Detailed Agenda

Our 2021 Hawaii State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of speakers that bring together industry experts and policymakers from across the state.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in Hawaiian health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on January 14th. If you’re not already registered, you can do so here.

The heading colors correspond to track colors on our Topical Agenda to help you organize your day.

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


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: One on One Conversations

To open the day, State of Reform will foster thoughtul one-on-one conversations with two important figures in health care in Hawaii, and in D.C. We'll get to the heart of some of important topics in health policy and health care in Hawaii.

We'll hear from Judy Mohr Peterson, Administrator of Med-QUEST, for an update on Ohana Nui in what will be a year of recovery and resilience.  Then, Congressman Ed Case will share an update on the vision for health reform among Democratic caucuses in Washington DC, and an update on what the Biden administration will mean for Hawaii health care.

Rep. Ed Case: Representative, Hawaii's 1st Congressional District

Judy Mohr Peterson: Director, Med-QUEST

9:00 - 9:50

Capitol Insiders Talk Health Policy

In what is a cornerstone session at the State of Reform, these advocates and government relations professionals will discuss what they see coming for health policy in the legislative session ahead. They will update you on the conversations taking place among policymakers now, and those likely to be held during the session itself. Bring your questions to what is always an informative and enlightening session.

Paige Heckathorn Choy: Director, Government Affairs, Healthcare Association of Hawaii

Melissa Pavlicek: President, Hawaii Public Policy Advocates 

Blake Oshiro: Executive Vice President, Capitol Consultants of Hawaii

9:00 - 9:50

The Pandemic and our Mental Health

This pandemic is weighing down even the most optimistic of outlooks. With pandemic fatigue 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. This session will discuss how the collective trauma of this pandemic has impacted our mental health, and how our system might respond to whatever the “new normal” might come to look like.

Sondra Leiggi-Brandon: Systems Director, Behavioral Health, The Queen's Medical Center

Claudia Crist: Chief Executive Officer, Sutter Health Kahi Mohala

Eddie Mersereau: Deputy Director, Behavioral Health Administration, Department of Health

9:00 - 9:50

Pūpūkahi i holomua: Uniting Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islanders During COVID-19 to Move Forward

The Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Response, Recovery & Resilience Team (NHPI 3R) was established—in alignment with the national NHPI Response Team—to improve the collection and reporting of accurate data, identify and lend support to initiatives across the Hawaiian Islands working to address COVID-19 among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and unify to establish a presence in the decision-making processes and policies that impact our communities. More than 40 agencies, organizations, and departments comprise the NHPI 3R Team. In this panel, its leaders will draw upon lessons learned, recommendations, and opportunities for healthcare leaders to engage with their NHPI stakeholders.

J. Keaw'aimoku Kaholokula, Ph.D: Chair, Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John Burns School of Medicine

Halaevalu Vakalahi, PhD, M.S.W, M.ED: Dean, College of Health & Society, Hawai'i Pacific University

Sheri Daniels, ED.d: Executive Director, Papa Ola Lokahi

Josie Howard, M.S.W: Program Director, We Are Oceania

Kealoha Fox, Ph.D: Senior Manager, Social Health Integration, AlohaCare (Moderator)

9:00 - 9:50

Social Determinants and Community Based Partnerships

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 cascade from a tumultuous 2020, we’ll hear how community partnerships are helping re-shape the conversation in 2021 to better focus on health across a range of demographic cohorts. This panel of experts will discuss a complex and nuanced set of topics in this session.

Sen. Stanley Chang: Chair, Senate Committee on Housing

Marcus Iwane, MD: Clinic Chief, Kaiser Permanente 

 Andy Mounthongdy: Executive Director, H4

10:00 - 10:50

Update on the Federal Health Policy

With a new federal administration taking office January 20th, health care reform is primed as a key issue in the 117th Congress. This session will hear from policy advocates and congressional staffers that are at work trying to shape the next wave of federal policy making in 2021.

Meghan O'Toole: Health Policy Advisor, The Office of Senator Brian Schatz

Paul Dioguardi: Senior Vice President, Forbes Tate Partners

Valinda Rutledge: Senior Vice President, Federal Affairs, America's Physician Group

10:00 - 10:50

Racism, Health Disparities, and Public Health

One positive element of the difficult year that has been 2020 is the emerging and multi-cultural consensus that racism remains an unresolved stain on American society. Racism impacts life expectancy, health outcomes, and quality of life, with a level of chronic stress for people of color that can create structural health challenges. This session will discuss the data that underpins racism's impact on health and how the health care sector can better deal with this ongoing issue.

Camille Rockett, MSW: Program Manager, Community Connections, Hawaii Medical Service Association

Emmanuel Kintu, D.Mgt: Executive Director, Kalihi-Palama Health Center

Janet Berreman, MD: Health Officer, Kauai Health District Office

10:00 - 10:50

Getting Hawaii's Economy Back to its Feet

As the health care system plays such an important role in Hawaii’s economy, the challenge of economic recovery from the COVID pandemic requires careful coordination and integration between the sector and the broader community. This panel of some of Hawaii’s most senior civic and health care leaders will discuss the data, initiatives, and strategies in place to support a broad, statewide recovery in 2021.

Ray Vara: President & Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Pacific Health

Peter Ho: Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & President, Bank of Hawaii

Mark Mugiishi, MD: President and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Medical Service Association

11:00 - 11:50

Legislators Discuss the 2021 Session

This panel will include some of Hawaii’s most thoughtful policy makers working at the intersection of health care and public policy in Hawaii. The session includes chairs of some of the legislature’s key committees tasked with navigating both health reform and managing the impacts of the public health pandemic.

Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole: Chair, Senate Health Committee

Rep. Linda Ichiyama: Chair, House Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Committee

Rep. Ryan Yamane: Chair, House Health, Human Services & Homelessness Committee

11:00 - 11:50

Scaling the Best Innovations from the Pandemic

A range of innovations have been tested and tried during this pandemic. Some of them have had modest results. Some have been transformational. But what will stick around? What should we keep as we move into the post-COVID space? This session will discuss the possibilities and the promise borne from a hard-earned education in this pandemic.

Scott Miscovich, MD: President & Chief Executive Officer, Premier Medical Group

Kris Wilson, PhD: Chief Information Officer, Hilo Medical Center

David Wetherelt: Director, Business Development, 3M

Victoria Fan, ScD: Associate Professor, Health Policy, University of Hawaii, Manoa

11:00 - 11:50

Access to Care: Neighboring Islands and Rural Health

Rural health care in Hawaii continues to face unique challenges. Many of these have been exacerbated by the pandemic and the challenges of the public health crisis. This session will discuss some of the solutions being employed to improve access to care on the neighbor islands and how the health care sector is using innovative strategies to meet a long-standing need.

Sen. Roz Baker: Chair, Senate Committee on Commerce & Consumer Protection

Lance Segawa, FACHE, MPH, NHA: Regional Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation

Claren Kealoha-Beaudet, PSyD: Executive Director & Clinical Psychologist, Kipuka o ke Ola

Roy Alan Goo: Pharmacy Practice Department Chair, University of Hawaii Hilo

Aimee Grace, MD, MPH, FAAP: Director, University of Hawaii (Moderator)

11:00 - 11:50

Changes in 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. Will this pandemic have exacerbated the issue of cost? Will new forms of collaboration emerge on the subject? This session will talk through the issue, and how we might best get our hands around the total cost of care before it becomes too much of a drag on the US economy.

David Heywood: Chief Executive Officer, United Healthcare

Josh Axene: Partner & Consulting Actuary, Axene Health Partners

Richard Chung, MD: Chief Medical Strategist, Hawaii Independent Physicians Association

12:00 - 12:50

The Impacts of COVID on the State Budget

With tourism continuing to be limited as a result of COVID, the economy and the state budget both struggle to recover. Does the vaccine offer hope that the economic recovery might turn a corner in 2021? This session will discuss the outlook for the budget, and the connection between prosperous economic activity and the scope of fiscal policy making in 2021.

Rep. Sylvia Luke: Chair, House Finance Committee

Beth Giesting: Director, Hawaii Budget & Policy Center

Jill Tokuda: Former Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee

12:00 - 12:50

Lessons from Telehealth

The catalyzing of telehealth is among the most promising and prominent of stories to come out of this COVID era. From market activity to policy making, this session will discuss the lessons from this moment and what we might expect to remain in the post-COVID world.

Matthew Koenig, MD: Medical Director, Telemedicine, The Queen's Health Systems

Rich Bettini: President & Chief Executive Director, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center

Christina Higa, PhD: Co-Director, Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center

Burt Lum: Broadband Strategy Officer, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism  

12:00 - 12:50

Strategies to Address Food Insecurity

The pandemic has elevated some of the benefits and challenges of Hawaii’s isolation from the mainland and Pacific Rim. While it has limited the virus spread, it has elevated questions about food insecurity on the islands. This session will talk through how communities are responding to improve their self-sufficiency in food production, and the impacts those efforts are having on individual and community health.

Harmonee Williams: Executive Director, Sustainable Molokai

Kaiulani Odem: ROOTS Program Director, Kokua Kalihi Valley Health Center

Dexter Kishida: O'ahu Food Access Coordinator, City and County of Honolulu

Kristen Frost Albrecht: Executive Director, The Food Basket (Moderator)

12:00 - 12:50

Innovations to overcome the provider shortage

The challenges in attracting providers to the islands is not getting any easier, in spite of all the community offers. In fact it seems to be getting more difficult. So, what new strategies are being employed or being developed to try to overcome this challenge? Come listen to these leaders' ideas on how best to grow and evolve Hawaii’s provider workforce.

Rep. John Mizuno: Vice Speaker, Hawaii House of Representatives

John Lauris Wade, MD: Legislative Liaison, Hawaii Physician Shortage Crisis Task Force

Lisa Rantz: President, Hawaii State Rural Health Association

Samantha Trad: Hawaii State Director, Compassion and Choices

1:00 - 1:50

Afternoon Keynote: The Mechanics and Politics of COVID Vaccines

As vaccines roll out throughout the state, issues of health equity, logistics, cost and access all take on new urgency. To close State of Reform, this session will take up the set of topics and issues related to the delivery and distribution of the COVID vaccine, and how Hawaii’s residents might plan to become vaccinated as the new year unfolds.

Josh Green, MD: Lieutenant Governor, State of Hawaii

Tarquin Collis, MD: Chief of Infectious Disease, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii 

Michael Dutro, PharmD: Vaccines Medical Director, HI, CA and NM, Pfizer

Steven Hankins, MD: Lead Coordinator, State of Hawaii EFS8-Public Health & Medical Services