Detailed Agenda

Our 2021 Inland Northwest State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of nearly 60 speakers and experts 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 9th! 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 hope to see you in Spokane!

All agenda times are local!


8:30 - 8:45

Welcome & Introductions

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

8:45 - 9:15

Morning Keynote: A conversation with Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson is Washington's 18th Attorney General and has served in the position since 2012. During our Morning Keynote, Ferguson will discuss a range of issues including the role of the AG's office in reviewing health care mergers and affiliations, the recent ACA Supreme Court ruling, and what the latest opioid-related lawsuits might mean for the state. 

Bob Ferguson: Attorney General, State of Washington


Capitol insiders discuss health policy

In what is always one of the most popular sessions, Olympia's most well respected government relations professionals will discuss where we go next with state health policy and the upcoming 2022 session. Bring your questions, as well as your own insights, to a session that is particularly interactive and forward thinking.

Meg Jones: Government Relations Director, Pacific Source Health Plans

Dave Knutson: Principal, Knutson Consulting

Kate White Tudor: Lobbyist, White Tudor LLC


The pandemic, health disparities, and lessons we re-learned about ourselves

From vaccine distribution to access to health care services, there continues to be health disparities based on race, gender, and economic status. So, what are the moral implications of this bitter truth? Be prepared to engage in a dynamic discussion on how we take these lessons we've learned and improve the system for our communities. 

Sen. Emily Randall: Member, Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee

Zeke Smith: President, Empire Health Foundation

Ka'imi Sinclair, PhD: Co-Director, Partnerships for Native Health, College of Nursing, Washington State University Health Sciences

Bill Ames: Executive Healthcare Director, Eastern WA, Genentech


What's the future for Washington's ACH's?

After years of building infrastructure to support community engagement with the health care system, accountable communities of health now face uncertain futures. From financial stability to a vision for sustainability, this panel will discuss the range of questions and options before ACHs.

Alison Poulsen: Executive Director, Better Health Together

Michael Arnis: Deputy Policy Director, Health Care Authority

Leslie Naramore: Executive Director, Washington Gorge Action Programs


Are we making progress on the unit-cost of care?

Health systems have been disrupted over the last year due to COVID, but focus is slowly shifting again to managing costs of care. 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. 

Karen Johnson: Director, Performance Improvement & Innovation, Washington Health Alliance 

Hiroshi Nakano: Vice President, Value Based Initiatives, Valley Medical Center

Mary Kay O'Neill, MD: Senior Health Care Consultant, Total Health Management, West, Mercer

10:30 - 11:15

Update on federal health policy

With a relatively new federal administration, and health care reform primed as a key issue in the 117th Congress, this session will hear from congressional staffers that are at work trying to shape the next wave of federal policy making on the road ahead in 2021. Bring your questions to get a better understanding of what is to come in the next Congress. 

Grace Graham: Chief Health Counsel, House Committee on Energy and Commerce 

Paul Dioguardi: Senior Vice President, Forbes Tate

Emily Brice: Senior Attorney and Policy Advisor, Northwest Health Law Associates

10:30 - 11:15

Telehealth in a post-pandemic environment

The success of telehealth this last year is clear. What have we learned from rapid adoption of telehealth, and how will it change the model of care? This panel will explore the question and highlight what we know - and what we think - about the future to come. 

Frances Gough, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Molina Healthcare of Washington

Molly Shumway: Telehealth Services Director, University of Washington Medicine

Jane Beyer: Senior Health Policy Advisor, Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner 

10:30 - 11:15

Strategies to improve our community behavioral health system

Funding for community behavioral health is a challenge despite recent state investments. Record workforce shortages persist as well as an increased demand for services. This panel will focus on how to create sustainable funding for community behavioral health, and solve for the workforce challenges so we stabalize the safety net for those who need access to mental health and substance abuse services. 

