5 Things Arizona: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, Four corner discussion, Dr. Cara Christ

We are now less than one week out from our annual State of Reform event. This year, we have a US Senator, a “four corner” conversation with legislative leaders, and some of the most thoughtful voices from Arizona health care you’ll find gathered in one (albeit virtual) place.

We’d love to have you with us and in the mix! So, please consider signing up to be with us for the 2021 Arizona State of Reform Health Policy Conference. We’d be honored to have you join us.





With help from Emily Boerger

1. A conversation with Dr. Cara Christ

We’re honored to have Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, kick off the 2021 Arizona State of Reform Health Policy Conference as our Morning Keynote speaker on May 25. Christ has helped guide the state’s pandemic response during COVID-19, working closely with Gov. Ducey during this time.

Christ will offer an update from ADHS on the work currently underway at the department, including the state’s ongoing vaccine administration efforts. She’ll provide insight into the state’s response to COVID-19 and will look ahead at the pathway toward a “new normal” in a post-COVID world.


2. The pandemic’s impact on behavioral health

COVID-19 has had tremendous impacts on our mental health, the effects of which will likely be with us for years to come. So, we’ve convened a panel of experts to discuss what the road ahead might look like for both individuals and communities, as well as the policy responses that can support recovery.

Watch as Sarah Alquist, Vice President at Beacon Health Options, Bryan Davey, PhD, CEO of Gemiini Health, Jim Dunn, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Arizona, and Sandra Stein, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Banner University Health Plans, share their thoughts and answer your questions about Arizona’s mental and behavioral health.


3.  A “four corner” discussion on health policy

For the first part of our Afternoon Keynote, we have tailored a diverse panel of Arizona lawmakers for a unique “four corner” discussion on Arizona health policy. During our “Reviewing the 2021 legislature and the road ahead for Arizona health policy” panel, four prominent lawmakers with considerable health policy experience will look back on this year’s session and share their thoughts on the future of Arizona health policy.

The conversation will include Sen. Nancy Barto, Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and Sen. Tony Navarrete, who  serves on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, as well. Also joining the panel will be Reps. Justin Wilmeth and Kelli Butler – both members of the House Health and Human Services Committee. Be sure to bring your questions to this interactive conversation.


4. Keynote conversation with Sen. Sinema

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will wrap up State of Reform next week as our final keynote speaker at 2:45pm. In a Senate chamber divided 50-50, and hailing from a state that is as closely divided as ever, Sinema’s approach to health policy often carries more weight than many of her other colleagues from safe states.

So, I’m looking forward to a one-on-one conversation with Sen. Sinema to talk through health policy, what it’s like to be the 50th vote in a tight majority, and what we might expect from the 117th Congress in the months ahead.

5. Technology’s influence on the post-COVID health system

The pandemic has given rise to numerous innovations in technology as the health sector adapted to COVID-19’s challenges. From telehealth to AI, COVID-era developments in technology will remain a part of our health system even after the pandemic. So, what role will these innovations play in a “post-COVID” health care setting?

To discuss this question, Justin Bayless, CEO of Bayless Integrated Healthcare, Brad Hargens, Vice President of Operations at MercyCare, and James Whitfill, MD, Chief Transformation Officer at HonorHealth, will convene for the “Technology’s new influence on the post-COVID health care system” panel at 12:00pm.