Detailed Agenda

Our 2021 North Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of almost 70 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 Texas health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on September 30th! 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 on the 30th!

All times are local!


8:30 - 8:45

Welcome & 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

8:45 - 9:20

Morning Keynote: A conversation with Commissioner Cecile Young

Cecile Erwin Young is the Executive Commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services. She leads the state’s largest agency, which administers critical health and human service programs for Texans. In this conversation, we’ll hear from Commissioner Young about the agency’s work during the on-going pandemic, get a status update on the agency’s efforts to gain approval of its 1115 Medicaid Waiver extension application and what that means for the future of health care finance in Texas.

Cecile Young: Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

9:30 - 10:20

An update on federal health policy

With health care reform primed as a key issue in the 117th Congress, this session will hear from beltway insiders at work trying to shape the next wave of federal policy making. Bring your questions, as well as your own insights, to a session that is particularly interactive and forward thinking.

Paul Dioguardi: Senior Vice President, Forbes Tate

Scott Nelson: Partner, K&L Gates

Travis Lucas: Managing Principal, The Lucas Firm

9:30 - 10:20

Lessons from other states on reforming Medicaid

With states serving as laboratories for Medicaid across the country, and Texas looking ahead to the future of its 1115 waiver, this session will learn from some of the different models employed in other parts of the country. It will draw on their strategies, successes and setbacks so that Texans can learn from the work of other innovators.

Jason McGill: Assistant Director for Medicaid Programs, Washington State Health Care Authority

Shelli Silver: Deputy Director, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System 

Steve Love: Chief Executive Officer, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (moderator)

9:30 - 10:20

Telehealth, broadband, & the digital divide

The success of telehealth through the pandemic is clear. Most agree that some version of telehealth is here to stay, though many communities still lack the broadband infrastructure for access to care. This session will discuss how policy makers can support the innovation in the space while ensuring access to those in need.

Nora Belcher: Executive Director, Texas e-Health Alliance

Cecily Harris: Deputy General Counsel, Wheel

Carly McCord, PhD: Director of Telebehavioral Health, Texas A&M University

9:30 - 10:20

Reforming the financing models in primary care

Primary care is an essential piece of an effective and efficient health care system. The stress from COVID has reinforced this, and how critical it is to stabilize the payment model for this part of the system. This breakout will discuss the work to reform the financial models, as well as the conversations related to the reimbursement system for primary care.

Jo Carcedo: Vice President, Grants, Episcopal Health Foundation 

Michelle Forbes, MD: Medical Director of Community Health, Catalyst Health Network

Ken Janda: Principal, Wild Blue Health Solutions

10:30 - 11:20

Policy Leadership: Republicans

This panel includes some of the most important Republican legislators in Texas health policy. They will gather to discuss their observations on health and fiscal policy since the previous legislative session ended, and the challenges of working through the special sessions. Bring your questions to what will be a dynamic session.

Rep. Stephanie Klick: Chair, House Public Health Committee 

Rep. James Frank: Chair, House Human Services Committee

Rep. Jacey Jetton: Member, House Public Health Committee

10:30 - 11:20

What now for the future of Medicaid in Texas?

With increasing uncertainty around Texas's Medicaid 1115 waiver renewal, the future of Texas Medicaid is one of the most pertinent topics in state health policy. From the ongoing litigation surrounding CMS's rescission of the waiver extension to growing calls to expand the program, this panel will explore what the future of Texas Medicaid might look like.

Stephen Palmer: Principal, Health Management Associates

Sen. Nathan Johnson: Vice Chair, Senate Administration Committee

Anne Dunkelberg: Associate Director, Every Texan 

10:30 - 11:20

New demands on the behavioral health system

The impacts of the pandemic are likely to continue to affect our behavior for years to come. From increased substance use to anxiety about social settings, many Texans will face a difficult path to a "new normal." This panel will discuss what that road might look like for both individuals and communities, as well as the policy responses that can support recovery.

Carol Lucky: Chief Executive Officer, North Texas Behavioral Health Authority 

Stuart Archer: Chief Executive Officer, Oceans Healthcare

Octavio Martinez, MD: Executive Director, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Sherry Cusumano: Vice President of Client Partnerships, Medical City Green Oaks

Alok Madan, PhD: Vice Chair, Psychiatry, Houston Methodist

10:30 - 11:20

The changing nature 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.

