Rebalancing Health Care in the Heartland

Speaker information

Susan J. Curry, Dean and Distinguished Professor of Health Management and Policy,  University of Iowa College of Public Health
Sue Curry, PhD, was appointed Dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy in 2008.

Prior to joining the College of Public Health, Dr. Curry served as professor of health policy and administration and director of the Institute for Health Research and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Dr. Curry is recognized internationally for her expertise in behavioral science and translation of research findings into health policy.  Her extensive research covers chronic disease prevention and management as well as studies of the use and cost effectiveness of prevention treatments under different health insurance plans and health care costs and utilization associated with health behavior change.

Dr. Curry is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a fellow of both the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the American Psychological Association.  Her many professional activities include service as a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Steve Flood, Senior Vice President, Holmes Murphy
Steve Flood, Senior Vice President and Shareholder, brings more than 25 years of Employee Benefits expertise with 23 of those years at Holmes Murphy.  In this time he has built Holmes Murphy’s corporate benefit division that has grown over ten-fold and is the largest benefit consultant in the state of Iowa and one of the largest in the Midwest.

The Benefit division provides comprehensive employee benefits consulting and brokerage services for companies throughout the Midwest.  The benefits team is committed to offering Holmes Murphy clients the highest quality, lowest cost benefit services.  Through their innovative approach, Flood and his team assist employers by helping them maximize their benefit program dollars to effectively attract and retain valued employees.

Steve is a pioneer in using wellness programs to improve the overall health status of employees and reducing employer costs.   He has successfully designed and implemented wellness plans that demonstrated significant Return on Investment to employers.

With Steve’s guidance, Holmes Murphy is leading the county in bringing transparency to the health care industry.  This effort is leading to higher quality care at a lower cost for employers and employees.

Rita A. Frantz, Kelting Dean & Professor, College of Nursing, University of Iowa
Rita Frantz joined the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Nursing in 1972.  She was appointed Dean on July 1, 2007.  She is a co-leader of the Iowa Action Coalition, which is implementing the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.”

Dr. Frantz’s professional career spans over three decades of experience in university professorships and wound healing research.   She is recognized nationally and internationally for her work in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment. For the past twenty-five years she has conducted a funded program of research focusing on pressure ulcers and chronic wound healing.  She has served as a member of multiple government and professional expert panels that have developed guidelines for prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers.   Dr. Frantz has collaborated extensively with practitioners across the state of Iowa and nationally to promote the transfer of research-based practice to care of elderly populations at risk for pressure ulcers.

Cliff Gold, Founding Director & Chief Operating Officer, CoOportunity Health
Cliff Gold is a Founding Director and Chief Operating Officer of CoOportunity Health. He is recognized as an experienced strategist in the Midwest health insurance field and is a longtime advocate for true nonprofit healthcare.

Cliff spent 30 years in a variety of senior management positions with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Iowa and South Dakota before retiring in 2008. He served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Strategy; President and CEO of Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa (Iowa’s largest HMO); Chairman and CEO of First Administrators, Inc. (the region’s largest third-party administrator); Executive Director of The Wellmark Foundation; and Chairman of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Northern Plains Alliance (the largest provider of Medicare Part D in the Upper Midwest, including Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming and Montana). Cliff began his career as Assistant to the President for University Relations at the University of Dubuque. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a specialization in public relations and communications.

Dave Heaton, Iowa State Representative
Dave Heaton is the State Representative for the 91st District of Iowa, including all of Henry County and the northern half of Lee County.  Representative Heaton is Chair of the Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee and member of the Appropriations, Human Resources and Judicial Standing Committees.

G. William Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center
G. William Hoagland is a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). Hoagland has completed 33 years of federal government service, 25 spent as staff in the U.S. Senate. In 2007 CIGNA Corporation appointed him as vice president of public policy to work with CIGNA business leaders, trade associations, business coalitions, and interest groups to develop CIGNA policy particularly on health care reform issues at both the federal and state levels.

Hoagland is an affiliate professor of public policy at the George Mason University and a board member of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; National Campaign’s Public Policy Advisory Group focusing on teen pregnancy and unwanted pregnancy; the National Academy of Social Insurance; and the National Advisory Committee to the Workplace Flexibility 2010 Commission. In 2009 he was appointed to the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform examining the overall structure of the budget, authorization, and appropriations process and was a member of BPC's Debt Reduction Task Force that published Restoring America’s Future in November 2010.

