24th Annual ITUP Conference Details, February 2020

Thank you for attending the ITUP 2020 Conference!

The 24th Annual Insure the Uninsured Project Conference, Taking Bold Steps in Uncertain Times, highlighted the steps California is taking to improve health care and coverage in the state, against the backdrop of continuing uncertainty at the federal level. For two days, the ITUP community put individuals and families squarely at the center of the conversation, highlighting challenges, bold strategies, and policy opportunities to improve the health of Californians.

Attendees were among the first to hear the ITUP Board of Director’s announcement of their selection of Katie Heidorn as the new ITUP Executive Director. Katie comes to ITUP with 15 years of health policy experience and leadership, in both the government and private sector, and will begin her tenure as Executive Director on March 23 when Deborah Kelch retires after four years of leading ITUP.  Learn more about Katie here.

Great speakers shared important issues and solutions on workforce, health equity, and value-based payments.

The conference showcased California’s senior health care leadership, including Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly, newly appointed Director of Health Care Services, Dr. Bradley Gilbert and Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California, the state’s ACA exchange. Dr. Emily Silverman delivered the luncheon keynote on the power of storytelling to give meaning to the physician experience, while Dr. Sandra Hernandez, CEO of the California Health Care Foundation, closed out the conference with an inspirational message on the power and real possibility of building a health care system for the whole person.

“The Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) conference was an event that was truly at the forefront of issues related to coverage for our most vulnerable populations in California” -2020 Conference Attendee

Monday, February 24
12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Spirit of ITUP Award Networking Dinner
5:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

24th Annual Conference
Tuesday, February 25

7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

2020 Keynote Speakers

Mark Ghaly, MD, MPH, was appointed Secretary of the California Health and Human Services by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 and oversees the key departments integral to implementing the Governor’s vision to expand health coverage and access to all Californians.

Before joining Governor Newsom’s team, Dr. Ghaly worked for 15 years in county health leadership roles in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

During his tenure in L.A. County, Dr. Ghaly led the transition of jail health services into one integrated system of care improving the linkage between the sheriff  and county mental health services, was the architect of the Los Angeles County Whole Person Care Pilot program and oversaw the launch of the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System.

“The opening and closing talks were very exciting and inspirational. To be able to hear directly from the California Secretary of HHS was such an honor” -2020 Conference Attendee

The ITUP conference featured Emily Silverman, MD, an internal medicine physician at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and creator and host of the Nocturnists, a live show and podcast where doctors share stories from the world of medicine.

Through storytelling, the shows and podcasts reveal the human side of medicine, as well as many structural and system challenges providers face every day trying to meet the diverse needs of patients.

Dr. Silverman asks the hard questions about the state of health care in this time, what is missing and how current systems might better focus on “health.”

“My favorite moment from the conference was Dr. Emily Silverman’s talk on how implementing storytelling into health care can have tremendous impacts” -2020 Conference Attendee

Sandra R. Hernández, MD, is president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation. Prior to joining CHCF, Dr. Hernandez was CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, which she led for 16 years and previously served as director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco.

In December 2019, she was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the Healthy California for All Commission. Dr. Hernandez is also a member of the Covered California board of directors, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing Advisory Council at UC Davis and the UC Regents Health Services Committee.

Dr. Hernandez is an assistant clinical professor at the UCSF School of Medicine. She practiced at San Francisco General Hospital in the HIV/AIDS Clinic from 1984 to 2016.

“I enjoyed Dr. Sandra Hernández’s optimistic talk on attempting the “impossible” and working towards simplicity in our health care system” -2020 Conference Attendee

Meet the New Executive Director of ITUP

Katie comes to ITUP with 13 years of health policy experience in the government, health insurance, and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining ITUP, Katie was a Government Affairs Advocate at Health Net, and the Development Director at the California Coverage and Health Initiatives. Before her work in the health insurance and nonprofit sectors, she served for five years with the Brown Administration, first as an Assistant Secretary of Program and Fiscal Affairs and later as the Deputy Secretary of Special Programs at the California Health and Human Services Agency, the latter a Senate-confirmed position.

She began her career as an Associate and then Principal Health Consultant to the California State Senate Appropriations Committee, where she worked for four years, and as a California Senate Fellow. Katie holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Comparative Literature from the University of California, Davis.

 Katie will begin her tenure as Executive Director on March 23, 2020; she replaces Deborah Kelch, who is retiring in March.

Conference Materials

“All speakers had relevant, relatable information. Definitely worth the time” -2020 Conference Attendee

Monday, February 24

Coordinating Care and Services for Children
Abbi Coursolle
Sarah Crow, MPP
Ann-Louise Kuhns
Tracy Macdonald Mendez, MPH, MPP

Meeting Clients Where They Are: Best Practices in Care Coordination
Emily Chung, MPH
Karen G. Hansberger
Amber Middleton, MSW
Nadereh Pourat, PhD
Cary Sanders, MPP

Tuesday, February 25

A Bold Vision for the Health of California
Mark Ghaly, MD, MPH

The Newsom Plan to Transform Medi-Cal: Consumer and Provider Perspectives
Jacey Cooper
Le Ondra Clark Harvey, PhD
Jen Flory
Maria Lemus

The Newsom Plan to Transform Medi-Cal: Counties and Health Plans
Michelle Cabrera
Elizabeth Gibboney, MA
Beau Hennemann
Erica Murray, MPA

California Leading the Way
Bradley P. Gilbert, MD, MPP
Peter V. Lee

Envisioning Health Through Storytelling
Emily Silverman, MD

Transforming Systems to Advance Health Equity
Robbin Gaines, MBA
Virginia Hedrick, MPH
Doretha William-Flornoy, MS
Catha Worthman

The Workforce Needs of a Transformed Health Care System
Geoffrey Leung, MD, EdM
Joanne Spetz, PhD
Gary Tsai, MD

Fulfilling the Promise of Value-Based Care
Suzanne F. Delbanco, PhD, MPH
Tammy Fisher, MPH
Rachel Tobey

Envisioning Health System Transformation
Assembly Member Jim Wood, DDS
Sara Flocks
Andy Schneider
Anthony Wright

A Dream Within Our Reach – A Health Care System for the Whole Person
Sandra R. Hernandez, MD

Conference Resources

This document provides a comprehensive list of relevant ITUP and external publications.

View Document



ITUP Funders and Conference Sponsors

“Thank you so much. I’m going to advocate our organization sends us to both days next year” -2020 Conference Attendee

ITUP is generously funded by the following core funders:

Core Funders




The ITUP 2020 Annual Conference is also supported by these sponsors:




Bronze                                                                                             Emerald

Harbage Consulting                                                                            Health Management Associates

Molina Healthcare                                                                                California Health Policy Strategies

First 5 LA                                                                                                     Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

California Initiative for Health Equity and Action            Integrated Healthcare Association

L.A. Care Health Plan                                                                          UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Sellers Dorsey                                                                                           Transform Health