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Designing Healthcare for Texas Conference: Speaker Bios

Hear These Leaders from Across the Nation, State and County

Keynote Robert Greenwald is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School. For over 20 years, Robert has been engaged in state and national research, policy development and advocacy to improve the health of underserved populations, with a focus on the needs of low-income people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Robert and the CHLPI team work with consumers, advocates, community-based organizations, health and social services professionals, government officials, and others to expand access to high-quality healthcare, reduce health disparities, and promote more equitable and effective healthcare systems. Robert is currently serving as a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, co-chair of the Federal Chronic Illness & Disability Partnership, co-chair of the HIV Health Care Access Working Group.

Katrina Daniel is the Associate Commissioner for the Life, Health & Licensing program at the Texas Department of Insurance. Ms. Daniel oversees the regulation of a wide range of life, annuity, accident and health insurance and related coverages offered by insurance companies, in addition to the licensure of insurance agents and adjusters and other health insurance administrators. In addition, Ms. Daniel oversees development and approval of workers’ compensation health care networks. Ms. Daniel and her staff implement state and federal legislation and monitor the extensive federal activities related to life insurance, health coverage and licensing. She places a high priority on educating regulated entities and other interested parties. Ms. Daniel brings extensive experience in policy development to the department. She has served as a policy aide to senators and representatives in the Texas Legislature, focusing on health and human services issues and the state budget. Ms. Daniel also worked for several years as a Project Manager and Policy Analyst for the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, reviewing executive branch agencies for continued need and effectiveness.

Edward M. Emmett became Harris County Judge on March 6, 2007. A member of the Texas House of Representatives from 1979 to 1987, Judge Emmett was chairman of the Committee on Energy, a member of the Transportation Committee, and represented the state on numerous national committees relating to energy and transportation policy. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush nominated Emmett as a Commissioner at the Interstate Commerce Commission. After being confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate, Judge Emmett served on the commission for three years. Prior to becoming county judge, he received international recognition for his work in transportation and logistics policy. Among his many other activities, Judge Emmett is director of Harris County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, chairman of the HGAC Transportation Policy Council and chairman of the Harris County Juvenile Board.

Stephen Klineberg is a Professor of Sociology at Rice University. In 1982, he and his students initiated the annual “Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey,” now well into its fourth decade of tracking the remarkable changes in the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences and beliefs of Harris County residents. The recipient of twelve major teaching awards, Professor Klineberg was featured in a documentary film on the first 30 years of the Houston surveys and is completing a series of reports on this ongoing research, while also serving as co-director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Professor Klineberg is a graduate of Haverford College, with an M.A. from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from Harvard.

Alice Murray was appointed the role of President of the Dallas Citizens Council in 2013. Her career spans entrepreneurial business ventures and nonprofit executive roles. Her foray into nonprofit work began in 1991 when she was appointed as the first Executive Director, the President/CEO of The Real Estate Council, creating programs that advanced quality of life and economic development projects for Dallas. She served as President/CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. followed by the Dallas Holocaust Museum where she served as its President/CEO from 2009-2012. The DCC comprises CEO’s from the largest corporations and minority companies in the Dallas area and mobilizes them for the purpose of impacting important public policy affecting the Dallas region. Currently, their four priority issues include health care, public education, long-term water resources and regional transportation.

Dena Stoner is currently Senior Policy Advisor for the Texas Department of State Health Services. She also serves as Chair of the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors Medicaid and Finance Division. Ms. Stoner has over 35 years of experience in public policy, management, strategic planning, program design and program/policy implementation. She has developed and implemented a number of major initiatives in Medicaid-funded home and community-based (HCBS) services, acute care, managed care and behavioral health.  In her current position, Ms. Stoner is responsible for developing initiatives to improve services for people with mental health and substance abuse conditions such as the nationally recognized Texas Money Follows the Person Behavioral Health Pilot, Medicaid Incentives for Prevention of Chronic Disease Study and Home and Community-based Services for Adults with Mental Illness. Her work has been featured in various national periodicals, including the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, Policy and Practice: The Magazine of the American Public Human Services Association, Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, and Generations: The Journal of the American Society on Aging.

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Harris County Clinics Map

View a Map of Clinics in Harris County

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Houston Area Charity Clinics Come Together Around Shared Quality Metrics

Houston Area Charity Clinics Come Together Around Shared Quality Metrics


Neena Arora of San Jose Clinic is leading a team of executive directors and clinicians at three Houston area primary care charity clinics - Casa El Buen Samaritano, Christ Clinic and TOMAGWA - to implement quality metrics that will track key indicators measuring quality of care, compliance and patient flow.  When the quality indicators baseline has been established, the implementation of a new practice management system will begin.  Once this new system is fully functioning at each site, the scheduling process, patient tracking and reporting will be greatly improved and standardized among the participating clinics. 

