Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States

To Dr. Richard Carmona, true leadership isn’t a matter of theory. It’s an actionable brand carmona_richard300of success that has transcended professions and industries and saved lives in times of crisis and imminent danger. From the corporate boardroom to the Oval Office, organizations have consistently turned to Dr. Carmona to drive change and transform cultures. Best known as a one of the country’s most admired Surgeons General and for his current role as Vice Chairman of Canyon Ranch, his extensive leadership background in many disciplines includes medicine, law enforcement, the military, public health, higher education, emergency preparedness, and health care management. Within these fields, he has held positions ranging from sheriff and SWAT team leader to RN to trauma surgeon. He also brings an extraordinary life story of disadvantaged beginnings and an inspiring self-transformation from high school dropout to combat decorated Special Forces veteran. As a keynote speaker, Dr. Carmona takes all of these dimensions to the stage, capturing audiences with his high energy, contagious passion, and unwavering belief in the principle of selfless service.
An accomplished executive in the business of health and wellness, Dr. Carmona is currently Vice Chair of Canyon Ranch and CEO of Canyon Ranch Health, America’s preeminent health and wellness brand. He also serves as President of Canyon Ranch Institute, the corporation’s nonprofit arm, focusing on sharing health and wellness education with underserved communities. Dr. Carmona is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health, Professor of Surgery and Clinical Professor of Pharmacy practice and Science at the University of Arizona. Still active in law enforcement, he continues his reign as one of the most highly decorated police officers in Arizona as Deputy Sheriff and Department Surgeon of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. He is a member of Fortune 500 boards, involved in launching several small companies, and serves on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ MyVA Advisory Committee to improve the healthcare experiences of veterans as well as Departments of Defense and Homeland Security work groups.
He is also the author of Canyon Ranch’s 30 Days to a Better Brain, a groundbreaking program for improving memory, concentration and overall well-being.
A highly regarded speaker with a magnetic presence, Dr. Carmona has spoken to an array
of audiences ranging from financial services to military, law enforcement, high tech, healthcare, universities, associations and international groups.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho

Michael (Mike) K. Simpson is serving his tenth term in the House of Representatives for Idaho’s Second Congressional District. Mike serves on the House Appropriations Committee. He is the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He also serves on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee and the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. These committees have jurisdiction over funding for a number of programs critical to Idaho, including the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, our National Parks, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Smithsonian Institute.
Simpson is one of the House’s leading advocates for a new energy policy and a renewed commitment to research and development of improved nuclear energy technologies. Mike has also gained national attention for his bill to split the massive, overburdened 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as his Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act which addresses the concerns of economic growth and stability for rural Idaho and resolves long time wilderness debate over the Boulder-White Clouds and was signed into law in August of 2015.
His political career began in 1980, when he was elected to the Blackfoot City Council. In 1984, he was elected to the Idaho Legislature where he served until 1998, the last six years serving as Speaker. Simpson was born in Burley, Idaho and raised in Blackfoot. He graduated from Utah State University and earned his DMD from Washington University School of Dental Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduation, he joined his father and uncle at the Simpson Family Dental Practice in Blackfoot.
Mike is an avid golfer and enjoys painting. He has been married to his wife Kathy for over 40 years and they live in Idaho Falls.

Tyler Norris, Healthy Communities Expert

For three decades, Idaho native Tyler Norris has served as a social entreptyler-norris-mugreneur and trusted adviser to philanthropies, health systems, governments, NGOs and collaborative partnerships working to improve the health of people and places. His work in the public, private, non-profit and civic sectors has included initiatives with more than 400 communities and organizations in the United States and internationally.
Norris is chief executive officer of the Institute for Mental Health and Wellness, a new independent national foundation seed-endowed by Providence St. Joseph Health System to advance mental, social and spiritual well-being in the United States.
His mission is to improve human well-being, via the sustained vitality of natural, built, food, economic and social environments. His work has historically focused in three areas:
  • Human flourishing and potentiation across the life span – by creating healthy community environments that result in mental, physical, social and spiritual well-being.
  • Designing, sustaining, and measuring the impact of community collaborations and investments that revitalize participatory democracy, drive equitable prosperity and effectively address complex population health, place-making and sustainability issues.
  • Advancing public and private sector practices and policies that simultaneously generate “total wealth” (natural, economic, social and human capital.)

 Merril Hoge, ESPN analyst

merrill-hogeIdaho native Merril Hoge played football for Idaho State University and as the star running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers before a series of concussions ended his career. He has been with ESPN since 1995. In 2003, the habits and mindset that Merril formulated throughout his childhood and carried into adulthood, helped him Find A Way to overcome the ultimate challenge – cancer. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on February 14, Merril took on chemotherapy with the same tenacity that got him to the NFL and beat it. Through the difficult moments, Merril found inspiration through his daughter Kori, then nine, who upon hearing the news, whispered, “Dad, find a way.” On July 2, 2003, Merril was declared cancer-free.
For all of his life accomplishments as an athlete and businessman, Merril’s biggest impact can be felt within his family and community. A long-time Board Chairman of the Highmark Caring Foundation and Caring Place centers, which provide a place for grieving children, adolescents and their families to cope with the loss of a parent or loved one, Merril’s vision is to help all children know their value and importance, helping them to grow up healthy and whole.

Dr. Robert Hasty, DO, FACOI, FACP | Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer, proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Hasty attended the University of Miami where he completed his undergraduate studies with honors as a triple science major in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry and Biology in 1996. He then went on to receive his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2000. He subsequently trained at Mt. Sinai Medical Center where he completed his training in Internal Medicine while receiving the Resident of the Year award for three straight years as well as receiving the Howard Kane Resident of the Year, being the first osteopathic physician ever to win that award in over forty years of academic medical training at Mt. Sinai.
He also served as Chief Intern as well as Chief Resident during his training. Dr. Hasty began his career as a Hospitalist & Internist for Cogent Healthcare at Lee Memorial Health Systems in Fort Myers, FL. He soon became Associate Lead Physician for Cogent Healthcare. Dr. Hasty had what he described as a “calling” to become an academic physician and joined NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in March 2005. He served as the Founding Program Director of the Palmetto General Hospital Internal Medicine Residency Program and helped develop several other graduate medical education programs. He also served as the Vice Chair of the Internal Medicine Department at NSU. He was awarded the NSU Stuey Award for Co-Curricular Advisor of the Year in 2009. He was the recipient of the coveted Golden Apple Award by the graduation class of NSU-COM in 2008 and again in 2009 and 2011.
He has served on various boards, including the American College of Osteopathic Internists and the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators. Dr. Hasty is the Founding Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the Proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Hasty is board certified in internal medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Internists as well as the American College of Physicians.

Lauren Necochea, Director, Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy

Lauren Necochea has served as director of the Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy since 2014. She concurrently directs Idaho Voices for Children. Both are programs of Jannus. Lauren previously oversaw and evaluated programs addressing children’s safety and health hazards for the Baltimore City Health Department. Prior to that, she was a policy fellow with joint appointments at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Princeton University’s Center for Health and Wellbeing. She has evaluated anti-poverty programs internationally and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study microfinance in Peru. Lauren earned a Master in Public Affairs and Certificate in Health and Health Policy at Princeton University and holds a B.A. in Economics from Pomona College. She is a native Idahoan and lives in Boise with her husband and two daughters.


Leslie Kelly Hall, Senior Vice President, Policy, Healthwise

Committed to patient engagement, consumer empowerment, and the use of health information technology to support collaborative care, Leslie Kelly Hall has 25 years of executive leadership in health information technology. Leslie’s experience as a health system Chief Information Officer and Marketing executive at Saint Alphonsus Health System in Idaho, her leadership in forming the Idaho Health Information Exchange, and 20 years of healthcare administration make her uniquely qualified to lead efforts to promote patient engagement. Appointed to national advisory committees, Leslie has influenced healthcare technology policy for patients and providers.
Healthwise is committed to helping people make better health decisions and is the largest patient education provider in the country with nearly 2 billion people benefitting. Patients that are more informed make decisions that are more conservative, which lowers costs and improves outcomes. Healthwise and Leslie advocate for patient-provider collaboration and shared decision making. Healthwise, Boise, ID

Dr. David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., CEO and President, St. Luke’s Health System

Dr. Pate received his bachelor of arts degree from Rice University, his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and his law degree cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center. He completed his residency training at Baylor College of Medicine and is board-certified in internal medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Dr. Pate joined St. Luke’s Health System, based in Boise, Idaho, in 2009 following executive positions in Houston. St. Luke’s comprises seven hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital and network of outpatient rehab clinics, a nationally recognized cancer center, and more than 100 clinics throughout southern Idaho and into eastern Oregon.
Dr. Pate is leading St. Luke’s transformation into an integrated delivery system that includes service partnerships and relationships with other healthcare organizations in the region while ensuring the financial foundation that supports the visionary development of St. Luke’s Health System. In 2013, St. Luke’s became the first health system in Idaho to establish a federally recognized Accountable Care Organization. Truven Health Analytics has named St. Luke’s one of America’s top 15 health systems for three consecutive years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have awarded St. Luke’s Boise and St. Luke’s Meridian the only full five-star rating in Idaho and St. Luke’s is routinely recognized as an emerging health system of note as the transformation of health care in America continues.
Dr. Pate and St. Luke’s are committed to developing accountable care in the region and becoming a national leader in health care as the organization demonstrates the ability to deliver the highest possible quality, in the safest manner, achieving the best possible outcomes, at the lowest possible cost.
The father of two adult daughters, Dr. Pate lives in Boise with his wife, Lynette.

James Gelfand, Senior Vice President/Health Policy, The ERISA Industry Committee

James works with ERIC members to develop and advance public policies to support their ability to design and administer health plans, including legislative and regulatory advocacy. James has broad experience across the health care policy spectrum, including insurance, coverage, quality, reimbursement, innovation, benefits, government programs, and many other related issues. He has served as a member of numerous quality and coverage groups, on the steering committee of various coalitions, and as a featured speaker at many conferences, panels, and summits. James has significant media experience, having been featured in numerous television programs, major publications, and widely listened-to radio shows.
James comes to ERIC after leading a number of successful legislative initiatives as Director of Federal Affairs at the March of Dimes Foundation. Prior to this, he served as Associate Project Director for Luntz Global Partners, where he helped spearhead the firm’s political practice during the 2014 election. He also worked for four years on Capitol Hill, serving as counsel to Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) on the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, and to Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee, covering health care and other Senate Finance Committee issues.
James served four years as a lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he directed the trade association’s health policy team throughout the health reform process. Prior to that, he was a lobbyist for ERIC, where he assisted in building a number of successful initiatives that are ongoing today.
James earned his J.D. at George Washington University Law School, and his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Legal Studies at Northwestern University.

Mike Reynoldson

Mike Reynoldson is the Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Blue Cross of Idaho, based in Meridian, Idaho. In this position he serves as a legislative advisor and government affairs contact to the federal and state government, the Idaho Legislature and local government throughout Idaho. Reynoldson began with Blue Cross of Idaho in February of 2015 as the Director of Governmental Affairs. He has 24 years of experience as a public policy and political professional and previously served in similar positions for both Micron Technology, Inc. and Qwest Communications based in Idaho.
Reynoldson has extensive experience in the state and national political arena having worked for the Republican National Committee, serving as Executive Director of the Idaho Republican Party, and as the Campaign Manager for U S Senator Larry Craig’s 1996 re-election.
Reynoldson grew up in Parma, Idaho and graduated from Boise State University in 1990 with a degree in Marketing.

Dr. Gregory Hill, Ph.D., Director Idaho Public Policy Institute

Gregory Hill is Director of the Idaho Policy Institute and Associate Professor of Public Policy & Administration.
He completed his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University in 2006. He earned his MPA from Idaho State University. His interests center on public management, administration, and policy theory and immigration policy. He has written articles for State and Local Government Review, Social Science Journal, T

he Oxford Handbook of Public Management and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory and has presented papers at numerous conferences including the annual meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association and Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management. He is an avid baseball fan, and was invited to present some baseball-related research at the 16th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004. Dr. Hill has extensive survey and research experience in the academic, public, and private sectors. Some of Dr. Hill’s recent survey consultation includes: surveying school district superintend
ents in Texas; working with the Office of Performance Evaluation in developing, managing, and analyzing multiple surveys of the Department of Health and Welfare; producing and analyzing data for the Public Policy Survey.

Kendra Witt-Doyle, Ph.D., Executive Director Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health

Kendra is Executive Director of the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. In this position, she provides strategic oversight and crafts initiatives that impact health in Idaho. Through her work and personal life, she is involved with community health organizations and coalitions. As an Idaho native and mother of two young boys, she is passionate about improving health of Idaho’s youth. 
Kendra received her Bachelor of Science degree from Boise State University, her Master in Public Health from University of Texas School of Public Health, and her Doctoral Degree from University of Texas El Paso.



Lydia Aquirre, Director of Human Resources, Idaho Housing and Finance Association and The Housing Company

As Director of Human Resources for both Idaho Housing and Finance Association and also The Housing Company, Lydia directs all facets of HR and payroll related activities to ensure business success and an engaged corporate culture. Lydia holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Boise State University and several national HR related certifications. Prior to IHFA, Lydia held progressive HR positions in the private sector for large national corporations. Lydia currently serves on multiple HR related Boards throughout the Treasure Valley.

Dan Chadwick, Executive Director, Idaho Association of Counties

As the Executive Director of IAC, Dan leads day-to-day office operations and reports directly to the IAC Board of Directors. His responsibility to IAC takes him to all IAC meetings and most affiliate, district, WIR, NACo, and other regional and national meetings. Dan is a licensed Idaho attorney and can provide legal assistance to counties when requested.

Chris Danley, Senior Planning Associate, Alta Planning and Design

Chris has ten years of planning experience with an emphasis on active living planning and health integration. Throughout his career, in both the public and private sections, he has focused on three principal areas: planning, assessment, and training. In the planning arena, Chris has led numerous bicycle, pedestrian, and Safe Route to School plans, and created a planning model called the Activity Connection Plan, which has been implemented in dozens of communities. He is an expert in assessment, with experience conducting over a dozen Health Impact Assessments. Chris has also conducted Complete Street Policy assessments and an approach called a Healthy Conditions Assessment that aims to focus community resources based on demonstrated health indicators. Chris’ training qualifications include co-creating the Looking Glass Academy, a two-day walk and bike audit training program; he has also provided several formal trainings on Health Impact Assessments. Currently, Chris is also the President of the National Physical Activity Society which aims to get Americans more engaged in regular bouts of physical activity as part of their daily lives.

Dr. Ted Epperly

Dr. Epperly is the President and CEO of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho a large Federally Qualified Teaching Health Center comprised of seven clinics, three family medicine residency programs, and three fellowships. He Graduated from University of Washington School of Medicine in 1980. Dr. Epperly completed his residency in Family Medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Washington in 1983. He completed a faculty development fellowship at the University of North Carolina in 1986 and achieved a CAQ in Geriatrics. Dr. Epperly retired July 2001 as Colonel after serving 21 years in the United States Army. Dr. Epperly served as the past President and Board Chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
He is a current member of the ACGME Board of Directors that has responsibility of all residency and fellowship training for over 120,000 residents and fellows of all specialties in the United States. He currently serves as the Governor appointed Chairman of the Board for the Idaho Healthcare Coalition that is in charge of helping transform healthcare for the State of Idaho. Dr. Epperly is a member of multiple other Boards of Directors and the President of several non-profit organizations. He has published over 50 articles and book chapters and he is a staunch supporter of Family Medicine education, research, and both rural and underserved health care. His book Fractured: America’s Broken Health Care System and What Must Be Done To Heal It provides excellent insight to the U.S healthcare system and can be found on Amazon.com. He and his wife Lindy just celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary in September 2016 and have two sons. Outside of medicine, his interests include golf, skiing, fly-fishing, and reading.

Dr. Ed McEachern

Dr. McEachern as the medical director for Medicare programs for PacificSource. In this role, he sets PacificSource’s clinical direction, manage operational, logistical, and clinical review activities for the Medicare health services department from its Boise office. A physician, he previously served as chief medical officer and executive director of operations at Saint Alphonsus Health Alliance. Prior to that, he led a venture capital fund that focused on healthcare and served as CMO for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Ohio. An associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and an assistant professor at Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, McEachern holds six patents, has authored seven books, has published 40 peer-reviewed articles, and has served as a healthcare consultant for the U.S. State Department and Peace Corps.

Rep. Tom Loertscher, Idaho House of Representatives

Tom is in his 15th term as a member of the Idaho House of Representatives representing eastern Idaho. He has actively engaged healthcare issues during his 31 years in the House. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Utah and served six years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He’s a longtime farmer and rancher and was on the Bonneville County Commission for six years. He and his wife, Linda, have eight children and 35 grandchildren.

Kathryn Mooney, Program Director, Catastrophic Healthcare Cost Program, Idaho Association of Counties

Kathryn manages the state fund that acts as reinsurance for local government indigent health care fund. She also provides training, budget oversight for the agency, coordinate activities of the Board of Directors.



Patt Richesin, President, Kootenai Care Network

As the senior executive for a clinically integrated network of more than 450 providers, Patt is charged with driving change from core plan to operational performance. Other responsibilities include health plan relationship development to achieve contemporary agreements in direct-to-employer, commercial, and government contracts; defining and setting objectives for physician leadership in strategic planning; advancing knowledge and performance from concept to provider engagement; developing infrastructure including key committees and subcommittees, embedded care coordination and quality management, network alignment and participation criteria. She leads team and network development relative to implications of MSSP ACO, bundled payments, gainsharing initiatives, in-network, in-ACO, and contracted services relationships.
Prior to joining Kootenai, Patt was vice president pf physician strategies and service at VHA, Inc., and director of special projects at Providence Health and Services.

Dr. Rhonda Robinson Beale, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross of Idaho

Dr. Robinson Beale joined Blue Cross of Idaho in December 2014, and brings over 20-years of managed care, quality improvement, and behavioral health experience. Mostly recently, she served as the chief medical officer for external affairs at United Health Group in the Optum Behavioral Health Division. Dr. Robinson Beale lead the Optum team to a 100-percent NCQA accreditation score for three care advocacy centers. During her career, Dr. Robinson Beale served in leadership positions with national healthcare companies including vice president and chief medical officer with PacifiCare Behavioral Health and Cigna, and the national medical director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Dr. Robinson Beale continues to provide expertise to the National Institute of Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association and American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Robinson Beale earned a medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Amy Stahl, Communications Manager, St. Luke’s Health System

Amy is a communications professional with more than 25 years of experience in increasingly challenging roles in the media and public relations. She has been Communications Manager at St. Luke’s since July, 2015. Prior to that, she was Community Relations Director for Boise Parks & Recreation for 13 years. She has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Montana.

Peter Stegner, State Director of Business and Economic Development, office of U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo

Peter Stegner has served in a variety of capacities for Sen. Crapo, including Legislative Assistant for environment, natural resources and other issues related to Crapo’s membership on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Stegner brings with him a wealth of experience, having previously served as Regional Director and Staff Assistant at the North-Central Regional Office in Lewiston for more than three years, and as Crapo’s Media Director based out of Washington, D.C. A native of North Idaho, he holds a Master’s in English Literature and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Idaho.

Program Producer and Conference Emcee

Roger Plothow, President, APG Idaho

Roger Plothow has been editor and publisher of the Post Register since 2002 and has worked at the newspaper a total of 22 years. He also oversees operations of three eastern Idaho weekly newspapers and APG Events, which produces the Idaho Healthcare Summit. He has been a journalist in Idaho, Utah and California for 35 years.