Health Policy and COVID-19 — Challenges and Opportunities in a Pandemic World

To be held virtually on Thursday, November 18th, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, MD

Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Co-Director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, is one of the leading practitioners shaping the future of health care, with a long record of experience at the top levels of policy. Trained both as an oncologist (MD, Harvard Medical School) and a political scientist, Zeke offers a uniquely thoughtful perspective on the most difficult issues in medicine today. From 2009 to 2011, Zeke was a special advisor for health policy to the White House Office of Management and Budget. As one of the most prominent voices advising the White House about health care, he had a significant impact on federal health care budgets and the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, and the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a founding chair at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Emanuel is also a Special Advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO). He is the author of 15 books including, Reinventing American Health Care and Prescription for the Future. Dr. Emanuel published two new books in 2020. Please click here for full bio.

Conference Speaker

Leana Wen, MD

Physician and Healthcare Executive, CNN Medical Analyst, Contributing Columnist, The Washington Post, and Former Baltimore Health Commissioner

Dr. Leana Wen will give an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and what we need to do to prepare for future pandemics. Dr. Wen is an emergency physician, visiting professor of health policy and management at George Washington University, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is also a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, a CNN medical analyst, and author of the critically-acclaimed book on patient advocacy, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests and a memoir, Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health. Previously, she served as Baltimore’s Health Commissioner.

Conference Agenda

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9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.

Introduction and Welcome

Lora Pellegrini, President & CEO, Massachusetts Association of Health Plans

9:10 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.

Remarks from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Governor Charlie Baker 

9:20 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Remarks from the Massachusetts Senate

Honorable Karen Spilka, President of the Massachusetts Senate

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Health Policy in the Biden Administration and What it Means for Massachusetts

Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Co-Director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute, University of Pennsylvania

10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

Remarks from the Massachusetts House of Representatives

Honorable Ronald Mariano, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives

10:40 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

Remarks from the Secretary

Marylou Sudders, Secretary, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

10:50 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Remarks from the Attorney General

Honorable Maura Healey, Massachusetts Attorney General

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

COVID-19 Pandemic – Where do we go from here?

Leana Wen, MD, Physician & Healthcare Executive, CNN Medical Analyst, Contributing Columnist — The Washington Post & Former Baltimore Health Commissioner

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Addressing Racial Disparities Magnified During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • 11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    Presentation of Preliminary Findings on Wi-Fi Telehealth Study: Advancing Telehealth Equity

    Alon Peltz, MD, Instructor, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Panel Discussion: Health Disparities — Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Thea James, MD, Boston Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine


    Juan Lopera, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Beth Israel Lahey Health


    Danna Mauch, PhD, President & CEO, Massachusetts Association of Mental Health


    Moderator:Martha Bebinger, Reporter, WBUR

12:30 p.m.

Wrap Up

Lora Pellegrini, President & CEO, Massachusetts Association of Health Plans

Novo Nordisk makes innovative medicines to help people with diabetes manage their disease. The company’s ultimate goal is to defeat diabetes through prevention, detection and better management, and empower people with diabetes to live longer, healthier lives.

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology.

Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions

3M Health Information Systems empowers payers, providers and government agencies to anticipate and navigate the evolving health care landscape. 3M is committed to creating more time to care and is leading the shift to value-based care.

Advisory Board helps health care leaders, including health plan executives, advance their organization’s strategic goals and navigate a rapidly changing environment through research-based insights, actionable strategies, and practical tools.

HHAeXchange is the leading technology platform for homecare and self-direction program management. Developed specifically for the Medicaid patient population, the platform connects state agencies, managed care payers, providers, and caregivers.

Preti Strategies is an elite team of former lawmakers and experienced leaders in government relations, public affairs and communications. With offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, they have worked with clients to achieve goals nationwide.

Verrill provides a full spectrum of legal services to the varied organizations and individual professionals in the increasingly complex health care industry where organizations face emerging technologies, a broader than ever range of business issues, and intense government oversight.

Alkermes is a fully integrated, global biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases.

Cigna’s mission is to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those they serve by making health care simple, affordable, and predictable.

Delta Dental serves more than 80 million Americans, providing groups and individuals with quality, cost-effective dental insurance and superior customer service.

Insulet Corporation, headquartered in Massachusetts, is an innovative medical device company dedicated to making the lives of people with diabetes and other conditions easier through the use of its Omnipod product platform.

MedImpact is the PBM that puts clients and consumers first. For 30 years, they have had a single mission: To help make pharmacy benefits affordable, understandable, and honest.

Reliable Respiratory is one of the leading independently owned home respiratory and specialty medical equipment providers in the U.S., providing equipment and service to patients throughout New England.

Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases.