Rebalancing Health Care in the Heartland

Speaker information

Joe Bolkcom, Iowa State Senator State Senator Joe Bolkcom is currently serving his fourth term in the Iowa Senate. He represents Iowa City, University Heights, East Lucas Township and the city of Hills. He previously served for six years on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Senator Bolkcom is the Senate Majority Whip and chair of the Ways & Means Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations, Commerce, Human Resources, Natural Resources & Environment committees and Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee. Joe is a member of FEMA's national advisory council. Joe works as the outreach and community Education Director for the UI center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and the Iowa Flood Center. Senator Bolkcom lives in Iowa City. His hobbies include running, bicycling, cooking, and gardening. Senator Bolkcom graduated from Saint Ambrose University and earned a masters degree in Public Affairs from University of Iowa.

Patrick Brophy, MD, Assistant VP for eHealth, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa

Mike Brownlee, PharmD, MS, Chief Pharmacy Officer and Associate Hospital Director at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) and Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Clinical Education, College of Pharmarcy, University of Iowa

Dr. Brownlee graduated with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and completed a 2 year post-graduate Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency and Master’s Degree in Health-system Pharmacy at the University of Kansas. Dr. Brownlee serves as Chief Pharmacy Officer and Associate Hospital Director at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) and Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Clinical Education at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. In addition to his UI Health Care roles, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Poison Control Center. Prior to his recent return to Iowa, he served as Director of Pharmacy at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon and Associate Dean for Clinical Education for the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy.

Marni Bussell, SIM Project Director, Iowa Medicaid Enterprise

Marni Bussell joined Iowa Medicaid Enterprise in 2010. She is currently operating as the Project Director for the State Innovation Model (SIM) grant for the Medicaid office and leads health home, HIT, and ACO initiatives. She has over fourteen years of experience in health information technology, working on both state and national government level projects. She earned her Project Management Professional certification in 2009.

Liz Cox, Interim Executive Director, Iowa Healthiest State Initiative

Liz has served as the operations manager of the Healthiest State Initiative since 2011 and currently serves as the interim executive director supporting sustainable system-wide health and wellness improvement in Iowa. Liz’s background is in community betterment initiatives and special projects involving public-private partnerships. She is the president and founder of Due North & Associates, a consulting company based in Des Moines offering collaborative client engagement and strategic partnership development. Liz is active in the Mid-Iowa Council of the Boy Scouts of America as an executive committee member, she also serves on the DMAM Rotary board, the Great Outdoors Foundation, and is a chartering officer of Morsel Combat. Liz and her husband, Tom Cox reside in West Des Moines and have three children, Megan, Emma and Sam.

Barbara A. DeBuono, MD, MPH, Vice President, Market Development, 3M Health Information Systems

Barbara A. DeBuono, M.D., M.P.H. has led and managed large healthcare organizations and budgets in government and the private sector during her career as a public health physician. Dr. DeBuono joined Treo Solutions, in early 2013 as Senior Vice President, Market Development Group. Treo was acquired by 3M in 2014 and Dr. DeBuono is now their Vice President for Market Development, Health Information Systems.

Dr. DeBuono served as Commissioner of Health for the State of New York in the first term of Gov. George Pataki, having previously served as Director of Health in Rhode Island in the cabinet of Gov. Bruce Sundlun. In both roles Dr. DeBuono led efforts to develop Medicaid Managed Care and SCHIP programs and crafted HIV, immunization, and breast and cervical cancer prevention policies. Following her role as Commissioner, she joined the New York Presbyterian Health System in New York City serving as Executive Vice President of their network.

She has served on many health policy boards, among them the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Partnership for Prevention.

Dr. DeBuono served as Executive Director, Public Health and Government at Pfizer Inc. where she created and managed public-private partnership programs in public health education and research. In 2005 Dr. DeBuono was a senior consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), assigned to its Southeast Asia Regional Office in New Delhi to review public health aspects of the tsunami relief and recovery operations. She worked with the WHO offices in the Maldives and Thailand. She has served as a consultant to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examining their Public Health Systems and Services Research investment. Prior to joining Treo,

Dr. DeBuono was Senior Partner and Global Director of Health and Social Marketing at global public relations leader Porter Novelli, where she led the global health practice and a wide array of accounts in the pharmaceutical industry, life sciences and government.

Dr. DeBuono serves as a member of the Dean’s Council at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, where she is a Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy. She serves on the board of directors of Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc, a point of care testing company. She recently chaired their search for a new CEO/President and currently chairs their Compensation Committee.

Dr. DeBuono was honored by the CDC Foundation as one of five Public Health Heroes and she received the W.E. Upjohn Award from Pfizer, an award that acknowledges the achievements of those colleagues whose work and lives best reflect Pfizer's core values. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and has been published extensively in numerous peer-review journals, including Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Public Health Policy and American Journal of Public Health.

Tom Evans, M.D., President and CEO, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative

Tom Evans, M.D. is the President and CEO of the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC). The Collaborative focuses provider-led initiatives that drive health care transformation to improve clinical performance, patient safety and reduce cost. Dr. Evans received both BA and MA degrees from Drake University. He received his MD degree from the University of Iowa in 1983 and completed his family medicine residency at Broadlawns Medical Center. He practiced family medicine for 13 years, and served as Chief Medical Officer for the Iowa Health System from 1999 to 2005. Dr. Evans has served as President of both the Iowa Medical Society and the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians. Nationally, Dr. Evans has served on the Board of Directors for the National Patient Safety Foundation, and on the delegations for both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He currently works with the National Quality Forum’s Measures Application Partnership, and is chair of the Medication Safety and Rural Affinity Groups with the National Priorities Partnership. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Evans serves as a faculty member with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the College of Medicine at Des Moines University, and the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

Nick Gerhart, Insurance Commissioner, Iowa Insurance Division

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad appointed Nick Gerhart to serve as Insurance Commissioner of the State of Iowa beginning February 1, 2013. Nick serves on the NAIC Life and Annuity (A) Committee and Financial Condition (E) Committee. Prior to being appointed Insurance Commissioner Nick worked for Sammons Financial Group as the Vice President of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs. Nick is active in the Des Moines community and serves on numerous civic boards. He earned his law degree and health law certificate from St. Louis University School of Law and a Masters of Health Administration from St. Louis University School of Public Health. He earned his BA from the University of Northern Iowa. Nick and his wife Jessica reside in Des Moines, Iowa with their three children.

Cliff Gold, Chief Executive Officer of CoOportunity Health and Board President

Cliff Gold is Chief Executive Officer of CoOportunity Health and Board President. 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.

David Gratton, Associate Professor of Prosthodontics, College of Dentistry, University of Iowa

Dr. Gratton is an Associate Professor, Department of Prosthodontics, and Chairman, Health Technologies, at The University of Iowa. Dr. Gratton received his D.D.S. from The University of Michigan then his Certificate in Prosthodontics and M.S. from The University of Iowa. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Prosthodontics and a Fellow of the International Team for Implantology. He teaches fixed, removable and implant prosthodontics at the predoctoral and graduate levels. His scholarly activity includes evolving digital technologies and CAD/CAM materials. Dr. Gratton participates in an intramural prosthodontic practice incorporating digital technologies at The University of Iowa.

Dave Heaton, Iowa State Representative Lisa Heddens, Iowa State Representative David Johnson, Iowa State Senator

Dan Kueter, President and CEO, University of Iowa Health Alliance

Dan Kueter is uniquely focused on enhancing the quality of health and life for Iowans. He has led the collaborative effort of several premier health care organizations since joining the University of Iowa Health Alliance as its executive director in January 2013. The alliance was formed to address the changing health care environment and to spur innovation in care coordination and clinical integration. The Alliance presently represents 50 hospitals and more than 160 clinics across the state. Mercy Health Network based in Des Moines, Genesis Health System based in Davenport and Mercy- Cedar Rapids joined with University of Iowa Health Care of Iowa City to form the Alliance in June 2012.

