Families USA brings together community leaders from across the nation each year to improve the lives of America’s families. In 2019 we met for the 24th annual Health Action Conference on January 24-26, in Washington, D.C. at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Presentations from many of the workshops are linked to the presenters' names in the agenda below.

Thursday, January 24, 2019
8:55am-9:00am

Opening Remarks—Frederick Isasi, J.D., MPH, Families USA

9:00am-9:15am

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

9:15am-9:45am

Riding the Health Care Wave

During the 2018 elections, voters from across the country and from all walks of life voted for health care. From the congressional elections to ballot initiatives on Medicaid expansion, health care was the winning issue in the midterms. We will open the conference by looking at how the wave crested and think ahead to what it will mean in 2019.

Speakers:

  • Molly McCleery, Nebraska Appleseed
  • Matt Slonaker, J.D., Utah Health Policy Project
  • Liz Woodruff, Idaho Voices for Children

Moderator: Sophia Tripoli, MPH, Families USA

9:45am-10:05am

Defending the Health Care Wave

Speaker: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, J.D.

10:05am-10:50am

How the 2018 Health Care Wave Broke Through and Made Headlines

Health care broke through not only with midterm voters, but also with the public at large, thanks to hard work by grassroots and grasstops partners and critical reporting by the news media. We will hear directly from leading political and health care reporters about how health care became the leading issue in 2018.

Speakers:

  • Abby Goodnough, The New York Times
  • Shefali Luthra, Kaiser Health News
  • Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak, MSJ, NPR

Moderator: Kimberly Alleyne, MHA, Families USA

11:00am-12:15pm

Workshops / Session 1

Click on speaker's name to download their presentations.

Medicaid

1115 Waivers: What’s Happening This Year

Description: States are continuing to request 1115 waivers that would restrict Medicaid coverage or remake the program. This session looks at what’s happening with restrictive 1115 waivers, and strategies to stop or reverse them, including litigation.

Speakers:

Moderator: Dee Mahan, J.D., Families USA

Health System Transformation

Creating a Path to Affordable Care with Increased Consumer Engagement

Description: Come learn about the multistakeholder regional collaboratives across the country that are addressing health improvement and price transparency, and engage in a discussion about overcoming the barriers consumers face when seeking the right care at the right time.

Speakers:

Moderator: Philippe Villers, Families USA

Skills Building

Fight Power with Power: Organizing Campaign Strategy Tips

Description: Winning health care campaigns requires more than just good policy ideas. It requires building a strategy for success. Hear from veteran advocates about winning complex health care campaigns, and share your lessons with advocates from across the country.

Speakers:

  • Scott Darius, Florida Voices for Health
  • Rosana Ferraro, MSW, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
  • Jawanza Williams, VOCAL-NY

Moderator: Justin Mendoza, MPH, Families USA

Children's Health

The Future of Children’s Coverage

Description: This panel will explore the foundation of coverage provided to children through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), examine the importance of protecting the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit in Medicaid, and discuss opportunities in the current policy landscape to take children’s coverage to the next level.

Speakers:

Moderator: Lisa Shapiro, Families USA

Skills Building Medicare Oral Health

Oral Health on Capitol Hill (Closed to Press)

Description: Despite its critical impact on overall health, oral health is often neglected in health policy. It’s time we speak up! Learn how to engage Washington policymakers as we’re building momentum to address America’s oral health issues.

Speakers:

  • Alex Graf, Office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Lauren Jee, Office of Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
  • Libby Mullin, Mullin Strategies

Moderator: Melissa Burroughs, Families USA  

Health System TransformationEnrollment

Outreach, Enrollment, and Patient Navigation in Today’s Climate

Description: Ongoing changes to the health care landscape mean that consumers and patients need continual help navigating coverage and care. Panelists will discuss new efforts they’re implementing to continue meeting essential needs of their communities.

Speakers:

Moderator: Heather Bates, MSW, Transform Health

Prescription Drugs

The Path to Federal Prescription Drug Reform 

Description: Momentum for prescription drug reform has increased among federal policymakers, but when can we expect significant action? And how can advocates help make it happen? Hear about federal prospects for reforms on drug prices and innovation from the experts.

Speakers:

Moderator: Azzi Momenghalibaf, MPH, Open Society Foundations

Health System TransformationHealth Equity

Using Data Disaggregation to Drive Health Equity

Description: Not having the right data obstructs efforts to reduce racial, ethnic, and other disparities. Providers are evaluated on quality, costs, and outcomes with hundreds of metrics that rarely include disparities. Disaggregating data is needed to unmask inequities and inform policy.

Speakers:

  • Sarah de Guia, J.D., California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
  • Tekisha Dwan Everette, Ph.D., Health Equity Solutions
  • Amina Ferati, J.D., Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Moderator: Philip M. Alberti, Ph.D., Association of American Medical Colleges

12:20pm-12:40pm

Health Care in 2019 and the Urgency of Now

Speaker: Sister Simone Campbell, J.D., NETWORK

1:15pm-1:40pm

Keynote Speaker

Speaker: Stacey Abrams, Founder, Fair Fight

1:45pm-3:00pm

Workshops / Session 2

Click on speaker's name to download their presentations.

Children's Health

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as a Social Determinant of Health: Innovations and Interventions

Description: This panel will highlight ACEs as a social determinant of health. It will feature interventions that can effectively address ACEs and promote resiliency for children and families, highlighting health care as an opportunity for prevention and a key point of intervention.

Speakers:

Moderator: Shadi Houshyar, Ph.D., Families USA

Coverage

Fighting Back Against Health Reform Sabotage

Description: States have fought back against sabotage by passing their own individual mandate penalties, restricting the sale of short term plans, bringing and defending lawsuits, and other state actions. Attend this workshop to hear about these campaigns.

Speakers:

  • Ray Castro, MSW, New Jersey Policy Perspective
  • Lucy Culp, American Heart Association
  • Graciela Guzmán, Protect Our Care – Illinois

Moderator: Cheryl Fish-Parcham, MSW, Families USA

Skills Building

Foundation Perspectives About Health Philanthropy in 2019

Description: Join a discussion with senior leaders from several foundation regarding the major developing trends in health philanthropy, including how foundations are responding to the nation’s altered political and health policy landscape.

Speakers:

  • Andrea M. Ducas, MPH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Earl Lui, The California Wellness Foundation
  • Azzi Momenghalibaf, Open Society Foundations

Moderator: Ann McMillan, Grantmakers In Health

Health System TransformationHealth Equity

Improving the Evidence Base to Advance Health Equity

Description: We need a transparent and representative evidence base to ensure that value-based health care solves racial, ethnic, and gender inequities. Yet we don’t have this now. Learn why improvement is necessary, where the gaps are, and how to close them.

Speakers:

Moderator: Brendaly Rodriguez, MA, CPH, Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Miami

Health System Transformation

Is 2019 the Year We End Surprise Bills?

Description: The momentum for banning surprise out-of-network bills is greater than ever. Congress is discussing bipartisan legislation, and more states are introducing and improving legislation. Is the end of surprise billing near? What more must be done to solve this problem?  

Speakers:

  • McKenzie Bennett, Office of Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
  • Shawn D’Abreu, Missouri Health Care for All
  • Troy J. Oechsner, J.D., New York State Department of Financial Services

Moderator: Claire McAndrew, MPH, Families USA

Skills BuildingOral Health

Making a Movement: Social Media as an Advocacy Tool

Description: Strategic social media can bolster advocacy campaigns, broadening their impact. Learn to use social media to raise the profile of your issue, organize people or actions, and more. Get your messages to the masses and the masses to your movement!

Speakers:

Moderator: Jonny Yao, First Focus

Health System TransformationHealth Equity

Responding to Rural Health Challenges

Description: Rural areas face some unique health care challenges that require solutions tailored for rural communities. Learn about combatting hospital closures, expanding access through telehealth, and other proactive efforts.

Speakers:

Moderator: Ellen Albritton, Families USA

Health Equity

State and Federal Threats to Reproductive Health Providers

Description: This panel will provide updates on federal actions to cut funding for reproductive health; state actions to close providers, including by eliminating Medicaid reimbursement; and efforts to combat these attacks in the courts, on the Hill, and in the states.

Speakers:

  • Emily Eckert, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Dana Singiser, J.D., Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Moderator: Robin Summers, J.D., National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

3:15pm-4:45pm

The Equity Imperative in Health Care Transformation: The Framework to Make the Dream Work

Given our nation’s demographic transformation, our future prosperity depends on ensuring that communities of color are healthy and thriving. Top leaders in equity-focused health system transformation will discuss the frameworks and strategies needed to ensure our health care system evolves into one that centers equity alongside high quality and affordability.

Keynote Speaker: Tekisha Dwan Everette, Ph.D., Health Equity Solutions

Speakers:

  • Sarah de Guia, J.D., California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
  • Joia Adele Crear-Perry, M.D., FACOG National Birth Equity Collaborative 
  • Kathy Ko Chin, M.S. Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
  • Andrea M. Ducas, MPH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Cara James, Ph.D., Office of Minority Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Moderator: Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, J.D., Families USA

5:00pm-7:00pm

Networking Reception: We Are Family: Community Catalyst and Families USA Reception

Friday, January 25, 2019
8:00am-3:30pm

Registration

8:00am-9:00am

Networking Breakfast Discussion for Primary Care Associations, Navigators, Health Centers, Certified Application Counselors and Community Health Workers

Join us for a cup of coffee and a lively facilitated discussion about how open enrollment went, what you experienced, and what needs to happen next.

