2022 Conference & Expo Speakers

Using a thorough, member-driven selection process, The 2022 IN-VALUE-ABLE Conference & Expo has chosen presenters from across the country specializing in leadership, employee benefits, health, and wellbeing to ensure all participants receive the tools and innovative ideas they need to transform their benefits program now and in the future.

Roger Crawford
Roger Crawford
Keynote January 27 | 11 AM EST
How to Rebound, Reset, and Reach Higher: Turn Change Into Opportunity

If you knew of someone who became a Hall of Fame athlete despite four impaired limbs, would you like to hear what that person had to say about finding opportunity in adversity?

Roger Crawford has helped organizations elevate expectations, accelerate performance, and transform results. On the center court, Sports Illustrated has recognized Roger as “One of the most accomplished, physically challenged athletes in history!” He’s also the recipient of the ITA Achievement Award, presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Now on center stage, Roger is one of the most sought-after speakers globally and has been inducted into the International Speaker Hall of Fame. Roger brings instant credibility and has the unique ability to connect with your audience. His message is authentic because he lives a “no excuses” mindset every day.

Roger’s presentations go beyond his inspirational story, focusing on helping your team breakthrough self-imposed limitations and reach next-level success.

Dr. C. Edward Jackson

Dr. C. Edward Jackson
January 27, 2022 | 12:15 PM EST
Co-Founder & CEO
Meaning-Centered Leadership

Dr. Jackson, Ed.D., is Cofounder and CEO of Meaning-Centered Leadership, a company whose mission is to share the critical impact that meaning has on organizational wealth and individual health and wellbeing.

Dr. Jackson is an educational and leadership coach, consultant, and speaker. He is also a published author of Meaning-Centered Leadership: Skills and Strategies for Increased Employee Well-Being and Organizational Success. In addition, he is an authority on the topic of leadership and offers a framework that enables leaders of all organizations to lead with equity, maximize engagement among staff, instill empowerment, and lead with expertise.

MaryBeth Gray

Marybeth Gray
January 27 | 12:15 PM EST
Senior Vice President Health & Welfare Consulting
Marsh McLennan Agency
New Million+ Dollar Drugs Coming to Market in 2022-2025, Creating New Liability for Employers and New Challenges for Finance

Marybeth has spent more than 25 years in the employee benefits field as an advocate working to help employers put healthcare within reach of every employee and has continually reduced costs for
employers and their employees.

Her strategic approach to every case, coupled with her vast knowledge of the industry, contributes to her remarkable success in saving money for her clients while enhancing the quality of healthcare for their employees.

Jim Klein

Jim Klein
January 27 | 1:30 PM EST
Healthcare Policy Update

Jim is president of the American Benefits Council and serves on the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plan’s Government Liaison Committee and on the Association Council of the American Council for Capital Formation. He is a fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, a member of the editorial advisory board of Benefits Quarterly, and a private sector advisor to the Insurance and Pension Committee of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

 

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy
Keynote February 10 | 11 AM EST
My Journey: Making Mental Health Essential Health

During his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Rhode Island’s First Congressional District, Patrick J. Kennedy fought to end discrimination against those with mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. He is best known as the lead sponsor of the landmark Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Federal Parity Law), which was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008. The Federal Parity Law provides millions of Americans, previously denied care, with access to mental health and addiction treatment by requiring insurance companies to cover treatment for mental health and substance use disorders no more restrictively than treatment for illnesses of the body, such as diabetes and cancer.

