Detailed Agenda

Our 2021 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of nearly 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 drive by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in Oregon health care, and we’re looking forward to a great event on October 26th! 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 having you with us!


9:00 - 9:20

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

9:20 - 9:50

Morning Keynote: 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. During the Morning Keynote, thought leaders will discuss the lessons from this moment and what we might expect to remain in the post-COVID world, from policy making to market activity.

Becky Hultberg: President & Chief Executive Officer, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems

Jessica Nischik-Long: Executive Director, Oregon Public Health Association 

Cara Biddlecom: Deputy Public Health Director, Oregon Health Authority

10:00 - 10:50

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.

Sen. Deb Patterson: Chair, Senate Interim Committee on Health Care

Sen. James Manning Jr: Member, Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care

Rep. Marty Wilde: Member, Joint Task Force on Universal Health Care

10:00 - 10:50

Scoping the challenges, investments in behavioral health

Our understanding of the pandemic and its impact on behavioral health continues to evolve, both on an individual and community level. Though numerous behavioral health bills passed last session, is it enough? This panel will explore the lasting impacts of the pandemic on the behavioral health system, recently passed legislation, and the need for continued investments to assist many Oregonians.

Megan Beers: Senior Associate, Health Management Associates 

Rep. Tawna D. Sanchez: Chair, House Interim Committee on Behavioral Health 

Sherry Copeland: Assistant Vice President, Account Partnerships, Beacon Health Options

Julie Dodge: Interim Director for Behavioral Health, Multnomah County

10:00 - 10:50

Addressing the digital divide in health care

Telehealth and the pandemic brought the digital divide front and center, showcasing just how big the gaps are between underserved populations and everyone else. This session will address how we can innovate on current technology and highlight key challenges and opportunities as we look to bridge the digital divide.

Rep. Pam Marsh: Member, House Interim Committee on Housing

Katie Harris: Director of Rural Health & Federal Policy, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems

Marty Carty: Government Affairs Director, Oregon Primary Care Association

10:00 - 10:50

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.

Gillian Hays: Vice President, Network Management, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Matt Patrick: Senior Network Manager, Aetna

Mel Davies: Chief Financial Officer, Oregon Oncology Specialists

Guru Sankar: Managing Partner, AFC Urgent Care 

11:00 - 11:50

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.

Rep. Lily Morgan: Vice-Chair, House Interim Committee on Housing

Rep. Suzanne Weber: Member, House Interim Committee on Health Care

Rep. Ron Noble: Member, House Interim Committee on Health Care

Rep. Boomer Wright: Member, House Interim Committee on Behavioral Health 

11:00 - 11:50

Key questions on the future of the CCO model

The CCO model is aimed at reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and supporting people in their journey to get healthy. But what kind of results are we seeing? What impact has the program delivered? During this session we’ll hear from thought leaders from across Oregon as they talk through the CCO model and what the future holds.

Eric Hunter: Chief Executive Officer, CareOregon

Courtney Johnston: Senior Director, Medicaid and Government Relations, Health Net and Trillium Community Health Plan

Stephanie Jarem: Director, Office of Health Policy, Oregon Health Authority

Chris DeMars: Interim Director, Delivery Systems Innovation Office & Director, Transformation Center, Oregon Health Authority 

11:00 - 11:50

Where structural racism persists in health care -- and what to do about it

From access to health care services to vaccine distribution, there continues to be variation in health outcomes based on race. These leaders will talk through how we can do better as a society, do better as a sector, and do better as professionals to address the stark variation in outcomes in health care based on race.

Jeff Heatherington: Chairman, Heatherington Foundation

Ruth Chang, MD: Vice President of Human Resources, Northwest Permanente PC

Fred Williams, MD: Co-Chair, Equity Task Force, Oregon Medical Association

11:00 - 11:50

Updates on efforts to regulate cost growth

The pandemic has disrupted health systems across the state, but the focus is slowly shifting back 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.

Jeremy Vandehey: Health Policy & Analytics Division Director, Oregon Health Authority

Kevin Ewanchyna, MD: Vice Chair, Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Implementation Committee

Felisa Hagins: Political Director, SEIU Local 49

12:00 - 12:50

Capitol insiders talk health policy

One of our most popular sessions, this panel of government relations professionals will discuss state health policy, the politics of health care, and the continued legislative deliberations. Bring your questions, as well as your insights, to a panel that is particularly interactive and forward thinking.