Implementing service quality indicators will give each clinic a new set of measures to assist them in making key quality improvements.  The assessments made from the data collected will help increase capacity and achieve sustainability.  Without state or national charity care standards, there is scant information for measuring performance.  Through this program, each organization will be able to see how similar health centers perform. There is hope that this project can eventually lead to some standard practices and measures being recognized at a state and/or national level. 

 Due to their small size, an individual clinic cannot afford a dedicated staff person to work on improved quality and workflow.  When improving quality, there is a noticeable impact on daily operations as processes need to be changed to adhere to quality needs and vice versa. In the Shared Quality Program, the Quality Program Director takes on the responsibility of implementing the operational changes that will lead to improved quality.  The Quality Program Director divides her time equally between the four clinics, avoiding duplication of staff and associated costs.  If this program succeeds, the plan is to replicate a similar model in other administrative areas in order to minimize the cost per visit while ensuring appropriate levels of oversight and expertise for the clinics. 

This project is unprecedented because it is one of the few (if not the first) instance where there is a strong and impactful collaboration between safety net clinics.  With a quarterly forum instituted, there is a platform to share ideas and best practices without any reservations amongst the clinics.  In the words of Henry Ford “coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. Casa El Buen Samaritano, Christ Clinic, TOMAGWA, and San Jose Clinic are showing how clinics can work together to improve the quality of care at their respective clinics.

Harris Health System-Center for Innovation

HH logo MainBackground

Harris Health System set out to become a most efficient organization by doing the right work at the right time with the right people who have been given the right tools to provide quality patient care.  An innovation charter was established that stated “In each of our respective areas of oversight we will scan the environment, engage our associates and help to identify workplace innovations.  These innovations manifest as good ideas that our associates bring forward that serve to improve patient care, systems and processes as well as our work and in patient environments.”


  1. To foster and promote a culture of innovation at Harris Health System.
  2. To develop a program that empowers all staff to identify opportunities to enhance care, improve processes and create a better work or patient care experience.
  3. To provide recognition of staff as “Champions of Innovation” for their ideas.


  • Think Innovation Program has been re-introduced to all staff through an intranet presence and monthly innovation profiles.
  • To date, six Harris Health Champions of Innovation have been recognized and profiled:
  • Establishment of interpretation call center provides for efficient handling of more than 19,000 patient interpretations per month.
  • Establishment of an in-house pharmacy program that generated $17.5 million in reimbursement in its first year, compared to $5 million the year before.
  • Implementation of the freight optimization project saves the health system $263,000 annually.
  • Establishment of Healthy Harvest, a weekly mini-farmers market, in 11 health centers.
  • System-wide implementation of electronic medical record.
  • Establishment of Ms. Pat’s Boutique that encourages HIV/AIDS patients to seek preventive care.
  • Seven new Champions of Innovation are in the process of being recognized.

  • MindMatters innovation software has been activated allowing 10,000 staff the ability to submit and track their innovative ideas.
  • An Innovation Summit is planned for Spring 2013.


  1. The Think Innovation Program is a successful strategy that unleashes the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of all staff required to be successful in today’s healthcare environment.
  2. The establishment of a formal program demonstrates the organization’s commitment to a culture of innovation and provides a mechanism for the staff to bring worthwhile ideas to life.


For more information about Harris Health Center for Innovation, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , FACHE, Vice President for Operations Support at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .















As the only funded and approved Texas Health and Human Services HIE in the region, Greater Houston HEALTHCONNECT has built a secure digital network of linked health records between all providers to improve the region’s quality and efficiency of patient care. HealthConnect aims to make your patient records available to the treating physician, in real-time, with lower costs and less duplication of services- all based on patient directives and consent.


Many of the leading health systems and physician practices have already signed agreements, including CHRISTUS Health, Texas Children’s Hospital, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Kelsey-Seybold, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Legacy Community Health Services. These pioneering institutions are among the first groups GHH will connect together for improving coordination of care. The network will connect nearly 7 million patients and will have its biggest impact in the emergency room. In an emergency, when minutes save lives, patients with little medical history are quickly identified and treatment begins immediately. HealthConnect will have its first patient records exchanged in Spring 2013.

HealthConnect's success is dependent upon continued adoption by all clinics and hospitals.  To that end, HealthConnect's leadership and staff would be happy to hear any ideas from HCHA member institutions about participation or improving the services they offer. 

For further information or to join the connected healthcare community please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 832 564 2599.

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