WHCC20 | Blog - A Gathering of Changemakers

12 Can't-miss Sessions at World Health Care Congress 2020

By: Brian Eastwood (@Brian_Eastwood),
Senior Health Care Content Strategist


Welcome to 2020! On behalf of the entire World Congress team, I'd like to wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and productive New Year.


Now that the calendar has turned, the holiday decorations have been put away, and the fruitcake from the office Yankee Swap has been regifted, our attention turns to the World Health Care Congress agenda. As always, our goal is to bring together a diverse and dynamic group of changemakers driving for change through their work on health care innovation, transformation, and advocacy.

As we continue to finalize our agenda, we wanted to highlight 12 sessions that you won't want to miss. The topics are top of mind for health care decision-makers. The speakers have proven expertise and concrete examples. The conversations will provoke thought and provide lessons to bring back to the office.


Track: Payer Transformation

Create a Data Analytics and Technology Strategy Aligned with Business Needs and Population Health Goals

Why It Matters:

As health plans continue to acquire and analyze data that can be used to improve population health, they need a strategy for using this data and acting on its insight that is in step with larger corporate objectives.

  • Mark A. Caron, Executive VP, Business Platforms and Solutions, Capital Blue Cross; CEO, Geneia
  • Leanne Metcalfe, PhD, Executive Director, Research and Strategy, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
  • Chris Molaro, CEO and Co-Founder, NeuroFlow
  • Sherri Zink, Senior VP, Chief Data and Engagement Officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Track: Member Engagement

Whole-Person Care: Leverage Non-Clinical and Community Resources to Improve Outcomes for Populations in Need

Why It Matters:

Providing services to address social determinants of health (SDoH) is a strategic priority for many health plans, but it often is not a core competency. Working with partners - especially community organizations that members already know and trust - can fill this gap.insight that is in step with larger corporate objectives.

  • Amy H. Cunningham, VP, MetroHartford Alliance; Executive Director, Connecticut Health Council
  • Jennifer Funaro, National Social Determinants of Health Strategist, Centene
  • Emmilyn Lawson, Market President, AmeriHealth Caritas Delaware
  • Paul Sherman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Community Health Plan of Washington
  • Lori Tishler, MD, VP, Medical Affairs, Commonwealth Care Alliance

Track: Medicaid and Health Policy

A Path Forward for Medicaid: Innovate, Optimize Flexibility, and Reform Payment to Reduce Costs and Improve Quality

Why It Matters:

State Medicaid programs are exploring options such as waivers and risk-based managed care programs as a way to improve outcomes for traditionally underserved populations. And while every state is different, they also have a lot to learn from each other's efforts.

  • Hemi Tewarson, Director, Center for Best Practices' Health Division, National Governors Association
  • Stephanie Bates, Deputy Commissioner, Department for Medicaid Services, Kentucky
  • Dave Richard, Deputy Secretary, NC Medicaid, Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina
  • Matthew Van Patton, DHA, Director, Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care, Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska

Track: Behavioral Health

Promote and Model Innovation to Realize Behavioral Health Integration

Why It Matters:

When behavioral health is integrated with primary care, instead of remaining siloed from it, patients receive more coordinated care that better accounts for their specific needs.

  • Pamela Greenberg, President and CEO, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW)
  • Matthew O. Hurford, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, UPMC Insurance Services Division
  • Daniel Knecht, MD, VP, Clinical Strategy and Innovation, CVS Health
  • Kiran Taylor, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Hope Network

Track: SDoH Business Strategy

Why SDoH Spending Should Be an Integral Part of Business Strategy

Why It Matters:

Executives are increasingly willing to hear why efforts to minimize the impact of SDoH should be a key priority. But not everyone is 100% sold. They key to getting buy-in: Showing how SDoH spending will result in cost savings or improve outcomes.

  • David Kulick, Founder, Adaptation Health
  • Allen J. Karp, Executive VP, Healthcare Management and Transformation, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Lisa Lilley, RNC, MS, VP, Ambulatory Quality and Risk, Christus Health System

Track: SDoH Technology

Target the Right Intervention to the Right Population to Maximize Financial and Clinical Impact

Why It Matters:

Effective SDoH strategies close the loop. They identify an unmet need, build links to community resources, and measure outcomes to ensure that the right patients receive the right services.

