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Designing Healthcare 2014 - Press Release

National & State Leaders Join Houston in Preparing for 84th Texas Legislature
Two-day Healthcare Conference Explores Options for Healthcare Reform in 2015-2016 Session

(HOUSTON, TX) May 7, 2014 - Three organizations committed to ending health disparities in our region are pleased to announce plans for their 2014 healthcare conference: Designing Healthcare in Texas: How the Past and Present Will Guide the Future, to be held June 3-4, 2014. This year’s conference will inform local leaders and advocates as they prepare for the 84th Texas Legislature—against a backdrop that includes the Sunset Review process that occurs once in 12 years for Health and Human Services, healthcare reform and its impact at the local level, and changes in leadership at the highest levels of state government.

The organizations—One Voice Texas, Harris County Healthcare Alliance and Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research—are providing a forum for thought leaders to present national, state, and local perspectives on healthcare reform, while discussing various communities’ solutions for creating healthier cities and citizens. Texas ranked #1 for having the highest number of uninsured residents in 2013, according to a Gallup poll of all 50 states released in April 2014.

The first day of the conference covers Texas Medicaid 101, with presenters from the Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) speaking on Medicaid/CHIP and the 1115 Waiver projects. Dena Stoner, Senior Policy Advisor, Texas Dept. of State Health Services, will present on grant programs and other Medicaid initiatives with implications for strengthening services for vulnerable populations.

The second day, June 4th, begins with Expanding Access to Health Care In Texas: Turning the Affordable Care Act Challenges Into Opportunities by keynote speaker Robert Greenwald, JD, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School, who is on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, co-chair of the Federal Chronic Illness & Disability Partnership, and co-chair of the HIV Health Care Access Working Group. He will address healthcare since the passage of the ACA, what changes are likely to occur in the future, and how current decisions impact economic growth throughout communities and states.

Following the keynote, Katrina Daniel, RN, Senior Associate Commissioner, Life, Health and Licensing Program, Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), will present Regulatory Changes to the Health Insurance Industry, on the role of TDI as health insurance markets continue to evolve within Texas. Since the implementation of the ACA, TDI has been working with consumers to provide timely information and with the insurance industry to understand the intersection between federal and state requirements.

The luncheon presentation will feature Stephen Klineberg, PhD, Professor Co-Director, Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. His talk, What Accounts for Health Disparities, identifies the most important forces accounting for wide disparities among area residents, based on the 2012 Houston Area Health Survey and the past 13 years of the Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey (2001-2013).

The afternoon will focus on work within other communities to strengthen the healthcare delivery system. Communities in Action: Building for the Future will feature Alice Murray, President, Dallas Citizens Council, describing how Dallas’ business leadership came together to “make life better for citizens and businesses in North Texas.” Identifying healthcare as a community priority, the Council recently voted to publicly support Medicaid expansion in Texas, stating “continuance of the current policy is a negative for business in Texas.”

Designing Coverage for All: Closing the Coverage Gaps will be presented by Joy Johnson Wilson, Health Policy Director, National Conference of State Legislatures, nationally recognized for her work with states to create models that meet program and budget needs. She will discuss how states have responded to the ACA and Medicaid, opportunities and challenges for expanding coverage, fragmentation within the delivery system, waiver renewals, and budget concerns. She shares stories from states that have designed health coverage models.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will close the day with On Preparing to Meet the Healthcare Needs of Our Community, touching on how changing demographics challenge the capacity of the system in terms of service delivery and funding needs. As Harris County’s chief executive officer, Judge Emmett works with four commissioners to oversee a county government serving over 4 million diverse residents.

Previous conferences have attracted 250-300 attendees from all areas of the healthcare and health and human services community—physical and behavioral health, public and private hospitals, community providers, funders, stakeholders, professional organizations, businesses, the media and more.

The first day of the conference will be June 3, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., at The Council on Alcohol & Drugs Houston, 303 Jackson Hill, Houston, TX77007. The second day will be June 4, 9:00 am – 4:00 p.m, at Bayou City Event Center, 9401 Knight Road, Houston, Texas 77045. The fee to attend is $75, or $50 for members of the sponsoring organizations, and includes lunch. Register at and find speaker bios and additional information at

For additional information or photos, to arrange interviews or complementary media registration, contact LaVonne Carlson, Communications Director, Harris County Healthcare Alliance, at 713-254-3256 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Texas One Voice: A Collaborative for Health and Human Services (One Voice Texas®) is a collaborative of 100+ public, private and non-profit organizations and individuals working together to ensure that the health and human services needs of all Texans are addressed through public policy and program initiatives.

Harris County Healthcare Alliance is a nonprofit organization that brings together healthcare organizations to address gaps in helping the uninsured access healthcare. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst for improving the healthcare system of Houston and Harris County.

Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research is dedicated to advancing understanding of the most critical issues facing Houston and other leading urban centers. The institute conducts scientific research, supports educational programs, and engages in public outreach with the goal of stimulating informed decision-making and fostering the development of more humane and sustainable cities.