Want more? Check out the Pre-Conference Workshop, October 26!

Want more? Check out the Pre-Conference Workshop, October 26!

Uniting to Transform Health. Mobilizing Texans to Achieve Health Equity.

Healthier Texas Summit Agenda & Speakers

Virtual Agenda Overview

Tuesday, October 26

New: Pre-Conference Workshop

Tuesday, October 26

New: Pre-Conference Workshop

TimeTitleType of EventDescriptionSpeaker(s)CECs Available
9:00 a.m-1:00 p.m. Examining Structural Racism: A Groundwater Analysis Workshop Addressing racism is a matter of public health priority. Throughout this immersive half-day session, we will facilitate a deep dive into addressing structural racism, health disparities, and health equity. - Joyce James, LMSW, Racial Equity Consultant, President and CEO of Joyce James Consulting
- Nelda Frank, RN
Tuesday, October 26

New: Pre-Conference Workshop

Wednesday, October 27

Day One: Healthier Texas Summit

TimeTitleType of EventDescriptionSpeaker(s)CECs Available
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m Welcome & KeynoteKeynote Speaker TBA Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, President + CEO of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.Tarrant County Birth Equity Collaborative: Promoting Community & Systems Change in North Texas Presentation Analyze a case example of community-based collaborative work aimed at implementing multi-level strategies to reduce racial inequities in maternal and infant health. - Kyrah Brown, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Arlington
- Erika Thompson, Assistant Professor, University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health
- Misty Wilder, Program Director, University of North Texas Health Science Center Healthy Start
- Barbara Dunlap, Minister/Community Leader, First United Methodist Church of Hurst
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.Creating Bridges to Fund Communities Working Towards Health Equity Panel The Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grant is an initiative led by BCBSTX that’s operating in its 10th year. This year, a pivotal change was made to focus on funding programs that are beyond the traditional focus of nutrition and physical activity. Learn more on the process, relationships, implementation, and impact of this change. -Sheena Payne, Director of Community Affairs, BCBSTX
-Joycelyn Jurado, Program Director, It's Time Texas
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.Social & Health Information Platform (SHIP): Data sharing across healthcare & social services to create a patient-centered health system in Central Texas Panel A panel discussion over a community's collective action to address health equity through a patient-centric approach, using a community platform that connects social and health information. See the data that shows how health equity links with social determinants of health, learn how a multi-stakeholder approach is inclusive and responsive, and understand the barriers faced to achieve data integration across social services and healthcare delivery systems. - Anjum Khurshid, MD PhD, Associate Professor & Director Data Integration, Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin
- Amy Price, MS, Vice President Navigation Center at United Way for Greater Austin
- Tracy Angelocci, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer, Lone Star Circle of Care
12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.BreakBreakBreakBreak
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Utilizing Data to Inform the Development of Strategies to Prevent & Mitigate Childhood Adversities Workshop Adverse childhood experiences negatively impact the health and well-being of a child and can lead to poor outcomes into adulthood. Texas Children’s Hospital created a Section of Public Health and Child Abuse Pediatrics to prevent and mitigate childhood adversities. - Nancy Correa, DrPH, Practice Administrator, Section of Public Health and Child Abuse Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital
- Yen Nong, MPH; Senior Clinical Research Associate, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital
- Bethanie Van Horne, DrPH, Assistant Professor, Section of Public Health and Child Abuse Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Obesity as a Social Determinant of Health & its Impact on Health Inequity Presentation (1 Hour) Focus on the social determinants of health that impact society’s health equity. Participants will learn about the state of obesity management, the populations that are disproportionally impacted by it, and the downstream comorbid consequences. Kathy Giammona, PharmD, Medical Account Associate Director, Managed Markets Population Health, Field Medical Affairs
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Transforming Health Promotion via Community Health Clubs on the Texas-Mexico Border Workshop Community Health Clubs are a community-based health promotion model that empowers marginalized communities through participatory education and collective action, while providing a structure connecting people to health and social services. Have an intimate discussion on the Community Health Club model and discover the skills to build a social identity. - Jason Rosenfeld, Assistant Professor-Medicine, University of Texas San Antonio, Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics
- Esmeralda Ibarra, Community Health Worker, Lower Rio Grande Valley Area Health Education Center
- Garrett Kneese, MD/MPH Candidate & Humanities Fellow, UT Health San Antonio, Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics
- Allison Vasak, Medical Student, UT Health San Antonio, Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.BreakBreakBreakBreak
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.Methods & Strategies to Examine COVID-19 Seroprevalence in Texas Panel Review strategies used to build two large COVID-19 Seroprevalence studies in response to high COVID-19 rates and disparities found among key populations. Focus on use of partnerships to better understand COVID-19 seroprevalence. The panel will describe response, reach, engagement, methods, and key findings by communities, educators, community clinics, and health systems. TBACHW, CHES, CME
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.Reducing Social Isolation through Faith Community Health: A Research-Based Program at Baylor Scott & White Health Presentation Loneliness has long been a public health concern, yet as social distancing continues due to COVID-19, programs that target isolated populations are increasingly vital. Through six years of operation, Faith Community Health (FCH) at Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH) equips members of local faith communities to become “Faith Community Caregiver” volunteers. Donna Stauber, Ph.D., Baylor Scott & White Health CHW, CHES
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.Community Health Resource Centers: A Case Study on Cross-Sectoral Partnerships to Improve Health in Rural Texas Communities Panel Explore Episcopal Health Foundation’s investment approach to improve community health in rural Texas, through an innovative cross-sectoral model known as Community Health Resource Centers (CHRCS). CHRCs bring together multiple sectors within rural communities to address health inequities and social determinants of health such as transportation, housing, and food insecurity. - Cindy Lucia, Senior Program Officer, Episcopal Health Foundation
- Craig Rotter, PhD, Executive Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Texas Rural Leadership Program
- Margie Pulvino, Board Member, Trinity Memorial Hospital District HRC
- Daunte Cauley, M.S, Program Coordinator at Texas A&M Health Science Center
Tuesday, October 26

