National Academy for State Health Policy Conference

Portland, OR
Oct 23, 2017 to Oct 25, 2017

Planned by state health policymakers, for state health policy makers, NASHP’s annual event is a “must-attend” for the state health policy community. With a carefully crafted agenda focusing on emerging issues and current best practices within states, our conference brings together the nation’s leading experts to share, learn, and discuss.

Register now.

Below is a list of sessions relevant to social prescribing:

Narrowing the Gap, Creating a Culture of Health
Tuesday, October 24th | 10:00AM-11:30AM

To transform state health care payment and delivery systems, policymakers are crafting new delivery models that invest in social determinants of health while cutting costs by improving population health. California, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington State representatives discuss their approaches to developing “accountable health” models to create a culture of health by improving the conditions where people live, learn, work, and play. Each state describes its unique model, including financing and measurement strategies, and its relationship to broader health system transformation.


  • MaryAnne Lindeblad, Medicaid Director, Washington State Health Care Authority
  • Chris DeMars, Transformation Center Administrator, Oregon Health Authority
  • Sue Moran, Senior Deputy Director, Population Health Administration, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Karen Smith, Director, California Department of Public Health


No Phone, No Food, No Pets: Tackling Social Determinants
Tuesday, October 24th | 1:30PM-3:00PM

States, health plans, and provider organizations are ratcheting up efforts to address social determinants of health to improve outcomes and lower costs. Behavioral health and long-term services and support delivery systems also address social needs, emphasizing person-centered approaches to help individuals identify goals, select services, and measure outcomes. At this panel discussion, a consumer and two officials discuss their respective experiences in helping individuals with chronic conditions obtain housing, healthy food, and employment.

Moderator: Tywanda Cox, Chief of Federal and State Health Policy, Oklahoma Health Care Authority


  • Michael Tillman, Consumer Advocate, Oklahoma Family Network
  • Laura Zaichkin, Acting Chief Policy Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority


Community Health Workers: Policy Opportunities for Population Health and Patient-Centered Health Care
Tuesday, October 24th | 3:30PM-5:00PM

As states transform their health care systems, many are using community health workers (CHWs) to improve outcomes and access to care, help control costs of care, and address social determinants of health. Creativity and commitment are needed to sustain financing, training, and oversight of these innovative programs. Speakers from Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin discuss national CHW initiatives and policy opportunities that can be employed to advance the CHW movement.

Moderator: Gail Hirsch, Co-Director, Office of Community Health Workers, Massachusetts Department of Public Health


  • Carl Rush, Project on Community Health Worker Policy & Practice, University of Texas Institute of Health Policy
  • Mohamed Abdiasis, Traditional Health Worker Program Coordinator, Office of Equity and Inclusion, Oregon Health Authority
  • Sherri Ohly, Health Promotion Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Health Services


Rapidly Transforming Delivery Systems
Tuesday, October 24th | 3:30PM-5:00PM

States are now undertaking a myriad of transformation initiatives to rapidly revamp, strengthen, and sustain their Medicaid delivery systems. Session speakers, including Medicaid directors from Massachusetts and New Hampshire and a Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission representative, provide an overview of the delivery system reform landscape and share lessons that can inform future policies and similar activities in all states. Speakers focus on initiatives such as Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments, Medicaid accountable care organizations, and State Innovation Models.


  • Benjamin Finder, Senior Analyst, Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)
  • Mary G. McIntyre, Chief Medical Officer, Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH)


Where the Trails Meet: Blending and Braiding Funds for Improved Population Health
Wednesday, October 25th | 9:15AM-10:45AM

Under a new Administration, there has been increased focus on the need for more flexible federal funding for state health programs. This session examines the implications of braiding, blending, or block granting traditional Medicaid and public health funding streams to support population health goals. Speakers share their own states’ braiding and blending experiences, and discuss innovations and strategies to capitalize on a federal drive toward increased cross-program integration and flexibility. Examples include Louisiana’s Permanent Supportive Housing initiative, South Carolina’s Nurse-Family Partnership Pay for Success initiative, and Vermont’s Supports and Services at Home. This session is presented in partnership with the de Beaumont Foundation.


  • Bryan Amick, Acting Deputy Director for Health Programs, South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Ana Novais, Executive Director of Health, Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Jenney Samuelson, Associate Director, Vermont Blueprint for Health
  • Robin Wagner, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Aging and Adult Services, Louisiana Department of Health


Round-Table Presentation: How can Medicaid reform address racial, ethnic and rural disparities?
Wednesday, October 25th | 12:45PM-2:15PM

Join us in this conversation on how state health departments can work towards eliminating health disparities for their Medicaid members. Oregon has an ambitious Medicaid transformation model that explicitly and uniquely identified eliminating health disparities as one of its goal, along with the creation of Coordinated Care Organizations to improve health outcomes and control costs regionally. In this session, we will discuss Oregon’s statewide and regional efforts to achieve health equity. Learn about early findings from a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of Oregon’s Medicaid efforts in reducing disparities. How are other states thinking about health equity? Hear about the interests, challenges and activities with addressing health equity from interviews of Medicaid Directors from a geographically and politically diverse cross-section of eight states. Share your thoughts on how states can overcome the challenges of health disparities.

Expert Resources:

  • Curtis S. Harrod, PhD, MPH, Associate Research Director, Center for Evidence-based Policy, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Leann Johnson, MS, Director, Office of Equity and Inclusion, Oregon Health Authority
  • John McConnell, PhD, Director, Center for Health Systems Effectiveness, Oregon Health & Science University