Born in Covington, Indiana, he attended the U.S. Maritime Academy and holds degrees from Purdue University (B.S.) and the Pennsylvania State University (M.S.). His family’s Indiana family farm was awarded by that state as a “Hoosier Homestead” for having remained in the family for over a century.

Amanda Ragan, Iowa State Senator
Amanda Ragan was elected in 2010 to her third term in the Iowa Senate. She represents Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties.

Senator Ragan is an Assistant Senate Majority Leader, chair of the Human Resources Committee and vice-chair of the Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee. She also serves on the Appropriations, Natural Resources & Environment, Rules & Administration and Veterans Affairs committees.

Jean Robillard, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Iowa Health Care
Jean E. Robillard, M.D., is vice president for medical affairs at the University of Iowa. He began his appointment as vice president in January 2007, after serving four years as dean of the Carver College of Medicine, a position he continued to hold until June 2008.

Dr. Robillard is a pediatric nephrologist whose work focuses on the developmental physiology of the kidney. He has published more than 220 scientific papers during his career, many of which have contributed to advances in the field.

Prior to his appointment as dean of the Carver College of Medicine, Dr. Robillard served as chair and professor of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School and physician-in-chief at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

A native of Montreal, Dr. Robillard earned Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from the University of Montreal. Following post-doctoral training in Montreal, Los Angeles and Iowa City, he joined the faculty at the University of Iowa in 1976 as an assistant professor. He was later promoted to professor in 1982 and appointed as vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics in 1987 while he was also director of the Pediatric Nephrology Division.

Dr. Robillard is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in 2006 served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Pediatrics.  He is also a member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, the Iowa Business Council and Rotary International.

Debra Schwinn, Dean, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa Health Care
Debra A. Schwinn, M.D., began her work as the next dean of the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine on Nov. 1, 2012.   Prior to this, she served as professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, the Allan J. Treuer Endowed Professor of Anesthesiology, and adjunct professor of Pharmacology and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Schwinn is a nationally known investigator in molecular pharmacology with active funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, and numerous other national and international organizations. She holds four U.S. patents and one Australian patent.

Schwinn has served on numerous national and international committees and boards, including as 2012-2014 chair of the Board of Trustees for the International Anesthesiology Research Society. Schwinn is the author or co-author on more than 180 journal articles and book chapters; the editor of two books; and served as a reviewer on many journals and on the editorial boards of several journals. During her academic career she has received many honorary awards, including several teaching awards.

Schwinn received her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine, completed a residency in anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and a clinical fellowship in cardiac anesthesiology (including training in transesophageal echocardiography) at Duke University Medical Center. She completed a research fellowship in the Departments of Biochemistry and Medicine at Duke, as well as the national Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program.

Elliott Smith, Executive Director, Iowa Business Council
Elliott Smith became the third Executive Director of the Iowa Business Council in 2005.  He assists significant CEOs and Presidents that constitute Council membership in identifying significant business policy and economic development issues, evaluating possible courses of action and focusing the personal commitment of these executives in active statewide leadership roles to enhance the economic vitality of Iowa.  Elliott received a business degree from the University of Iowa and earned his Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School.  Elliott is a native of Iowa City.  He and his wife, Kay, live in Des Moines with their son and daughter.

Jennifer Vermeer, Director, Iowa Medicaid Enterprise
Jennifer Vermeer was appointed the State Medicaid Director in September 2008.  Prior to being named Director, Jennifer served as the assistant Medicaid Director for 3 years, and ten years as staff for the Arizona and Iowa State Legislatures.  Vermeer is currently leading a variety of new endeavors including implementing Iowa’s new approach to Medicaid, the Iowa Health and Wellness plan, multipayer Accountable Care Organizations, and Health Homes, including a Health Home targeted for persons with Serious Mental Illness.       

Alan Weil, Executive Director, National Academy for State Health Policy
Alan Weil has been the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) since September 2004. Mr. Weil previously served as director of the Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism project, one of the largest privately funded social policy research projects ever undertaken in the United States.  He previously held a cabinet position as executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, was health policy advisor to Colorado Governor Roy Romer, and was assistant general counsel in the Massachusetts Department of Medical Security.  Mr. Weil is the co-editor of two books, publishes regularly in peer-reviewed journals, and has testified before Congress more than half-a-dozen times.  He is on the editorial board of the journal Health Affairs, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine's Board on Health Care Services, the Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System, and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.  He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Harvard Law School