Detailed Agenda

Our 2022 Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of over 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 Texas health care and we’re looking forward to a great event on March 10th! 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 Austin!


8:30 - 8:40

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.

Vern Smith, PhD: Host, State of Reform

8:40 - 9:50

Morning Keynote: One on One Conversations

The morning Keynote will feature remarks from Gov. Mike Leavitt, the former governor of the State of Utah, and Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of DSHS. Hear what these two incredibly accomplished health leaders have to say about the state of Texas Health Policy, their experience in the sector, and what to expect during the road ahead. 

Gov. Mike Leavitt: Former Governor, State of Utah

John Hellerstedt, MD: Commissioner, Department of State Health Services 

10:00 - 10:50

An update on federal policy

The conversation in Washington D.C. around health care today is expansive, with a focus on driving access and coverage for Americans. This panel of respected insiders will join us to share their latest insights and analysis on how the federal policy landscape might shift in the months ahead.

Jennifer Chapman Banda: Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Public Policy, Texas Hospital Association

Paul Dioguardi: Senior Vice President, Forbes Tate

Scott Nelson: Partner, K&L Gates

10:00 - 10:50

The future of Medicaid financing

With increasing urgency surrounding Texas's Medicaid 1115 waiver renewal, the future of Texas Medicaid is one of the most pertinent topics in state health policy. How will the state fund Medicaid going into the future? Is Medicaid expansion on the table? This panel will explore how the state might fund this program in the future.

Stephen Palmer: Principal, Health Management Associates 

Matt Ferrara: State Program Manager, 3M HIS 

Bill Galinsky, Jr: Senior Policy Advisor, Baylor Scott and White Health 

10:00 - 10:50

Re-thinking our workforce post-COVID

The pandemic has had an almost indescribable impact on the health care workforce. Workers are experiencing burnout and employers are scrambling to find ways to retain and hire employees. At the same time, discussions around equity and health disparities in the workforce continue. In this panel, hear from a group of experts about what Texas can do to address these challenges.

Stephanie Rogers: Chief Executive Officer, Aetna Better Health Texas

Cindy Zolnierek, PhD: Chief Executive Officer, Texas Nurses Association 

Jaeson Fournier: Chief Executive Officer, CommUnityCare Health Centers 

10:00 - 10:50

Financing innovations in social determinants

We know the social determinants are primary drivers of one's health status and that their impact is not evenly spread across geography or demography. This session will explore the current financing models for addressing the social determinants, what we’ve learned, and how to continue investing in this area.

Karin VanZant: Vice President, National SDOH Strategy, CareSource 

Peter Boumenot: Chief Product Officer, Signify Health

Kimberly Macakiage: Director of 1115 Medicaid Waiver Operations and Accountable Care, Austin Travis County Integral Care 

Nadia Salibi: Chief Program Officer, CitySquare 

11:00 - 11:50

Policy leadership: Republicans

This session brings together key Republican legislators to discuss Texas health policy and their work during last year’s session. These legislative leaders will share their thoughts on health care and fiscal policy for the legislative session ahead and discuss how the pandemic continues to impact their work.

Rep. James Frank: Chair, House Human Services Committee

Rep. Jacey Jetton: Member, House Public Health Committee

11:00 - 11:50

How COVID has catalyzed the role of health tech

From wearables to telehealth, from artificial intelligence to algorithms, technology is reshaping care delivery and coordination during the pandemic. So, what lessons have we learned about tech's efficacy as a tool for better health? And, how can policy makers support innovation in this space while ensuring privacy rights are protected in this new world?

Shana Palmieri: Chief Clinical Officer & Co-Founder, Xferall

Emily Hartmann: Executive Director, Paso Del Norte Health Information Exchange

Boe Hartman: Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, Nomi Health

Sarah Jacob: Vice President of Product, Optimize.Health 

11:00 - 11:50

An honest conversation about behavioral health

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

Gary Seguin: Clinical and Quality Director, Beacon Health Options

Amy Kendall, PhD: Vice President, Complex Health Solutions, CareSource

Sonja Gaines: Deputy Executive Commissioner, Intellectual & Developmental Disability & Behavioral Health Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Christopher Taylor, PhD: Founder, Taylor Counseling Group 

11:00 - 11:50

The social implications of medical debt

For insured and uninsured Texans alike, the cost of medical care can lead to burdensome medical debt–often discentivizing individuals from seeking further care. This panel will bring together state leaders who will discuss the impacts of medical debt on patients and how this limits health care accessibility for low-income Texans.

Keegan Warren-Clem: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates

Emily Stewart: Executive Director, Community Catalyst

Allison Sesso: Executive Director, RIP Medical Debt 

12:00 - 12:50

Lunch Keynote: Health policy in the Texas Legislature

The Texas Legislature had an eventful session last year, taking up legislation related to vaccination mandate prohibitions and abortion restrictions during its several special sessions. In this Lunch Keynote, hear from legislative health policy leaders about their experience with policymaking last year, their interim health policy plans, and their outlook for the future.

Rep. Chris Turner: Chair, Texas House of Representatives 

Rep. James Frank: Chair, House Human Services Committee 

1:00 - 1:50

Policy leadership: Democrats

This panel includes some of the most important Democratic legislators in Texas health policy. Join this panel to hear them discuss their observations on the current state of Texas health and fiscal policy, their plans for the 2023 session, and how COVID-19 continues to impact their work.

Rep. Nicole Collier: Member, House Public Health Committee

Rep. Erin Zwiener: Member, House Public Health Committee 

Rep. Donna Howard: Member, House Appropriations Committee

1:00 - 1:50

COVID, the economy and SUD

COVID-19 has had a crippling impact on the economy, sometimes resulting in individuals losing their jobs. People who lose jobs are at higher risk for mental health issues and substance abuse. To discuss this connection between the pandemic, the economy, and substance use, we’ve convened a panel of experts who can speak to how COVID-19’s economic impacts are fueling the substance abuse crisis.

Quianta Moore, MD: Executive Director, The Hackett Center for Mental Health, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Cynthia Humphrey: Executive Director, Texas Association of Substance Abuse Programs 

Shannon Hoffman: Policy Program Specialist, The Hogg Foundation

1:00 - 1:50

Balancing competition with consolidation

Mergers and acquisitions are becoming increasingly common in the health sector as big health systems continue to gain more market share. How can Texas continue to allow for consolidation while also ensuring there’s still fair competition? Join this panel to hear what state health policy experts have to say about this balance of competition and consolidation.

Tom Banning: Chief Executive Officer, Texas Academcy of Family Physicians

Blake Hutson: Director, Public Affairs, Texas Association of Health Plans 

Bill Sage, MD: James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence, UT Austin School of Law 

2:00 - 2:50

Capitol insiders discuss health policy

In what is always one of our most popular sessions, some of Texas's most well-respected government relations professionals will discuss where we go next with state health policy. Bring your questions, as well as your own insights, to a session that is particularly interactive and forward-thinking.

Shelby Tracy: Director of Policy and External Communications, Texas Association of Community Health Centers 

Jessica Boston: Director of Government Affairs, Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice

Chad Cantella: Principal, Texas Star Alliance

Gregg Knaupe: Lobbyist & Attorney, Knaupe Government Relations

2:00 - 2:50

Extending coverage to Texans beyond the safety net

Ensuring a robust health care safety net for the most vulnerable Texans should always be a priority. But what about Texans who don’t fall into the safety net, but who nonetheless don’t have access to reliable health care? Hear from a group of experts who are well-versed in the health coverage space about how Texas can ensure it’s providing adequate coverage outside of the safety net.

Wesley Durkalski: Chief Executive Officer, Sendero Health Plans 

Shao-Chee Sim: Vice President for Research, Innovation and Evaluation, Episcopal Health Foundation 

Charles Miller: Senior Policy Advisor, Texas 2036

2:00 - 2:50

Bringing an equity lens to health care

Increased awareness of the importance of investments in diversity and equity has led to promising new initiatives in health care. This panel will review efforts underway to create a more inclusive health care workforce, reform our approach to care, and forge a stronger connection with communities.

Rep. Lina Ortega: Member, Texas House Democratic Caucus 

Carol Robinson: Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CedarBridge Group & Midato Health

Ankit Sanghavi: Executive Director, Texas Health Institute 

Kelenne Blake-Fallon: Executive Director, Black Mamas Texas

2:00 - 2:50

Getting price transparency right

Price transparency continues to be a high-priority topic for many stakeholders in health care. People want to know what they’re paying for up-front, but some siloes have stalled in their compliance with federal price transparency regulations, citing administrative difficulties. This panel will feature policy experts who can speak to current price transparency efforts and what the next steps might be.

Jamie Dudensing: Executive Director, Texas Association of Health Plans 

Josh Archambault: Senior Fellow, Cicero Institute 

3:00 - 3:50

Afternoon Keynote: A conversation on the future of Texas health care

To wrap up our conference, we will host a high-level conversation on what the future of Texas’s health care landscape might look like. Be sure to stick around for this informative keynote, which will convene state leaders who can offer their perspective on what to expect next in state health policy.

John Hawkins: Chief Executive Officer, Texas Hospital Association

Chris Skisak: Chief Executive Officer, Houston Business Council on Health 

Stephanie Muth: Senior Fellow for Health Care Strategy, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute