proposals for how state all-payer claims databases can move forward following the Supreme Court’s decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and on state strategies to control health care prices. She received a J.D. from Georgetown, an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
New Recipes to Control Rx Pricing
Ms. Phillips is a business development professional with 30+ years experience helping organizations apply data to solve complex problems.
Erica joined Esri, the global leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 3 years ago as the lead on Federal Health agencies. She works with agencies such as CDC, FDA, NIH and SAMHSA and with State Health Departments applying GIS to address public health issues such as the opioid crisis and access to health care. Erica advocates the idea that Place Matters for Health and utilizes Esris technology to support innovative approaches to public health challenges.
Prior to joining Esri, Erica worked for Nielsen Claritas and VNU/Mediamark focused on developing and supporting data-driven solutions. Highlights include the work she did with the Ohio Department of Health to define food deserts and the communities impacted by them.
A native New Yorker, Ms. Phillips is a graduate of Hunter College with a BA in Economics.
Ellie Hartman, Ph.D., BCBA-D, graduated from the University of Minnesota in Educational Psychology with a concentration in special education where she taught Behavior Analysis and Classroom Management and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate (BCBA-D). Dr. Hartman was an evaluator for Wisconsin’s SSDI two for one pilot, Wisconsin’s Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG), and the Administration on Intellectual and Development Disabilities (AIDD)’s Partners in Employment grant, called Let’s Get to Work in Wisconsin. Dr. Hartman is currently a Senior Scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI) and is the Project Manager for Wisconsin PROMISE. As the Project Manager for Wisconsin PROMISE, Dr. Hartman, has been coordinating and leading the PROMISE inter-agency leadership and work groups, including facilitating a inter-agency Management Information System (MIS) for PROMISE program evaluation and data analysis. As a Senior Scientist at SVRI, Dr. Hartman works in close collaboration with the faculty and staff at SVRI and University of Wisconsin, Madison Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education (RPSE).
Expanding the Menu: Data Sources for Policy Action
Chethan Bachireddy is the incoming Chief Medical Officer for the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (Medicaid). He is a physician, researcher, and public servant dedicated to improving health for vulnerable populations. In his new role, he is engaging in efforts related to the opioid epidemic, maternal/child health, value-based payment, and the social drivers of health. Prior to coming to Virginia, he was a National Clinician Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania where his work focused on two areas: 1) improving health for populations with high rates of HIV infection, substance use disorders, mental illness, and justice involvement and 2) applying insights from behavioral economics and clinical trial design to test strategies and technologies to help form healthy habits. He hails from Deep East Texas, studied economics and neurobiology at Harvard, attended medical school at Yale, trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and completed a Masters in Health Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. He is excited to learn and collaborate to improve the health and well-being of the individuals, families, and communities who call Virginia home.
On Time Delivery: Optimizing Access to Care for Pregnant Women with SUD or Mental Health Conditions
Jeremy Vandehey, J.D. is the Director of the Health Policy and Analytics Division for the Oregon Health Authority, which is responsible for developing and implementing the state’s vision for health reform. His teams’ work includes policy analysis, health care cost and quality reporting, advancing evidence-based care and best practices, spreading the use of electronic health records, advancing payment reform, and purchasing health care for nearly 300,000 public employees. Before joining OHA, Jeremy served as Health Policy Advisor to Governor Kate Brown. Jeremy previously led government relations for Kaiser Permanente’s Northwest Region and served as the legislative director for OHA during the design and implementation of Oregon’s coordinated care organizations. Jeremy received his Juris Doctor from the University of North Dakota School of Law and his undergraduate degree in public policy and administration from Western Oregon University.
An Offer You Can’t Refuse…or Can you? Hospital Consolidation
Jaime S. King is the Bion M. Gregory Chair of Business Law and a Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She is the Associate Dean and Co-Director of the UCSF/UC HastingsConsortium on Science, Law and Health Policy, the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the UCSF/UC Hastings Master’s Program in Health Law and Policy,and the Director of the J.D. Concentration on Law and Health Sciences. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Source on Healthcare Price and Competition, a multi-disciplinary web-based resource about healthcare price and competition.Professor King received the Hastings Foundation Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2015 and the Best Antitrust and Mergers Article of 2017 at the American Antitrust Institute Annual Meeting with her co-author Erin Fuse Brown.Professor King has testified before Congressional committees on health insurance mergers and price transparency and currently sits on the Board of the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics. She holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University, a J.D. from Emory University, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Carissa Dougherty, LCSW, has over 18 years experience providing direct clinical practice, program management, and policy work. Ms. Dougherty previously managed an array of permanent and transitional supportive housing programs for persons with mental health and substance use issues. She has co-chaired the local homeless Continuum of Care and provided Mental Health First Aid training to hundreds of homeless service and housing providers.
Ms. Dougherty currently serves as Director in the Office of Mental Health Coordination. She leads a team of program specialists and policy analysts responsible for stakeholder engagement, system coordination, and policy initiatives. Prior to this role, she served as a Senior Advisor with a focus on coordinating services to address the housing needs for persons with IDD and behavioral health disabilities, exploring the sustainable financing options for health and housing initiatives, and promoting policies and programs that support such endeavors.
Improving Health through Housing
With over 30 years of healthcare experience, Ms. Ledbetter serves as the Chief Data Officer and Chief of the Enterprise Data Operations Branch in the Information Services Division within the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). Ms. Ledbetter serves on the National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO) board of directors. She is an active member of the California Health Information Association (CHIA), and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Ms. Ledbetter has a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management from The Ohio State University and holds a Masters in Health Services Administration from St. Mary’s College.
Vanessa Avery was appointed as the Associate Attorney General for Enforcement, Litigation and Investigations by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong in January 2019. She manages all aspects of affirmative enforcement by the office, including multi-district cases involving antitrust and government program fraud, consumer protection, the opioid epidemic, the Affordable Care Act, immigration, the environment, privacy and data security, as well as cases pending locally. Previously, she was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut. She handled a broad variety of cases on behalf of the United States, its agencies and employees. Prior to that, she was a Trial Attorney for the Department of Justice Civil Division in Washington, D.C. She also spent over a decade in law firm practice focusing on business and financial litigation. Vanessa earned her degrees at Yale University and Georgetown University Law Center.
The Latest State Actions to Tackle Rx Prices
Terry Cothran is currently the Director at Pharmacy Management Consultants (a division of the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy). His team provides support to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (state Medicaid agency) in managing the pharmacy benefits for our state Medicaid members. His practice has expanded into areas of Medication Therapy Management, Antibiotic Stewardship, Alternate Payment Models (APMs)/Value-Based Contracting, Academic Detailing, and programs to reduce over prescribing in nursing homes. The APM initiative has gained attention nationally from CMS as the first state Medicaid to initiate an APM intended to reduce prescription and healthcare costs.
Craig Nale is Policy and Legal Director to Senator Troy D. Jackson, the President of the Maine Senate. Craig’s work focuses primarily on the areas of healthcare and health and human services. Craig practiced law at a firm in Portland, Maine, for two years prior to joining the Maine Legislature in 2014. Craig is a graduate of Boston University and the University of Maine School of Law.
The Latest State Actions to Tackle Rx Prices, and What’s Next?
Stacey was named Interim Director for the Office of Health Analytics, Oregon Health Authority (OHA), in early 2019. OHA’s Office of Health Analytics is comprised of research, policy, and analytic staff who collect, organize and analyze data which they use to inform efforts to improve Oregon’s health care system. Previously Stacey was the Research and Data Manager within Health Analytics, and before that she managed a team focused on population health data for the Oregon Public Health Division. Stacey received her B.S. in Industrial and Operations Engineering and her Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan.
The Secret Sauce: Health in All Measures
Ms. Bresaw serves as Program Director for the New Hampshire (NH) Governor’s Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) initiative and Vice President of Public Health for Granite United Way. As Program Director, Ms. Bresaw works in close coordination with the Governors Office, the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs, and the Community Development Finance Authority to administer the initiative. Through this initiative, Ms. Bresaw and her team work to empower employers to challenge stigma and provide supportive work environments for people in recovery and those impacted by substance use disorders. Ms. Bresaw’s role focuses on program development, coordination and alignment, monitoring and evaluation, and sustainability planning. At Granite United Way, Ms. Bresaw oversees public health strategies and initiatives and works to align these efforts with existing collaborations, partnerships, and Community Health Improvement Plans. In addition, Ms. Bresaw provides overall leadership and coordination to statewide public health efforts on behalf of Granite United Way, with a particular focus on addressing NH’s current opioid crisis.
Born and raised in NH, Ms. Bresaw received her Master of Social Work Degree in 2004 from the University of New Hampshire, with a concentration in community and administrative practice. She has worked in the field of public health and substance use disorders since 2004. In her current role, Ms. Bresaw provides ongoing technical assistance and support to key sectors to ensure the use of best practice approaches in public health and prevention. Ms. Bresaw has significant experience in the development of strategic plans, logic models, evaluation plans, and work plans designed to impact crucial public health issues in our communities. Ms. Bresaw currently serves as Co-Chair of the Prevention Task Force of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs. She also serves as Vice President to the Board of the NH Public Health Association.
Navigating the Road Ahead: Supporting and Sustaining Recovery
Sarah Finne, DMD, MPH brings over 30 years of experience from both private practice dentistry and public health supervision of a large school-based dental program in New Hampshire to her work in Dental Medicaid. Sarah remains active professionally as a member of the board and immediate past president of the Medicare-Medicaid-CHIP State Dental Association, as a member of the Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors, the ADA, and the International College of Dentists. She supports community oral health access through board membership with the NH Dental Society Foundation and the Greater Derry Oral Health Collaborative Corporation. Sarah holds a DMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine as well as a Master’s in Public Health Administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Magnificent Smile: Innovations to Increase Oral Health Access
Sarah Brummett, is Director of the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Office is legislatively mandated as the state coordinating body for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention efforts. The Office sets statewide priorities and works with state agencies and community organizations to develop and implement effective strategies, including a community grant program, means restriction education initiatives, the Zero Suicide initiative, education and awareness programs, emergency department and hospital outreach and education, the Colorado-National Collaborative, federal grant-funded initiatives, Mental Health First Aid, and a school grant program.
Before joining CDPHE, Ms. Brummett practiced family and appellate law in both Colorado Springs and the Denver Metro area. Ms. Brummett received her JD from the Sturm College of Law, University of Denver and also a Master’s of Forensic Psychology from the Graduate School of Professional Psychology, University of Denver.
On the Rise: The Emerging Dimensions of Suicide Prevention
Sabrina Corlette is a Research Professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown University. At CHIR she directs research on health insurance reform issues. Her areas of focus include state and federal regulation of private health insurance plans and markets and evolving insurance market rules. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Ms. Corlette was Director of Health Policy Programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families, where she provided policy expertise and strategic direction for the organizations advocacy on health care reform, with a particular focus on insurance market reform, benefit design, and the quality and affordability of health care. From 1997 to 2001, Ms. Corlette worked as a professional staff member of the U.S. Senate HELP Committee. After leaving the Hill, Ms. Corlette served as an attorney at the law firm Hogan Lovells, where she advised clients on health care law and policy relating to HIPAA, Medicare and Medicaid, and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Ms. Corlette is a member of the D.C. Bar and received her J.D. with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin and her undergraduate degree with honors from Harvard University. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and two daughters.
How to Slice the Pie? Market Segmentation
Richard N. Gottfried has chaired the NY State Assembly Health Committee since 1987 and represents a district in Manhattan. He works to expand publicly funded health coverage; protect patient autonomy, especially in reproductive and end-of-life care; and support safety-net health care providers. He sponsors the “New York Health” bill to create a state single-payer universal health plan and sponsored NY’s medical marijuana law. He’s a lawyer (Columbia, JD ’73) but does not have a private practice. Member of NY Academy of Medicine, National Academy for State Health Policy, Reforming States Group, NYC Bar Association, and NY Civil Liberties Union.