  • Mary Caffrey, Associate Editorial Director, The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC)
  • Eve Gelb, Senior VP, Healthcare Services, SCAN Health Plan
  • Barbara Gray, Senior VP Social Determinants of Health, Highmark
  • Catherine McCarron, RN, BSN, VP, Clinical Programs, Health Partners Plans

Track: Population Health Analytics

Build Data Ecosystems and Connectedness with the EHR to Maximize the Impact of Technology on Patient Care

Why It Matters:

Like health plans, health systems continually take in data from disparate sources in an effort to improve patient outcomes. The key challenge they face is presenting the findings of this data at the point of care, when clinical teams have critical decisions to make.

  • John W. Pyhtila, PhD, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Partners HealthCare System
  • Gurmeet Sran, MD, Associate Enterprise Chief Medical Information Officer, Department of Medical Informatics and Data Science, Dignity Health
  • David Vawdrey, PhD, Chief Data Informatics Officer, Geisinger
  • Marc Willard, VP, Platform Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Digital Health and Analytics, Humana

Track: Provider Transformation and Innovation and Investments

Maximize the Returns of an Innovation Center to Improve Customer Experience

Why It Matters:

Innovation centers give health care organizations a chance to develop new solutions and (if all goes well) bring them to market. Getting this right requires developing best practices, establishing governance, and working alongside clinical teams - which is no small task.

  • Daniel J. Durand, MD, Chief Innovation Officer; VP, Research; Chair, Radiology, LifeBridge Health
  • Rebecca A. Stametz, Associate VP, Product Innovation, Steele Institute for Health Innovation, Geisinger
  • Philip M. Oravetz, MD, Chief Population Health Officer, Ochsner Health System
  • Peter Kung, VP and Chief Innovation Officer, SCL Health

Track: Direct Contracting

Build the Network of High-Quality, Low-Cost Services That's Right for Your Business

Why It Matters:

As employers expand their efforts to contract with providers directly, they have more options than ever before - but also more questions to answer about who to work with, what benefits to offer, and how to get employees and beneficiaries to use them.

  • Leah Binder, President and CEO, The Leapfrog Group
  • Diana Han, MD, Chief Medical Officer, GE Appliances (A Haier Company)
  • Peter Hayes, President and CEO, Healthcare Purchaser Alliance of Maine
  • Jack London, President and CEO, Patient PAL

Track: Care Delivery Integration

Reduce Barriers and Disparities in Access to High Quality, Rural Health Care

Why It Matters:

Rural health care providers face substantial challenges, but a pragmatic and practical approach to program development and technology use can provide financial wins and increase access to care.

  • Michael J. Consuelos, MD, Former Senior VP, Clinical Integration, The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
  • Nancy W. Dickey, MD, Executive Director, A&M Rural & Community Health Institute; President Emeritus, Texas A&M Health, Science Center
  • Vance Moore, President, Business Integration, Mercy Virtual
  • Janice Walters, Chief Operating Officer Consultant, Rural Health Redesign Office, Pennsylvania Department of Health

Track: AI + ML Applications

How We Applied AI/ML to Predict Risk and Improve Decisions at the Point of Care

Why It Matters:

It's one thing to provide clinicians and patients with data at the point of care. But it's another thing to provide information - and to communicate that information in a way that it is understood and applied.

  • Tate Erlinger, MD, Vice President, Analytics Development and Strategy, Ascension Healthcare
  • Aziz Nazha, MD, Director, Center of Clinical Artificial Intelligence; Associate Medical Director, Enterprise Analytics, Cleveland Clinic
  • Andrew Sorenson, Chief Analytics Officer, Castell-an Intermountain Healthcare Company

Track: Front-Line Leadership

Invest in Front-Line Workforce to Advance Health Equity and Fill Critical Positions

Why It Matters:

Entry-level health care workers benefit from opportunities to develop their skills, grow in their roles, and advance their careers. What's more? Organizations benefit when they build a work environment where everyone is groomed for success.

  • Kelly Aiken, VP, National Fund for Workforce Solutions (National Fund)
  • Mary Jane Ryan, Senior Director, Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity, Partners HealthCare System


These 12 sessions are just the beginning. You can view the entire World Health Care Congress agenda here - we'll be making updates every week until the event kicks off Sunday, March 29.

If you don't need more convincing, register now using promo code BEASTWOOD and we'll take $150 off.

We hope to see you in Washington, DC this spring. Register today, and tell them Brian sent you.


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