Detailed Agenda

Our 2022 Inland Northwest 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 Eastern Washington health care which makes it possible for us to look forward to a great event on September 8th! 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 Spokane!


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

Morning Keynote: The future of Washington state’s safety net with Dr. Charissa Fotinos

Dr. Charissa Fotinos serves as Washington State’s Medicaid Director, overseeing the Apple Health program which serves over 2 million residents. She’ll join us as our Morning Keynote to discuss the end of the PHE, Medicaid redeterminations, waiver renewals, procurements, and more.

Charissa Fotinos, M.D.: Medicaid Director, Washington State Health Care Authority

9:30 - 10:30

Capitol insiders discuss health policy

This panel will bring together some of the most well-connected and knowledgeable health policy insiders in the state. They’ll discuss health policy and fiscal work from the 2022 session, ongoing policy conversations, and their predictions for the road ahead.

Liz Arjun: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates

Ashlen Strong: Senior Director, Government Affairs, Washington State Hospital Association

9:30 - 10:30

Initiatives for growing & supporting the workforce

States across the nation are facing significant challenges in trying to grow and support the health care workforce. Challenges include recruitment and retention efforts, DEI work, and supporting the education pipeline. This group of experts will explore solutions aimed at addressing the workforce crisis.

Kelsey Potter: Vice President Medicaid, Coordinated Care

Suzanne Allen, M.D.: Chair, Health Workforce Council

Sheryl Schwartz: Project Director, Behavioral Health Apprenticeship Program, University of Washington Medicine, Behavioral Health Institute

9:30 - 10:30

Housing insecurity & health policy

The establishment of stable housing options is a key factor in supporting healthy communities and individuals. This panel will highlight the connections between housing insecurity and health, and will explore new pathways for addressing housing needs across the state.

Rhonda Hauff: Chief Executive Officer, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services

Tedd Kelleher: Policy Director, Housing Division, Washington State Department of Commerce

Jennifer Cerecedes: Director, Community, Housing, and Human Services, City of Spokane

9:30 - 10:30

Update on efforts to regulate cost growth

Health system leaders spend significant time and energy brainstorming ways to make health care more affordable. This multi-perspective panel will focus on ongoing conversations in the state related to price transparency, affordability, and the cost of care

Sharon Eloranta, M.D.: Medical Director, Performance Measurement & Practice Transformation, Washington Health Alliance

Leah Hole-Marshall, J.D.: General Counsel & Chief Strategist, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Peter Rutherford, M.D.: Former Chief Executive Officer, Confluence Health 

10:45 - 11:45

Policy leadership: Republicans

Join Rep. Paul Harris for an update on the highlights of the 2022 legislative session and his hopes and visions for the 2023 session. Be sure to bring your questions to this valuable conversation!

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

10:45 - 11:45

Moving from awareness to action on health equity

From access to care to health outcomes, it’s clear that health disparities pervade the health care system. But how do we use our awareness of health disparities and turn it into efforts to create meaningful change? This panel will take up that question and discuss the programs, actions, and initiatives that are showing promise in addressing this ongoing health crisis.

Leanne Berge: Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Plan of Washington

Shannon Saksewski: Senior Manager, Social Determinants of Health Product Management, Aetna

Melissa Clarke, M.D.: Senior Medical Director, Health Care Transformation and Health Equity, 3M Health Information Systems

Kathryn Akeah: Tribal Health Consultant, American Indian Health Commission for Washington State

10:45 - 11:45

An honest conversation on the future of the behavioral health system

During the course of the pandemic we saw increases in substance abuse, depression, and other behavioral health challenges. So, how has Washington’s health system been able to respond? Where is the state finding success and where is it falling short? Hear from these experts as they talk through the efforts that are moving the needle on improving Washington’s behavioral health system.

Betsy Jones: Managing Principal, Health Management Associates

Jess Molberg: Senior Director of Behavioral Health, Coordinated Care

Jeff Thomas: Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Behavioral Health

Noelle Turner, Psy.D.: Psychologist, Mica Peak Psychology & Consulting

10:45 - 11:45

The courts & their impact on health policy

From the Roe v. Wade decision to rulings on the ACA, the US court system is impacting health policy in significant ways. This multi-silo group of thought leaders will weigh in on the politicization of the courts and its impact on science, medicine, and public health.

Sen. Emily Randall: Chair, Senate Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee

Paul Dillion: Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho

Patricia Hunter: Washington State Long-Term Care Ombuds, Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

12:00 - 12:45

Networking Lunch

1:00 - 2:00

Policy leadership: Democrats

As the majority party in both the House and Senate, Democrats have significant sway over health and fiscal policy in the state. We’ve convened this group of Democratic leaders to talk through policy from the 2022 session, interim work, and what the future looks like for Washington health policy.

Rep. Nicole Macri: Member, Joint Select Committee on Health Care Oversight

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

1:00 - 2:00

The future of Medicaid

Washington’s Medicaid program is set to undergo significant shifts as the state grapples with the end of the PHE, the upcoming Medicaid redetermination process, and new procurements on the horizon. This informative panel will offer an update on the changes underway and the road ahead for the state’s safety net.

Anthony Woods: President & Chief Executive Officer, Amerigroup Washington 

Charissa Fotinos, M.D.: Medicaid Director, Washington State Health Care Authority

Aaron Wilson: Chief Executive Officer, CHAS Health

1:00 - 2:00

The child and adolescent behavioral health crisis

Earlier this year, the US Surgeon General released an advisory warning of the “devastating” mental health challenges facing young people. This is particularly true during the pandemic, where we’ve seen increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and other behavioral health challenges among kids. This panel of experts will discuss efforts to improve youth mental health during this time of uncertainty.

Megan Beers: Senior Associate, Health Management Associates

Ashok Shimoji-Krishnan, M.D.: Behavioral Health Medical Director, Amerigroup Washington 

Kashi Arora: Mental and Behavioral Health Program Manager, Seattle Children's Hospital

1:00 - 2:00

The changing nature of plan-provider relations

The relationship between payers and providers remains one of the most important elements of our country’s health care system. So, in the midst of ongoing change and uncertainty, how has this relationship changed? In what new and innovative ways are plans and providers interacting, and what challenges will they grapple with as we move into a post-COVID world? This group of experts will take up these questions and more during this dynamic conversation.

John Espinola, M.D.: Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Premera Blue Cross

Judy Zerzan-Thul, M.D.: Chief Medical Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority

Kate de Lisle: Senior Manager, Leavitt Partners

2:15 - 3:15

An update on federal health policy

The conversation around federal health policy is expansive, with a focus on lowering costs and expanding coverage for Americans. This panel of subject matter experts will join us to share their insights on how the federal policy landscape continues to evolve, particularly in light of the upcoming midterm elections. Bring your questions to get a better understanding of what is to come in Congress.

Dave Lee: Director, Leavitt Partners

Elizabeth Darnall: Senior Health Policy Advisor, Senate HELP Committee

Rachel Madley, Ph.D.: Health Policy Director, The Office of U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal

2:15 - 3:15

The role of virtual care & data in the post-pandemic world

From wearables to telehealth, artificial intelligence to algorithms, and data networks to interoperability, technology and data is reshaping care delivery and coordination. So, what lessons have we learned about virtual care’s efficacy as a tool for better health? Join this panel for a conversation on the possibilities, challenges, and impact of technology on care delivery in Washington.

Josephine Young, M.D.: Medical Director, Commercial Group, Premera

Crystal Wong, M.D.: Associate Chief Digital Health Officer, University of Washington Medicine

Rick Rubin: Chief Executive Officer, OneHealthPort

2:15 - 3:15

Innovative approaches for addressing the social determinants of health

The social determinants of health are important to one’s health status, but it’s not entirely clear how to utilize that knowledge in a way that is meaningful and sustainable to health care organizations and individuals. This robust panel will discuss innovative approaches to improving the social determinants impacting Washingtonians.

Leah Becknell: Director of Account Management, Beacon Health Options

Alison Poulsen: Executive Director, Better Health Together

Allison Krutsinger: Director, Department of Children Youth and Families Office of Government Affairs & Community Engagement 

Robert DeGregorio: Lead Organizer, Spokane Health Equity Circle

3:30 - 4:00

Afternoon Keynote: Ingrid Ulrey, HHS Regional Director, Region 10

Ingrid Ulrey is the Regional Director for the US Department of Health and Human Services, serving Region 10 which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and 272 federally recognized tribes. During our Afternoon Keynote, Ulrey will offer an update on HHS and the Biden administration’s priorities related to COVID-19, child and maternal health, the national mental health strategy, and the federal Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Ingrid Ulrey: Regional Director of Region 10, Department of Health and Human Services

4:00 - 4:30


Please join us following the Afternoon 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.