Detailed Agenda

Our 2022 Los Angeles 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 California health care which makes it possible to look forward to a great event on September 22nd! 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 Los Angeles!


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: An update on Medi-Cal

We’re thrilled to be kicking off the conference with a keynote from DHCS Director Michelle Baass! Join us as Baass discusses all things Medi-Cal and provides an update on the department’s recent work to improve and expand the program.

Michelle Baass: Director, California Department of Health Care Services

9:30 - 10:30

Industry insiders discuss health policy

We’ve convened some of the most well-attuned health policy stakeholders in the Los Angeles area for a conversation on pertinent topics in the health care sector. Join this panel to hear these experts talk about the most important recent health policy developments.

Allison Barnett: Senior Director of Government Affairs, Health Net

Kyla Christoffersen Powell: President & Chief Executive Officer, Civil Justice Association of California

Patricia Torres Bruno: Senior Vice President and Chief of Public Policy, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

9:30 - 10:30

Medi-Cal on the ground

This year, California expanded Medi-Cal coverage to all undocumented residents regardless of age, becoming the first state in the nation to provide health care to all undocumented residents. Grab a seat at this panel to hear from some key players in the Los Angeles region who will discuss these recent expansions and the many more notable Medi-Cal developments that stakeholders should keep an eye on.

Hector Flores, M.D.: Medical Director, Altais/Family Care Specialists Medical Group

Bill Barcellona: Executive Vice President of Government Affairs, America's Physician Groups

Dennis Cuevas-Romero: Vice President of Government Affairs, California Primary Care Association

9:30 - 10:30

Moving from awareness to action on health equity

Health disparities continue to affect our most vulnerable communities, from lack of access to care to poor health outcomes. Concrete actions are needed to enact meaningful change. This panel will explore innovative programs and partnerships that are making strides towards health equity in our system of care.

Rafael Gonzalez-Amezcua, M.D.: Chief Medical Officer, Aetna Better Health of California

Mayra Serrano: Health Equity Director, Anthem Blue Cross

Gabriella Barbosa: Managing Director of Policy, Children's Partnership

9:30 - 10:30

988 in California

The recent nationwide implementation of the 988 crisis hotline has been one of the biggest developments in health policy this year. So how has rollout gone in California and the Los Angeles area? Grab a seat at this panel to hear from a knowledgeable group of experts about how the region implemented 988, how the new hotline will impact the health sector, and what areas are in need of improvement.

Le Ondra Clark Harvey, Ph.D.: Chief Executive Officer, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies

Shari Sinwelski: Vice President of Crisis Care, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

Cap. Brian Bixler: Captain III, Los Angeles Police Department

10:45 - 11:45

A view from Sacramento: Legislators discuss health policy

We’re thrilled to have Asm. Cecilia Aguiar Curry talk about her work in the legislature this year and her experience with health policy at the capitol. Grab a seat to hear her discuss the challenges and opportunities she sees in the future of state health policy, as well as the issues most important to her.

Asm. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry: Member, Assembly Committee on Health 

10:45 - 11:45

CalAIM implementation issues

2022 saw the highly anticipated rollout of CalAIM, an ambitious initiative to reform California’s Medi-Cal program. During the first year of rollout, where have there been successes and shortfalls? This panel has firsthand experience administering this year’s CalAIM programs and will talk through any obstacles they’ve faced in implementing the initiative, offering their suggestions for how to improve CalAIM implementation in the future.

Susan Mahonga: Director, CalAIM, Blue Shield of California - Promise Health Plan

Cynthia Carmona: Senior Director, Safety Net Initiatives, LA Care Health Plan

June Simmons: President & Chief Executive Officer, Partners in Care Foundation

Mimi Hall: Vice President, Public Health & Innovation, Manifest Medex

10:45 - 11:45

Housing insecurity & health policy

Providing pathways to affordable, sustainable housing can play a key role in supporting community and individual health. This panel will bring together county leadership and community advocates to discuss the intersection between housing and health care and explore innovative, actionable solutions to the Los Angeles housing crisis.

Leonora Camner: Executive Director, Abundant Housing LA

Sharon Rapport: California Policy Director, Corporation for Supportive Housing

John Connolly: Chief Strategist, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

10:45 - 11:45

Innovative programs for the aging population

With a growing elderly population, California’s health care sector is exploring ways to better-support its aging residents. Hear from this panel of experts about the current state of health policy for older Californians and what the state can do to improve care delivery for this sizable demographic.

Sarita Mohanty: President & Chief Executive Officer, The SCAN Foundation

Esiquio Casillas, M.D.: Chief Medical Officer, Senior Vice President, AltaMed PACE Program

Nancy McPherson: State Director, AARP California

Karol Swartzlander: Executive Director, California Commission on Aging

12:00 - 12:45

Lunch Keynote: Hospitals & COVID

For our Lunch Keynote, we've set up a rare, exciting conversation about recent work done between HMA and the Hospital Association of Southern California regarding hospitals and their experience with COVID. Grab a seat to hear from Kim Milstien, Managing Principal of HMA's Los Angeles office, and George Greene, CEO of the Hospital Association of Southern California, for an informative conversation about how hospitals in Southern California have dealt with COVID and successful strategies for navigating the pandemic.

Kim Milstien: Office Managing Principal, Health Management Associates

George Greene: Chief Executive Officer, Hospital Association of Southern California

1:00 - 2:00

California's Office of Health Care Affordability

The Office of Health Care Affordability is one of the most notable policy developments to come out of the 2022 legislative session. The office is charged with monitoring and managing the growing costs of health care in California. So how will the office impact the state health care market? This panel will explore the challenges and opportunities experts are expecting as implementation of the Office of Health Care Affordability continues.

Gary Cohen: Principal, Health Management Associates

Scott Christman: Chief Deputy Director, Department of Health Care Access and Information

Glenn Melnick, Ph.D.: Health Economist, University of Southern California 

1:00 - 2:00

Bringing CBOs into health care through CalAIM

Community based organizations are expected to play a critical role in many aspects of the statewide CalAIM initiative, especially in the provision of Community Supports. This panel will explore how the health sector is approaching the new involvement of CBOs in the continuum of care, and how this dynamic will impact patient outcomes and community health across the state.

Nancy Kalev: Senior Director, Systems of Care, Health Net

Catherine MacPherson: Senior Vice President, Healthcare Strategy, Mom's Meals

Barbara Masters: Director, California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative

1:00 - 2:00

Initiatives for growing & supporting the workforce

From improving the health education pipeline to diversifying the workforce, multiple workforce challenges require innovative solutions and collaborations. This session will bring together leaders from different health silos for a joint conversation on addressing the workforce shortage.

Richard Seidman, M.D.: Chief Medical Officer, LA Care Health Plan

Amber Roth: Executive Director, The Worker Education and Resource Center

Chris Hiromura, M.D.: Associate Program Director, Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital

1:00 - 2:00

The Children & Youth Behavioral Health Initiative

Gov. Gavin Newsom allocated $4.4 billion to the Children & Youth Behavioral Health Initiative in July 2021 with the goal of making behavioral health services for children and youth more equitable, accessible, and appropriate. Join this panel of experts for a conversation about what this initiative will mean for California children and youth in need of behavioral health care.

Christina Altmayer: Principal, Health Management Associates

Hossam Mahmoud: Regional Chief Medical Officer, Beacon Health Options

Melissa Stafford Jones: Director, Children & Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, California Health and Human Services

Lucy Marrero: Director, Behavioral Health and Social Programs, Gold Coast Health Plan

Alex Briscoe: Principal, California Children's Trust

2:15 - 3:15

Preparing for the end of the PHE & Medi-Cal redeterminations

Medi-Cal is set to undergo significant changes as California, along with the rest of the nation, prepares for eligibility redeterminations once the federal public health emergency ends. This panel will cover the innovations and solutions that aim to ensure continuous coverage for over 14.6 million Californians.

Elba Gonzalez-Mares: Executive Director, Community Health Initiative

Yingjia Huang: Assistant Deputy Director, Health Care Benefits and Eligibility, California Department of Health Care Services

Roxana Molina: Assistant Director, LA Department of Social Services

Jenny Nguyen: Senior Policy Analyst, County Welfare Directors Association of California

2:15 - 3:15

How can we meaningfully address the social determinants of health?

Effectively addressing the social determinants of health within California communities is a continuous pursuit for state health policy leaders. Listen to this panel of experts as they discuss current state strategies and initiatives to improve whole-person health for Californians by addressing things like housing, food accessibility, and racial health disparities.

Shruti Kothari: Director, Industry Initiatives, Blue Shield of California - Promise Health Plan

Selina Escobar: Director, Community Supports, Anthem

Timi Leslie: Founder, BluePath Health

Ashley Perry: Chief Strategy and Solutions Officer, Socially Determined

2:15 - 3:15

How will CARE Court impact the health system?

Newsom’s proposed CARE Court system is designed to provide treatment, housing, and supportive services to Californians with complex behavioral health needs through court-ordered care plans. This has been a contentious topic among state behavioral health experts and policy leaders. Join this panel of experts for a conversation on how the CARE Courts will impact the state behavioral health system.

Connie Draxler: Acting Chief Deputy Director, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

Karen Vicari, J.D.: Interim Public Policy Director, Mental Health America of California

3:30 - 4:00

Afternoon Keynote: A conversation with John Baackes, CEO of LA Care Health Plan

To wrap up the day, we’ve planned an exciting conversation with LA Care Health Plan CEO John Baackes, who will discuss the prominent health plan’s recent work in the region and his outlook on the future landscape of LA-area health policy. Be sure to stick around for what is sure to be an informative discussion!

John Baackes: Chief Executive Officer, LA Care



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.