Detailed Agenda

Our 2020 Utah State of Reform Virtual Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 50 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 Utah health care and we’re looking forward to our first virtual event on September 15th. 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 - 8:10

Welcome and Introduction

This opening session will kick off the 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

8:10 - 8:50

Keynote: The Possible Futures of US Health Policy

Jim Capretta is one of America’s most well regarded thought leaders on the intersection of federal health and fiscal policies. He tracks state health policy across the country, and has authored multiple health policy white papers which are often widely circulated in Washington DC. His focus on solutions rather than ideology has helped him win bi-partisan accolades. In his keynote, Capretta will discuss the ongoing rule making activity at CMS, which states to watch for significant health reforms in 2021, and offer a comparison of the next four years in health policy under both potential administrations.  

Jim Capretta: Milton Friedman Chair, American Enterprise Institute

9:00 - 9:50

Policy leadership: Republicans

This panel includes some of the most important Republican legislators in Utah health policy. They will gather to discuss the special sessions from throughout the summer, the impact of the upcoming elections, and what to watch in the 2021 legislative session. Bring your questions to what will be a dynamic session.

Rep. Brad Daw: Chair, House Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Marsha Judkins: Member, House Health and Human Services Committee

Rep. Candice Pierucci: Member, House Health and Human Services Committee

9:00 - 9:50

Putting a business model around the social determinants

As awareness increases about the role social determinants play in health status, it’s not terribly clear how this awareness can be integrated into ongoing and sustainable business models in health care. Perhaps not all social determinants can or should be addressed by the delivery system. So, what role should healthcare play in this area, and where should Utah empower non-health care actors to step in? This panel will discuss this complex and nuanced topic. 

Sheila Young: Director of Care Management, Molina Healthcare

Bella Kirchner: Director of Research, Aunt Bertha

Dulce Diez: Director, Office of Health Disparities, Utah Dept. of Health

Shawn McMillen, MPA, ASUDC: Executive Director, First Step House

9:00 - 9:50

Getting our hands around the total cost of care

The most pressing topic in the public’s eyes is the cost of health care. And, while the data shows utilization of high cost services is level or down, the unit price of health care services - and thus the total cost - continues to rise. What policy and market responses ought we seek to promote to address this cost trend? This session will explore the topic.

Chad Westover: President, University of Utah Health Plans

Carl Letamendi: Director, Utah Office of Health Care Statistics

Meredith Roberts: Executive Director, Comagine Health

9:00 - 9:50

Perspective on the economic impact of COVID

While the nation is only six months into the COVID economic contraction, it’s clear we are likely still only at the front end of a major recession. However, Utah’s economy remains strong in the third quarter of 2020. So, how can we expect COVID to reshape a national and state economy that seem to be moving in different directions? This session of both state and national thought leaders will take up the topic and sort through your questions.

Stephanie Aaronson: Vice President and Director - Economic Studies Program, Brookings Institution

Natalie Gochnour: Director, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute

Ben HartDeputy Director, Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development

10:00 - 10:50

Policy leadership: Democrats

While 2020 looks like it could be a big year for Democrats nationally, it’s not yet clear how that will increase the party’s position in Utah. Regardless, however, Utah Democratic legislators are bringing meaningful ideas to the legislative process to reform health care in the state. Bring your questions to what is always a thoughtful conversation.

Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost: Member, Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee

Sen. Gene Davis: Member, Business, Economic Development and Labor Appropriations Subcomittee

Rep. Angela Romero: Member, Executive Appropriations Committee

10:00 - 10:50

Improving mental health and the crisis response systems

Utah has something of a disjointed mental health system, varying across geography and acuity. Crisis services can vary widely in the state, too. So, how can Utah learn from the best models in the state, scale those to other regions, and improve a system that is struggling to modernize? This session will discuss the challenges and the opportunities ahead for mental health in Utah.

