January 5, 2023

The Westin Seattle

2023 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference

Conference Overview

The 2023 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference is back and better than ever! This years event will take place in-person at the Westin Seattle on January 5th, 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, and those who understand politics don’t always comprehend the intricacies of the healthcare system. If you are interested in forward-looking discussions about health policy reform at the nexus of healthcare and politics, then this is the conference for you.

Join us at the Westin Seattle on January 5th to discuss the most important health care activities taking place in Washington. 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 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference Topical Agenda! This represents input from hours of conversations with our Convening Panel and stakeholders across the spectrum of Washington health care 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!

Please note that all agenda times are local.

We are honored to release our list of Convening Panel members ahead of the 2023 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference!

If you know Washington health care, then you know this is a “who’s who” of senior health care executives and health policy leaders in the state. These folks will help shape our agenda through a process that launches mid November 2022!

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

LaurenAdlerGovernment Relations DirectorAmerigroup
LizArjun, MPH, MSWSenior ConsultantHMA
KelseyBeckGovernment Relations Director, Washington StateKaiser Permanente
JaneBeyerSenior Health Policy AdvisorWashington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner
EmilyBriceSenior Attorney & Policy AdvisorNorthwest Health Law Advocates
AndreaDavisVice President, Government Relations, Marketing & Communications, and Community GivingCoordinated Care
DekkerDirksenDirector, Public PolicyCommunity Health Plan of Washington
ColinFieldsMedical Director, Government Relations & Public Policy, Medical Program Director, HIV & PrEP ProgramKaiser Permanente Washington
JimFreeburgFounder & Executive DirectorPatient Coalition of Washington
MadelineGrantDirector of Government RelationsUW Medicine
JenniferHanscomCEOWashington State Medical Association
NariHeshmati, MDSenior Medical Director, Central RegionThe Everett Clinic
NickJackalCommunity Engagement DirectorCambia Grove
MichaellaJohnsonSenior Manager, Marketing - Health Care IndustryMoss Adams
BetsyJonesManaging PrincipalHMA
AaronKatzRetired Principal Lecturer, Health ServicesUniv. of Washington
AmberLeadersSenior Policy Advisor - Behavioral Health, Aging and DisabilityOffice of Gov. Jay Inslee
BobMarsalliCEOWashington Association for Community Health
RobinMetcalfManager of Behavioral Health ServicesBeacon Health Options
TeresaMosquedaMemberSeattle City Council
JenniferMuhmGovernment Affairs Director, WashingtonCambia Health Solutions
AnneMurrayState Government AffairsBristol Myers Squibb
GlennPuckettExecutive Director, Health TransformationArcora Foundation
MelissaPutmanDirector of Policy, Advocacy and Government RelationsKaiser Permanente
StephenRosePartnerHall Render
CaitlinSaffordChief of StaffAmerigroup of Washington
KennedySoileauActing Chief Communications OfficerHealth Care Authority
AshlenStrongState Director, Government AffairsWashington State Hospital Association
ClaudiaSt. ClairVP, Government ContractsMolina Healthcare of Washington
IngridUlreyRegional Director, Region 10US Dept. of Health and Human Services
MollyVorisSenior Policy Advisor, Public Health and Health CareOffice of Gov. Inslee
CourtneyWallaceDirector of Strategic CommunicationsPremera Blue Cross
GinnyWeirCEOFoundation for Health Care Quality
ShawnWest, MDChief Medical OfficerEmbright, LLC
LauraZaichkinSenior Policy AdvisorWashington Health Benefit Exchange

Our 2023 Washington State of Reform Health Policy Conference Detailed Agenda is a list of nearly 70 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 Washington health care which makes it possible to look forward to a great event on January 5th!

For now, let us know if you have any questions about the conference. We look forward to seeing you in-person in Seattle!

7:30 - 8:30

Networking Breakfast Sponsored by Unite Us

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.

Vern Smith: Host, State of Reform

8:45 - 9:15

Opening Keynote: The future of healthcare in Washington State

HCA Director Sue Birch and WHA Executive Director Drew Oliveira will begin the conference with a unique discussion about their vision for the future of Washington State healthcare. Featuring perspectives from both the state and a high-profile business leader on the current state of healthcare in Washington, the two respected leaders will discuss what’s at stake—the future of Washington health policy and its impact on the state’s healthcare sector.

Sue Birch: Director, Washington State Health Care Authority

Drew Oliveira: Executive Director, Washington Health Alliance

9:30 - 10:30

Political insights into the WA legislature

In what is always one of our most popular sessions, this panel of knowledgeable insiders will discuss health policy and fiscal work resulting from the 2022 session, ongoing policy conversations, and their predictions for 2023 and beyond. It’s a can’t-miss conversation on the politics, policies, and personalities driving health policy in Washington.