Rep. Tom Dent: Ranking Minority Member, House Children, Youth & Families Committee

Jay Fathi, MD: Chief Executive Officer, Molina

Jeff Thomas: Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Behavioral Health and Member, Fourfront Contributor

10:30 - 11:15

The experience and evolution of the public option

With Cascade Care now implemented and evolving in Washington State, there is some experiential data to inform a clear-eyed view of the model.. So, what impact has the program delivered? What change has resulted? We’ll hear from the State of Colorado’s Insurance Commissioner on their public option This session will discuss the results from one of the nation’s most forward-thinking insurance reforms.

Sen. Steve Conway: Member, Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee 

Michael Conway: Insurance Commissioner, State of Colorado 

Leah Hole-Marshall, JD: General Counsel and Chief Strategist, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

11:30 - 12:15

Policy leadership: Democrats

With a healthy majority in the legislature, Democrats continue to develop ideas and plans for health care heading into 2022. These elected officials will gather to discuss their observations on health and fiscal policy in the legislative session ahead. Bring your questions to what is always a popular session. 

Rep. Jessica Bateman: Vice Chair, House Health Care & Wellness Committee

Rep. Nicole Macri: Member, House Health Care & Wellness Committee

Rep. Marcus Riccelli: Member, House Health Care & Wellness Committee

11:30 - 12:15

Re-thinking how to train our health care workforce

The pandemic has shone a light on the need to recruit providers that are representative of their communities, as well as the need to think differently about how those services are delivered. How can we leverage a team based approach to care, and education incentives to increase provider access? We'll grapple with these challenges and look ahead to how best to restructure the workforce of the future. 

Mark Leid, PhD: Professor and Dean, WSU College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Shivon Brite: Executive Vice President, Empire Health Foundation

Rhonda Hauff: Chief Executive Officer, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services 

11:30 - 12:15

How health care and the community are aligning around SDOH

The importance of the social determinants is now well known. But, doing something to employ that knowledge in a meaningful and sustainable way is still elusive. This panel will discuss the intersection between the delivery system and community, and the lessons learned from work to connect the two to improve conditions where we live, work, and play. 

Andrea Davis: Vice President, Government Relations and Communications, Coordinated Care

Jennifer Polello: Senior Director, Quality and Population Health, Community Health Plan of Washington

Vanetta Abdellatif: Chief Executive Officer, Arcora Foundation 

Julie Distel: State Network Director, Unite Us

11:30 - 12:15

How value based care is being implemented in 2021

Washington has a strong history of being a national leader in implementing value based care arrangements. Yet Washington's health care system shows wide variation in health care performance based on quality and outcomes. So, this session will explore what has been working in Washington for value-based care, and where there are obstacles to moving this vision forward. 

Claire Verity: President, Regence BlueShield 

Dawn Weimar: Director of State Regulatory Affairs, 3M

Judy Zerzan, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Health Care Authority

12:30 - 1:15

Lunch Keynote

For our Lunch Keynote, we are bringing together a diverse panel of Washington State lawmakers for a unique "four corner" discussion on Washington health policy. During this conversation, four prominent lawmakers with considerable health experience will look back at this year's session and share their thoughts on the future of Washington State health policy. 

Sen. Judy Warnick: Member, Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care 

Rep. Paul Harris: Member, House Health Care & Wellness Committee 

Rep. Timm Ormsby: Chair, House Appropriations Committee 

1:30 - 2:15

Policy Leadership: Republicans

These Republican legislators will join State of Reform to update you on the highlights of the 2021 session, and the hopes and visions for the 2022 legislative session. Plan for strong audience engagement and a range of questions in what is always a highly interactive and candid discussion about the policy choices ahead. 

Sen. Ron Muzzall: Ranking Member, Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee

Sen. Mike Padden: Member, Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee 

Rep. Alex Ybarra: Member, House Health Care & Wellness Committee

1:30 - 2:15

Will deferred care catch up with providers?

We talk about how COVID has changed us as individuals, but what does it mean for the financial health of the health care community? What does it mean for patients who have postponed procedures or well visits? Has the perceived 'delay in care' and the unknown costs for 'long haulers' created liabilities that will linger for years? This group will talk these questions through and look ahead to how we might best respond to this "new normal."

