Detailed Agenda

Our 2020 Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 60 speakers and experts from across the spectrum of care. 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 California health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on December 8th. If you’re not already registered, you can do so here.

For now, let us know if you have any questions about the conference. We look forward to seeing you virtually!


8:00 - 8:15

Welcome and Introduction

DJ Wilson, Host of State of Reform, will kick off the day with comments framing the conference agenda, and the role of State of Reform hopes to play in this challenging era of health policy and politics. He will orient us to the conference, including a run down of how best to utilize the unique tools of the virtual platform.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform

8:15 - 8:50

Morning Keynote

To open the day, State of Reform will foster thoughtful one-on-one conversations with two of California’s most thoughtful health leaders. We’ll get to the heart of some of the most important topics in California health care and health policy, and include your questions in the conversation.

We’ll hear from Will Lightbourne, Director of the Department of Health Care Services, for an update on the important initiatives underway at DHCS and the policy agenda for the 2021 legislative session. Then, Dr. Demetria Malloy, Plan Performance Medical Director at Anthem, will talk through the health plan’s work in addressing health equity in the state.

Will Lightbourne: Director, Department of Health Care Services 

Demetria Malloy, MD: Plan Performance Medical Director, Anthem 

9:00 - 9:50

Capitol Insiders Discuss the Next Session

In what is always a popular session, these government relations professionals will discuss state health policy, the upcoming 2021 session and the impact of the interim on reform. Bring your questions, as well as your own insights, to a session that is particularly interactive and forward thinking.

Kimberly Chen: Principal Consultant, Senate Committee on Health

Kassy Perry: President and Chief Executive Officer, Perry Communications

Jason Vega: Principal, Vega Public Affairs 

9:00 - 9:50

How the Pandemic has Catalyzed Innovation

Now that we’re more than 6 months into the COVID experience, there are a number of innovations in play to meet the health needs of our community. So, which of those are working best? Which should be catalyzed and extended and which should be left aside when the pandemic is through? This group of experts will discuss the topic and share their ideas on the long term impacts of 2020 on the system.

Tashfeen Suleman: Chief Executive Officer, Cloud Medx

Tanya Dansky: Senior Medical Director, Memorial Health System 

David Wetherelt: Business Development, 3M

9:00 - 9:50

Getting our Hands Around the Total Cost of Care

While COVID temporarily disrupted demand for health care services, it didn’t diminish the challenge of managing the total cost of care. In fact, it likely will have exacerbated it once California emerges from this pandemic. This session will discuss the strategies in place, in both the market and policy circles, to try to get our hands around the total cost of care before it becomes an even greater challenge to manage.

Tim Gronniger: Chief Executive Officer, Caravan Health

Michael Brant-Zawadzki, MD: Senior Physician Executive, Hoag Memorial Hospital

Josh Axene: Principal, Axene Health Partners 

9:00 - 9:50

What We Know Now about the Social Determinants

As awareness increases about the role social determinants play in health status, it’s clear these impacts are differentiated across demographics. As social, economic and other pressures build from a tumultuous 2020, how are people of color facing a more complicated set of circumstances than other cohorts? This panel of experts will discuss a complex and nuanced set of topics in this session.

Beau Hennemann: Director of Special Programs, Anthem Blue Cross 

Abner Mason: Chief Executive Officer, ConsejoSano 

Kelly Bruno: Chief Executive Officer, National Health Foundation

10:00 - 10:50

The Implications of the ACA Decision at the Supreme Court

With challenges to the ACA being considered at the Supreme Court, and strongly conservative majority now on the bench, it’s reasonable to consider questions about the future of the law, including its possible repeal. If the law is struck down in whole or in part, it will likely result in a jarring shift in the health care ecosystem. This session will take up the question and try to offer potential pathways for and implications of any SCOTUS action.

Ben Johnson: Principal Fiscal and Policy Analyst, Legislative Analyst's Office 

Francisco Silva: General Counsel and Senior Vice President, California Medical Association

Jen Flory: Policy Advocate, Western Center on Law & Poverty 

10:00 - 10:50

On the Cusp of a Leap Forward in Vaccine Science

The level of investment in a vaccine has created a unique set of circumstances that is catalyzing vaccine science. As research moves towards leveraging messenger RNA to create an immune response to the coronavirus, this new model of immunology may scale across a range of diseases and even into improving overall wellness. Come learn about what looks to be possible as science makes a significant step forward.

Asher Lisec: Deputy Vice President, PhRMA

Susan Little: Principal Investigator, UC San Diego

Sen. Richard Pan, MD: Chair, Senate Budget Sucommittee on Health and Human Services (invited)

Jimmy Jackson: Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, BioCom (invited) 

10:00 - 10:50

Reviewing the FY2022 Budget Scenario

With COVID impacting California’s economy, the state budget has faced significant uncertainty. Steep deficits have given way to the hope of a narrower shortfall, while hope for a rapid “v-shaped recovery” has moved aside for a longer term effort. This session will discuss the potential budget cuts, the decrease in tax revenue, and future of the California economy, and what the bottom line will be for policy makers next year.

Asm. Joaquin Arambula, MD: Chair, Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services

Asm. Phil Ting: Chair, Assembly Budget Committee

Jedd Hampton: Legislative Advocate, California Association of Health Plans

10:00 - 10:50

Managing Mental Health in a COVID Pandemic

This pandemic is weighing down even the most optimistic of outlooks. With pandemic fatigue already high, and about 1 in 3 Americans reporting sharp signs of anxiety, the connection between the pandemic and mental health challenges remains a direct one. Now, with the COVID cases spiking in California and nationwide, and a "dark winter" ahead of us, this session will explore how our mental health system is supporting Californian’s during this crisis.

Laura Grossman-Hicks: Assistant Vice President, Account Partnerships West, Beacon Health Options (moderator) 

Luke Bergmann, PhD: Director, Behavioral Health Services, San Diego County HHSA

Don Garcia, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Clinica Msr. Oscar Romero

11:00 - 11:50

Update on Federal Health Policy

While the election has put some efforts on hold, a number of federal 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.

Elizabeth McNeil: Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, California Medical Association

Marc Reece: Senior Director, State Health Insurance Policy, CVS Health 

Scott Nelson: Partner, KL Gates

11:00 - 11:50

Telehealth: What to Keep in the Post-COVID Age

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.

David Goldberg: Director, Product Strategy, BlueShield of California 

Chris Daher: Vice President, Network Strategy, Beacon Health Options

Todd May, MD: Senior Medical Director, Population & Payment Systems, Health Net of California 

11:00 - 11:50

Transforming Medi-Cal to Meet the Post-COVID Age

With the economy in a state of disruption, Medi-Cal is planning for a wave of enrollment in the months ahead. These panelists will discuss how COVID is impacting Gov. Newsom’s stated goals of universal coverage, what COVID means for CalAIM, what opportunities lie ahead and the potential re-alignment of health care priorities.

Claudia Williams: Chief Executive Officer, Manifest Medex

Lisa Chan Sawin: Chief Executive Officer, Transform Health 

Jackie Bender: Vice President, Policy, California Association of Public Hospitals

Abigail Ramirez: State Policy Senior Manager, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California

11:00 - 11:50

Racism as a Public Health Issue

Structural racism, violence in our streets, and the murder of Black men and women by police may seem like topics removed from the day to day of health care. But, the health care sector doesn't exist in a vacuum. From the boardroom to the exam room, from the finance department to the community health worker, race and racism are present in health care in meaningful ways that aren’t always fully understood. This panel will discuss what racism looks like in California health care, and how race continues to be a factor in the experience our community has when they engage in the institutions meant to keep them well.

James Kyle, MD: Medical Director, LA Care

Asm. Rob Bonta: Member, Assembly Health Committee

Deborah Prothrow-Stith: Dean, College of Medicine, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

12:00 - 12:50

Update from DHCS

This session will feature senior figures from the Department of Health Care Services as they update our State of Reform community on the initiatives and work underway at the agency and their plans for 2021. Bring your questions to what is always a well attended and highly interactive conversation.

Jacey Cooper: Chief Deputy Director, State Medical Director, Department of Health Care Services

Lindy Harrington: Deputy Director of Health Care Finance, Department of Health Care Services

Kelly Pfeifer, MD: Deputy Director of Behavioral Health, Department of Health Care Services

Rene Mollow: Deputy Director of Eligibility and BenefitsDepartment of Health Care Services

12:00 - 12:50

Modernizing the Public Health System

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.

Michelle Gibbons: Executive Director, County Health Executives Association of California

Van Do-Reynoso, PhD: Director, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department 

Willma Wooten, MD: Public Health Officer, San Diego Countuy HHSA

12:00 - 12:50

Plan-Provider Relations in the time of COVID

The relationships between plans and providers are constantly in flux, especially in this time of COVID. However, there are perhaps no more important figures than these two. This session will discuss reimbursement, payment and plan-provider relations in the context of both short and medium term issues. Come listen to these market leaders who share their insights during the tough conversations on this subject.

Oliver Brooks, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Watts Healthcare Corporation

Greg Buchert, MD: Chief Executive Officer, GSB Health Management Solutions

Miriam Mackovic, MD: Chief Executive Officer, Complete Women Care (invited)

12:00 - 12:50

Listening to Community: Informing Health Care Delivery

We know that other social factors impact one’s health, and that often people and organizations that are ‘boots on the ground’ have insights that we might not think about on a day to day basis. This conversation will be multi-silo and include both lessons learned and a discussion of some of the new approaches to supporting the community. Come hear from this panel of leaders as they discuss their approach to partnering in health care today.

Teresa Alvarado: Senior Business Consultant, Aetna (moderator)

Sonya Vasquez: Chief Compliance and Operations Officer, Community Health Council 

Erin Hogeboom: Director, San Diego for Every Child

Maria Lemus: Executive Director, Vision Y Compromiso 

1:00 - 1:50

Afternoon Keynote: A Focus on Racism and Health Equity

Some of California’s most thoughtful health leaders will come together in our Afternoon Keynote for a focused discussion on health equity and disparities. It’s clear that race, age and health status are all creating variation in health outcomes. So, what are we learning about our health system as a result of COVID? How are disparities highlighting the work left to do to create an equitable health system? This panel will discuss these topics and surface some of the questions that come with them.

Kristen Cerf: President, Blue Shield Promise

John Baackes: Chief Executive Officer, LA Care

Elaine Batchlor, MD: Chief Executive Officer, Martin Luther King Community Hospital