9:00am-10:45am

Strategies for Improving Health Care Delivery Reform for the 21st Century

For too long, the United States Health Care System has failed to meet the needs of families and consumers, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Health care costs are ever-increasing, quality and health outcomes are suboptimal, and the system is fragmented. The health care system must transform to meet the needs of consumers, particularly those who are most vulnerable. This plenary session features a panel of national experts to discuss the importance of transforming the health care system and how consumer health leaders can be catalysts of that transformation.

Featured Speaker: Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., UnitedHealthcare

Speakers:

  • Peggy Bailey, MPA, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D., MPP, Iora Health
  • Courtney Ham, Aetna Better Health of Kentucky

Moderator: Frederick Isasi, J.D., MPH, Families USA

11:00am-12:15pm

Workshops / Session 3

Click on speaker's name to download their presentations.

Children's Health

The Health and Well-Being of Immigrant Children and Families: Threats and Opportunities

Description: This panel will highlight the 2019 immigration landscape, focusing on current threats to the health and well-being of immigrant children and families. It will feature a discussion of opportunities for advocates to engage and  push ahead despite current administration efforts.

Speakers:

  • Mayra E. Alvarez, MHA, The Children’s Partnership
  • Emily Butera, M.A., Women’s Refugee Commission
  • Madison Hardee, J.D., Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
  • Steven T. Lopez, MPH, MPP, UnidosUS

Moderator: Bruce Lesley, First Focus

Coverage

Innovative State Strategies to Cover the Uninsured and Lower Premiums

Description: Hear about innovative and practical policies being considered or implemented in leading states to build on the ACA’s progress and get more people insured. We’ll cover the gamut, from Medicaid buy-in to auto-enrollment and more!

Speakers:

Moderator: Rushika Fernandopulle, M.D., MPP, Iora Health

Oral HealthMedicare

Medicare: Risks and Opportunities for 2019

Description: This workshop will bring together leading consumer advocates to review the key legislative and administrative questions facing the Medicare program in 2019, as well as to discuss opportunities for Medicare program improvements in the new Congress.

Speakers:

Moderator: Eliot Fishman, Ph.D., Families USA

Prescription Drugs

State Efforts to Make Prescriptions Affordable

Description: States have led the way on efforts to tackle high prescription drug prices. Join us for a discussion and workshop to help plan for a year of opportunity for advocates to win state campaigns towards affordable medicines for all.

Speakers:

  • Rep. Will Guzzardi (IL-39), Illinois House of Representatives
  • Jill Zorn, MBA, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut

Moderator: Justin Mendoza, MPH, Families USA  

Health System TransformationHealth Equity

Sustainable Financing for Community Health Workers: Medicaid and Beyond

Description: Community health workers (CHWs) have a proven track record of improving health, reducing costs, and addressing disparities, but they often lack sustainable sources of financing. Come to learn about strategies for sustainably financing CHWs through Medicaid and other sources.

Speakers:

Moderator: Denisse Sanchez, MPH, Families USA

Health Equity

Update on LGBTQ Health: Pushing Back Against Major Threats

Description: Important gains in advancing LGBTQ health made at the federal level are now under threat. Meanwhile, some states continue to make progress. We will provide a federal update and highlight major challenges and important wins.

Speakers:

Moderator:  Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, J.D., Families USA

Skills Building

A View from the Hill (Closed to Press)

Description: Senior-level Congressional staff will share their insights on opportunities to advance health care policy in a new Congress.

Moderator: Jane Sheehan, Families USA

12:15pm-1:45pm

Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Awards Luncheon

Awards Presentation: Philippe Villers, Families USA

Special Honor: Rob Restuccia, Community Catalyst

Award Recipients:

  • Maura Collinsgru, New Jersey Citizen Action
  • Sherry Hirota, Asian Health Services
  • Brian Johns, Virginia Organizing
  • Cara Stewart, J.D., Kentucky Equal Justice Center
2:00pm-3:15pm

Workshops / Session 4

Click on speaker's name to download their presentations.

Health System TransformationMedicaid Coverage

Addressing the Substance Use Disorder Crisis Nationally and in States

Description: Congress recently passed opioid legislation that includes some new substance use disorder (SUD) initiatives. Some state Medicaid agencies have also experimented with expansions of SUD treatment. How can Medicaid and private insurance improve SUD care and coverage?