New: Pre-Conference Workshop

Thursday, October 28

Day Two: Healthier Texas Summit

TimeTitle of Event Type of Event Description Speaker(s) CECs Available
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.Networking, Data Petting Zoo and Poster Sessions Breakout RoomsJoin us to connect with other attendees, learn more about data resources and engage with poster presenters.Data experts & poster presenters
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Working Upstream as Well as Down-Stream to Promote Optimal Health for All Keynote Speaker Learn the perspective of the CDC regarding the importance of addressing the social and economic conditions that negatively impact health, including the impact of racism and other forms of discrimination and poverty. Review the specific relationship of these “upstream” factors to health outcomes and discuss what the CDC is doing to address them, promote equity, and improve the health and wellbeing of American residents. John Auerbach, Director of Intergovernmental Strategic Affairs, CDC
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Sharing Power & Building Power to Address Health Systems & Achieve Climate Justice Panel Community organizing and power-building are fundamental to CEER’s climate advocacy that helps residents weather disasters by making homes more energy efficient and climate proof. Hear the experience of creating a coalition of healthcare providers, nonprofit organizations, and community members. - Ana Gonzalez, Environmental Justice Community Organizer, Mi Familia Vota Texas
- Delores McGruder, Fifth Ward resident, CEER Climate Justice Ambassador
- Dr. William Perkison, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health and also a member of the school’s Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health and the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Better Research for Better Messages: Creativity and Inspiration in Health Communication Workshop This interactive workshop will focus on how to pursue research that is both rigorous and creative, to guide the development of more effective and engaging health communication messages. Michael Mackert, PhD, Director, UT-Austin Center for Health Communication
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Advancing Health Equity Through Food Access & Nutrition Education: A Cross-Sector Dialogue Panel Panelists will discuss successes/challenges related to food access and nutrition education, how to address institutional racism and potential biases within their organizations, and how to elevate systemic change to ensure communities are receiving equitable food access and nutrition education. - Natasha Harper-Madison, Mayor Pro-Tem & District 1 Council Member, Austin City Council
- Andrea Abel, Executive Director, Farmshare Austin
- Linda Novick O'Keefe, Co-Founder & CEO, Common Threads
12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Future of Health Policy Symposium The outcomes of each Texas legislative session has major consequences for the health of Texans. A better understanding of the legislative process can help public health advocates play a bigger role in shaping those outcomes. To this end, this year’s legislative symposium will highlight two case studies: HB133, which extended Medicaid to six months postpartum and SB224, which simplified SNAP benefits enrollment for seniors and people with disabilities. -Adriana Kohler, J.D., Policy Director, Texans Care for Children
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.Supporting Nurses to Advance Equity; Texas Team Coalition’s efforts to organize & systematize efforts Panel TBATBA
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Rooted in Data, Grounded in Equity: Improving equity in the treatment of opioid use disorder in Texas Presentation Address the unequal access to opioid use disorder treatment by acknowledging the current two-tiered treatment system where buprenorphine is most frequently accessed by white, high-income, and privately insured individuals, while methadone (a more stigmatized treatment) is more frequently accessed by people of color, low-income, and publicly insured individuals. This tool will be used to inform decision-making around the distribution and administration of public health funds to treat substance use disorders across the state of Texas. - Matthew Perez, BS, is a Database Analyst Programmer Associate at The University of Texas Health San Antonio
- Courtney Denton, MPH, is a Senior Project Coordinator at The University of Texas Health San Antonio
- Catherine K. Craven, PhD, MA, MLS, FAMIA, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Research Informatics (CRI) at The University of Texas Health San Antonio
- Holly Lanham, PhD, MBA, is an Associate Professor at The University of Texas Health San Antonio and the Research Director at TxMOUD.
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. A Coordinated School Health Approach to Reduce Risk of Dental Caries among Elementary School Children in Texas Panel Dental caries is the most common childhood disease with 68% of kindergarten children having tooth decay. Children with poor oral health are more than two times likely to perform poorly in school, and children with cavities in their baby teeth are three times more likely to get cavities in their adult teeth. The Texas 83rd legislative session added oral health as a required topic to the state education code. - Shreela Sharma, PhD, RDN Title: Professor of Epidemiology, UTHealth School of Public Health
- Kila Johnson, DDS Title: Director of Dental Health Services, Harris County Public Health
- Kevin Ryan Title: Director, Delta Dental Community Care Foundation
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. TBATBATBATBA
Tuesday, October 26

