October 11, 2023

Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center

2023 Alaska State of Reform Health Policy Conference

Conference Overview

The 2023 Alaska State of Reform Health Policy Conference will take place in-person at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center on October 11th, 2023!

The State of Reform conference is focused on bridging the gap between health policy and political reality. Too often, those with good ideas for reforming healthcare don’t have a solid understanding of how the legislative process works. Those who understand politics don’t always comprehend the intricacies of the healthcare system. If you are interested in understanding what occurs at the nexus of healthcare and politics, then this is the conference for you!

Join us in Anchorage on October 11th to discuss the most important healthcare activities taking place in Alaska. If you have any questions or speaker suggestions, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!

Topical Agenda

Here is our 2023 Alaska State of Reform Health Policy Conference Topical Agenda! This represents input from hours of conversations with our Advisory Panel and stakeholders across the spectrum of Alaska healthcare over the last number of months.

If you have suggestions for speakers, please feel free to drop us a line. We would love to hear your thoughts on this! If you have not already registered, you can do so here.

Please note that all agenda times are local.

7:30 - 8:30Registration/Networking Breakfast
8:30 - 9:15Opening Keynote
9:30 - 10:30Insights into the Alaska LegislatureDeveloping a Reliable Workforce PipelineThe Impact of 988 & Crisis Stabilization Efforts
10:45 - 11:45Medicaid Redeterminations & Closing the Coverage GapPost-Acute Transitions for Complex PopulationsClosing the Digital Divide & Expanding Broadband
11:45 - 12:45Networking Lunch
1:00 - 2:00Interoperability & Data SharingBarriers to an Efficient Healthcare WorkforceThe Unique Issues Facing Youth Behavioral Health
2:15 - 3:15Case Studies: Challenges in Caring for Social Health NeedsPromoting Affordability in Today's MarketHospital Capacity Effects on Access to Care
3:30 - 4:00Closing Keynote
7:30 - 8:30

Registration/Networking Breakfast

Foyer

8:30 - 9:15

Opening Keynote
April Kyle: President & Chief Executive Officer, Southcentral Foundation

Tikahtnu A/B

9:30 - 10:30

Insights into the Alaska Legislature

Tikahtnu C

Developing a Reliable Workforce Pipeline

Tikahtnu D

The Impact of 988 & Crisis Stabilization Efforts

Tikahtnu E

10:45 - 11:45

Medicaid Redeterminations & Closing the Coverage Gap

Tikahtnu D

Post-Acute Transitions for Complex Populations

Tikahtnu E

Closing the Digital Divide & Expanding Broadband

Tikahtnu C

11:45 - 12:45

Networking Lunch

Tikahtnu A/B

1:00 - 2:00

Interoperability & Data Sharing

Tikahtnu C

Barriers to an Efficient Healthcare Workforce

Tikahtnu D

The Unique Issues Facing Youth Behavioral Health

Tikahtnu E

2:15 - 3:15

Case Studies: Challenges in Caring for Social Health Needs

Tikahtnu D

Promoting Affordability in Today’s Market

Tikahtnu E

Hospital Capacity Effects on Access to Care

Tikahtnu C

3:30 - 4:00

Closing Keynote
Heidi Hedberg: Commissioner, Alaska Department of Health

Tikahtnu A/B

We are honored to release our list of Advisory Panel members ahead of our 2023 Alaska State of Reform Health Policy Conference taking place on October 11th, 2023!

If you know Alaska health care, then you know this is a “who’s who” of senior healthcare executives and health policy leaders in the state! These folks will help shape our October agenda through a process that launches mid-summer of 2023!

Want to be a speaker? Want to join the Advisory Panel? Just have questions? If so, drop us a line and let us know you’re interested!

FirstLastTitleCompany
SarahAlquistVice President of Business Development, West/Mid-WestCarelon
AnnaBrawleySenior AssociateAgnew Beck Consulting
JenniferBundy-CobbManaging PartnerWilson Albers and Company
HeatherCarpenterHealth Care Policy AdvisorAlaska Department of Health & Social Services
EvangelynDotomainAlaska Area DirectorIndian Health Service
MelindaFreemonExecutive DirectorAnchorage Project Access
JesseGamezRegional Market PresidentHumana
JasonGooteeVice President, Sales & Strategic Market DevelopmentModa Health
JimGrazkoSenior Vice President, Washington & Alaska Group MarketsPremera Blue Cross
JodiHackSenior Director, State AdvocacyPhRMA
SandraHeffern, PhDChief Executive Officer & OwnerEffective Health Design
CherieHendrixSenior Consultant, National Accounts, Employee BenefitsWilson Albers and Company
JerryJenkinsChief Operating OfficerAlaska Behavioral Health Association
JaredKosinPresident & CEOAlaska Hospital & Healthcare Association
NoahLauferPhysicianMedical Park Family Care
MoniqueMartinVice President of Intergovernmental AffairsAlaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
KimberleeMcNewEthics Compliance OfficerAlaska Regional Hospital
NancyMerrimanExecutive DirectorAlaska Primary Care Association
JenniferMeyhoffPrincipalMarsh & McLennan Agency
RobinMinardChief Communications OfficerThe Mat-Su Health Foundation
JerryMosesWashington DC Office DirectorState of Alaska
EmilyNenon, MPAGovernment Relations Director, AlaskaAmerican Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
BrandonOusleyChief Executive OfficerAnchorage Fracture and Orthopedic
JocelynPembertonChief Executive OfficerThe Alaska Hospitalist Group
EmilyRicciDeputy Commissioner, State Medicaid DirectorState of Alaska, Department of Health
PrestonSimmonsFormer Chief Executive OfficerProvidence Health & Services Alaska
JohnSolomonChief Executive OfficerAlaska Behavioral Health Association
SheelaTallmanVice President, External AffairsUnited
SteveWilliamsChief Executive OfficerAlaska Mental Health Trust Authority
LoriWing-HeierDirectorAlaska Division of Insurance

Event Sponsors

Aetna Carelon Behavioral Health

Major Sponsors

HMA - Health Management Associates Humana Premera

Track Sponsors

Providence

Event Sponsors

Major Sponsors

Health Management Associates  Humana  Premera

Track Sponsors

Providence

Exhibitor Sponsors

Want to sponsor an upcoming conference?

See Sponorship Details

Our 2023 Alaska State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda features the list of over 30 speakers we have lined up to speak on event day.

Thank you to our Advisory Panel, made up of leaders in Alaska healthcare, who helped us put together a well-informed agenda. If you’re not already registered, you can do so here.

Let us know if you have any questions about the conference. We look forward to seeing you in Anchorage!

Time
Title
7:30 - 8:30

Registration/Networking Breakfast

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

8:30 - 9:15

Opening Keynote

Opening Keynote to be announced soon

9:30 - 10:30

Insights into the Alaska Legislature

With year two of Alaska’s 33rd General Session right around the corner, key health policy issues like cost of care, workforce recruitment and retention, and behavioral health concerns are top-of-mind for many in Alaska’s health sector. In anticipation for the upcoming year of policymaking, we’ve convened a panel of experts to provide insight on what to expect from the legislature pertaining to healthcare.

Sen. Cathy Giessel: Majority Leader, Alaska State Senate

Rep. Genevieve Mina: Member, House Health & Social Services Committee

Rep. Zach Fields: Member, House Health & Social Services Committee

9:30 - 10:30

Developing a Reliable Workforce Pipeline

There are not enough healthcare workers to fill the demand for services in Alaska, and job vacancies in the industry are increasing. Total healthcare jobs are expected to grow by 7.6 percent over the next 10 years, and more than 5,000 new healthcare jobs are expected to be added to the workforce during that time. This panel of experts will outline some initiatives that aim to help the state develop the necessary resources to fill those positions.

Gloria Burnett: Director, Alaska Center for Rural Health, University of Alaska Anchorage

Jennifer Nixon: Director, Health Equity & Workforce Development, Alaska Primary Care Association

Trish Zugg: CTE Program Administrator, Mat-Su Borough School District

9:30 - 10:30

The Impact of 988 & Crisis Stabilization Efforts

Over a year after the national 988 crisis line was implemented, how successful has Alaska’s crisis response system been, and what are the challenges that remain? To talk through this timely topic, we brought together a group of leading experts in state crisis stabilization efforts for an important conversation about post-988 crisis care.

Lauren Anderson: Senior Manager, Clinic Operations, Providence

Michelle Baker: Vice President, Behavioral Health, Southcentral Foundation

Sandrine Pirard, MD, PhD, MPH: West Regional Chief Medical Officer, Carelon Behavioral Health

Leah Van Kirk: Health Care Policy Advisor, Office of the Commissioner, Alaska Department of Health

10:45 - 11:45

Medicaid Redeterminations & Closing the Coverage Gap

A significant number of Alaskans are being disenrolled from Medicaid during eligibility redeterminations for the program. In this context, it is crucial for Alaska to work to ensure coverage losses are minimized while it continues to redetermine the eligibility of millions of residents. This panel will discuss the redetermination effort so far and explore strategies for addressing health insurance coverage during the final months of redeterminations.

Cody Chipp, PhD: Organizational Consultant, Elevation Counseling & Consulting, LLC

Jessie Menkens: Government and External Affairs Manager, Alaska Primary Care Association

Emily Ricci: Deputy Commissioner, Alaska Department of Health

10:45 - 11:45

Post-Acute Transitions for Complex Populations

Healthcare facilities often face challenges in discharging patients with complex care needs from hospitals to home-based or community environments. This panel of experts will identify some of the primary barriers in these transitions and offer recommendations on how to make the process smoother.

Kristy Becker, PhD: Chief of Clinical Services, Alaska Psychiatric Institute

Kim McDowell: Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operating Officer, Bartlett Regional Hospital

Anne Zink, MD: Chief Medical Officer, Alaska Department of Health

10:45 - 11:45

Closing the Digital Divide & Expanding Broadband

In a primarily rural state like Alaska, ensuring adequate, affordable access to broadband for residents in need of telehealth services is a top priority. As stakeholders continue to work to close the digital divide across the state, what are some of the obstacles that need to be addressed in order to make progress? Join this panel for an insightful discussion about meeting this critical need in Alaska.

Jacquie Braden: Community Development Program Manager, Rural Alaska Community Action Program

Christine O’Connor: Executive Director, Alaska Telecom Association

Jacqueline Summers: Director, Health TIE (moderator)

11:45 - 12:45

Networking Lunch

1:00 - 2:00

Interoperability & Data Sharing

Alaska has been working to create an all-payer claims database since Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced legislation to establish one in 2021. There is currently a lack of useful data that could be used to research utilization patterns and healthcare costs. And data sharing continues to be difficult. Providers and others have expressed concern about barriers to establishing this database and improving care coordination through data sharing. This panel aims to educate attendees on important factors regarding this work.

Jason Ball: Chief Health Data Officer, Alaska Department of Health

Craig Behm: Chief Executive Officer, CRISP Shared Services

Lisa Sherrell: Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Manager, State of Alaska, Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development

Kendra Sticka: Executive Director, Healtheconnect Alaska

1:00 - 2:00

Barriers to an Efficient Healthcare Workforce

Alaska’s healthcare workforce is strained, with several challenges deepening this distress. Providers say housing and child care needs, as well as license approval delays all play significant roles in restricting the growth of the state’s healthcare workforce. This panel will discuss these workforce barriers and what can be done to help alleviate them.

Xiomara Owens: Director, Tribal Education & Training, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Sylvan Robb: Director, Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing, Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, State of Alaska

John Solomon: Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Behavioral Health Association

Annie Thomas: Associate Director, Healthcare Workforce, Alaska Area Health Education Centers

1:00 - 2:00

The Unique Issues Facing Youth Behavioral Health

Ensuring access to quality behavioral health services is a critical priority for many stakeholders in Alaska, but the particular challenges facing youth in receiving necessary behavioral healthcare merit an independent discussion about the behavioral health policy impacting the younger population. Join this panel for an expert-driven discussion about the future of adolescent behavioral health in Alaska.

Jennifer Carson: Executive Director, Behavioral Health, Bartlett Regional Hospital

Linda Henderson-Smith, PhD: Senior Product Management Director, Carelon Behavioral Health

Elizabeth King: Senior Director, Behavioral Health & Workforce, Alaska Hospital & Healthcare Association

Dustin Larna: Chief Executive Officer, Residential Youth Care, Inc.

2:15 - 3:15

Case Studies: Challenges in Caring for Social Health Needs

Interested in hearing about the types of solutions Alaskans are implementing around quality, affordable healthcare services in our unique state? Then this is the panel for you. Professionals who work with a wide variety of programs will discuss the many factors—including food insecurity, lack of transportation, and consistent access to care—that contribute to health deterioration, and what can be done to address them.

Monica Gross: Senior Director, Restorative and Reentry Services LLC

Andrew Jensen: Policy Advisor, Food Security & Agriculture, Governor Dunleavy’s Office

2:15 - 3:15

Promoting Affordability in Today's Market

With inflation, consolidation, and other factors contributing to increased costs for healthcare services, Alaska’s healthcare sector must collaborate to pursue innovative solutions for ensuring residents can afford healthcare when they need it. In this panel, hear from experts in the healthcare market who can identify strategies for lowering the cost of care and increasing the affordability of critical healthcare services.

Deborah Erickson: Director of Population Health, Providence Alaska

Jim Grazko: President, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska

2:15 - 3:15

Hospital Capacity Effects on Access to Care

Hospitals are the largest healthcare employer in Alaska at 35 percent of the total healthcare workforce. But staffing these crucial facilities remains a challenge, impacting care and affecting system resilience. This panel of experts will assess the state’s hospitals’ ability to care for their patients and make adjustments when needed.

Tricia Franklin: OHA Manager & State Coordinator for Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, Alaska Department of Health

Jared Kosin: President & Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Hospital & Healthcare Association

Jennifer Opsut: Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Regional Hospital

Sarah Skeel: Chief Administrative Officer, Providence Alaska Medical Center (PAMC)

3:30 - 4:00

Closing Keynote

Closing Keynote to be announced soon

What They’re Watching: Andrew Jensen, the Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy

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What They’re Watching: Tricia Franklin, Alaska Department of Health

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What They’re Watching: Lindsey Kato, Division of Public Health

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What They’re Watching: Dustin Larna, Residential Youth Care, Inc.

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