Speakers:

Moderator: Cheryl Fish-Parcham, MSW, Families USA

EnrollmentCoverage

Consumer Assistance Is Still Mission Critical: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going

Description: Open enrollment is once each year but people still need help year-round understanding health care in an ever-changing plan landscape. This panel will explore where enrollment and patient navigation are now and where we need to go.  

Speakers:

Moderator: Elizabeth Hagan, Transform Health

Skills Building

Do-It-Yourself Factoid Distillation: Super-Easy New Tools to Analyze Census Data

Description: Have you ever felt like you needed the perfect facts to make your case for an important policy proposal? Bring your laptop and learn about incredible new tools that let anyone who knows high school algebra tabulate Census data like a pro!

Speaker: Stan Dorn, J.D., Families USA

Oral HealthMedicaid

Health Care Messages That Change Minds

Description: Many people see health care as an important issue, but do they see your issue the way you want? Learn how to talk about any issue—whether it’s divisive, like Medicaid, or often forgotten, like oral health—to build support.

Speakers:

  • April Callen, M.A., FrameWorks Institute
  • Sean Dryden, PerryUndem
  • Citseko Staples, MPA, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Moderator: Helen Hendrickson, MPA, Community Catalyst

Health Equity

Listen to Us! How Racial and Gender Bias Undermine Women’s Health

Description: From reproductive justice to maternal health to pain, women—especially women of color—are suffering because providers and decision-makers ignore their needs. We will discuss how racial and gender biases drive these inequities.

Speakers: 

  • Ann Marie Benitez, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • Joia Adele Crear-Perry, M.D., FACOG, National Birth Equity Collaborative
  • Rachel R. Hardeman, Ph.D., MPH, Division of Health Policy & Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
  • Aisha Liferidge, M.D., MPH, George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Moderator: Melanie Townsend Diggs, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

Medicaid

Medicaid Expansion: Getting It and Protecting It Against Attacks

Description: States are continuing to expand Medicaid through both legislation and ballot measures. This workshop looks at strategies used to achieve recent expansions and how advocates are working to keep expansions they have.  

Speakers:

  • Susie Emmert, MSW, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
  • Brian Johns, Virginia Organizing
  • Matt Slonaker, J.D., Utah Health Policy Project  

Moderator: Eliot Fishman, Ph.D, Families USA

Health System Transformation

State Options to Address Industry Consolidation and High Prices

Description: Aggregated market power resulting from the merging of hospitals, physicians, and insurers is a major driver of high and variable health care prices. Join experts to discuss a range of state options to address consolidation and its impact on price.

Moderator: Sophia Tripoli, MPH, Families USA

Coverage

Universal Health Care: Politics and Possibilities

Description: Many believe affordable health care should be universally accessible, but how do we get there? And how do we do it in a politically divided nation? Join us to discuss the path to universal coverage and unity building around the issue.

Speakers:

  • Rachel Rosen DeGolia, MPA, Universal Health Care Action Network
  • Shawn Gremminger, MPP, Families USA
  • Mark Hannay, Metro New York Health Care for All

Moderator: Bob Crittenden, M.D., MPH, Cambia Grove

3:30pm-4:55pm

And Still, We Rise: Women Leaders Who Resist And Thrive

Women have been leading social justice movements for centuries, despite multiple obstacles thrown in their way. Last year, we saw a powerful wave of women’s leadership across the country. Hear how these women have achieved progress in the face of adversity and are working to achieve a better future for all of us.

Introduction: Denisse Sanchez, MPH, Families USA

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

Speakers: 

  • Keshia Bradford, MPA, Health Center Association of Nebraska
  • Anna Chu, J.D., National Women’s Law Center 
  • Cristina Jiménez, MPA, MPP, United We Dream
  • Monica Simpson, Sister Song—The National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Moderator: Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, J.D., Families USA

Closing Keynote: Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS-3)

4:55pm–5:00pm

Remarks- Frederick Isasi, J.D., MPH, Families USA

Saturday, January 26, 2019
9:00am-10:30am

Breakfast Roundtables

Engaging with Congress in 2019
    Facilitator: Shawn Gremminger, Families USA 

Oral Health: Taking Action in 2019
    Facilitator: Melissa Burroughs, Families USA 

Prescription Drug Costs
    Facilitator:
Justin Mendoza, Families USA 

Sharing Strategies and Successes for Sustainably Financing Community Health Workers
    Facilitator:
Ellen Albritton, Families USA 

The Center on Health Equity Action for System Transformation’s Top 19 Recommendations for 2019 & Beyond
    Facilitator:
  Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, Families USA