New: Pre-Conference Workshop

Friday, October 29

Day Three: Healthier Texas Summit

TimeTitle of Event Type of Event Description Speaker(s) CECs Available
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Networking, Petting Zoo & Poster Sessions Breakout roomsJoin us to connect with other attendees, learn more about data resources and engage with poster presenters.Data experts & poster presenters
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. What Led to Now? The Social Context that Shaped the Pandemic & its Inequitable Consequences Keynote Speaker Dr. Sandro Galea will present the themes of his upcoming book, The Contagion Next Time, which tackles the core social and economic drivers that shaped society before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Galea will assess what we can learn from the current moment and how to prevent growing inequities in the next pandemic. Dr. Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH, Dean, Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health
11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Equity in Action: Utilizing a diversified and inclusive framework for systemic change Workshop The goal of this session is to introduce a general approach to adapting strategies in health equity to the unique needs of the local context. Attendees will be introduced to a framework addressing the implementation of health-based strategies in non-health settings by assessing general and targeted needs of the learner/audience and identifying stakeholders for collaboration. - Tyenise Blackmon, Director of Community Engagement and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), Action for Healthy Kids
- Stephanie Kellam, Director of Wellness and Community Engagement, UnitedHealthcare
- Nomita Bajwa, CEO and Founder, Wellness Geeks LLC
11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Working Together: The role of coalitions in addressing social determinants of health in Texas Panel This conversation is part of a national dialogue on how to create better systems and maximize the impact of multi-sector collaborations. Across Texas, local coalitions are joining forces within and across sectors to improve health, well-being, and equity in their communities. These coalitions have differing levels of maturity, and face a mix of challenges that are both unique to their communities and common among others doing similar work. National and state thought leaders are working to map these networks and create meaningful opportunities for shared learning. - Heidi McPherson, MPH, Co-Lead for the Health Equity Collective (Houston)
- Elizabeth Lutz, Executive Director, The Health Collaborative (San Antonio)
11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Promoting the Mental Health of Students in SchoolsPanelThis session will provide information about how schools, across Texas, are responding to the mental health needs of students through the provision of statewide and campus-based services. The session will provide information about some of the challenges that schools and school-aged children are facing at this time. The session will highlight examples of innovative services and potential ways to address the mental health needs of children through partnerships between schools, parents and mental health providers.-Clynita Grafenreed, PhD, Senior Director of School Implementation, Meadows Mental Health Institute Policy
-Sarah Wakefield, MD, Associate Professor and Chair, Psychiatry, School of Medicine, TTHUSC
-Julie Wayman, Mental and Behavioral Health Coordinator, Texas Education Agency
12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. BREAK BREAK BREAK BREAK
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Campus Health Profiles for UNTHSC’s Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention (P4): Reaching families, eliminating barriers, building bridges Presentation The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) initiated the P4 Challenge to promote innovative solutions to pandemic-related disruption of well-child services and vaccinations. The University of North Texas Health Science Center’s (UNTHSC) initiative, Reaching Families, Eliminating Barriers, Building Bridges is one of two P4 winners in Texas. The program is being implemented in a North Texas school district with 84,332 students; over 85% are identified as minority and socio-economically disadvantaged. The initiative begins with creation of campus-level health profiles, to identify children, families, and schools at highest risk by leveraging and integrating existing data sources. - Leslie Allsopp, PhD, MSN, MPH. Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric and Women’s Health, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, UNTHSC and Project Manager Asthma 411 Consortium
- Christina Robinson, MD. Associate Professor Department of Pediatric and Women’s Health, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, UNTHSC and Medical Director Pediatric Mobile Clinic
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Building Advocacy & Justice with Churches & Communities Panel The goal of this session is to show that faith-based institutions can organize themselves to impact health policy while remaining true to their respective teachings and in solidarity with the needs of the broader community. Many times, people of faith feel they cannot bring their whole selves into civic engagement for fear of getting involved in ‘politics’ or that the church needs to ‘stay in its lane.’ During the legislative push for Medicaid Expansion in Texas, the Health and Justice Advocacy Network (HJAN) became a vehicle for Episcopal parishioners to express their faith through public life in a way supported by their diocese. - Rev. Mary Lenn Dixon, Deacon (SoCo Episcopal Church-Austin)
- Joe Higgs, Organizer (TMO)
- Willie Bennett, Congregational Engagement Officer (Episcopal Health Foundation)
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Family Connects: A universal nurse home visit program addressing social determinants of health Panel The overall goal of this session is to increase awareness of the Family Connects program’s efficacy at improving post-partum, infant, and toddler outcomes.Family Connects is an evidence-based, program that coordinates care and aligns resources. After giving birth, and prior to discharge, a nurse home visit is offered to all families in a community (within a defined and targeted catchment area) to assess family health in addition to connect them to resources. - Laura Kender, Chief of Child and Family Services at My Health My Resources (MHMR) Tarrant County
- Shayln Bravens, Director of Family Connects and MIECHV at United Way of Austin
- Ayla Landry, Community Health Manager at Lone Star Circle of Care and Co-founder and CEO of Porches for Progress
2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Data Petting ZooTBA TBA TBA
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Understanding Social Determinants of Health—A Collaborative of Healthcare Providers, Landscape Architects, and Neighborhood Residents Panel Focus on how one community clinic developed partnerships with community organizations such as parks and recreation, local police, and a neighborhood association to improve park conditions so that residents would have a safe place to exercise, meet, and build community in order to reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and other health disparities. Discussion of unusual resources such as landscape architects can be partnered with as allies in addressing community health.
-Kari Spielgelhalter, Associate Designer, Asakura Robinson
-Palak Jalan, BDS, MPH, Chief Population Health Officer, AccessHealth

2021 Keynote Speakers

Dr. J. Nadine Gracia

President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH)

Learn More!

About Dr. J. Nadine Gracia

Formerly served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Today she is leading TFAH’s work to advance sound public health policy, address the social determinants of health, advance health equity, and make health promotion and disease prevention a national priority.

John Auerbach

Director of Intergovernmental and Strategic Affairs, CDC

Learn More!

About John Auerbach

Dr. John Auerbach is the lead strategic advisor on CDC engagement with the government agencies at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, public health partners, and other external partners. Within the agency, he assists the Director in the development of priority initiatives. Over the course of a thirty-year career, he has held senior public health positions at the federal, state, and local levels. Immediately before returning to CDC, he was the President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), where he oversaw TFAH's work to promote sound public health policy and make disease prevention a national priority.

Dr. Sandro Galea


Dean, Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

Learn More!

About Dr. Sandro Galea

Physician, epidemiologist, and author, Dr. Galea has been listed as one of the most widely cited scholars in the social sciences and is a regular contributor to public media about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma.

Having spoken during the 2020 Healthier Texas Summit, discussing his book Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health, Galea plans to continue the spirit of collaboration during the Summit while discussing his not-yet-released book: The Contagion Next Time.

Texas is Best When Texans are Healthy

It's Time Texas

It’s Time Texas is a statewide non-profit organization working to bring people, communities, and organizations together to take action that supports health for all, now and for generations to come.

Learn more, get involved, and give at itstimetexas.org.

Summit Icon

Healthier Texas Summit

Thank You to Our 2021 Sponsors

Mobilizing Texans to Achieve Health Equity!

BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor Scott + White
Texas Mutual Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Novo Nordisk
Dell Children’s Logo