Jennifer Ziegler: Contract Lobbyist, Assocation of Washington Health Plans

Evan Klein: Special Assistant for Legislative and Policy Affairs, Washington State Health Care Authority 

Nick Federicci: Government Relations Consultant, Nick Federicci Government Relations 

9:30 - 10:30

Apple Health's impact on members & its future implications

Washington’s Apple Health (Medicaid) program covers over 2 million residents and there are plans to expand the program further. Hear from key stakeholders about what’s ahead for Apple Health, including expansion plans, potential service delivery changes, the public health emergency wind-down transitions, and more.

Anthony Woods: President & Chief Executive Officer, Amerigroup Washington

Libby Hein: Director of Behavioral Health, Molina Healthcare of Washington

Vicki Lowe: Executive Director, American Indian Health Commission of Washington State

Emily Brice: Senior Attorney & Policy Advisor, Northwest Health Law Advocates

Liz Arjun: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates (moderator)

9:30 - 10:30

What more can we do to respond to substance use disorder?

Developing effective strategies to respond to substance use disorder in Washington State is challenging work. While the state has put a significant amount of resources into policy interventions for substance use disorder, the issue still merits considerable attention. Join key experts from across this issue to discuss what is next, what more can we do to respond to substance use?

Jess Molberg: Senior Director, Behavioral Health, Coordinated Care

Hon. Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD: Physician Lead, Better Prescribing Better Treatment

Brad Finegood: Strategic Advisor, Public Health, Seattle & King County

9:30 - 10:30

New directions for Aging in Place

Like the rest of our nation, Washington’s aging population is continually growing. By 2030, nearly 20% of Washington residents will be age 65 and older. In rural communities, this will jump to nearly 30%. The “aging in place” movement seeks to provide home-based aging support for this substantial demographic. But staying put is something one needs to plan for, and doing so sooner rather than later ensures that everything is set as one ages. State of Reform is thrilled to welcome experts from AARP to lead this discussion and provide tangible take-aways for all in attendance.

Tracy Bos: Vice President, General Manager of Senior Markets, Premera Blue Cross

Cathy MacCaul: Advocacy Director, American Association of Retired Persons

Bea Rector: Assistant Secretary, Aging and Long Term Support Division, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Marguerite Ro: Washington State Director, American Association of Retired Persons (moderator)

9:30 - 10:30

Building trust in public health

Washington’s public health system continues to play an incredibly integral role in Washingtonians’ lives in the aftermath of the pandemic. Protecting the public’s health is a fundamental responsibility of the state. Challenges, however, persist, as harmful rhetoric questioning the legitimacy of public health guidance propagated during the pandemic. What more can we do to build trust in public health moving forward?

Umair Shah, MD: Secretary of Health, Washington State Department of Health

JanMarie Ward: President, Washington State Public Health Association

Kristin Peterson: Chief of Policy, Washington State Department of Health

Rashad Collins: Chief Executive Officer, Neighborcare Health

Patty Hayes: Former Director of Public Health, Seattle & King County

10:45 - 11:45

Legislators discuss healthcare policy priorities

Health policy remains a primary area of concern for the residents of Washington State, and lawmakers are currently preparing legislation to improve healthcare for their constituents during the 2023 session. State of Reform is thrilled to welcome Washington lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to discuss key health-related policy priorities and issues with a focus on the future. Bring your questions to what is always a thoughtful conversation on the future of health policy in Washington.

Sen. Annette Cleveland: Chair, Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee

Sen. Patty Kuderer: Chair, Senate Housing & Local Government Committee

Rep. Marcus Riccelli: Chair, House Healthcare & Wellness Committee

10:45 - 11:45

Lessons learned from COVID for care delivery

Redesigning patient care during a pandemic required not only adapting delivery modalities like virtual platforms and site-of-care flexibilities), but also rethinking supply chains and staffing models to account for the volatility of infection rates. COVID-19 has significantly impacted multiple aspects of health system operations, ranging from tremendous financial uncertainty to inadequate resources to meet the needs of patients during persistent waves of outbreaks. Many of the vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic represent longstanding challenges for health systems, so what can we do to ensure we are not only better prepared, but have an operable healthcare delivery system to sustain in this post-pandemic era?