Karen Groth, MSN, CNS, ARNP: Therapeutic Area Manager, Hematology, Genentech

Aaron Bunnell, MD: Medical Director, Rehabilitation Consults, UW Medicine

Jesus Hernandez: Chief Executive Officer, Family Health Centers

1:30 - 2:15

How DEI work is taking shape in health care

Increased awareness of the importance of investments in diversity and equity has led to new initiatives in health care. This panel will review efforts underway to create a more inclusive health care workforce, approach to care, and connection to the communities served. 

Leticia Reyes-Nash: Principal, Health Management Associates

Kayla Salazar: Manager, Equity and Quality Performance, Community Health Plan of Washington 

Hadley Morrow: Director, Equity and Engagement, Better Health Together

1:30 - 2:15

How the technology market is trying to disrupt health care

From wearables to telehealth, from artificial intelligence to algorithms, technology is reshaping care delivery and coordination during this time of COVID. So, what lessons have we learned about tech's efficacy as a tool for better health? And, how can policy makers support the innovation in the space while ensuring privacy rights are protected in this new world? This panel of experts will take up this discussion during this session. 

Todd Burstain: Chief Medical Information Officer, University of Washington Medicine

Ram Krishnan: Chief Executive Officer, Valant 

Alex Jackson: President & Chief Operating Officer, MultiCare Rockwood Clinic

2:30 - 3:15

Update from HCA

This session will feature senior figures from the Health Care Authority as they update our State of Reform community on the initiatives and work underway at the agency, and their plans for 2022. Bring your questions to what is always a well attended and highly interactive conversation. 

Charissa Fotinos, MD: Interim Medicaid Director, Washington State Health Care Authority 

DoQuyen Huynh, DNP: Equity, Social Justice and Strategy Manager, Washington State Health Care Authority

Dave Iseminger: Director, Employees and Retirees Benefits Division, Washington State Health Care Authority 

2:30 - 3:15

System-level lessons from the COVID pandemic

After a year of immense strain, our understanding of COVID and its impact on society and our systems continues to evolve. This session will discuss the lessons from this moment and what we might expect to remain in the post-COVID world, from market activity to policy making. 

Cassie Sauer: President & Chief Executive Officer, Washington State Hospital Association

Lynette Vehrs: President, Washington State Nurses Association

Greg Repetti: President, MultiCare Deaconess and Valley Hospital 

Francisco Velázquez, MD: Interim Health Officer, Spokane Regional Health District

2:30 - 3:15

The integration of BH and primary care

Washington has many years of experience implementing behavioral health integration in Medicaid since the landmark legislation first passed in 2014. So, what have we learned? Has the clinical experience followed financing? And, how do we move the system forward to the next level of more complete integration without triggering other concerns? This set of experts will offer their thoughts and insights, and will answer your questions. 

Caitlin Safford: Chief of Staff, Amerigroup

Carol Moser: Executive Director, Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health

Ryan Kiely: Senior Vice President, Excelsior

2:30 - 3:15

The current state of plan-provider relations

The relationship between the plan which pays for care, and the provider which delivers it remains the single most important relationship in all of health care. So, how has the pandemic changed the nature of that relationship? This panel will highlight the conversations taking place and the outcomes as a result of the last 12 months. 

David Condon: Vice President, Eastern Washington, Premera

Kate Mundell: Senior Director, Community and Provider Relations, Coordinated Care 

Frieda Gatewood: Regional Manager, Managed Care, SeaMar Community Health Centers

3:30 - 4:15

Afternoon Keynote: 5 Things We're Watching

To close State of Reform conference, DJ Wilson will offer his deep dive presentation into some of the big questions and topics the team at State of Reform are watching in Washington State health care. This expansive and fast-paced presentation will cover only five topic areas but will provide a unique level of depth and insight into each area, providing context to some of the most pressing challenges of the day. Bring your questions to what will be an interactive conversation.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform