Detailed Agenda

Our 2022 North Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of dozens of speakers from across the spectrum of care.

The agenda and speaker list are driven by input from our Convening Panel of leaders in Texas health care which makes it possible to look forward to a great event on September 27th! 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 Dallas!


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.

Donna Checkett: Host, State of Reform

8:45 - 9:15

Morning Keynote: A conversation with Fred Cerise, MD

We’re very excited to begin this conference with a keynote address from Fred Cerise, MD, President & CEO of Parkland Health and Hospital System! Grab a coffee and a seat to hear about Dr. Cerise’s top priorities and some of the remaining challenges for the prominent safety net provider post-COVID.

Fred Cerise, M.D.: President & Chief Executive Officer, Parkland Health & Hospital System

9:30 - 10:30

Political insiders discuss health policy

From addressing the workforce crisis to capping cost growth and pursuing health equity initiatives, significant policy and fiscal decisions loom ahead of the next legislative session. This panel brings together three of the state’s top government relations professionals for a conversation about where health policy is headed next in Texas.

Gregg Knaupe: President, Knaupe Government Relations

Katherine Yoder: Vice President for Government Relations, Parkland Health & Hospital System

Jesse Sifuentez: Director, Health Plan Advocacy, Scott and White Health Plan

9:30 - 10:30

Gun violence & public health

With recent high-profile mass shootings in the state, Texans are grappling with balancing 2nd Amendment rights and public safety. As the Biden administration calls for a national assault weapons ban, what policies could the state implement in the next legislative session to address the issue of gun violence? This panel will discuss what those options may be and how gun violence affects public health.

Theresa Daniel, PhD: District 1 County Commissioner, Dallas County

Shelli Stephens-Stidham: Senior Program Consultant, Safe States Alliance

Sandra McKay: Associate Professor, Fellow, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Baker Institute for Public Policy

9:30 - 10:30

Housing insecurity & health policy

Lack of access to affordable housing can have adverse impacts on the health and well-being of Texas’s most vulnerable communities. But, how can we implement policies that lead to sustainable change? Join this conversation as experts discuss the road to affordable housing, wraparound services for individuals experiencing homelessness, and other innovative solutions for the housing crisis.

Joli Robinson: President & Chief Executive Officer, Metro-Dallas Homeless Alliance

John Siburt: Chief Executive Officer, CitySquare

Ikenna Mogbo: Chief Housing Officer, Metrocare Services

Ana Rausch: Vice President of Program Operations, Coalition for the Homeless

9:30 - 10:30

Initiatives for growing & supporting the workforce

Over 2 years into the pandemic, the workforce shortage remains one of the most pressing issues facing Texas health care. As hospitals grapple with insufficient staffing levels in the midst of ever-increasing demand for health care professionals, are current strategies to address the workforce shortage proving effective? What more needs to be done? This panel of experts will draw on their work experience to discuss the best ways to bolster the health care workforce.

Jenifer Tertel: Regional Vice President, Human Resources, Medical City Healthcare, North Texas Division

Elizabeth Merwin, Ph.D.: Executive Director, University of Texas Arlington Center for Rural Health and Nursing

Peggy Ceballos, Ph.D.: Associate Professor, University of North Texas

10:45 - 11:45

Policy leadership: Republicans

We’re thrilled to have Rep. Stephanie Klick 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.

Rep. Stephanie Klick: Chair, House Public Health Committee

10:45 - 11:45

Strengthening APM uptake

With more and more stakeholders recognizing the positive potential of alternative payment models, what can the health sector do to increase the number of providers who engage with value-based payment arrangements? To hash through this issue, we’ve convened some of the most prominent players in the North Texas region’s APM landscape for a robust, solution-oriented discussion.

Roxane Townsend, M.D.: Managing Director, Delivery Systems, Health Management Associates

Jon Roth: Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer, Dallas County Medical Society

Salma Khaleq: Staff Vice President, Value-Based Solutions, Elevance Health

Jerry Ledlow, Ph.D.: Professor, Healthcare Policy, Economics & Management, University of Texas at Tyler

10:45 - 11:45

The role of Medicaid in SDOH financing

Medicaid funding has huge potential for addressing the social determinants of health and creating a more equitable health care system. How are the state and local governments using this critical financial resource to tackle SDOH? This group of subject matter experts will evaluate the success of the state’s SDOH work so far and dive into what more needs to be done to leverage Medicaid in addressing the social determinants.

