Healthier Texas Summit Series

Registration & Agenda


Continuing Education Credits

The Healthier Texas Summit Series will offer new sessions from June 29 to October 29. As the Series progresses, more sessions and virtual events will be added to the schedule.

This year, registration enables you to curate your own Healthier Texas Summit Series experience. You can register for as many events as you like or focus on a few subject areas. Please see the schedule and registration information for each upcoming session below:

You can find all past sessions on our Archive Page.

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Thursday, October 29 | 9:30-10:30am

Coronavirus Made It Clear: Our Health System Needs More Compassion

Registration Coming Soon
Read Dr. Galea’smost recent blog
Watch Dr. Galea at the Global Solutions Summit

Meet the 2020 Keynote Speaker

Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH


Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature, and is a regular contributor to a range of public media, about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. Dean Galea recently wrote Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health, where he examines healthcare in America and what factors play a role in who is well and unwell.

He has been listed as one of the most widely cited scholars in the social sciences. He is chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards. Galea holds a medical degree from the University of Toronto, graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow.


Thursday, October 29 | 9:30-10:30am

Coronavirus Made It Clear: Our Health System Needs More Compassion

Registration Coming Soon
Read Dr. Galea’smost recent blog
Watch Dr. Galea at the Global Solutions Summit
Healthier Texas Summit Series

Registration & Agenda


DateTimeTopicContinuing Education Credit 
October 29, 2020 9:00 - 10:00am CSTHealth Haves and Health Have Nots in a Time of Covid-19CHW, CHES, K-12Meet the Keynote Speaker
Monday, June 29th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Opening Conversation: Health and Social Justice

In a recent article, Sandro Galea, MD, DrPh, wrote, “There can be no health without social justice.” Recent events underscore the persistent, deeply entrenched inequities undermining the health of vulnerable populations and communities of color. This panel pulls together thought leaders from across the fields of community and population health to discuss the root causes of inequity and what is needed to truly transform health in Texas. The discussion will offer practical guidance for working internally and alongside community and government partners to advance equity, social justice, and systemic change.

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Panelists:

William Buster, MA
Executive Vice President of Community Investments, St. David’s Foundation

Stephen Williams
Director, Houston Health Department

Stacey D. Stewart
President and CEO, March of Dimes

Joyce James 
President and CEO, Joyce James Consulting, LLC

Moderator

David L. Lakey, M.D.
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, The University of Texas System

Amy McGeady
CEO, It’s Time Texas

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Tuesday, June 30th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Partnering and Collaborating Across Sectors During a Crisis

Cross-sector partnerships are more critical than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health and broader social systems of communities across the country.

This is especially dire for individuals with complex health and social needs who may already have difficulty accessing needed services. Presenters will share actionable best practices for collaboration in this environment and reflect on opportunities for future structural change.

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Panelists

Veronica Rosenbaum
Executive Director, Brownsville Coalition

Nishi Viswanathan, MBBS, MBA
Director, Texas Health Catalyst Face Shield Project

Daphne McGee
Staff Attorney, Texas Legal Services Center Medical-Legal Partnerships

Patrick Brandt
President, Shiftsmart

Moderator

Amy McGeady
CEO, It’s Time Texas

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Tuesday, July 9th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Responding to a Pandemic: How Texas Organizations Are Pivoting to Meet Evolving Needs in the Community

These uniquely challenging times call for novel approaches to providing essential services, protecting vulnerable populations, and fostering community resilience.

This discussion highlights organizations that are stepping up to the challenge in navigating the current health crisis and addressing the impact of COVID-19.

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Speakers

Priscila Garza
Healthy Community School Coordinator, Goose Creek Consolidated ISD

Celia Cole
Chief Executive Officer, Feeding Texas

Christine Kutnick
Chief Operating Officer, The Caring Foundation

Moderator

Amy McGeady
CEO, It’s Time Texas

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Tuesday, July 14th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Communicating about Health During a Public Health Crisis Workshop

Effective Health Communication is essential during a public health crisis. When done right, information can be shared and exchanged in an inspiring and dynamic way. This interactive presentation will explore tools that can empower individuals, populations, and communities to respond appropriately to public health issues.

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Speaker

Dr. Michael Mackert
Director, Center for Health Communication, University of Texas at Austin

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Tuesday, July 23rd | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Health Disparities: A Conversation on Race and Health

The pandemic has shone a spotlight on health disparities and created an opportunity to address the causes underlying these inequities. During this conversation panelists will explore the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on minority communities, what we can do now to combat these disturbing health inequities, and how we can ensure equal access for all.
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Panelists

Meme Styles
Founder and President, Measure

Dr. Eduardo Sanchez
Chief Medical Officer for Prevention, American Heart Association

Dr. Monica Webb Hooper
Deputy Director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Moderator

Dr. Leslie Weisberg
Market Chief Medical Officer, Southwest Texas Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

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Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 10:00 - 11:00AM CST

Covering COVID-19 in Texas

COVID-19 hasn’t just been a health crisis. It’s been an information and narrative crisis. When the scientists don’t even know what’s happening yet, or agree with each other about the proper response, the role of journalists in explaining the pandemic to the public becomes even more crucial, and more challenging. Throw into the mix political polarization, racial disparities, massive protests in the streets, and the presidential election, and the job of journalists becomes incredibly interesting and complex. In this panel we’ll speak to working journalists about the many different and overlapping aspects of covering COVID-19 in Texas.

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Panelists

Syeda Hasan
KERA

Dan Solomon
Texas Monthly

Elizabeth Bruenig
New York Times

moderator

Dr. Ricardo Nuila
Baylor College of Medicine in Houston

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Tuesday, August 4th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Food Access During a Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced extraordinary shocks to our food system, impacting access and affordability across the supply chain. The disruption poses new challenges to families and schools, with marginalized communities disproportionately experiencing the consequences.

The school system serves a critical role in addressing food insecurity. In this conversation, panelists will share ways to support processes within and outside of the school system as it pertains to ensuring food security. Panelists will highlight the various roles within a community to create sustainable food access for families.

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Panelists

Debra Franco
Child Hunger Outreach Specialist, Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty

Mike Pomeroy
Senior Program Director, Brighter Bites

Laura Strube
Deputy Director, Region 15 Education Service Center

Franco Cruz
Senior Program Manager, No Kid Hungry

Moderator

Joycelyn Jurado
Director of School Programs, It's Time Texas

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Thursday, August 13th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Addressing Covid-19 Inequities by Empowering Community Health Workers to Prepare Texans for Public Health Emergencies

Brought to you by SaferCare Texas

Action is needed to help those most affected by COVID-19 to prepare for subsequent waves and to address the long-standing issue of public health inequities.

What advances are needed in policy, advocacy, and education to address these issues? How do we engage and educate the community and what is the role of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in this process? Panelists will discuss how to empower CHWs to amplify their role in emergent public health crises.

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Panelists

Denise A. Hernandez, MPH, CHWI
President/Board of Directors, DFW Community Health Worker Association

Teresa Wagner, DrPH, MS, CPH, RD/LD, CPPS, CHWI, DipACLM, CHWC
Assistant Professor, UNT Health Science Center, Clinical Executive for Health Literacy, SaferCare Texas, Fellow and Project Director, Texas Center for Health Disparities

Melanie Stone, MPH, MEd
Assistant Director of Community Service Learning, UT Health San Antonio

Erin Carlson, DrPH, MPH
Associate Clinical Professor, Graduate Public Health Programs Director, University of Texas at Arlington

Moderator

Ashley Rodriguez
Community Health Worker System Manager, Baylor Scott & White Health

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Tuesday, August 18th | 11:00 - 12:00pm CST

Collective Action in the time of COVID-19: Strategies for Working Better Together

Brought to you by Humana

Since COVID-19 hit the United States, so many families, communities, and organizations have come together to support each other and share the universal message that we are all in this together.

It is essential for governments and communities to work together more effectively, not only in public health crises, but also to deal with health equity, food insecurity, education, and other looming challenges that similarly require coordinated, large-scale responses.

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Speaker

Suzii Paynter March
Chief Executive Officer, Prosper Waco

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Tuesday, August 25th | 10:00 - 11:00Am CST

State of COVID-19 Across Texas

In this conversation, epidemiologists will share an updated look at how COVID is impacting our state real time, see how growth trends and hot spots are being mapped and understand future projections.

This overview of COVID-19 will provide guidance to each of us in our respective roles to help us understand the data and how to make informed decisions.

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Speakers

Dr. Shreela V. Sharma
Professor of Epidemiology, Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living

Dr. Bijal Bala
Associate Professor & Regional Dean, UT School of Public Health in Dallas

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Thursday, September 3, 2020 10:30 - 11:30AM CST

Defining Coalitions and their Role in Addressing Social Determinants of Health

The word coalition is frequently used in many sectors and generally takes shape as a collaborative effort towards a common goal. In this conversation, panelists will share different perspectives on how they define a coalition, how one is formed, and how coalitions address social determinants of health.

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Panelists

Elena Marks
President and CEO, Episcopal Health Foundation

Kelli Becerra
Community Partnerships Manager, Healthy Williamson County

Heidi McPherson
Sr. Director, Healthcare Systems & Community Impact, American Heart Association

Bert Pickell
Director, San Antonio Walks! San Antonio Mayor's Fitness Council

Moderator

Dr. Leslie Weisberg
Market Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

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Thursday, September 10, 2020 10:00 - 11:30AM CST

Healthcare & Social Care Integration: Outcomes and Sustainability

Health care systems are increasingly being called upon to address the social and environmental factors impacting their patients' health. However, evidence to guide implementation is still limited, as are mechanisms to fund this work.

Four leaders will discuss different approaches to create sustainable initiatives that address patients’ social needs. They will also lay out the reasons funding this work is challenging, and how their projects are navigating these challenges.

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Panelists

Salil Deshpande
Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealthcare

Len Nichols
Director of the Health Policy Research and Ethics Center, George Mason University

Nirav Shah
Vice President, Social Finance

Mini Kahlon
Vice Dean for Health Ecosystem, Dell Medical School at UT Austin

Moderator

Elena Marks
President and CEO, Episcopal Health Foundation

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Thursday, September 17, 2020 10:00 - 11:30AM CST

Strategies to Address Mental Health Needs for Children in Texas

In the past year, many agencies and institutions have developed strategies and services that can address urgent mental health challenges that impact children and their families in Texas.

In this session, panelists will outline some strategies and services that were developed, discuss some of the challenges and needs faced due to COVID-19 and identify ways that clinicians, coordinators, schools and families can tap into these services.

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Moderator

Luanne Southern, MSW
Executive Director of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, University of Texas System

Panelists

Sonja Gaines, MBA
Deputy Executive Commissioner for Intellectual and Developmental and Behavioral Health Services Health and Human Services Commission

Dr. Sarah Wakefield
Associate Professor and Chair of Psychiatry
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Member of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium

Dr. Andy Keller   
President and Chief Executive Officer
Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Stephany Bryan
Senior Program Officer and Consumer & Family Liaison
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, UT Austin

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Thursday, September 24th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

What's Going on with our mental health in the face of a pandemic?

Brought to you by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Uncertainty is the theme of 2020, and its consequences are directly affecting our mental health. Whether or not previous diagnoses existed, this pandemic is generating a new set of concerns. Experts point to increased feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Panelists will discuss the current reality of mental health in our society and what actions we must consider now and in the future.