Darcy Jaffe, ARNP: Senior Vice President of Safety and Quality, Washington State Hospital Association

Nariman Heshmati, MD: Senior Regional Medical Director, Optum Washington

Paul Thottingal, MD: Senior Medical Director, Communicable Diseases/Organizational Preparedness, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington 

Sara Rigel: Director of School Based Programs, Seattle & King County Public Health

10:45 - 11:45

Child & family behavioral health: An evolving landscape

Child and family behavioral health is among the top priorities for the 2023 legislative session, but will various challenges, like the increasing workforce shortage and the need for more training, impact the evolving landscape? This panel will discuss the changing needs of Washington’s behavioral health delivery for children and families, as well as the policy responses that can support those needs.

Megan Beers: Senior Associate, Health Management Associates 

Stacey Lopez: Behavioral Health Executive Director, UnitedHealthcare 

Sarah Rafton: Executive Director, Washington Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Kashi Arora: Program Manager, Mental & Behavioral Health, Seattle Children’s Hospital

10:45 - 11:45

Advancing technologies in healthcare

With rapidly advancing technology, healthcare policy experts are carefully looking at ways to create a seamless care delivery model. COVID-19 highlighted the need for ubiquitous technology with a new era of telemedicine, e-hospitals, cellular hospitals. Is this the real future of the healthcare industry, or will it complicate an already complicated system?

Aimee Viles: Vice President Digital, Regence BlueShield

Michele Radosevich: Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Crystal Wong, MD: Associate Chief Digital Officer, University of Washington Medicine, Washington State Telehealth Collaborative Chair

10:45 - 11:45

Reproductive health policies & protections

In October 2022, Gov. Jay Inslee and lawmakers announced several policy proposals that would strengthen access and protection for patients seeking abortion or other reproductive health services. These policies aim to further protect Washington’s status as a sanctuary state for abortion seekers in a post-Dobbs country, and ensure that care remains affordable, accessible, and held to a high standard of quality. Join in on this important conversation impacting women’s health in Washington!

Meghan Eagen-Torkko: Director of Nursing, University of Washington Bothell

Sarah Prager, MD: Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Washington

Leah Rutman: Health Care & Liberty Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union

11:45 - 12:15

Networking Lunch

12:15 - 12:45

Lunch Keynote: A virtual conversation with Sec. Xavier Becerra

We’re honored to have Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, as our Lunch Keynote! Don’t miss this valuable session with Becerra, during which he will update the audience on recent HHS developments and his vision for the country going forward.

Sec. Xavier Becerra: Secretary, US Department of Health and Human Services

1:00 - 2:00

National health landscape 2023

With 2022 just barely behind us, the national healthcare landscape is preparing for what promises to be a most interesting and challenging 2023. From national-level healthcare cost reform, to the workforce shortage, to more customer segmentation—questions abound. This panel of subject matter experts will join us to share their insights on how the federal policy landscape continues to evolve.

Kathleen Nolan: Regional Vice President, Health Management Associates

Jesse Gamez: Vice President, Medicare Regional President, Humana

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

Charissa Fontinos, MD: Medicaid Director, Washington State Healthcare Authority

Perrie Briskin: Senior Advisor, CMS, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

1:00 - 2:00

Redesigning the crisis system & early 988 experiences

As the State of Washington continues to work on redesigning the crisis system and implements the first-of-its-kind Native-serving crisis hotline, what lessons have been learned and what questions remain? Is this the answer to unmet mental health needs? What more needs to be done? This conversation will dive into all these questions and more as we explore the crisis system in Washington.

Sen. Manka Dhingra: Member, Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee to Health & Long Term Care 

Inna Liu: Assistant Vice President of Account Partnership, Beacon Health Options

Michelle McDaniel: Chief Executive Officer, Crisis Connections

Rochelle Williams: Tribal Operations Manager, Volunteers of America Western Washington

1:00 - 2:00

Solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness

Washington State currently has at least 12,000 unhoused, according to the 2022 Census. Governor Inslee has laid out his legislative strategy to address homelessness, including speeding up the development of housing specifically along transit corridors. Addressing homelessness is a top priority heading into the 2023 legislative session— have current initiatives yielded success? What further policy needs to be implemented to support the unhoused?

Kat Latet: Director, Health Systems Innovation, Community Health Plan of Washington 

Derrick Belgarde: Executive Director, Chief Seattle Club

Melodie Pazolt: Managing Director, Office of Apple Health and Homes, Washington State Department of Commerce

1:00 - 2:00

Multi-sector efforts to retain, support, & grow the workforce

Leading healthcare organizations are partnering to support the national workforce challenges by investing in their most important asset:their people. At the same time, discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion in the healthcare workforce continue. In this panel, you’ll hear from an array of experts about the multi-sector efforts they are undertaking to address these challenges.

Andrew Over: Regional Market Vice President, Regence BlueShield

Katherine Mahoney: Government Affairs Director, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health

Lynnette Vehrs: President, Washington State Nurses Association

Sam Hatzenbeler: Senior Policy Associate, Economic Oppurtunity Institute

1:00 - 2:00

Data-driven solutions to addressing health disparities

To work to advance health equity, we must improve our data, especially our health equity data. In response to this ever-growing issue, the CMS Office of Minority Health released “The Path Forward: Improving Data to Advance Health Equity Solutions” in November 2022, which outlines a plan to reform data collection across CMS programs to achieve better health equity outcomes. Experts will gather to discuss and answer your questions as Washington State implements these plans.

Drew Oliveira: Executive Director, Washington State Health Alliance

Tracy Hillard: Director, Culturally Responsive Engagement, Michigan Public Health Institute

Laura Dwyer-Lindgren: Assistant Professor of Health Metric Sciences, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

2:15 - 3:15

Courts & their impact on healthcare

A multitude of issues impacting Washingtonians have 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 Washington health policy.

Tony Quang, MD: President, American College of Legal Medicine

Janet Varon: Executive Director, Northwest Health Law Advocates 

Jane Beyer: Senior Health Policy Advisory, Office of the Insurance Commissioner

2:15 - 3:15

Efforts to ensure transparency & promote affordability

Washingtonians are paying more and more for their healthcare, while rising healthcare prices affect how health plans pay providers. Many patients still don’t receive itemized costs of the services they pay for and receive unanticipated medical bills, despite laws mandating price transparency. This panel of subject matter experts will join us to share their insights on the efforts being made in Washington to ensure transparency and promote affordability as healthcare becomes ever-more complicated.

Gary Strannigan: Vice President of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, Premera Blue Cross

Jim Freeburg: Founder & Executive Director, Patient Coalition of Washington

Bill Kramer: Executive Director for Health Policy, Purchasers Business Group on Health

Laura Kate Zaichkin: Senior Policy Advisor, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

2:15 - 3:15

Maximizing the role of CBOs to address social needs

Community-based organizations are well-positioned to provide effective programs that address the social needs of local communities. However, it can be challenging for CBOs to navigate a complex healthcare system that they haven’t historically been a part of. Learn from our panel of experts about how Washingtonians can best maximize the role of CBOs to address the social needs of each community across the state.

Edie Dibble: Chief Operating Officer at Comprehensive Healthcare, Member of Fourfront Contributor

Joe LeRoy: President & Chief Executive Officer, Hope Sparks

Daniel Hannawalt-Morales: Health Disparities Grant Coordinator/Grant Manager, Washington State Department of Health

Vanessa Gutierrez: Program Officer, Seattle Foundation

Patrick Suther: Careport Program Coordinator, Cascade Pacific Action Alliance

2:15 - 3:15

Challenges with expanding affordable housing

Washington cities of every size are grappling with the lack of affordable housing for their residents. Facing the reverberating impacts of limited housing availability, cities cannot solve the problem alone. Increasing affordable housing requires a sustained innovative approach and working partnerships with the private sector, nonprofit organizations, as well as county, state, and federal agencies. Bring your questions and learn from key players in this fight to expand affordable housing in Washington!

Rep. Jessica Bateman: Vice Chair, House Health Care & Wellness Committee

Rep. Nicole Macri: Vice Chair, House Appropriations Committee

Rep. Frank Chopp: Member, House Housing, Human Services & Veterans Committee

Rachael Myers: Executive Director, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

2:15 - 3:15

Promoting health equity in policy & the continuum of care

Promoting equity requires attention to the root causes of health issues and a focus on the communities that are most affected. When a commitment can be made to reexamine priorities and the way healthcare is delivered, we can begin to undo inequities. But when a commitment is not made, our work can actually contribute to widening inequities. This panel of subject-matter experts will explore ways Washingtonians can be part of the effort to eliminate inequities in the continuum of care.

Kelli Houston: Chief Equity Officer, Community Health Plan of Washington

Tom Sebastian: Chief Executive Officer of Compass Health, Member of Fourfront Contributor

Sybill Hyppolite: Legislative Director, Washington State Labor Council

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

3:30 - 4:00

Closing Keynote: DEI and healthcare with Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua

Executive Director of Social Justice Fund NW, Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua, will end the event by discussing how health equity is baked into every topic throughout the agenda. Chikoti-Bandua will share how her personal experience informs her mission to make the health system safe for black and brown patients and to abandon anti-blackness language throughout different facets of medicine.

Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua: Executive Director, Social Justice Fund NW


Reception Sponsored by Beacon Health Options

Please join us following the Closing Keynote session for a networking reception sponsored by Beacon Health Options. 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.

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