Innovative Ideas Breakout Sessions

Tuesday, June 15, 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Accompanying LGBTQ Patients

This session will provide practical insights and guidance to ensure Catholic health care provides quality, compassionate care for LGBTQ patients. The session will have a special focus on the care of transgender patients.


  • Shane Snowdon, MA, MDiv, Visiting Scientist, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Boston
  • Sr. Luisa Derouen, OP, Member, Dominican Sisters of Peace, Saint Catharine, Ky.

American Indian Health Initiative

American Indians experience some of the worst health disparities of any U.S. racial or ethnic group. When Tribal leaders approached Avera in 2014 requesting assistance with their health care needs, Avera responded by creating the American Indian Health Initiative and ultimately aligned its resources with the health care priorities articulated by Tribal leaders. As a result, Avera has partnered with the Indian Health Services to become the Great Plains Area Telehealth Provider that serves 19 Indian Health Services hospitals and clinics in four states. The partnership has increased access to emergency and clinical services, improved health outcomes for thousands of American Indians and supports innovative clinical research initiatives.


  • JR LaPlante, Director, Tribal Relations, Avera Health, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Donald Warne, MD, MPH, Associate Dean, Director, Indians into Medicine, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.

Improving Health Equity Patient and Physician Initiatives

This session will highlight a multi-year residency program, designed by Trinity Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, to improve patient quality, increase physician diversity and improve patient access, specifically for vulnerable populations. The presenter will outline an incentive-based approach that hospitals can use to build and strengthen the physician diversity pipeline, standardize patient data reporting around race, ethnicity, primary language and sexual orientation, and apply unconscious bias training and other tools during the recruitment, selection, interview and selection process of incoming residents.


  • Ellyn Chin, Vice President, Population Health Operation, Loyola Medicine, Maywood, Ill.
  • Christin Zollicoffer, Vice President, Community Health and Well-Being and Regional Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Trinity Health, Novi, Mich.

Promotoras and Community Health Workers: A Conversation

Promotoras and community health workers (CHWs) can be valuable additions to health care organizations’ and public health’s equity and community health improvement strategies, from prenatal to hospice programs. They can serve as community ambassadors, navigators, health teachers and outreach workers. This session will include a conversation with Maria Lemus, the executive director of Visión y Compromiso, an organization created and led by promotores that supports work to improve both individual and community well-being. We will discuss how best to engage Promotoras and CHWs within our health systems and in the community and how to fully take advantage of their skills and gifts.


  •  Maria Lemus, Founder and Executive Director, Visión y Compromiso, Los Angeles
  • Julie Trocchio, Senior Director, Community Benefit and Continuing Care, Catholic Health Association, Washington D.C.

Reducing Health Care Inequities through Residency Education

This session will feature a residency curriculum that a physician developed for CHRISTUS that provides education about confronting racism, recognizing personal biases and developing culture sensitivities to ultimately eliminate health care inequities. The curriculum includes visits to the hospital neighborhood, poverty simulation, communication skills and faculty/resident development series addressing biases, and safety monitoring of patients with language barriers. The presenter will highlight the robust medical education and patient care training and how the program supports residents’ participation in wellness initiatives and community service activities.


  • Tiffany Egbe, MD, Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, Longview, Texas
  • Tammy Mitchell, MBA, C-TAGME, GME Program Specialist II, Internal Medicine Residency Program, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System, Longview, Texas

Strategies to Strengthen and Expand Medicaid

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law earlier this year and contained provisions to incentivize and expand Medicaid coverage. Building on the progress made by the Affordable Care Act, the ARPA Medicaid provisions have the potential to expand coverage to an additional 4 million uninsured people, while also giving states the option to extend Medicaid coverage for post-partum women from the current 60 days to a full year. CHA’s policy and advocacy team will provide an overview of the state of play, share materials and provide a forum for partnerships, enabling members to continue working towards Medicaid expansion in their states.

  • Allison Orris, Partner, Manatt Health, Washington, D.C.
  • Lisa Smith, Vice President, Advocacy and Public Policy, CHA, Washington, D.C.
  • Paulo Pontemayor, Director, Government Relations, CHA, Washington, D.C.

Unsung Heroes: Building Bridges and Creating Enterprise Equity

As part of the important work of social responsibility and beginning the work of cross-collaboration among industries to create social mobility for truly underrepresented populations, CommonSpirit Health and Rio Salado College have partnered to launch the Unsung Heroes initiative. This dynamic partnership will focus on designing stackable, micro-credential pathways and short-term skills training to prepare, upskill and create access to resources and employment opportunities for many frontline and marginalized workers within the health care industry. The intended outcome of this program is to reduce unemployment, underemployment and the high turnover rates in frontline roles across seven of the system’s national locations, and then eventually be scaled nationwide.


  • Floyd H. Hardin, III, EdD, Executive Officer of Equity and College Relations, Rio Salado College, Tempe, Ariz.
  • Tracey Pierce, Vice President, Human Resources Strategic Outreach, Learning and Development, CommonSpirit Health, San Francisco