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Panelists

Dr. Andy Keller
President and CEO, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

Ben G. Hubert, LPC
Counselor, West Texas Counseling & Guidance

Greg Hansch, LMSW
Executive Director, NAMI Texas

Leroy Mitchell
Masculinity & Mental Health Trainer, Black Emotional And Mental Health (BEAM)

Moderator

Dr. Frank Webster
Senior Medical Director, Health Care Serice Corporation

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Tuesday, September 29th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Cultural Competency: Courageous Conversations to Improve Health

Cultural competency is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period. Both individuals and organizations are at various levels of awareness, knowledge and skills along the cultural competence continuum. Building healthier communities requires culturally competent health professionals equipped to address the unique cultural differences that affect health literacy.

This interactive session will explore the strategies and tactics for building cultural competency by introducing frameworks for critical reflection and consideration.

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Speakers

Christine Tuell
Program Manager, UT Health Science Center at Tyler

Dr. Kent L. Willis
Associate Provost, UT Health Science Center at Tyler

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Tuesday, October 6th | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Strengthening our Resilience

Brought to you by Cigna

Resilience is commonly defined as the ability to quickly recover from challenges. It’s a skill we each develop throughout our life in the face of significant stressors. As challenging of a year we are experiencing, it’s critical to spend some time discussing our collective paths of resilience. Panelists will highlight the significance of finding opportunities to cultivate resilience within communities and offer insight into how we can contribute to enhancing our resilience.

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Panelists

Tom Heritage
CIGNA

Charlene James
President, AARP

Nwakaego Oriji
Counselor Facilitator and the lead for Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Garland ISD

Moderator

Dr. Mark Netoskie
Market Medical Executive, CIGNA

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Thursday, October 8th | 10:00 - 11:30am CST

Rural Community Health Practice Across Texas

Texas has its share of big cities, smaller towns, and rural areas. Often the differences are simplified to urban and rural, with rural communities viewed as lacking relative to the more urban areas, and emphasis is placed on the shortage of resources.

This session will help build a more complete picture of the variation in communities throughout Texas. This panel will showcase community health practice in four communities in rural and less populated areas across the state.

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Panelists

Shannon Calhoun
Chair, Texas Health Services Authority

Nikki Steinsbo
Executive Director, Best Friends Community Services

Erin Marietta
Director of Operations, Madison & Grimes Hospitals

Angela Tanguma
RGV Mobile Women's Health Van

Moderator

Shara McClure
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

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Tuesday, October 13th | 10:00 - 11:30am CST

Improving Health and Addressing Food Insecurity Across Texas Through Partnerships Between Food Banks and Health Care

Access to healthy foods is a critical social determinant of health.  Health care systems and charitable food systems across the state are partnering to identify and address the needs of food insecure individuals. 

Four professionals representing health care, food banks, and hunger relief networks will discuss how food banks and health care are partnering together and with social services to support the health of Texans. They will also discuss challenges related to working across sectors, assessing outcomes, and funding.

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Panelists

Dr. Valerie Smith
Chair, Smith County Food Security Council 
Pediatrician, St. Paul Children's Foundation

Rachel Koay
Chief Impact Officer, Feeding Texas

Esther Liew, LMSW
Food for Change Partnerships Manager, Houston Food Bank

April Rosales
Social Services Manager, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank

Moderator

Natalie Poulos, PhD
UT System Population Health

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Thursday, October 22nd | 10:00 - 11:00am CST

Using Data to Transform Health in Texas

How can data unite Texans to transform health for our state? Listen to Secretary Margaret Spellings, president and CEO of Texas 2036, a data-driven long-term planning non-profit, discuss what their research shows are the most important health issues facing our state today.

Learn how Texas compares to other state and what the health data shows are the most pressing issues for our state to get right so the people of our state live their healthiest lives. If a conversation about how the state of our health and how it links to our prosperity and opportunities in the future is important to you, listen in as Secretary Spellings talks about how Texas health care leaders, businesses and the public can work together to make sure Texas is the best place to live and work through our bicentennial and beyond.

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Speaker

Margaret Spellings
President and CEO, Texas 2036

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