Detailed Agenda

Our 2021 Southern California 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 driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in California health care, and we’re looking forward to an exciting event on December 2nd! 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 in San Diego!


9:00 - 9:20

Welcome & 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 a new era of policy and politics.

DJ Wilson: Host, State of Reform

9:20 - 9:50

Morning Keynote: Leadership in a time of COVID

Our morning program will feature one on one conversations with some of California's most prominent health care leaders. We'll ask them forward looking questions hoping to leverage their experience to better understand the road ahead.

Sup. Nora Vargas: Vice Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors 

Kristen Cerf: President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan 

10:00 - 10:50

Demographics, zip codes and social determinants

We know the social determinants are primary drivers of one's health status. We also know those influences are not evenly spread across geography or demography. This session will explore what we know about that uneven spread, and discuss strategies to bring about greater equity in how we address social factors in health.

Danielle Harris: Healthcare QM, Manager, Aetna

Jose Plaza: State Director, Unite Us

Kristine Toppe: Assistant Vice President, State Affairs, NCQA

10:00 - 10:50

Medi-Cal reform through a San Diego lens

San Diego is a unique health ecosystem in California. So, strengthening the safety net in the region takes an approach deeply informed by the local experience. This panel will take up the topic, and talk through how efforts to improve the system will need to be employed differently in California’s southernmost region.

Jennifer Tuteur, MD: Deputy Chief Medical Officer, County of San Diego 

Rakesh Patel, MD: Chief Executive Officer, Neighborhood Healthcare 

Luke Bergmann: Director of Behavioral Health, Health and Human Services Agency, County of San Diego

Scott Suckow: Executive Director, Liver Coalition of San Diego 

10:00 - 10:50

Strategies to address the unit cost of care

The cost of healthcare for Californians remains a hot button issue. From market pricing power to utilization and prior authorization, various issues are drawing novel strategies to tamp down the unit cost of care. This session will talk through some of those efforts, highlighting both the lessons learned from success as well as those from setbacks.

John Pickett: Regional Vice President, Provider Solutions, Anthem

Sheree Paloutzian: Senior Director, Health Plans, West Region, Quest Diagnostics 

Kristof Stremikis: Director of Market Analysis and Insight, California Health Care Foundation

11:00 - 11:50

An update on federal policy from inside the beltway

This session will bring congressional staff and policy advocates together to talk through the conversations underway to shape federal health policy. Bring your questions to what will be a virtual conversation with folks from Washington DC.

Andrea Maresca: Principal, Federal Policy, Health Management Associates 

Anthony Nguyen: District Director, Office of US Rep. Scott Peters

Paul Ginsburg, PhD: Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, University of Southern California, & Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

11:00 - 11:50

Building a workforce with a focus on equity

Increasing the diversity of the health care workforce is crucial to providing adequate care to diverse populations. This panel will focus on efforts to close equity gaps by scaling, sustaining, and building the capacity of the community health worker/promotores workforce in the region. 

Kitty Bailey: Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Wellness Collaborative

Barbara Jiminez: Community Operations Officer, HHSA, County of San Diego

Margarita Holguin: Co-Chair, San Diego County Promotores Coalition 

Garrick Wong: Senior Director, Strategy, Alliance Healthcare Foundation (moderator)

11:00 - 11:50

An honest conversation about the behavioral health system

The impacts of the pandemic are likely to continue to affect our mental health for years to come. From increased substance use to anxiety about being in public settings, many in California will face a difficult path to a "new normal." This panel will discuss the changing needs of California’s behavioral health system as well as the policy responses that can support those needs.

Briana Duffy: Market President, West, Beacon Health Options

Linnea Koopmans: Chief Executive Officer, Local Health Plans of California 

Nicole DeWitt: Executive Director, Leadership and Learning, San Diego Unified School District 

11:00 - 11:50

Housing insecurity and health policy

It is clear that it's extremely difficult to be healthy if you're worried about where you might rest your head at night. At the safety net, this becomes even more important as folks can sometimes live on the precipice of housing insecurity. This session will talk through the connection between housing and health, and the policy discussions and initiatives that are gaining traction to address this connection. 

David Estrella: Head, Department of Housing & Community Development Services, San Diego County

Chris Olsen: Chief of Staff, Public Policy & External Affairs, Jewish Family Services of San Diego

Kris Kuntz: Chief Policy Officer, San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness

Hafsa Kaka: Director, Homeless Strategies and Solutions Department, City of San Diego (invited)

12:00 - 12:50

Lunch Keynote: A conversation with Sup. Nathan Fletcher

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher represents San Diego County’s Fourth District and is one of California’s more prominent voices among local policy makers. During our lunchtime keynote, Sup. Fletcher will discuss the work taking place at the Board of Supervisors and the efforts of the Board to support the health of San Diego County residents.

Nathan Fletcher: Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors 

1:00 - 1:50

What COVID has taught us about the role of government

The pandemic has provided a stress-test for government, particularly in public health and human services. So, how has this informed and improved how we approach governing in the post-COVID world? This session will discuss what we’ve learned, and how we might think about the role of government in the future.

Michelle Parra, PhD: Principal, Health Management Associates 

Eyal Oren, MD: Interim Director, School of Public Health, San Diego State University

Eric McDonald, MD: Head, Dept of Medical Care Services, County of San Diego 

1:00 - 1:50

How data and AI will change health care

From wearables to telehealth, from artificial intelligence to algorithms, technology is reshaping care delivery and coordination. So, what lessons have we learned about tech's efficacy as a tool for better health? And, how can policy makers support innovation in the space while also protecting privacy rights? Thought leaders will take up the discussion and elaborate on what the future holds.

Spencer Ward: Manager II Technology, Anthem 

Wayne Pan, MD, PhD: Chief Medical Officer, 

Karen Ostrowski: Principal, Intrepid Ascent

1:00 - 1:50

The changing nature of population health management

The experience from this pandemic has reminded us of the importance of infusing public health into our population health strategies. It has also brought new innovations to population health, from telehealth strategies to community-level outreach. This panel will talk through how this area of health care is changing, and what we might learn from these new approaches to health.

Howard Hu, MD: Chair of Population and Public Health Sciences, USC Keck School of Medicine 

Neil Solomon, MD: Co-Founder, Chief Strategist, and Chief Medical Officer, MedZed 

Claudia Williams: Executive Director, Manifest MedEx

1:00 - 1:50

Measuring the investments from ARPA funding

In the six months since the American Rescue Plan Act was enacted, significant funding has is teed up for California’s health system? So, how will results being measured? This session will unpack the ARPA funding in California and where it will be used moving forward.

Azucena Valladolid: Executive Vice President, Rental Assistance and Workforce Development, San Diego Housing Commission 

Gary Rotto: Director of Policy, County of San Diego 

Alyssa Llamas: Director, Wynne Health Group

2:00 - 2:50

Capitol insiders discuss the next session

In what is always one of our most popular sessions, some of California’s most well-respected government relations professionals will discuss the upcoming 2022 session. Bring your questions, as well as your own insights, to a session that is particularly interactive.

Angela Ramirez-Holmes: Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Cal Rare

Paul Hegyi: Chief Executive Officer, San Diego County Medical Society 

2:00 - 2:50

How structural racism has impacted public health

The effects of racism have created structural health care barriers that impact life expectancy, health outcomes, and quality of life for people of color. Those realities have shown up repeatedly, across multiple metrics, during this pandemic. To address this, our panel will talk through the work underway to create a more equitable and just health system.

Mayra Alvarez: President, The Children's Partnership

Semise Daley: Vice President, San Diego Black Nurses Association

Jeffrey Reynoso: Executive Director, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California 

Mike Odeh: Senior Director, Health Policy, Children Now

2:00 - 2:50

A deep dive into the latest on CalAIM

With the State of California set to initiate one of the most sweeping reforms of the safety net ever, this panel will dig into the details and the progress to date of the process known as CalAIM. Bring your thoughts, your hopes, and your concerns to what will be an engaging conversation with our panelists.

April Stewart: Director, Government Relations, 24 Hour Home Care 

Aaron Toyama: Senior Advisor, Health Care Programs, California Department of Health Care Services 

George Scolari: Chair, Healthy San Diego CalAIM Work Group

2:00 - 2:50

Tracking payment innovations in Medicare

How are California's Medicare plans innovating their payment strategies to deliver higher quality care to beneficiaries? From the CMS Innovation Center to the social determinants of health, this panel will hear from subject matter experts about the changing landscape of Medicare payment methodology.

Sarah Owens: Principal Consultant, Health Management Associates 

Bill Barcellona: Executive Vice President, America's Physicians Group 

Jerry Hizon, MD: Physician Executive, Motion Medical 

3:00 - 3:50

Afternoon Keynote: One on one conversations

This panel of some of Southern California’s most influential health care leaders will discuss the outlook for 2022, the impacts of health policy on health care market actors, and provide some predictions for what is on the horizon. Expect a candid discussion from some of the most important voices in Southern California’s health care system.

Asm. Marie Waldron: Member, Assembly Health Committee

Nick Macchione: Director, Health and Human Services & Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, San Diego County