Detailed Agenda

Our 2022 Colorado State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of nearly 60 speakers and experts from across the spectrum of care.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in Colorado health care which makes it possible to look forward to a great event on November 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-person in Denver!


7:30 - 8:30

Networking Breakfast

The networking breakfast will take place before the start of the conference to allow attendees to grab a light refreshment and to connect with one another before we kick things off for the day.

8:30 - 8:45

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.

Carter Kimble: Host, State of Reform

8:45 - 9:15

Opening Keynote: An update from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

To kick off the conference, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Executive Director Kim Bimestefer will provide an update on her agency’s recent work in the state’s health policy space. Grab a coffee and a seat to hear Bimestefer set the tone for the day and discuss the state’s Medicaid program, price transparency efforts, prescription drug policy reform, and more.

Kim Bimestefer: Executive Director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

9:30 - 10:30

Capitol insiders talk health policy

In this always-popular panel, we’ve convened this intelligent group of folks who are well-attuned to the health policy conversations happening in Denver. Join to hear a robust discussion about the key policy movement happening at the state level and what stakeholders might expect during next year’s legislative session.

Jennifer Miles: Founder, Frontline Public Affairs

Jason Hopfer: Owner, JLH Consulting and Public Affairs

Fofi Mendez: Principal, Mendez, Barkis, and Associates

Sarah Mercer: Lawyer & Lobbyist, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

9:30 - 10:30

Measuring the effectiveness of strategies to address SDOH

Colorado’s health sector has long been working on addressing the social factors that determine an individual’s health outcomes, including housing, race, and income. In order to continue its work to account for the social determinants of health, however, the state needs to evaluate how successful its SDOH-related work has been. This group of experienced panelists will analyze recent efforts to address SDOH and offer recommendations for future work in this area.

Lorez Meinhold: Executive Director, Caring for Denver Foundation

Mannat Singh: Executive Director, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

Jeff Bontrager: Director of Research and Evaluation, Colorado Health Institute

Lorena Zimmer: Chief Impact Officer, Denver Health

9:30 - 10:30

Achieving price transparency across the continuum of care

The availability of an easy process to review medical costs is very important to patients, but it’s often easier said than done for different silos of the health care system. How can hospitals, health plans, and prescription drug manufacturers work together to achieve a system in which all health care costs are readily available to patients? This panel of experts will talk through this complicated issue.

Tom Rennell: Senior Vice President, Financial Policy and Data Analytics, Colorado Hospital Association

Katelin Lucariello: Senior Director, State Policy, PhRMA

John Bartholomew: Health Care Consultant

9:30 - 10:30

Spurring innovation through behavioral health care reform

Colorado has established itself as a national leader in behavioral health policy. From abundant funding directed to behavioral-health related work to the creation of the state’s new Behavioral Health Administration, successful initiatives have opened the door for new innovations to be pursued as the state advances its approach to behavioral health care delivery. Join this panel of prominent behavioral health leaders for an in-depth discussion on recent reforms and the opportunities they present.

Hossam Mahmoud, MD: Regional Chief Medical Officer, Beacon Health Options

Kiara Kuenzler: Chief Executive Officer, Jefferson Center for Mental Health

Melanie Rylander, MD: Behavioral Health Medical Director, Colorado Community Health Alliance

Summer Gathercole: Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Colorado Behavioral Health Administration

Gina Lasky, PhD: Managing Director, Behavioral Health Client Services, Health Management Associates (moderator)

10:45 - 11:45

Legislators discuss health policy

Some of Colorado’s most prominent legislative leaders join us for this conversation on health policy developments that emerged from the 2021 legislative session. Grab a seat to hear these impactful policymakers discuss this past session and the outlook for next year’s session.

Sen. Rhonda Fields: Chair, Senate Health & Human Services Committee

Sen. Jim Smallwood: Member, Senate Health & Human Services Committee

Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet: Chair, Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services

Rep. Matt Soper: Member, Health & Insurance Committee

10:45 - 11:45

Housing & food insecurity as health issues

The housing and food insecurity crises have worsened since the pandemic began, with record numbers of Coloradans struggling to maintain stable housing and sufficient access to food. To learn about the consequential impacts a lack of housing and/or food can have on an individual’s health, as well as explore potential solutions, join this qualified panel of experts.

Rep. Dylan Roberts: Chair, Affordable Housing Task Force

Owen Ryan: President & Chief Executive Officer, Project Angel Heart

Cathy Alderman: Chief Communications and Public Policy Officer, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Katie Bonamasso: Senior Program Manager, Corporation for Supportive Housing

10:45 - 11:45

Preparing for the end of the PHE

Colorado has been taking steps to prepare for the elusive end of the federal public health emergency declaration for months. We’ve brought together this panel of folks who can go over the work the state has been doing to mitigate losses in Medicaid coverage and other policy changes expected to occur when President Biden declares an end to the PHE.

Marivel Klueckman: Eligibility Division Director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Wendy Nading: Nurse Manager, Tri-County Health Department

Shoshi Preuss: Senior Policy Analyst, Colorado Community Health Network

12:00 - 12:45

Lunch Keynote: A conversation with Denver Health's Dr. Connie Price

We’re delighted to have Connie Price, Chief Medical Officer at Denver Health, joining us for the Lunch Keynote. Enjoy a catered meal as Price discusses how the prominent health system is navigating COVID nearly 3 years into the pandemic, its work to support the health care workforce, and more.

Connie Savor Price, MD, MBA: Chief Medical Officer, Denver Health

1:00 - 2:00

Solutions for supporting the workforce

The health care workforce shortage is one of the most pressing problems facing the health care system. From efforts to strengthen the workforce pipeline to initiatives to bring in providers from other states, how is Colorado working to fortify its health care workforce as it continues to struggle to meet the demand for care? These qualified experts will explore this issue and provide recommendations for continuing to augment the workforce.

Joshua Ewing: Vice President, Legislative Affairs, Colorado Hospital Association

Colleen Casper: Director of Practice and Government Affairs, Colorado Nurses Association

Alisha Elliot: Undergraduate Pre-Health Program Director, University of Colorado Anschutz, Office of Inclusion and Outreach

1:00 - 2:00

Evaluating Colorado's health equity progress

How effective have Colorado’s strategies to bridge gaps in health outcomes been? Where does work remain to be done, and how can the state continue to promote equitable health outcomes that account for an individual’s race, income, and other social factors? Join this panel to hear subject area experts evaluate the work done so far and offer suggestions for further improving health equity.

Don Mares: President & Chief Executive Officer, Colorado Trust

Shakari Lee, PhD: Executive Director, Colorado Black Health Collaborative

Rayna Hetlage: Director of Political Strategy, Center for Health Progress

Julian Wolff: Manager of Engagement & Planning, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment

1:00 - 2:00

The future of Medicaid

Led by Colorado’s newly appointed Medicaid Director Adela Flores-Brennan, this panel will focus on all things Colorado Medicaid. Flores-Brennan will be joined by Bonnie Silva, Director of the Office of Community Living at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Peter Walsh, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and Aaron Green, the Health Disparities and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer for an update on the various Medicaid initiatives currently underway and the State’s vision for the program heading into the future.

Adela Flores-Brennan: Medicaid Director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing 

Peter Walsh, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Bonnie Silva: Director, Office of Community Living, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Aaron Green: Health Disparities and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing 

1:00 - 2:00

Lessons learned in telehealth implementation

There is no doubt that the pandemic ushered in a broader utilization of telehealth that’s here to stay. But has Colorado’s approach to widespread telehealth implementation been sufficient? What lessons has the state’s health sector learned in adopting broader usage of telehealth? Grab a seat at this panel to hear from some of the state’s leading experts on the topic.

George Roupas: Director of Telehealth, Colorado Access

Ashlie Brown: Director, Colorado Health Institute

Mercer May: Director of Government Relations, Teladoc Health

2:15 - 3:15

An update on federal health policy

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is being referred to as one of the most impactful pieces of federal legislation that has been passed in recent years. We’ve curated this panel of experienced folks who can speak to what this legislation and other recent federal policy movement will mean for Colorado’s health care sector.

Santiago Gonzalez: Senior Policy Advisor, Office of U.S. Senator Michael Bennet

Billy Wynne: Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Wynne Health Group

Dave Lee: Director, Leavitt Partners

2:15 - 3:15

Addressing health needs in rural Colorado

Colorado’s rural areas have different, unique needs than the state’s more populated regions. What are these differences and how can they best be addressed? To learn more about how to craft policy to support the many Coloradans living in rural areas of the state, join this panel to hear from experts in rural health needs.

Rebecca Kellenberg: Principal, Health Management Associates

Benjamin Anderson: Vice President of Rural Health & Hospitals, Colorado Hospital Association

Kelly Erb: Associate Director of Policy & Advocacy, Colorado Rural Health Center

2:15 - 3:15

A check-in on the Colorado Option

Since the passage of the Colorado Option last year, the state has been busy conducting its long-term, multi-faceted implementation of the public health insurance option. To dive into this initiative, their experience with the implementation process, and how the Colorado Option could impact different siloes of the state’s health sector, we’ve curated this group of industry leaders for a productive, forward-looking conversation on the initiative.

Amanda Massey: Executive Director, Colorado Association of Health Plans

Kyle Brown: Deputy Commissioner of Affordability Programs, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Insurance

Isabel Cruz: Policy Manager, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative

Gaurav Nagrath, ScD: Managing Principal, Health Management Associates (moderator)

3:30 - 4:00

Closing Keynote: The outlook for the Behavioral Health Administration

We are closing out the conference with a keynote from the Commissioner of the state’s new Behavioral Health Administration, Morgan Medlock, MD. Medlock will discuss the state’s abundance of recent behavioral health work, her experience leading the BHA in its first few months of operationalization, and her vision for the future of this first-of-its-kind agency.

Morgan Medlock, MD: Commissioner, Colorado Behavioral Health Administration



Please join us following the Closing Keynote session for a networking reception. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be included, giving attendees a wonderful opportunity to follow up on the discussions we've had throughout the day.