Tom Holt: Managing Partner, The Holt Company

Jon Eames: President, Eames Consulting

Dan Cushing: Lobbyist, Pac/West Lobby Group

12:00 - 12:50

The importance of DEI work to address the social determinants

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 collect better data around the social determinants of health, create a more inclusive health care workforce, and connect to underserved communities.

Jeremiah Rigsby: Chief of Staff, CareOregon

Tyler TerMeer: Executive Director, Cascade Aids Project 

Courtney Kenney: Health Equity & Policy Manager, Oregon Primary Care Association

12:00 - 12:50

Building a new workforce informed by this COVID experience

The pandemic has shown us that we need to think differently about what we ask our healthcare workforce to do. From increased sensitivity to provider burnout, to greater focus on team-based care, this session will discuss strategies underway to build a workforce ready for the needs of the community in the years ahead.

Jana Bitton: Executive Director, Oregon Center for Nursing

Robert Duehmig: Interim Director, Oregon Office of Rural Health

Curt Stilp, EdD: Chair, Oregon Health Care Workforce Committee 

12:00 - 12:50

From cost to access: Tradeoffs in Rx policy

Prescription drug pricing and purchasing has been a major topic in both policy and market-centered conversations. But where do we stand? How has COVID changed the perception or importance of pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry? This panel will explore these topics and answer your questions on prescription drug policy.

Jodi Hack: Senior Director, State Advocacy, PhRMA

Wisam Younis, PharmD: Clinical Pharmacist Client Manager, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon

Charlie Fisher: State Director, OSPIRG

1:00 - 1:50

An update on federal health policy

With a number of challenges before this Congress, from the debt ceiling to infrastructure, health care reform remains a central point of discussion. This is particularly true in the proposed $3.5 package of reforms and spending. So, what can we expect those discussions to yield in terms of system changes? This panel will discuss those policy choices, and the implications for Oregon health care. 

Kathleen Nolan: Regional Vice President, Health Management Associates 

Paul Dioguardi: Senior Vice President, Forbes Tate 

Anna Kaltenboeck: Senior Health Advisor, US Senate Finance Committee

1:00 - 1:50

Update from OHA

In what is always a well attended session, leaders from the Oregon Health Authority will bring attendees up to speed on some of the initiatives and work underway at the agency. The session the OHA director and one of the most astute administrators in Oregon state government. He will review current programs and initiatives and how they will impact Oregon health care moving forward.

Pat Allen: Director, Oregon Health Authority

Jeremy Vandehey: Health Policy & Analytics Division Director, Oregon Health Authority

1:00 - 1:50

Building trust between health care and community

COVID has shown us just how important coordination between health care and community is. This panel will discuss the interactions between health care and the community, and the lessons learned from work to connect the two.

Autumn Davidson, MD: OB/GYN physician, Kaiser Permanente

Gabriel Parra: Chief Strategy Officer, Samaritan Health Plans

Kristine Toppe: Assistant Vice President, State Affairs, NCQA

1:00 - 1:50

Surveying the progress of value based care

Oregon has been deeply engaged in efforts to evolve from volume to value based health care. Yet there are still wide variations in health care performance based on quality and outcomes. This session will explore what has been working in Oregon for value-based care, and where persistent obstacles limit moving this vision forward.

Dawn Weimar: Director, State Regulatory Affairs, 3M

Matt Sinnott: Director, Government Programs, Willamette Dental 

2:00 - 2:30

Afternoon keynote: Legislative Keynote Panel

At the end State of Reform, we are bringing together some of Oregon’s most informed and thoughtful leaders at the intersection of health care and health policy. This afternoon keynote will address Oregon Health Plan coverage, continuing health equity legislation, efforts to lower overall health care costs, and the impacts of COVID and the Delta variant throughout the state.

Sen. Kate Lieber: Assistant Majority Leader, Oregon State Senate 

Sen. Dick Anderson: Vice-Chair, Senate Interim Committee on Human Services, Mental Health, and Recovery 

Rep. Rachel Prusak: Chair, House Interim Committee on Health Care

Rep. Raquel Moore-Green: Vice-Chair, House Interim Committee on Behavioral Health