KHC 7th Annual Conference Focuses on Optimizing Health through Equity, Value, and Well-Being

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2020 laid bare long-standing racial injustices and inequities that were exacerbated by the disparate impact of the pandemic. These converging crises ignited a call to action on health and healthcare equity and demonstrated the interconnectedness of our health and economic well-being and urgent need for access to high quality, safe, equitable, and affordable healthcare. Join us for two days to learn how to optimize health equity, healthcare value, and well-being in 2021 and beyond.

Day One: Equity and Well-being

Nikki Lanier Headshot
Nikki Lanier, JD, will keynote the first day of the KHC Annual Conference.

On the afternoon of March 9, experts will focus on the intersections of racism, healthcare, and healthcare outcomes and how businesses and healthcare can respond to these inequities. Keynote speaker Nikki Lanier, Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Regional Executive, Louisville Branch, will kick off the event with “Dismantling Racism to Improve Community Health.” She will discuss how racism hurts everyone, both morally and economically. She will give a call to action to leaders in the employer and healthcare community to lean into being a part of the solution to right the wrongs of racism to improve community economic health and well-being.

Following the keynote, Jessica Brooks, CEO, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, will provide employer strategies for driving health equity. She will discuss how historical and contemporary racism impacts the health and well-being of Black and Brown Americans and why driving accountability in healthcare value must include health equity. Many organizations are committed to diversity and inclusion but are unsure what to do or where to start to tackle health and healthcare disparities and inequities.

Participants will then be invited to their first opportunity to join our first virtual exhibit hall where they can win a Peloton for visiting booths. Exhibitor openings are still available.

After our exhibitor break, participants will hear from local activists in a session titled “Dear Employers and Healthcare, See Me.” Local activist, speaker, poet, blogger and CCO of IDEAS xLab, Hannah L. Drake, will offer a poetic charge to healthcare leaders. and Josh Miller, local artist, speaker, and CEO of IDEAS xLab, will give a call to action to healthcare and employers on inclusion and the impact of covering (not being able to be your true self at work).

Following powerful calls to action by local activists, we will hear from organizations working to achieve equity, reduce disparities, and build trust in healthcare. The session will be moderated by Michael Imburgia, MD, Founder, Have a Heart Clinic and Delanor Manson, RN, CEO, Kentucky Nurses Association. The moderators will discuss with panelists how they are playing a role in reducing and eliminating disparities by driving improved quality and outcomes in marginalized communities. Confirmed panelists include Dr. E. John Rott of Kaiser Permanente which received the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ inaugural Health Equity Award. Dr. Rott will share best practices, innovative approaches, and evidence-based medicine strategies used to improve health equity outcomes. More panelists will be posted as they are confirmed.

This powerful day will end with “The New Patient Experience: Anti-Racist Clinical Encounters and Why We Need Them.” Dr. Karinn Glover, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will highlight the impact of history and cultural factors that affect the engagement of racialized/marginalized communities but also their health outcomes.

Day Two: Value and Well-being

On the afternoon of March 10, we turn our attention to the broader issue of healthcare value in this country and continue the conversation on how we get to high quality, safe, equitable, and affordable healthcare. We will discuss the state of healthcare spending in the U.S. and employer strategies for driving value. We will then turn our attention to how healthcare is implementing value-based strategies and wrap up the conference focused on how innovative digital therapies are improving health and well-being.

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On day two of the conference we turn our attention to value beginning with keynote speaker Niall Brennan.

We will kick off our value conversation on the state of U.S. health care spending with keynote, Niall Brennan, President and CEO, Health Care Cost Institute, and former Chief Data Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Niall will discuss how high healthcare spending impacts economic health and well-being. He will discuss the reasons for high healthcare spending, the lack of relationship between quality and cost, and what stakeholders need to do to create a sustainable, high performing healthcare system in Kentucky that optimizes health for everyone.

Lauren Vela, Senior Director of Member Value for the Pacific Business Group on Health will then discuss the state of value-based in care in the U.S. and her organization’s ground-breaking solutions for employers working to drive transparency and accountability in their healthcare purchasing. Local employers and KHC Board Members Amanda Faulkner of LG&E-KU and Dr. Derek Mydlarz of GE Appliances, a Haier company, will then react to how these best practices can be adopted locally.

Hear from local organizations on how they are responding to drive better health, quality, safety, equity, and value. Confirmed panelists include Pat Harrod from Baptist Health. Other panelists will be posted as they are confirmed.

We will wrap up our conference by focusing on the digital therapy explosion being used to improve health and well-being. Katie Archer, Director, Health and Welfare Plans Benefits Design, Planning and Analysis, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., will speak to how digital therapies are working to address substance use disorder within their workforce. Panelists will be added to the agenda on our conference web page here.

The KHC’s annual conference is its largest fundraiser of the year and works to catalyze innovative and systemic changes that optimize health in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The conference typically attracts around 200 participants representing key healthcare stakeholders including employers, providers, payers, policymakers, and other organizations interested in driving better healthcare outcomes. Organizations interested in sponsorship or exhibiting should reach out to Emily Divino at

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