Dan Crowe, MD: Principal, Health Management Associates 

John Wendling: Chief Executive Officer, Parkland Community Health Plan

Adam Bruggeman, MD: Owner, Texas Spine Care Center

11:30 - 12:20

Policy leadership: Democrats

This session brings together some key Democratic legislators to discuss Texas health policy. They will gather to discuss their observations on health and fiscal policy in the legislative session ahead and discuss how the pandemic continues to impact their work. Bring your questions to what is always a popular session.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez: Member, Senate Democratic Caucus

Rep. Lina Ortega: Member, Texas House of Representatives

Rep. James Talarico: Member, Texas House Democratic Caucus

Rep. Julie Johnson: Member, Texas House Health and Human Services Committee

11:30 - 12:20

Addressing the stark implications of inequity in health outcomes

From access to health care services to vaccine distribution, there continues to be variation in health outcomes based on race, gender and economic status. This panel will explore health equity in Texas and talk through how we in the health care sector can do better by our neighbors and community members.

Nadia Siddiqui: Chief Health Equity Officer, Texas Health Institute

Shao-Chee Sim: Vice President, Research & Evaluation, Episcopal Health Foundation 

Niki Shah, MHSA, MBA, CCHW: Vice President, Community Health, Baylor Scott and White 

11:30 - 12:20

The long-term implications of improved maternal health

One area of focus for system improvement is narrowing the variation in outcomes during complex deliveries. The data remains clear that maternal mortality ranges widely based on race and ethnicity. This session will discuss the work to measure and address this variation, and talk through the implications of this work for the broader system.

Evelyn Delgado: President & Executive Director, Healthy Futures of Texas 

Andrea Balogh: President, Texas Division, Women's Health USA

Adriana Kohler: Policy Director, Texans Care for Children

11:30 - 12:20

Where is the conversation on price transparency going?

The market is looking for greater pricing transparency from the health care sector. So, where are we today, nine months into the new system empowered by federal rule making? This session will detail the work in progress, and the conversation ahead about increasing transparency in the system.

David Balat: Director, Right on Healthcare, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Charles Miller: Senior Policy Advisor, Texas 2036 

Cameron Duncan: Associate General Counsel, Texas Hospital Association

12:30 - 1:20

Capitol insiders discuss the 2021 legislature

In what is always one of the most popular sessions at State of Reform, some of Texas's most well respected government relations professionals will discuss the 2021 legislature, the on-going special sessions, and where the conversation about health policy is likely to lead in 2022. Bring your questions, as well as your own insights, to a session that is particularly interactive and forward thinking.

Tom Banning: Chief Executive Officer, Texas Academy of Family Physicians

Chad Cantella: Principal, Texas Star Alliance 

Gregg Knaupe: Lobbyist & Lawyer, Knaupe Government Relations 

12:30 - 1:20

Update from HHSC

Hear from HHSC leadership talk through the work underway to reform and improve Texas’s health care system. From the safety net to value-based care, plan on a wide ranging discussion on the work underway for 2022 and beyond.

Trey Wood: Chief Financial Officer, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Sonja Gaines: Deputy Executive Commissioner, IDD & BH Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Stephanie Stephens: Deputy Executive Commissioner, Medicaid & CHIP Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

12:30 - 1:20

From workforce to deferred care: the new normal in health care

We talk about how COVID has changed us as individuals, but what does it mean for health care as a whole? What does this “new normal” for the sector look like post-pandemic? This group will talk through these questions and look ahead to how we might best respond to this changing landscape.

Winjie Miao: Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Exeprience Officer, Texas Health Resources

John Carlo, MD: Chief Executive Officer, Prism Health North Texas

Adam Maurer: Chief Operating Officer, OrthoLoneStar

Ruby Blum: Health Policy Advisor, Office of the County Judge, Dallas County

12:30 - 1:20

Putting a business model around the social determinants

Social determinants are primary drivers of one's health status. So, how can we capture the savings from our interventions into the social determinants, so that the care model is sustainable? This session will talk through where these conversations are going, and what we're learning from new approaches to care.

Cheryl Hurd, MD: President, Medical Staff, JPS Health Network

Theresa Brown, MD: Chief Regional Medical Officer, CareMore Health

Heather Beal: DSRIP & Community Health Manager, Wise Health System 

Janice Fagen: Senior Strategic Advisor, Sellers Dorsey (moderator)

1:30 - 2:30

Keynote: A conversation on health policy with Texas legislators

We end our day with a conversation with senior members of the Texas legislature joining our audience for a conversation about the future of health policy in the state, and the political forces that will help to shape it. Bring your questions to a four-corner conversation on the future of Texas health policy and health care.

Sen. Kelly Hancock: Chair, Senate Veterans Affairs and border Security Committee

Rep. Donna Howard: Chair, Texas Women's Health Caucus