In addition to the Federal Parity Law, Kennedy authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills during his time in Congress to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the Positive Aging Act; Foundations for Learning Act; National Neurotechnology Initiative Act; Genomics, and Personalized Medicine Act; COMBAT PTSD Act; Nurse-Family Partnership Act; Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act; and Ready, Willing, and Able Act, which called on the Department of Homeland Security to deploy a civilian response system to blunt the psychological impact of terrorism. He served on various committees and subcommittees, including the House Appropriations Committee; the Subcommittee on Health, Education, and Welfare; the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

Patrick J. Kennedy is also the founder of DontDenyMe.org, an educational campaign that empowers consumers and providers to understand parity rights and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources; co-founder of One Mind, an organization that pushes for greater global investment in brain research; co-founder of Psych Hub, the most comprehensive online learning platform on mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention topics in the world; co-chair of Mental Health for US, a nonpartisan initiative designed to elevate mental health and addiction in policy conversations during the 2020 election cycle; and co-chair of the Action Alliance’s National Response to COVID-19, which brings together public and private sectors to lead a coordinated mental health and suicide prevention response.

Amber Jenson

Amber Jenson
February 10 | 12:15 PM EST
President
ilYOUmination Coaching and Wellness, LLC
Boosting Employee Wellbeing in the Workplace

Amber Jenson MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is a certified life and health coach and speaker with a Master’s Degree in psychology.

She is an experienced H.R. professional in performance management and employee/leadership coaching and training. Amber is EFT/TFT and Reiki certified and enjoys using mediation and other mindfulness practices herself and with clients.

Connie Podesta

Shareef Ghanem
February 10 | 12:15 PM EST
Vice President of Growth
Cleo

Shareef is VP of Growth at Cleo, a global family support platform. At Cleo, he is responsible for educating the employer community about the ever changing needs of working parents and caregivers.

Shareef has spent the last decade in and around healthcare innovation as a consultant, start-up advisor, and entrepreneur. Prior to joining Cleo, he was Director of Partnerships at Collective Health, where he partnered with health insurance carriers and employers to deliver brag-worthy employee benefits. He holds a degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a masters of business from the University of Chicago.

Dickon Waterfield

Dr. Carolina Escobar
February 10, 2022 | 12:15 PM EST
Chief Medical Officer
Employer Direct Healthcare
The Disparities in Cancer Care Are Alive and Real: A Strategy and Tactics for Employers Addressing the Inequity

Responsible for Employer Direct’s product, strategy, M&A, and innovation efforts, Dickon also leads the company’s oncology solution efforts. Before EDH, he was Chief Commercial Officer at WithMe Health, a modern PBM backed by Oak HC/FT and Chief Commercial Officer at Big Health, a digital therapeutics company focused on mental health. During his tenure, he grew the business from 0 to 2.5mm covered lives with customers that included Citi, Comcast, CVS, Delta, EY, Google, Target, and The Home Depot. To accelerate growth, he launched a first of its kind strategic partnership with CVS, which became the CVS Point Solution Management platform.

Kimberly Hamann, MS, CGC

Kimberly Hamann, MS, CGC
February 10, 2022 | 12:15 PM EST
Medical Science Liaison
Grail
A Potentially Life-Changing Benefit: Multi-Cancer Early Detection

Kim Hamann, MS, CGC, has nearly a decade of experience in next-generation sequencing applications for clinical genomics. During her genetic counseling graduate studies at the University of South Carolina, she developed an interest in using cfDNA to detect cancer. After hearing reports of noninvasive prenatal testing accidentally detecting maternal tumors, she focused her graduate research on this technology and its implementation in prenatal care. She enjoys being at the forefront of delivering leading technologies, immersing in highly technical conversations, and feels she can most impact patient lives by helping their providers access and understand the highest standard of care available. Her industry roles have focused on Medical Affairs, specifically at companies offering precision medicine genomic technologies, including a pharmacogenomics test and a tumor genomic profiling test. 

Brian Alexander

Brian Alexander
February 24, 2022 | 11:00 AM EST
Understanding and Addressing America’s Healthcare Crisis

Brian has written for many magazines and newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Science, Outside, Glamour, and Esquire. He was a contributing editor at Wired, covering biotechnology. Brian is currently a regular contributor to The Atlantic.

He is the author of several books, including The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town (2021) and Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town (2017).

He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and recognized by the John Bartlow Martin Award for public interest journalism administered by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Alison Richards

Alison Richards
February 24, 2022 | 12:15 PM EST
C.E.O.
Bind
Four Modern Values That Will Define the Future of Health Benefits

A UnitedHealthcare veteran since 2012, Alison Richards is the C.E.O. of Bind, a personalized health plan that delivers the freedom to choose—and the information to choose wisely. Bind is redesigning health insurance, giving employers a sustainable, attractive, and inclusive health benefit that meets employees’ personal needs and enables them to see their full treatment options and compare prices before making health care decisions.

Alison Richards

Trevor Fast
February 24, 2022 | 12:15 PM EST
Benefit Product Leader
Bind
An Inclusive Health Benefit—Where All Belong

Trevor Fast leads the Customer Development team at Bind and oversees underwriting, benefit strategies and service to large market accounts. Before joining Bind in 2017, Trevor led Mercer’s West Market Health & Benefits Actuarial practice. He earned his MS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan, lives in San Francisco and is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries, and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Michael Currie

Michael Currie
February 24, 2022 | 12:15 PM EST
UnitedHealth Group
Sr. Vice President & Chief Health Equity Officer
Advancing Health Equity in Our Communities and the Workplace

Michael has led health equity efforts across UnitedHealth Group since June of 2010. He is responsible for the development and execution of enterprise efforts, initiatives, and interventions to identify health disparities and the enhancement or implementation of programs, services, and strategies to address identified health disparities. He has held roles in the public and private sectors with responsibilities related to disease prevention, wellness, and health benefits. He has spent close to 30 years focused on population health management. He completed his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College, received his M.P.H. from George Washington University and his M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Jeffrey Shaman

Jeffrey A. Shaman, PhD, MS
February 24 | 1:35 PM EST
Chief Science Officer
Coriell Life Sciences
Precision Prescription Benefits: A Faster Path to Better Mental Health Treatment for Employees

Dr. Jeffrey Shaman is a leading expert in the rapidly evolving pharmacogenomics (PGx), studying how an individual’s DNA impacts their response to medication. Most importantly, he bridges genetic science and clinical application, which includes translating decades of cutting-edge genetic research into actionable insights on the safest and most effective medications for individuals based on their unique DNA and dozens of other factors.

Driven to advance public health, Dr. Shaman enables the delivery of personalized medicine at scale and empowers the most precise medical care worldwide. He consults with large employers, public and private payer organizations, healthcare systems, academic institutions, and laboratories around the globe, advising them on how to eliminate trial-and-error prescribing, improve population health, and control rising healthcare costs.

Dr. Juliette McClendon

Dr. Juliette McClendon
February 24 | 1:35 PM EST
Director of Medical Affairs
Big Health
Scaling Access to Evidence-Based Mental Healthcare Across Employee Populations

By training, Dr. Juliette McClendon is a clinical psychologist; her work emphasizes evidence-based practice, culturally responsive care, and mental health equity. Dr. McClendon studies the impact of stress on racial/ethnic disparities in health. She has over a dozen peer-reviewed research articles focusing on the effects of stress on health disparities, racism and discrimination on mental health, and identifying intervention approaches to mitigate the impact of racism and discrimination on health. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA in psychology from Harvard University. She completed her post-doctoral training at VA Boston as an Advanced Women’s Health Fellow. In addition, she was a 2020 NIH. Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar.

Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel Qureshi
February 24 | 1:35 PM EST
Medical Account Associate Director for North Central
Novo Nordisk
Obesity: Why it Matters to Your Organization and How You Can Take Action

Nabeel Qureshi provides medical insights and health economic outcomes data across the Novo Nordisk portfolio to payers, employers, and health system decision-makers, including information on guidelines, products, disease states, and the drug pipeline. By training, he is a board-certified clinical pharmacist with additional background in epidemiology. Nabeel is serving his second term as an elected member of the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy Board of Governors. He completed a PGY1 in managed care pharmacy, a Doctorate of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan, and a Master’s of Public Health at Wayne State University.

Markies Porter

Markies Porter
February 24 | 1:35 PM EST
Director, Business Development
Progyny
The Impact of Robust Fertility and Family Planning Solutions on Your Population

Markies Porter is a passionate professional with an extensive level of broad-based experience that has focused primarily on health risk mitigation. He has over a decade of experience in the health plan industry with organizations such as Humana, Anthem, and Cigna, creating, implementing, and executing strategic health risk mitigation initiatives for employers. In addition, he has held positions in client service, sales, and consulting. Markies earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in Psychology, and his Master of Business Administration focused on Economics from Xavier University.

Sara Fraska

Sara Fraska
March 10, 2022 | 11:00 AM EST
Harnessing Innovation: Turning Raw Ideas Into Powerful Results

Global innovation expert. Proven senior leader. Award-winning entrepreneur.

With the curiosity of Galileo and the tenacity of a street fighter, Sara Frasca is an innovation expert. Honing her skills at senior leadership roles in both corporate America and the world of startups, Sara now serves as Vice President of Innovation for Platypus Labs, global innovation enablement, invention, and consulting firm. She helps leading organizations cultivate human imagination, build a culture of innovation, and solve complex problems in creative ways. Sara is the go-to resource for leaders seeking a competitive advantage and sustainable success by harnessing innovation.

Prior to Platypus Labs, Sara spent 13 years at General Mills in multiple leadership roles. She was also an account director at the interactive agency ePrize, leading the forefront of digital transformation for Fortune 500 brands. Sara is the founder and proud owner of Trasca & Co. Eatery and was named the 2017 Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Jacksonville, Florida.

Samantha McMaster

Samantha McMaster, Pharm-D
March 10, 2022 | 12:45 PM EST
Senior Director of Pharmacy
Healthcare Bluebook
Prescription for Success: Using Cost Transparency to Control you Rx Spend

With over a decade of experience in pharmacy and managed healthcare settings, Samantha has a vast knowledge of pharmacy, managed healthcare, customer success, and business development. She has managed high-performing teams for some of the largest pharmacy and healthcare organizations, and before joining Healthcare Bluebook, Samantha served as Director of Client Success at AdhereHealth. A native of Ohio, she received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University.

Sara Fraska

Dr. Kerri Tanner
March 10, 2022 | 12:45 PM EST
Senior Vice President of Specialty Product
OptumRx
Specialty Pharmacy: Your game plan for Five Key Challenges

Dr. Kerri Tanner focuses on specialty affordability for the Pharmacy Care Services and Specialty and Infusion pharmacies. She has been a vital member of the OptumRx leadership team, recently managing the integration of Avella Pharmacy into the Optum organization, managing coordination between OptumRx and OptumCare in collaboration on key initiatives regarding home delivery, specialty, and infusion, and working to develop products related to specialty medical management. She is a native of Arizona and completed her Bachelors in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Michael C. Sokol

Michael C. Sokol, MD, MS
March 10, 2022 | 12:45 PM EST
Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategy
Quantum Health
Social Determinants of Health

Michael C. Sokol, MD, MS serves as Senior Vice President of Clinical Strategy at Quantum Health, a health care navigation, and care coordination company. In this role, Dr. Sokol leads the company’s initiatives to translate the clinical benefits of Quantum Health to clients, prospects, and consultants. In addition, he focuses on enhancing the scope of the company’s comprehensive clinical services through a population health lens and demonstrating the impact on financial, clinical, and humanistic outcomes, as well as overall member experience.

Dr. Sokol most recently served as Chief Medical Officer at WebMD Health Services, where he designed and delivered health and wellness strategies and solutions to employers and health plans. Dr. Sokol is board certified in public health and general preventive medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He also holds an academic appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Dr. Sokol serves on the editorial board of the journal Population Health Management and has published several papers in the peer-reviewed medical literature.

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones, MSM RD
March 10, 2022 | 12:45 PM EST
Population Health Practice Leader
Springbuk
Addressing Social Determinants of Health & Individual Social Needs

Jennifer Jones, MSM RD, is an experienced healthcare professional in clinical dietetics, wellness programming, and employer health. She has worked in various settings with over 20 years of experience, including healthcare systems, occupational health organizations, and health and welfare benefits advisory firms. After working directly with patients and employees, she focused on population and employer health to help significantly impact health outcomes.

Craig Kurtweil

Craig Kurtzweil
March 10, 2022| 12:00 PM EST
National Vice President, Data Analytics and Innovation
UnitedHealthcare
Research Unveiling

In 2005, Craig joined UnitedHealthcare to begin forming a team of strategic customer analytic specialists. That team is focused on leveraging clinical, financial and consumer behavior healthcare data in a strategic customer dialog. Their goal is to partner with employers, helping them to maintain healthcare affordability and increase their competitive advantage with a healthy and productive workforce. Craig served many customers himself and many more through his team. He was also accountable for the continual innovation of analytic tools nationally, supporting commercial, public sector and government programs. Those innovations focused on the ability to hot spot subsets of the population to focus on the communities in need of interventions.

Starting in 2013, Craig assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Analytic Innovations for UnitedHealth Group. In this role, he focused on analytic innovations, community health analytics and complex customer support for UHG. He leveraged the breadth of UHG’s data to create actionable insights across a wide array of audiences ranging from customers to communities to policy makers. He focused on spreading best practice innovations across the UHG enterprise to impact all of the members that it serves. Craig also served as an Innovation Champion for the enterprise.

Beginning in 2016, Craig transitioned into UnitedHealthcare to focus on enhancing the role that analytics plays in our ability to support our National Account customers. These customers require a deeper and broader view of data, ranging from cost and utilization data to productivity and disability exposure.

He is the author of several books, including The Hospital: Life, Death, and Dollars in a Small American Town (2021) and Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town (2017).

He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award and recognized by the John Bartlow Martin Award for public interest journalism administered by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Angela Whaley

Angela Whaley
March 10, 2022| 12:00 PM EST
Advanced Analytics Consultant

UnitedHealth Group
Research Unveiling

Angela Whaley has worked in the health care industry for over 20 years. Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, she spent 12 years working for Covenant Health, a regional health system in East Tennessee, in financial and clinical data analyst roles.

Angela joined UnitedHealth Group in 2010 as a Product Assessment Coordinator in the OptumInsight division. In 2015, Angela transferred to the UnitedHealthcare division. She has served on the Customer Analysis and Solutions, Enterprise Correspondence, and new Center for Advanced Analytics teams as a Consultant. Today, Angela works with internal and external customers at all levels of organizations in the Collaborative Ventures Group area. Her specialty is the analysis of data for both standard and customized projects to understand cost trends, health metrics, and utilization for employer groups.

Angela received her Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from East Tennessee State University.

Ginger Christ

Ginger Christ
February 24, 2022 | 12:15 PM EST
Modern Healthcare
Reporter
Moderator for Panel Discussion – Values that Define the Future of Health Benefits

Ginger Christ is the post-acute care and staffing reporter for Modern Healthcare based in Northeast Ohio, where she grew up. She recently wrote about healthcare and transportation for The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Before that, she covered real estate, manufacturing, and business news for local newspapers and national magazines, starting in 2007. She is the co-founder of the Cleveland chapter of the Association of Health Care Journalists and is involved in various efforts to connect and support journalists in her community. She earned bachelor’s degrees in English Writing/Journalism and Film Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Ginger is always looking for a good story and hopes to hear from Modern Healthcare readers.