Stephen Palmer, Ph.D.: Managing Principal, Health Management Associates

Tara Kimbell: Strategic Director for Growth and Engagement, Amerigroup

Emily Sentilles: Deputy Associate Commissioner for Quality and Program Improvement, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Bam Leach-Wongsaprome: Manager of Care Management, CareMore Health

10:45 - 11:45

Solutions for addressing health equity

Long-standing health disparities have been brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic, but how can we use what we’ve learned and transform it into meaningful change? This panel will discuss innovative programs, frameworks, and solutions to improve access to care and health outcomes for disproportionately-affected Texans.

Shannon Saksewski: Senior Manager, SDOH Product Management, Aetna

Wari Allison, M.D.: Vice President of Health Policy and Founding Director, Center for Health Policy, University of North Texas Health Science Center

Yvette Wingate: Community Health Equity & Inclusion Division Manager, Tarrant County Health Equity and Community Engagement

12:00 - 12:45

Networking Lunch

1:00 - 2:00

Policy leadership: Democrats

In a Republican-led legislature, Texas Democrats must work continuously to meet the needs of their constituents. Make sure to bring questions to this interactive panel with Democrat leaders as they discuss their vision for health policy in the 2023 session.

Sen. Nathan Johnson: Vice Chair, Senate Administration Committee

Rep. Julie Johnson: Member, House Appropriations Committee

1:00 - 2:00

Driving health equity through data & HIE

Texas health care providers have been utilizing the health information exchange to securely share patient health information amongst themselves. This discussion focuses on whether the system is meeting the strategic goals of connecting Medicaid providers to HHSC-approved local HIE organizations and achieving health equity.

Stephen Love: President & Chief Executive Officer, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council

George Gooch: Chief Executive Officer, Texas Health Services Authority

Adam Kirk: Health Equity Clinical Strategy Manager, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas

1:00 - 2:00

Texas Medicaid: Stakeholder perspectives

Texas’s Medicaid landscape has undergone some major changes in recent years. With the state now having a new 1115 waiver with new directed payment programs, what does Texas Medicaid’s future look like and where are there opportunities to innovate? These intelligent panelists will talk through this complicated policy area and provide their input on what stakeholders might expect from the state’s Medicaid program over the next few years.

Joyce Tapley: Chief Executive Officer, Foremost Family Health Centers

John Burruss, M.D.: Chief Executive Officer, Metrocare Services

Stephanie Muth: Consultant, Stephanie Muth Consulting

2:15 - 3:15

The courts & their impact on health policy

A multitude of issues impacting Texans have recently made their way through both local and federal-level courts. To discuss how the judicial system might impact pertinent health policy issues like health insurance coverage, abortion, and gender-affirming care, we’ve brought together a group of experts to conduct an in-depth discussion of the courts’ role in Texas health policy.

Keegan Warren-Clem, J.D, LL.M.: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates

William Sage, M.D., J.D.: Professor of Law, Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University

Richard Scotch, Ph.D.: Professor of Sociology, Public Policy and Political Economy, University of Texas Dallas

2:15 - 3:15

Tackling SUD in Texas

The national opioid crisis deepened this year and areas in Texas are witnessing an unprecedented number of overdose deaths. This panel takes a look at the harm reduction strategies in place and the broad social and health implications of tackling substance use disorder across the state.

Sandrine Pirard, M.D.: Vice President, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Carol Lucky: Chief Executive Officer, North Texas Behavioral Health Authority

Christine Laguna, PhD: Director, Substance Use Programs Planning and Policy, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Jennifer Wadsworth: Chief Clinical Officer, Metrocare Services

Aaron Ferguson: Regional Outreach Manager, Community Medical Services

2:15 - 3:15

The role of virtual care in the post-pandemic world

Technology served as a vital bridge to physical and mental well-being during the pandemic. Virtual care presents both new challenges as well as opportunities to improve health outcomes and accessibility, especially in rural areas of the state. Join this thoughtful discussion on how the technology can address the health needs of Texans moving forward.

Claudia Tucker: Vice President of Government Relations, Teladoc Health

Tamara Perry: Senior Director of Telehealth Operations, Children's Health System of Texas

3:30 - 4:00

Afternoon Keynote: An update on Texas Medicaid

We’re honored to have Stephanie Stephens, Texas’s Medicaid Director, speaking on our Afternoon Keynote! Don’t miss this valuable session with Stephens, during which she will update the audience on recent Medicaid developments in the state and her vision for the program going forward.

Stephanie Stephens: Chief of Medicaid and CHIP Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission



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.