Regan Foust, PhD is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and a Research Scientist at the Children’s Data Network at USC. An experienced researcher, project manager, and data translator, she works closely with data, research, and funding partners to pursue and communicate the CDN’s transdisciplinary research agenda, inform childrens’ programs/policies, and build the capacity of government agencies to make better use of their own data. Formerly, as Senior Manager, Data and Research for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, she managed kidsdata.org, guided development and implementation of child health and well-being initiatives, and stewarded strategic data and communication partnerships. She also comes with prior experience replicating effective youth development interventions and evaluating and improving child welfare and educational programs. Dr. Foust holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Psychology from U.C. Davis.
Key Ingredients: Partnering with Schools for Student Success
Paul Precht is a Senior Policy Advisor in the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office at CMS whose portfolio includes policy issues impacting Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans. Prior to starting at CMS in 2010, Mr. Precht was the Policy Director for the Medicare Rights Center, a nonprofit advocacy and service organization based in New York.
Maximizing Medicare: New Opportunities to Support State Policy Goals
Paige Duhamel is the Healthcare Policy Manager and lawyer for the Office of Superintendent of Insurance for the State of New Mexico. She began her work in the health insurance arena in law school with research on the impact of discriminatory health insurance benefit design on marginalized populations. Prior to joining the New Mexico’s Office of Superintendent of Insurance, she worked in a consumer advocacy law firm focusing on health care reform implementation and women’s access to health care. In the four years that Ms. Duhamel has been with OSI, her work has focused on regulatory and legislative policy development, including the Surprise Billing Protection Act, legislation to align New Mexico law with the Affordable Care Act, protections against unscrupulous purveyors of short term and limited benefits plans, and guarantees for network adequacy and prompt and transparent benefit utilization review.
That’s Not What I Ordered: Surprise Billing
Dr. Nicole Gastala is board certified in Family Medicine and is currently a Clinical Physician, Researcher, and Director of Behavioral Health and Addiction Medicine at Mile Square Health Center at the University of Illinois Hospitals and Health Science System, in Chicago, IL. Her interests include treating whole families with a special focus on preventative health care, group visits, and medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. She is a graduate of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago and completed her residency at the University of Iowa in Family Medicine.
Navigating the Road Ahead: Supporting and Sustaining Recovery Across the Life Span
Michael White has worked in the field of substance use disorder for over 9 years with an additional 3 years working with children and families. Michael specializes in substance use disorder program development between community agencies and judicial systems and has developed, implemented, and supported the integration of Medication Assisted Treatment into county and state correctional facilities located in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Texas. At Community Medical Services Michael supervises a team that closely works with Superior Court Drug Court Programs along with coordinating care to and from county and state correctional facilities. His experience also includes working within family courts, Department of Child Safety, and obtaining resources for pregnant women with substance use disorders by collaborating with community partners. Michael supports efforts of collaboration in Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin. Michael is a national presenter in the areas of Collective Impact as an effective tool for the continuum of care, pregnancy and opioid dependence, along with Opioid treatment within Criminal Justice systems. Michael is a two-time graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a Masters in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Counseling. He has been proud to sit on the board for the Maricopa County Reentry Program and was a member of the Coconino County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. Currently, Michael is associated with the Maricopa County Correctional Health Coalition, is an executive board member for Hushabye Baby, and was recently appointed as a board member to Arizona Governor DougDucey’s Substance Abuse Task Force.
Meredith Ray-LaBatt, MA, MSW, works as the Deputy Director of the Division of Integrated Service for Children and Families at the New York State Office of Mental Health. For more than twenty years, Meredith has worked on behalf of children and their families, spending much of her career working to address the complex needs of children with mental health challenges who become involved with various other child-serving systems, including substance use, juvenile justice and child welfare. Most recently, Meredith has been working to transition children and childrens mental health services into Medicaid managed care, under the Medicaid Redesign efforts within New York State. This cross-system effort is working to create greater access and better align children’s behavioral health services for youth with various needs; including those in foster care, with serious mental health challenges and substance use disorders. Meredith holds Masters degrees in Criminal Justice and Social Welfare from the New York State University at Albany.
Megan O’Reilly is the Vice President for Federal Health and Family issues in AARP’s Government Affairs Office. Prior to joining AARP, Megan was the Director in the Office of Legislation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Megan worked on Capitol Hill for 13 years for both Rep. George Miller on the Education & Labor committee and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. Megan holds a JD from DePaul University and a BA from American University.
Matthew Statman LMSW, CAADC is Manager of the University of Michigan Collegiate Recovery Program, Adjunct Lecturer at the Eastern Michigan University School of Social Work, private social work practitioner and member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. Matt earned his bachelors degree in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University and his masters degree from the University Of Michigan School Of Social Work. Matt is a person in recovery from a substance use disorder who has spent his career helping those with substance use disorders initiate and sustain recovery.
MaryAnne Lindeblad brings a broad health care and administrative background to the top position in the Washington State Medicaid program. Lindeblad, has been an active health care professional as well as a leader spanning most aspects of health care including acute care, long-term care, behavioral health care, eldercare and services for people with disabilities. Prior to her appointment as State Medicaid Director, she served for two years as the Assistant Secretary for Aging and Disability Services Administration in the Department of Social and Health Services. Previously, she was Director of the Health Care Services Division of the Medicaid program.
Lindeblad held a variety of leadership positions over the years, including Assistant Administrator of the Public Employees Benefits Board. During the 1990s, Lindeblad also worked in the private sector, serving as Director of Operations for Unified Physicians of Washington.
In 2010, she was selected for the inaugural class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute. In 2015 she was inducted into the Eastern Washington University Chapter of the Upsilon Phi Delta Society. She currently chairs the executive committee for the National Academy for State Health Policy, previously served on the board of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, and the Olympia Free Clinic. Lindeblad holds a bachelor of science in nursing from Eastern Washington University and a masters in public health from the University of Washington
Mark Schulz is the LTSS Systems Consultant for the Minnesota Board on Aging and a Legislative Liaison for Minnesotas Aging and Adult Services Division. In these roles he is reshaping the states long term care system to reduce its reliance on institutional care in favor of home and community-based service options and reforming those supports. He brings together key individuals and groups that have the talents and resources needed to develop, foster, fund and implement new, integrated community services at the local level.
