Detailed Agenda: Day 2

Our 2020 Inland Northwest State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 65 speakers from across the spectrum of health care and policy. The heading colors correspond to track colors on our Topical Agenda to help you organize your day.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in Washington health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on September 23-24. If you’re not already registered, you can do so here.

For now, let us know if you have any questions about the conference!


8:00 - 8:15

Welcome and Introduction

This opening session will kick off the second day with comments framing the conference agenda, and the role State of Reform hopes to play in this challenging era of health policy and politics.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform

8::15 - 8:50

Morning Keynote: The COVID Pandemic: An International Perspective

This one-of-a-kind sessions curates thought leaders from Britain, Italy and Kenya, each bringing their unique perspectives to the topic of this global pandemic. This session will review the human, cultural and economic impact from the disease, and provide a cross-cultural experience that is too rarely available even in our connected world. 

Mohamed Abdirizak: Founder, FDG-Synergy

Ross Ciesla: Chief Investment Officer, Veritas Investment Management

Katherine Wilson: Author & Cultural Commentator

9:00 - 9:50

Update on federal policy and rule-making

While the pending election has put some efforts on hold, a number of initiatives remain in discussion and ready to recommence once November is finalized. From CMS rule-making to a continuing resolution outlining future spending, there are a number of nuanced vehicles teed up that could impact health care well into the next term. This session will talk through what some of those items are and what we might see as the calendar moves into the next year. 

Scott Nelson: Partner, K&L Gates

Paul Dioguardi: SVP, Forbes Tate Partners

Colm O'Comartun: Co-Founder, 50 State

Colin Goldfinch: Senior Health Policy Advisor, Senate HELP Committee

9:00 - 9:50

Update from DOH and public health

The COVID epidemic has placed DOH at the fore of state and local health policy this year. It has also shown the limitations of what chronic underfunding can do to a public health system that has been ill prepared for the pandemic. This session will review the successes and setbacks from COVID and look ahead to modernizing public health, a conversation the legislature is sure to take up in 2021. 

Jaime Bodden: Managing Director, Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials

Maria Courogen: Special Assistant, Systems Transformation, Department of Health

Betty Bekemeier: Director, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, University of Washington School of Public Health

9:00 - 9:50

Tension and trust: plan-provider relations in 2020

The levels of trust and tension between plans and providers are constantly in flux. However, there are perhaps no more important relationships in health care than these. They point us towards issues of quality and access facing the system today. They also highlight future challenges that may arise as a result of payment models. This session will discuss reimbursement, payment and plan-provider relations in the context of both short and medium term issues.

Leah Becknell: Account Partnership Director, Beacon Health Options

Phyllis Cavens, MD: Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Clinic

Natalie D'Angelo: Director, Provider Network Initiatives, Premera Blue Cross (invited)

10:00 - 10:50

Update from the HCA

This session will feature Sue Birch, Director at the Health Care Authority, as she updates our State of Reform community on the initiatives and work underway at the agency. Bring your questions to what is always a well attended and highly interactive conversation.

Sue Birch: Director, Washington State Health Care Authority

10:00 - 10:50

Re-booting our approach to public health

COVID has re-asserted the importance of public health in a way a generation of advocacy could not. With it clear that our public health system needs more investment and attention, what fundamental reforms should policy makers and advocates be considering in order to modernize a system that needs it? This panel will discuss what reform of our public health system could look like and what we might need to better prepare for the next pandemic.

Sen. June Robinson: Member, Washington State Senate

Jeff Ketchel: Executive Director, Washington State Public Health Association

Vicki Lowe: Executive Director, American Indian Health Commission, Washington State

10:00 - 10:50

Renewing primary care in our health system

One of the lessons of this pandemic is the central role of our provider community in health and health care. This might seem obvious. But, over the last few decades, there has been so much focus on system-level changes, payment models and organizational consolidation, that it has been easy to overlook the critical importance of our primary care providers. From MDs to promotores, this session will review what is working well in primary care and what a renewed investment in this part of the system could look like. 

Shawn Akavan, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Amerigroup

Cindy Robertson: Executive Director, Northshore Medical Group

Maria Lemus: Executive Director, Vision y Compromiso

11:00 - 11:50

Fiscal policy and the looming budget crisis

Building a state budget and setting fiscal policy for Washington State is extraordinarily difficult to do during such a rapid contraction like the one the state currently faces. Moreover, with a looming general election and the possibility of significant federal support - or not - the range of variables makes crafting working majorities very difficult. This session will explore the possible options before the legislature, ranging from a special session to new taxes and to-the-bone cuts.

Rep. Timm Ormsby: Chair, House Appropriations Committee

Sen. Christine Rolfes: Chair, Senate Ways & Means Committee

Sen. John Braun: Ranking Member, Senate Ways & Means Committee

Rep.Drew Stokesbary: Ranking Member, House Appropriations Committee

11:00 - 11:50

Lessons from telehealth

Telehealth is one of the more important stories of the COVID pandemic. The utilization of telehealth tools has been catalyzed in a way no other effort has been able to since the advent of the model more than 20 years ago. So, what have we learned from the growth of telehealth, and what is likely to stick with us after COVID recedes? This panel will explore the question and highlight what we know - and what we think - about the future to come.

Usha Sankrithi, MD: Senior Medical Director, Coordinated Care

Jeb Shepard: Director of Policy, Washington State Medical Association

Adrianne Moore: Director of Quality Improvement, Upstream

11:00 - 11:50

The future of Medicaid

Medicaid has undergone significant changes in the last few years as transformation has been implemented with both federal and state support. Now, with the 1115 waiver set to expire next year, there are key questions related to Medicaid’s structure and funding that are yet to be fully answered. This conversation will tee up some of those questions and will draw in a multi-silo panel to sort through them.

MaryAnne Lindeblad: Medicaid Director, Health Care Authority

Caitlin Safford: Director, Government Relations, Amerigroup

Chelene Whiteaker: SVP, Govenrnment Affairs, WSHA


12:00 - 1:00

Keynote: Where are we going from here?

We will round out our conference with a panel that is a manifestation of State of Reform itself. With speakers from left and right, public and private, this session includes some of the most thoughtful people from politics, economics and health care with which State of Reform engages. You will hear what they are really thinking about the road ahead, and will have a chance to ask them questions yourself. The discussion will include the state of our country, of our social contract, and what this means  for our health care system, our state and the communities we serve.

Peter Adler: CEO, Molina Healthcare of Washington

Sen. Karen Keiser:  President Pro Tem, Washington State Senate

Zach Silk: President & Chief Trouble Maker, Civic Ventures

Generra Peck: Managing Director, 50 State