Kueter is now working with other hospitals and physician groups to expand the Alliance throughout Iowa and surrounding states. He is also working with health plan providers and employers to address changes in how health care is delivered and financed. Kueter was previously President and CEO of UnitedHealthcare, Iowa and Central Illinois, a position he held from March 2007 until November of 2012. He joined UnitedHealth in 2001, holding various corporate positions in Minneapolis. His professional experience also includes time with Johnson & Johnson, as well as several years as an Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army.

His education includes a Bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts. He is also a founding partner of Provicare LLC, a start-up that specializes in data analytics and program development for integrated healthcare delivery systems. He volunteers with various community organizations and is a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Public Health, University of Iowa. He is a Board member of the John Deere Classic PGA Tournament, Quad Cities Chapter of the American Red Cross, as well.

Bill Leaver, President and Chief Executive Officer, UnityPoint Health

Bill Leaver has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of UnityPoint Health, formerly Iowa Health System, since January 2008. Prior to that he was President and Chief Executive Officer at Rock Island, IL-based Trinity Regional Health System, which is an affiliate of UnityPoint Health. He also has served in several senior executive positions at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Michigan. Mr. Leaver has more than 35 years of executive health care experience. UnityPoint Health is one of the nation’s most integrated health systems. Through relationships with 32 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and more than 290 physician clinics, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin. UnityPoint Health entities employ more than 30,000 employees, working toward innovative advancements to deliver the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time. Each year through more than 4.5 million patient visits, UnityPoint Health hospitals and clinics provide a full range of care to patients and families. With projected annual revenues of $3.7 billion, UnityPoint Health provides community benefit programs and services to improve the health of people in its communities.

Maria Montanaro, MSW, Chief Executive Officer, Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa

Maria Montanaro is a health care professional with over 22 years of senior executive management experience. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Behavioral Care of Iowa (A Magellan Health Services Corporation) which manages over $350 million annually in Medicaid services 400,000 Medicaid members in Iowa. Prior to that, Ms. Montanaro served as the Senior Advisor for Integrated Health Management at Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

Ms. Montanaro served as the Chief Executive Officer of Thundermist Health Center for 14 years. Thundermist is a private, non-profit community health center serving over 35,000 patients, with comprehensive primary care in an advanced patient medical home model. Under Ms. Montanaro’s leadership, Thundermist received state, regional and national recognition for excellence in promoting high quality primary care to the medically underserved and for its innovative leadership in primary care practice transformation.

Ms. Montanaro holds an M.S.W. from the University of Illinois in health policy and a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts.

Recent past recognition for Ms. Montanaro include: RI Foundation Non Profit Leaders Fellow (2010); YWCA Business Woman of the Year- 2010, Providence Business News 2008 Business Women of Achievement; Big Sister’s of RI 40 Magical Women We Admire (2007); RI Foundation/Harvard Business School SE New England Alumni Association Non-Profit Leaders Scholarship (2002). Her recent past professional affiliations include: Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (Board President), Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council (Trustee), The RI (Governor’s) Commission on Health Care Reform, Shoulder to Shoulder, International, RI Health Centers Association (Past Board Chair). She currently serves on the advisory board of The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Health (AAFP) and the Board of the Iowa Insurance Federation.

Laura Jackson, Executive Vice President, Health Care Innovation & Business Development, Wellmark

Laura Jackson received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University, and a master's degree from Marymount University in Arlington, Va. When Jackson joined Wellmark in 2002, she served as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources. In the fall of 2008, Jackson led the development of an expanded strategy to collaboratively build a sustainable health care system in Iowa and South Dakota. This ultimately means that the average increase in health care costs for our members will be equal to the Consumer Price Index, a standard measure of inflation.

This led to her appointment to Executive Vice President, Health Care Strategy and Policy. In this role, Jackson is responsible for the management and compensation of the provider network and engagement, pharmacy, health and care management including wellness and health care sustainability.

Another major component of Jackson’s responsibility is the Blue Zones Project™ announced in September of 2011, as a cornerstone of the Healthiest State Initiative launched by Governor Branstad in August of 2011. The Project seeks to help all Iowans live longer, happier lives with lower rates of chronic disease and higher quality of life by applying the learnings from the New York Times bestselling book, “The Blue Zones.” It is a grassroots initiative that teaches communities how to improve the health and well-being of all their citizens.

Currently, as Executive Vice President, Health Care Innovation & Business Development, Laura is responsible for sales, marketing, public relations, management and compensation of the provider network, pharmacy, health and care management, wellness, and health care sustainability and strategy. The combination of responsibilities under Laura’s leadership allows complete integration and collaboration to ensure holistic solutions are applied to meet customer needs.

Jean E. Robillard, M.D., Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Iowa

Jean E. Robillard, M.D., is a pediatric nephrologist and 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 charged with integrating planning and operations for UI Health Care, which comprises University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; the Carver College of Medicine; and University of Iowa Physicians, the state’s largest multi-specialty physician group practice.

Under Dr. Robillard’s leadership, UI Health Care implemented its first ever strategic plan for the integrated enterprise and expanded medical services to better meet the needs of Iowans, including a $73 million ambulatory care facility at Coralville’s Iowa River Landing. UI Health Care has also embarked on construction of the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital designed to be at the heart of a statewide system of health care for Iowa’s children, and recently completed the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building—a home base for high-risk, high-reward collaborative research aimed at finding cures for complex illnesses.

Dr. Robillard is a proponent for the expansion of UI Health Care’s partnerships across the state and beyond. In 2012, UI Health Care became a founding member in the University of Iowa Health Alliance which comprises five of Iowa’s premier health care organizations. The alliance was formed to address the rapidly changing health care environment and works together to better coordinate care, prevent and better manage disease, reduce costs and deliver care more efficiently for all Iowans.

Dr. Robillard is chair-elect of the Association of Academic Health Centers Board of Directors, 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.

Shannon Strickler, President/CEO, Leading Age

Robert Wallace, Irene Ensminger Stecher professor of epidemiology and internal medicine at the University of Iowa Colleges of Public Health and Medicine

As Irene Ensminger Stecher professor of epidemiology and internal medicine at the University of Iowa Colleges of Public Health and Medicine, Dr. Wallace has an extensive experience with clinical trials as well as population studies related to preventing or mitigating chronic disabling conditions of older persons. These have included neurological conditions, fracture, cancer, coronary disease, and the health of older women. Dr. Wallace was an investigator of the National Institute on Aging’s “FICSIT” program, which as a series of trials to prevent falls in older persons. He has also monitored several trials in bone health for academic programs and industry. In addition, Dr. Wallace has been a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and the National Advisory Council on Aging of the National Institute on Aging. He is a Member of the Institute of Medicine, and has been a past chair of IOM’s Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and IOM’s Board on the Health of Select Populations. Dr. Wallace is currently the site principal investigator for a multi-center trial of falls prevention and a co-investigator of two national cohort studies of older Americans.

Kristine Williams, RN, PhD, FGSA, FAAN, Sally Mathis Hartwig Professor in Gerontological Nursing, College of Nursing, University of Iowa

Kristine Williams is the Sally Mathis Hartwig Professor in Gerontological Nursing and co-director of the Hartford/Csomay Center for Geriatric Nursing at the University of Iowa College of Nursing. Dr. Williams’ interest in improving care for older adults developed during her early career in home health and as a family nurse practitioner. Dr. Williams’ NIH-funded research program tests interventions designed to improve communication between nursing home staff and residents with dementia, promote self-care of assisted living residents using cognitive training, and support family members caring for persons with dementia using in-home monitoring and professional feedback. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the American Academy of Nursing, and the National Academies of Practice. Her research linking elderspeak communication to behavior of persons with dementia was highlighted by the Alzheimer’s Association and reported on Good Morning America and in the New York Times.