Mark has served as an Ombudsman for Long-Term Care learning firsthand the complex reality our most vulnerable adults live with each day. Before that role, he served with the US military in various leadership positions with responsibility for small and large-scale, multi-faceted teams and complex financial situations. Mark received a JD from William Mitchell College of Law and a BS in engineering management from the United State Military AcademyWest Point.
Margarita Alegría is the Chief of the Disparities Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, where she has served since 2004. Dr. Alegria was Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at Cambridge Health Alliance from 2002-2015 and a former Director of the Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research at the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Alegría is the Principal Investigator (PI) of four National Institutes of Health(NIH)-funded research studies and a grant funded by the William T. Grant Foundation. She has published over 200 papers, editorials, intervention training manuals, and several book chapters, focused on improving health care for diverse racial and ethnic populations. In October 2011, she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine in acknowledgement of her scientific contributions to her field.
Linette Scott, MD, MPH, is the Chief Medical Information Officer and the Deputy Director of the Information Management Division in the California Department of Health Care Services. In this role she works across the Department and with stakeholders to ensure that reliable data and information are available, and used to drive improvements in population health and clinical outcomes through the Department’s programs and policies. Dr. Scott is a Board Certified Physician in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. She has a Doctor of Medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School, a Masters in Public Health from University of California, Davis, and a Bachelors of Arts in Physics from University of California, Santa Cruz. Highlights from her career include serving as a General Medical Officer with the United States Navy, first as squadron physician with the Regional Support Group and later as the military physician for an Active Duty clinic; as a Public Health Medical Officer with the California Department of Health Services; as the California State Registrar and Deputy Director of Health Information and Strategic Planning in the California Department of Public Health, and as the Interim Deputy Secretary for Health Information Technology at the California Health and Human Services Agency.
Leann is the director of the Equity and Inclusion Division for the Oregon Health Authority, joining the agency in 2010. Leann has 25 years of leadership experience developing equity, diversity and inclusion programs. Past employers include Clark College, the City of Vancouver and the YWCA She also has served as a consultant to multiple organizations including the Vancouver Police Department, Portland General Electric, Bonneville Power Administration, Hewlett-Packard and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Leann is a qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory and holds a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with focus in Multicultural Organizational Development and Indigenous Psychology.
Kevin Martin is the Fee for Service Rates Manager at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. He oversees the maintenance and reform of payment methodologies for inpatient and outpatient hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and pharmaceuticals. He has 13 years of healthcare experience ranging from systems management to program integrity and mostly focusing on data analysis in various forms. Recently he has been involved in several large payment reform efforts including, implementation of the Enhanced Ambulatory Patient Grouper methodology for outpatient hospitals and developing a per member per month payment model for FQHCs.
Mr. DeCerchio currently serves as the program director of the In-Depth Technical Assistance Program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA) National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, and the Deputy Project Director of the National Quality Improvement Center for Collaborative Community Court Teams, funded by the Childrens Bureau in the Administration on Children, Youth and Families. Prior to joining the staff of Children and Family Futures, Mr. DeCerchio served as the Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health with the Florida Department of Children and Families Services from 2005 to 2007, and as the state Substance Abuse Director from 1995-2005. In November 2001, Governor Jeb Bush appointed Mr. DeCerchio as Deputy Director for Treatment to the Florida Office of Drug Control, and in 2004 he was appointed by Secretary Tommy Thompson to serve on CSAT´s National Advisory Council. Mr. DeCerchio has been a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem for children in foster care since October 2008.
Katherine L. Gudiksen, Ph.D., M.S., is a Senior Health Policy Researcher for The Source on Healthcare Price and Competition at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Her work focuses on policies to address rising healthcare costs with an emphasis on state-level interventions to promote competition. While at The Source, she developed the pharmaceutical page to track and analyze state legislation to address rising drug prices. She is a graduate of the UCSF/UC Hastings Master of Science in Health Policy and Law program, where she studied policy solutions to address market inefficiencies in the pharmaceutical industry. She also holds an A.M. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University and a B.S. and B.A. from Hope College. Prior to joining The Source, she was co-founder and Director of Technology at Nidaan Inc., a cancer diagnostics company working to develop technologies designed to detect biomarker signatures for aggressive prostate cancer.
Kate McEvoy is the Director of the Division of Health Services at the Connecticut Department of Social Services. In her role as Director of Medicaid and CHIP, Kate has had the privilege of overseeing major transformation in Connecticut HUSKY Health, migrating from capitated managed care arrangements to a self-insured, managed fee-for-service approach. This has streamlined and simplified the program for both members and providers, freed up resources for an extensive array of care delivery and value-based payment interventions, and enabled the program to reduce both per member, per month costs and overall spend. During Kates tenure, Connecticut has expanded Medicaid and utilized a broad range of tools and funding under the Affordable Care Act to cover new services, take a person-centered approach, and enable choice and self-direction for older adults and people with disabilities.
Kate is a graduate of Oberlin College with a B.A. in Economics and English, received her law degree from the University of Connecticut, and graduated from the CHCS/NGA Medicaid Leadership Institute. Her background is in community-based services for older adults, and she is the author of Connecticut Elder Law, a treatise that is republished each year. Kate is currently serving as the President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, and on the executive committee of the Reforming States Group.
Karynlee Harrington is the Executive Director of the Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO) & the Maine Quality Forum (MQF). Both State agencies are responsible for promoting the transparency of health care costs and quality in the State of Maine. MHDO is the State of Maines All Payer Claims Database, and is also responsible for collecting hospital encounter, quality, financial and organizational data, and pharmacy data from the supply chain. MQF is responsible for improving health care quality in the state. Prior to her current role, Ms. Harrington served as the Vice President of Sales & Customer Support for CIGNA HealthCare of Maine and New Hampshire. Ms. Harrington has over 25 years experience working in health care. She earned her B.S. from the University of New Hampshire in Health Management and Policy.
Julia Wacloff, is the Dental Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services. Julia works with ADHS leadership and management on a variety of public health functions as related to oral health and has been in her current position for ten years. She was responsible for developing the first comprehensive state oral health plan for Arizona. Prior to joining the Department, she served as an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Oral Health. She has over 20 years of experience in various public health settings providing needs assessment, policy development and quality assurance at local, state and national levels.
Johnnie (Chip) Allen currently serves as the first Director of Health Equity at the Ohio Department of Health. In this position Mr. Allen is responsible for developing agency-wide goals, objectives and strategies to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity for all Ohio residents. Additionally, Mr. Allen works in partnership with national public health organizations, state cabinet-level agencies and a variety of public health programs to target services to disenfranchised groups, measure program performance and assess outcomes.
Mr. Allen has served in various public health capacities. These include working as a Disease Intervention Specialist, HIV Program Manager and the Chief of the Center for Health Promotion. Mr. Allen has implemented statewide social marketing activities to respond to chronic diseases; developed enterprise-wide program evaluation systems; and pioneered the use of market research analytic tools with GIS mapping capability to respond to health inequities.
Mr. Allen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Black Studies from The College of Wooster and a Masters in Public Health from Tulane University.
John-Pierre Cardenas is the Director of Policy and Plan Management at the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange, where he was the primary author of Marylands state innovation waiver to establish the state reinsurance program. Mr. Cardenas has played a critical role in the shaping of important health coverage legislation in Maryland including the Maryland Easy Enrollment Health Insurance Program. Mr. Cardenas also manages agency relationships with state and federal legislators and regulatory industries; oversees the implementation and administration of the State Reinsurance Program; and provides end-to-end management and oversight of carrier relationships ranging from consumer enrollment to experience. He has been with the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange since 2013 in a variety of roles before assuming his current position in 2017. Mr. Cardenas previously worked as a research intern at the Health Benefits Exchange and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He received his Master of Science in Public Health from the Bloomberg School in 2014 and has a Bachelor of Arts in public health studies from the Johns Hopkins University.
Jodi Manz, MSW serves as the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Resources in the Office of Governor Ralph Northam, a role she continued after serving four years under former Governor Terry McAuliffe. As Assistant Secretary, Jodi supports the development of health and behavioral health policy in the Commonwealth. She staffs the Governors Advisory Commission on Opioids and Addiction, the Governors Executive Leadership Team on Opioids, and coordinates the substance use disorder crisis response among Virginias state agencies. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Religious Studies, and she spent several years working in Chicago before returning to Richmond to complete the graduate program in Social Work Administration, Planning, and Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Jason Rachel, Ph.D. is the Director for the Division of Integrated Care at the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS). In this role, he is responsible for providing executive leadership in the management and implementation of both current and new integrated care programs. Dr. Rachel directs and oversees all operations, policies, contract compliance and quality monitoring activities within the division to provide high quality, person-centered coordinated care services. His former roles include serving as a Senior Research Leader at Truven Health Analytics providing technical assistance to state Medicaid home and community-based programs on their quality framework and as Virginia’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) Project Director at DMAS. Dr. Rachel received his doctorate in Health Related Sciences with a specialization in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Allied Health Professions.
Jane Wishner is New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Executive Policy Advisor for Health and Human Services. An attorney with extensive experience as a litigator, researcher and advocate, Ms. Wishner left the private practice of law to become the founder and first Executive Director of the Southwest Women’s Law Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she led the Center’s systemic advocacy in the areas of discrimination, domestic violence, Title IX, reproductive health and women’s access to comprehensive health care coverage and services. She organized and led New Mexico’s consumer advisory group on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, served on the Market Regulation work group of the New Mexico Exchange Advisory Task Force and was a consumer representative on the Board of Trustees of the University of New Mexico Hospital, the state’s leading safety net hospital. Ms. Wishner left the Southwest Women’s Law Center to spend more time on health care policy work. She served as a qualitative researcher at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where she led several studies and co-authored numerous research reports, journal articles and briefs related to healthcare access, Medicaid, the private insurance market, opioid use disorder treatment, and the Affordable Care Act. Ms Wishner returned to New Mexico to work as the Policy Director for Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign for Governor, served on the Governor-Elect’s transition team, and joined Governor Lujan Grisham’s Administration in January 2019.
ane Beyer began her career as a legal services attorney in Tacoma Washington. She served as legal counsel to the Washington State House of Representatives for twenty years, working on a broad range of health, behavioral health, long term care, human services and criminal justice issues. She was Washington State’s Medicaid director from 1995 through 1998, and Washington State’s Behavioral Health Commissioner from 2012-2015. She has served as the Senior Health Policy Advisor to Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler since January 2017.
She graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law and is admitted to practice in Washington State and the District of Columbia.
Jim provides executive consulting services to technology-enabled companies in the pharmacy services and SaaS space. He is presently an Executive Consultant to CSSHealth, a Buffalo, NY technology-enabled company that provides Medication Therapy Management and Adherence services to health plans and pharmacy benefit managers. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Reveal Rx, a technology company that enables the review of pharmacy claims by health plans and PBMs. He formerly was CEO of Goold Health Systems, a healthcare management/pharmacy benefits administrator that more than tripled in size during his tenure. GHS was sold to Change Healthcare in 2013, and Jim ran the GHS wholly-owned subsidiary as well as their PBM business until mid-2016. From 2017 to 2018, Jim was CEO of Tricast, LLC, a technology-enabled pharmacy auditing company that sold to a competitor in 2018Q2.
Heidi Haley-Franklin is the Vice President, Programs at the MN ND chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in Minneapolis, MN. Heidi has over 20 years of experience working with individuals and families in private practice, group homes, long-term and home health care settings. In her current position, she oversees all of the Association’s programs and services, and provides clinical supervision and ongoing education to those who directly work with individuals impacted by Alzheimers disease and related dementias. Heidi holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, a BA from the University of MN, Morris, and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.
Dimensions of Dementia
After serving one term as a Representative in the Maine House, Heather ran for the State Senate and is currently serving her first term, representing part of Portland and Westbrook, Maine. A former public school teacher and attorney, Heather now owns and runs Rising Tide Brewing Company with her husband, Nathan, in Portland. Under Heather’s leadership, Rising Tide has created two dozen jobs and helped spur the revitalization of the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland. Rising Tide has been committed to giving back to the community, with significant on-going support for the Maine Island Trail Association, the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Full Plates Full Potential, Portland Trails and many other organizations. Heather also served for many years on the Portland Development Corporation board, a quasi-municipal organization that administers the city’s economic development revolving loan funds and job creation grant programs. Heather and her husband live in Portland with their teenage son.
Heather Winfield-Smith is the Vaccine Supply and Distribution Section supervisor for the Hawaii Department of Health, Immunization Branch. In her role as Section Supervisor, she coordinates the Hawaii Stop Flu at School Program, a school-located influenza vaccination program that conducts annual clinics in over 180 participating schools, statewide. Heather also coordinates the Hawaii Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program which supplies hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccine annually to VFC-participating providers for administration to Hawaiis eligible children. Heather has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Hawaii and over 20 years of experience working at the Hawaii Department of Health Immunization Branch. The health of Hawaiis children, families, and communities are the motivation for Heather’s work and she is honored to have a role in ensuring their protection from the potentially devastating outcomes of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Hazel Alvarenga is the State Opioid Coordinator in the Office of the Director at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Hazel assists the Clinical Initiatives Project Manager with the management of the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant with the aim to reduce the effects of the opioid epidemic in Arizona. Prior to her current role, Hazel served as the Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) Project Coordinator and Opioid Epidemiologist at AHCCCS. She holds a masters of public health degree in research epidemiology and global health from Loma Linda University and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from The University of California Irvine.
Gary Cohen has been a pioneer in the environmental health movement for thirty years. Cohen is President and Co-Founder of Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm. He was also instrumental in bringing together the NGOs and hospital systems that formed the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. All three were created to transform the health care sector to be environmentally sustainable and serve as anchor institutions to support environmental health in their communities.
Cohen was Executive Director of the Environmental Health Fund for many years. He has helped build coalitions and networks globally to address the environmental health impacts related to toxic chemical exposure and climate change.
Cohen is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, India, which has been working for over 25 years to heal people affected by the Bhopal gas tragedy and to fight for environmental cleanup in Bhopal. He is also on the Boards of the American Sustainable Business Council, Health Leads and Coming Clean.
He has received numerous recognitions for his achievements, including: The MacArthur Foundation’s Fellows Award (2015), the White House’s Champion of Change Award for Public Health and Climate Change (2013), the Huffington Post’s Game Changer Award for Health (2012), the Frank Hatch Award for Enlightened Public Service (2007), and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2006).
Addressing the Climate Crisis: An Opportunity for State Health Policy Innovation
Erica Guimaraes is a program coordinator in the Office of Community Health Workers at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she assists in promoting best practices for CHW integration into health care and public health teams. She also supports implementation of CHW certification in MA, including developing processes for CHW training program approval. Prior to joining DPH, Erica worked for 11 years in the Community Health Worker field, in the roles of a CHW, CHW supervisor and CHW program manager, at community based organizations and clinical settings. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Ms. Stout directs the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) project at EDC, leading a team that provides resources and capacity building services to state and local leaders, health and behavioral health agencies and organizations, federal suicide prevention grantees, and national stakeholders involved in suicide prevention efforts across the country. She has worked in the suicide prevention field for 12 years, with a focus on building state and tribal suicide prevention workforce and infrastructure capacity for strategic, comprehensive, evidence-informed suicide prevention programs. Ms. Stout serves as a subject matter expert on substance abuse and suicide prevention collaboration, strategic planning, accessing and using surveillance data for program planning and evaluation, and knowledge translation and dissemination. She has presented widely at national and local conferences, as well as participating in federal and other national advisory groups, including a current national effort to develop recommendations for state suicide prevention infrastructure. Ms. Stout holds a Masters of Science in Health Communication, and has worked with state and local audiences to build capacity in strategic and effective messaging and campaigns for behavior change.
Doug Thomas is the Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, for the state of Utah. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), and the National Association of State Mental Health and Programs Directors (NASMHPD), and is an active member of the Utah Substance Abuse Advisory Council. Doug has worked in the mental health and substance use disorder field for over 24 years in various capacities as a direct service provider and administrator. He has worked in both urban and rural settings and previously oversaw County services implementing evidence-based service delivery models; expanding prevention, treatment and recovery support services in rural Utah including work with tribal government. Doug is passionate about prevention and early intervention and integrating prevention efforts into systems to produce lasting outcomes to reduce risk and increase the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
Dawn Lambert co-leads the Community Options Unit within Connecticut’s Department of Social Services. Within that role, her focus is on person-centered strategy and innovation. With over 25 years of experience in long-term services and supports, she currently serves as an appointed member of the National Academy for State Health Policy, an advisor to the AARP’s Public Policy Institute in Washington DC and a consultant to the Department of Justice regarding community options for older adults and people with disabilities.
A Little More Help Please? Improving Assisted Living
A nationally recognized expert in health indicators and health disparities, CDR David T. Huang is the branch chief of the Health Promotion Statistics Branch, which provides data and statistical support to the national Healthy People initiative at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). He is a member of the charter class of Certified in Public Health (CPH) professionals and has contributed to articles appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), American Journal of Public Health, Annual Review of Public Health, American Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), in addition to serving as a contributing author on several federal publications on Healthy People 2010 and 2020. CDR Huang’s education includes a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MPH in quantitative methods from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
David Crall is the legislative analyst for the Oklahoma Senate Health and Human Services Committee, a position he has held since July 2017. David staffed the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Commission on Opioid Abuse in fall 2017 and drafted several pieces of legislation resulting from the work of Commission during the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions. After voters legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma through ballot initiative, David was the lead Senate staffer on the bicameral Medical Marijuana Working Group, which held public meetings with experts from the marijuana industry, state agencies, law enforcement, the medical field, the Oklahoma business community and NCSL throughout the summer of 2018 to study how best to implement the new medical marijuana program. David drafted the resulting Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, which created a regulatory framework for the program, as well as various other pieces of legislation relating to medical marijuana.
David serves as the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance in Las Vegas, and oversees the consumer services and enforcement sections of the Division. Prior to assuming this position, David spent 4 years as the General Counsel for Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation, managing 8 attorneys in the regulation of the insurance, banking and securities industries. David also has spent many years as an assistant attorney general, in Vermont and American Samoa, and started his law career in private practice in Florida, where he was board certified in appellate practice, mostly working on behalf of insurance companies.
Dave Richard is the Deputy Secretary, NC Medicaid, where he leads North Carolina’s $14 billion Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs for the states Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Richard’s vision for Medicaid is to ensure a sustainable, person-centered and innovative Medicaid program for more than two million North Carolinians who use Medicaid. As the programs undergo transformation to even better fit the needs of state and its residents, he is committed to the fundamental goal of improving the health and well-being of all residents. Richard believes the right way to achieve success is to work closely with stakeholders in all aspects of Medicaid.
Prior to leading Medicaid, Richard was the Deputy Secretary for DHHS Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Services and the State Operated Healthcare Facilities divisions. He joined DHHS in May 2013 as the Director of the Division of Mental Health, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. Richard joined DHHS after leading The Arc of North Carolina, an advocacy and service organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as its Executive Director for 24 years.
Richard has a bachelor’s degree in education from Louisiana State University.
Daphnne Brown is the Director of Family Involvement & Outreach for Families Together in New York State. She provides support to families, advocates and service providers on family driven care, systems advocacy, and family empowerment. Daphnne provides training and technical assistance to family-run and provider agencies in preparation for the transformation to Medicaid Managed Care. She has served as the family engagement consultant for the past 7 years on the NYS System of Care Expansion grant and currently trains family / youth peer advocates on the High Fidelity Wraparound process. Daphnne has a B.S. in Business Administration from SUNY College at Brockport and is a Credentialed Family Peer Advocate.
Daniel Tsai is the Assistant Secretary for MassHealth and Medicaid Director for the Commonwealth. Tsai was appointed in January 2015 by Governor Charlie Baker to oversee the state’s $16 billion Medicaid program, which covers over one in four residents in the Commonwealth. In his role, Tsai is responsible for ensuring a robust and sustainable MassHealth program that best meets the needs of members. That includes developing new policies, payment models, and operational processes that improve the way health care is delivered to 1.8 million low-and moderate-income residents and individuals with disabilities.
Before joining HHS, Tsai was a Partner and leader in McKinsey & Company’s Healthcare Systems and Services practice. He has significant experience on the design and implementation of innovative, state-wide health care payment systems for Medicaid, Medicare, and Commercial populations, and has worked closely with multiple state Medicaid programs, private payers, and health services companies. He received a Bachelor of Arts in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard University.
Assistant Secretary Tsai lives with his wife and son in Cambridge. He volunteers at a local community health center in Boston’s South End.
Which Way is the Wind Blowing? MCOs at a Crossroads
Connor McDonnell is a Housing Integrator with Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) where he leads efforts to reduce homelessness and expand affordable housing options for Oregon’s most vulnerable residents. This work includes initiating the Oregon Rural Peer Network for Supportive Housing and crafting a Permanent Supportive Housing program in Oregon. Prior to OHCS, he worked in a homeless shelter as a housing case manager, for elected officials, and in various levels of government working in different capacities at the nexus of health and housing. He most recently came to State government by way of HUD where he is most proud of creating the HUD Resource Locator which maps out all the federal housing programs across the U.S. Connor has a Master’s in Public Administration from The Hatfield School at Portland State University and a B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech.
Colleen Sonosky, JD is the Associate Director of the Division of Children’s Health Services in the Health Care Delivery Management Administration in the District of Columbia’s Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF). DHCF is the agency responsible for the administration of the Medicaid program and the Division of Children’s Health Services oversees policies and procedures for Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) services benefit—the pediatric component of the Medicaid program for children under 21. Ms. Sonosky also serves as the District’s EPSDT Coordinator and CHIP Director and represents DHCF on the District-wide Child Fatality Review Committee, Interagency Coordinating Committee for Early Intervention, and the State Early Child Development Coordinating Committee (SECDCC) where she co-chairs the Health/Wellbeing Subcommittee. She has also served on many national work groups concerning maternal and child health, including CMS’ National EPSDT Improvement Working Group, National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) Future of Children’s Coverage Workgroup and is a Member of NASHP’s Steering Committee on Health System Performance and Public Health.
Previously, Ms. Sonosky was the Director of Public Policy Research for the March of Dimes Foundation, the Vice President of Policy at FirstFocus, and the Senior Director of Programs and Policy for the Children’s Defense Fund. From 1993 to 2003, she served as Assistant Director and a lead researcher on maternal and child health policy at the Center for Health Policy Research (now housed in the Department of Health Policy) at The George Washington University. Ms. Sonosky is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Departments of Health Policy and Prevention/Community Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where she has taught courses on maternal and child health policy.
Mr. Clinton Lasley is the Director of the Division of Alaska Pioneer Homes operating six state owned assisted living homes including the states only State Veterans Home. Mr. Lasley has been with the Department of Health and Social Services for six years, serving first in the Division of Public Health before moving to the Division of Alaska Pioneer Homes in 2016. Born and raised in Alaska, Mr. Lasley has 25 years of business management and organizational leadership experience with a passion for elders and promoting public health.
Catherine Kirk Robins works as a Deputy Director for the Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative on issues surrounding prescription drug affordability. As a part of the MCHI team, Ms. Kirk Robins played an integral role in mobilizing a broad coalition to support the passing of Maryland’s landmark anti-price gouging and Prescription Drug Affordability Board legislation. Ms. Kirk Robins has worked to develop, progress, and implement state-level policy to address prescription drug affordability, and continues to collaborate with other state initiatives to improve legislative approaches to this issue.
Elizabeth Tilson serves North Carolina as the State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she promotes public health and prevention activities, as well as provides guidance and oversight on a variety of cross-Departmental issues.
Dr. Tilson received her BA in biology from Dartmouth College, earned her Medical Degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She completed a Pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a General Preventive Medicine/Public Health Residency at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and is board certified in both fields. She has been active and has served in leadership roles in many local, state, and national pediatric, public health and preventive medicine organizations.
Successful Partnerships to Address Social Determinants of Health
Beth Waldman is a Senior Consultant at Bailit Health with national expertise in health care policy, program development and implementation, specializing in Medicaid and CHIP programs and coverage for the uninsured. Beth’s work includes assisting states and other stakeholders in delivery system and payment reform design; care management and health home program design; behavioral health reform, including integration, opiate prevention and treatment; quality measurement; managed care procurements; and long-term services and supports strategy and integration.
Prior to joining Bailit Health, Beth worked for 12 plus years within the Massachusetts Medicaid program and served as the Massachusetts Medicaid Director from 2003 – 2006. Beth is a graduate of Union College in Schenectady, NY. She holds a law degree from Boston College Law School and a master of public health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.
MCH PIP Ancillary Meeting (CLOSED INVITATION ONLY MEETING)
Beth Kuhn is Chief Engagement Officer at the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services, leading policy and operational efforts to better integrate workforce, health and human service programs. She was until recently Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Workforce Investment, collaborating with many partners in a system of Kentucky Career Centers providing employment, vocational rehabilitation, veterans, and other workforce services to employer and individual customers. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner in December of 2014, Beth served as Sector Strategies Director, assisting with the design and implementation of industry sector-based approaches to workforce and economic development.
Beth has over 30 years of experience creating and implementing innovative workforce programs. She previously served as Director of Workforce Development at the Vermont Department of Labor, as Project Director at the United Way of Chittenden County (VT) where she developed employer partnerships to improve retention and advancement of entry-level workers, and as Vice President of WFD, Inc., a human resources consulting firm providing employee benefits, women’s advancement, and public-private partnerships to Fortune 100 companies including Ford Motor Company, GE, and IBM.
Beth has a BA in Public Policy from the James Madison College of Michigan State University, and a Master’s in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Ben Steffen serves as the Executive Director of the Maryland Health Care Commission. The Maryland Health Care Commission is an independent regulatory agency whose mission is to plan for health system needs, promote informed decision-making, increase accountability, and improve access to health care and health care coverage in Maryland. The MHCC administers the certificate of need program, the establishment of Maryland’s Health Information Exchange, and cost and quality reporting initiatives for hospitals, nursing homes, and health plans. Prior to assuming this position, he served as the Director of the Commission’s Center for Information Services and Analysis. This Center has analytic and operational responsibilities for health care practitioner initiatives in the state including development of an All Payer Data Base and the Patient Centered Medical Home Program. Mr. Steffen serves as a spokesperson for the Commission at state and national levels on state health care expenditures, physician work force, physician uncompensated care, and information security. Before joining the MHCC, he served as a budget analyst in the Health, Housing, and Income Security Division of the Congressional Budget Office, among activities he worked on the modeling that produced the estimates of reforms that ultimately led to the Medicare Prospective Payment System. Mr. Steffen holds a Master’s Degree from American University and has completed post-graduate work at the University Of Michigan. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer to Nepal.
Mr. Bassiri is Chief of Staff to the Medicaid Director at the New York State Department of Health. Prior to joining the Department of Health in May of 2019, he worked as Senior Policy Advisor for Health in the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo under the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services. His role in the Governor’s Office involved policymaking and implementation of strategic health initiatives, specifically related to the pharmaceuticals, insurance expansion, and Medicaid delivery system reforms.
As a California native, Amir earned his B.A. in both Economics and Psychology from the University of California, Davis, before earning a Master’s in Social Work (M.S.W) from Columbia University.
Alfred has served in various staff and management capacities in private industry, county and state government serving vulnerable populations since 1996.
Alfred has worked for the Division of Quality Assurance since 2001. Alfred has served the Division of Quality in a variety of roles, Assisted Living Surveyor, Assisted Living Regional Director, Director of the Bureau of Technology, Licensing and Education and currently Director of the Bureau of Assisted Living.
While in DQA, Alfred has been instrumental in establishing collaborative statewide working relationships with counties, care management organizations, advocates and industry representatives to help improve the quality of care in assisted-living settings.
Alex Blandford oversees and executes the CSG Justice Center’s health policy portfolio and works to improve access to health care for people in the criminal justice system through federal, state, and local policy. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Alex was a project coordinator for the Institute for Evaluation Science in Community Health, which is housed in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. As a project coordinator, she oversaw a variety of research projects, including one examining the Pittsburgh region’s emergency response to mental health crises, and another evaluating the region’s Crisis Intervention Team training for police officers. She earned her BS in psychology and BA in French from the Pennsylvania State University and her MPH at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
Alana Knudson, PhD, serves as a Program Area Director in the Public Health Department at NORC at the University of Chicago and is the Co-Director of NORC’s Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis. Dr. Knudson has over 25 years of experience implementing and directing public health programs, leading health services and health policy research projects, and evaluating program effectiveness. Her research and policy project findings have informed state, Tribal, and Federal health policy. She also has state and national public health experience having worked at the North Dakota Department of Health and for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). Dr. Knudson serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Rural Health Association, the Board of Directors for the Maryland Rural Health Association, and the Board of Directors for the Rural Health Foundation. She is also a member of the RUPRI Health Panel.
A lifelong Oklahoman, Ashley has dedicated herself to the people of Oklahoma. Ashley currently works at the Oklahoma House of Representatives as a Legislative Assistant, after serving as Director of Constituent Services for Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb and after running the Senate soundboard while working as Secretary for the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. She is pursuing her degree at Oklahoma State University, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Political Science. Ashley is active in her political party at the state level, recently served as the Speaker of the House of Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, and volunteers with a nationally accredited animal rescue, Tornado Alley Bulldog Rescue. When she is not saving dogs, Ashley enjoys fishing, reading, and cooking (although not at the same time). Ashley visited Chicago this summer for a Women in Government conference and is ecstatic to return to Chicago so quickly to attend NASHP’s’ Annual Conference.