Rep. Steve Eliason: Member, House Health and Human Services Committee

Travis Jackson: Vice President, Beacon Health Options

Morissa Henn: Community Health Program Director, Intermountain Healthcare

10:00 - 10:50

The changing nature of plan-provider relations

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 to the present in terms of quality and access. They also point to the future with reimbursement and payment pointing to the path ahead. So, what is the state of these relationships in Utah today? This session will review the question and talk through the possibilities in 2021.

Shelly Martin: President, Care Delivery - Utah Optum

Eric Hales: Vice President, Network Management, Regence BlueCross BlueShield

Michael Kirby: Executive Vice President, Network, Beacon Health Options

10:00 - 10:50

COVID through a health equity lens

It’s clear that COVID is impacting different demographic cohorts differently. And, it’s clear that race, age and health status are all creating variation both in outcomes and acuity. 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 session will discuss these topics and surface some of the questions that come with them.

Lisa Chan-Sawin: Principal Consultant, Transform Health

Amy Khan, MD: Executive Medical Director, Regence BlueCross BlueShield

Heather Tanana, JD: Assistant Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Uta

Carrie Butler: Board Member, Utah Public Health Association

11:00 - 11:50

Capitol insiders discuss health policy

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. 

Brian Shiozawa, MD, FACEP: AVP, Health Policy, University of Utah Health

Courtney Bullard: Education and Collaborations Director, Utah Health Policy Project

Jessie Mandle: Director of Policy, Voices for Utah Children

11:00 - 11:50

Preparing Medicaid for the wave ahead

With the recession broadening across America, and the pandemic providing an asymmetric impact to the Utah economy, what will that mean for the safety net in the state? While the Utah economy continues to be strong, it’s unlikely the state can remain an island in a national economy in turmoil. So, what does the future hold for a Medicaid system likely to face significant pressure from new enrollments in the months ahead? This panel will discuss these questions and take yours. 

Alan Pruhs: Executive Director, Association for Utah Community Health

Stacy Stanford: Health Policy Analyst, Utah Health Policy Project

Brian Monsen: Vice President, Government Contracts , Molina Healthcare of Utah

11:00 - 11:50

Learning from the rise in tele-health

COVID has catalyzed an uptake of tele-health among both providers and patients. Meanwhile, payers and CMS have largely endorsed the use of tele-health and parity for reimbursement. Will this embrace of technology last? Will policy changes hamper the continued trend towards tele-health or will they continue to support this new model of care delivery? This breakout will take up these questions and others in a forward-looking discussion.

James Polo, MD: Executive Medical Director, Regence Blue Shield

Nate Gladwell: Senior Director of Outreach and Telehealth, University of Utah Health

Bill Beninati, MD, FCCM: Senior Medical Director, Intermountain TeleHealth Services

Arielle Kane: Director of Health Care, Progessive Policy Institute

Kate O'Brien, DNP: Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Utah Partners for Health

11:00 - 11:50

Salt Lake County's Response to COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Innovative Initiatives

Leaders from Salt Lake County will talk through how they have worked to meet the needs of their community during this time of COVID. The conversation will be multi-siloed and include both lessons learned from this period and a discussion of some of the new approaches to supporting the community that the county has employed. Bring your questions to this deep dive conversation regarding how Salt Lake City has tried to meet the moment of this pandemic.

Erin Litvack: Deputy Mayor/Chief Administrative Officer, Salt Lake County

Dagmar Vitek, MD: Director, Medical Division, Salt Lake County Health Department

Jorge Mendez: Service Delivery Branch Director, Salt Lake County


Keynote: One on One Conversations

To close the day, State of Reform will foster thoughtful one-on-one conversations with some of Utah’s most important health care and health policy leaders. We’ll get right to the heart of the most important topics in Utah health care and health policy, and include your questions in the conversations. Expect an interactive and agile discussion made for the COVID era. 

Hon. Mitt Romney: Member, United States Senate

Michael Good, MD: CEO, University of Utah Health

Joseph Miner, MD: Chief Medical Deputy to the Executive Director and Chief Medical Advisor to the Governor's Office Utah Dept. of Health