State of Reform is a stakeholder-driven initiative that tries to bridge the gap between the worlds of health care and health policy.  We try to develop vehicles for the dissemination of information, case studies, best practices, strategic insight, and lessons learned.

One vehicle for that information spread is this news site.  Another is our annual conference.  Another is our market-specific newsletter out each month with content specific to the individual market (Oregon’s will launch in January).  Still another is our book, “Dear Governor: About The State of Reform.

In short, State of Reform is about creating policy-agnostic opportunities for collaboration.  We don’t care about the particular outcome – each state is different.  But we think that the more folks listen to one another – and sometimes talk – the better the healthcare outcome will be.

So, to the questions.

1.  Who is behind this?

State of Reform is an initiative hosted by me and our team at Wilson Strategic Communications.  We’re a healthcare strategy and public affairs firm that’s worked on health care in 7 states and Washington DC.  We keep our client side and our State of Reform side separate, for obvious reasons, which is in part why you don’t see a lot of cross-promotion (some, but not a lot).

2.  Why are you doing this?

Hosting a conference without a perceived agenda, where networking is fostered, and where any credible voice can have the microphone, is actually hard to do.  Smarter folks have decided to get out of this business.  But, that just leaves a tremendous vacuum for information.  We’re trying to fill it – not because there is a big upside, but because – like voting, jury duty, and going the speed limit – we sort of view this as our civic duty.  It’s something we can do that some others may not, and which has a real benefit for the community at large.

3.  Where does your funding come from?

That’s easy:  sponsorships and registration fees.  Unlike a foundation, we don’t have a steady stream of revenue that supports this.  So, we have to charge audience members a registration fee.  Unlike a pure for-profit event company that would be smart enough to draw from a national audience, we focus our efforts on a smaller pool.  So, while national events might charge $700-$1500 for comparable events (to say nothing of travel expenses), we try to build events that allow for the broadest possible participation rate from all sectors of the industry.

In short, this initiative is about getting folks together to share their highest value content and considerations.

Or, as Tom Holt puts it, “It’s not the same group of people talking about the same sort of stuff.”

We agree.


“State of Reform” is a conference focused on bridging the gap between health care policy and political reality.  Too often, those with good ideas for reforming health care don’t have a solid grasp of how the legislative process works.  Those who understand politics don’t always have a very deep grasp of the intricacies of the health care system.

State of Reform hosts events in Anchorage, AK, Portland, OR, SeaTac, WA, and Spokane, WA.

Our inaugural event held in January, 2011, attempted to pick up where the former UW Legislative Conference left off. Professional networking, market intelligence, and policy discussions were central to our considerations about structure and content.

Our 2nd annual event held January 4, 2012 featured keynote addresses from gubernatorial candidates Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee, while our Convening Panel built an agenda focused on what they called a “reality check” – the realization that the work ahead of reform will be even harder than we thought.

Our 3rd event held January 9th, 2013 featured a keynote speaker from Oregon Jeff Heatherington, President and CEO of Family Care. We were proud to have Governor Jay Inslee for our closing session. Click here to watch the video with the Governor Inslee at State of Reform.

Building on last year’s success, we are working on our 2014 conference. If you are interested in health care, you won’t want to miss this event.

Want to join us?  If so, drop us a line and let us know you’re interested.