Media Advisory: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray Will Deliver Remarks at Families USA’s Health Action Conference - Families Usa Skip to Main Content
01.21.2020 / Press Release

Media Advisory: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray Will Deliver Remarks at Families USA’s Health Action Conference

Washington. D.C. – Families USA will hold its 2020 Health Action Conference January 23-24 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. The theme of this year’s conference is Our Nation’s Health in the Balance. The event, in its 25th year, gathers consumer health care activists, health care professionals, advocates, policymakers, policy experts, and media to confer on the nation’s health care agenda. It features a variety of plenary sessions and workshops.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City

will deliver remarks during the morning and afternoon Thursday plenary sessions respectively.


What:                          Families USA’s 2020 Health Action Conference

When:                         Thursday, January 23-Friday, January 24

Where:                        Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Media Registration:

Members of the media interested in covering the conference may register on-site at the media registration table in the hotel foyer.

Media registration will be open:

Thursday, January 23 from 7:30 am -5:00 pm
Friday, January 24 from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm

Media covering the conference have access to all conference activities except those listed on the agenda as closed to the press.

Please contact Lisa Holland, Families USA senior communications manager, with any questions:, 202-626-0640 (office), 202-236-6887 (cell)

An overview of the plenary sessions and key events follows. The complete conference agenda can be found here.

Conference Highlights:

Thursday, January 23

9:00-10:45 am

Plenary Session – Our Nation’s Health in the Balance (Regency Ballroom)

In an election year where our hard-won gains for America’s families are at risk, the U.S. healthcare system remains fragile. Consumers and health care advocates will discuss the peril and what we must do to win—in 2020 and beyond. 

Keynote speaker: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra


  • Kimberly N. Alleyne, MHA, Families USA
  • Marielena Hincapié, National Immigration Law Center
  • Michele Johnson, J.D., Tennessee Justice Center
  • Ola Ojewumi, Project ASCEND (consumer)
  • Peter Morley, Patient Advocate


  • Susan Dentzer, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy

11:00-11:30 am

Media Meet and Greet with Frederick Isasi (Concord Room) – media only

Frederick Isasi, Families USA executive director, will unveil his top five trends for health care in 2020.

He will also discuss the juxtaposition of health care over the last 25 years and where it is headed into the 2020 election. A question and answer session will follow.


Plenary Session – Achieving Maternal Health Equity: Let’s Advance Solutions That Serve A Changing Nation (Regency Ballroom)

 “Giving Birth in America,” a short documentary from Every Mother Counts, will highlight the alarming rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in the U.S. Maternal equity leaders will then discuss how different communities are affected and promising solutions.

Introduction: Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City, Founder of ThriveNYC


  • Jerilyn Church, MSW, Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board
  • Chanel Porchia-Albert, CD, CLC, CHHC, Ancient Song Doula Services
  • Monica Simpson, SisterSong – The National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective


  • Nan Strauss, J.D., Every Mother Counts

 Closing Featured Speaker:

  • Linda Goler Blount, MPH, Black Women’s Health Imperative


Friday, January 24


Plenary Session – The Next Frontier for Health Care Advocacy: The Cost and Quality Imperative (Regency Ballroom)

For too long, the cost and quality of health care has caused an affliction on the American dream. From prescription drug costs to surprise medical bills to health care industry consolidation, the status quo is unsustainable. Bold action is needed.

Keynote Speaker: John Kitzhaber, M.D., Former Governor of Oregon

First Panel Speakers:

  • Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D., MPP, Iora Health
  • Elizabeth Mitchell, Pacific Business Group on Health
  • Randi Weingarten, J.D., American Federation of Teachers


  • Shawn Gremminger, MPP, Families USA

 Second Panel Speakers:

  • Sandra Hernández, M.D., California Health Care Foundation
  • Timothy Lash, M.B.A, West Health
  • Anne Weiss, MPP, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


  • Frederick Isasi, J.D., MPH, Families USA


Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Awards Luncheon (Regency Ballroom)
Each year during its Health Action Conference, Families USA honors the efforts of state and community leaders in advancing social justice through health care advocacy. Awards are presented in recognition of the organization’s four focus areas: Health Equity, Health Care Value, Coverage and Consumer Experience.


Plenary Session – Restoring the Balance: Challenges in 2020 (Regency Ballroom)

With the 2020 elections looming, the stakes couldn’t be higher for health and all other issues that matter to families in our country. Hear from leaders of intersecting social justice movements about the importance of raising our voices this year.

Opening Featured Speaker:

  • Elsa Mengitsu, Power Shift 2020, Howard University


  • Leslie Frane, SEIU
  • Geoff Garin, Hart Research
  • Matt Morrison, J.D., Working America


  • Rachana Pradhan, Kaiser Health News

Closing Featured Speaker:

  • Sister Simone Campbell, J.D., NETWORK