5 Things Texas: Gun violence & public health, Strengthening APM uptake, Tackling SUD in Texas


Eli Kirshbaum


This month’s edition features a breakdown of just some of the exciting panels you can look forward to attending at the 2022 North Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference, coming up in less than 2 weeks in Dallas!

In addition to these panel conversations, we’ll feature keynotes from State Medicaid Director Stephanie Stephens and Fred Cerise, MD, President & CEO of Parkland Health & Hospital System! Register here if you haven’t already—we look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you for your support!

Eli Kirshbaum
State of Reform


1. Texas Medicaid: Stakeholder perspectives

Texas’s Medicaid program has endured a lot of uncertainty in recent years. With a new waiver instated, and the prospect of Medicaid expansion seeming like more of a longshot as time goes on, how does the state’s current Medicaid policy impact various stakeholder groups? What can stakeholders expect in the upcoming months?

We’ve curated this group of knowledgable stakeholders to share their perspectives on the outlook of Medicaid. Join Stephanie Muth, Consultant at Stephanie Muth Consulting (and Former Texas Medicaid Director!), Joyce Tapley, CEO of Foremost Family Health Centers, and John Burruss, MD, CEO of Metrocare Services, for what promises to be a panel flush with expert insight.


2. Initiatives for growing & supporting the workforce

If you ask any member of Texas’s health sector what they feel is the area that most needs to be addressed, a considerable majority would likely respond with one word: workforce. Nearly 3 years into the pandemic, what is the status of Texas’s health care workforce?

These panelists will evaluate the success of recent initiatives to support the workforce and offer potential solutions to remaining workforce issues. Join this panel to hear some great insight from Jenifer Tertel, Regional VP of Human Resources at Medical City Healthcare’s North Texas Division, Peggy Ceballos, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of North Texas, and Elizabeth Merwin, PhD, Executive Director of the UT Arlington Center for Rural Health and Nursing.

3. Gun violence & public health

With the devastation Texas has gone through this year resulting from gun violence, it’s at the top of health care stakeholders’ minds. As the state has loosened restrictions on gun ownership in recent years, gun violence continues to pervade the country. So how can Texans address rising levels of gun violence and respond to it as a public health issue?

Theresa Daniel, County Commissioner for Dallas County District 1, Shelli Stephens-Stidham, Senior Program Consultant at Safe States Alliance, and Sandra McKay, Associate Professor at UT Health Sciences Center’s Baker Institute for Public Policy will dive into this pertinent policy topic. Grab a seat to hear about the options that are on the table for reversing the course of violence due to firearms in Texas.


4. Increasing APM uptake

Alternative payment models are getting increased recognition as a cost-effective way to improve care quality for patients. As more and more of Texas’s health sector pivots toward value-based care, it often remains a challenge to incentivize providers to partake in APMs.

These speakers will explore ways the health sector can incentivize greater adoption of value-based payment arrangements. Attend this panel to hear from Jon Roth, Executive Vice President & CEO of the Dallas County Medical Society, Roxane Townsend, MD, Managing Director of Delivery Systems at Health Management Associates, Jerry Ledlow, PhD, Professor of Healthcare Policy, Economics & Management at the University of Texas at Tyler, and Selma Khaleq, Staff VP of Value-Based Solutions at Elevance Health.

5. Tackling SUD in Texas

Texas has among the worst substance abuse and addiction in the country. While the state has been trying to ameliorate the issue for some time, it persists as a policy area in need of support.

This expert-packed panel will convene Carol Lucky, CEO of the North Texas Behavioral Health Authority, Aaron Ferguson, Regional Outreach Manager at Community Medical Services, Jennifer Wadsworth, Chief Clinical Officer at Metrocare Services, Christine Laguna, PhD, Director of Substance Use Programs Planning and Policy at HHSC, and Sandrine Pirard, MD, Vice President & Medical Director at Beacon Health Options.