College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

2019 Health Policy Institute – Shaping Tomorrow’s Health Policy Leaders

June 7, 2019

Attendees represented health care systems, hospital systems, state and local governments, clinicians, and insurers/payers.

“You are in this room to be leaders. Welcome. We need you,” said Dr. Len Nichols, professor of health policy in CHHS, greeting a room of more than 30 participants in the 2019 Health Policy Institute (HPI). With these encouraging words, he challenged everyone present to tackle the complex issues in health policy today. 

 “HPI is a unique opportunity to lift the hood on the policymaking process. We bring together working professionals, students, and experts to discuss the most critical health policy issues of our time and learn how to work with those who influence policy at the federal and state level to make a difference," said HAP Department Chair P.J. Maddox, reinforcing the urgency and the utility of the three-day conference.

HPI is an annual tradition, packed with sessions from thought leaders on health policy sharing their perspectives on the micro and macro issues shaping policy as well as industry practitioners who help link theory to practice – all crowned with a day on the Hill to meet with legislators and their staff. The event is designed to provide students and professionals with front-row knowledge of health policy including the policy-making process; emerging models in health care delivery and payment; and how to effectively prepare for and navigate conversations with legislators. 

Attendees represented health care systems, hospital systems, state and local governments, clinicians, and insurers/payers and attended the Institute to learn more about the factors shaping health health-spending and policies as well as what it takes to successfully shape- perhaps even reform – health care.

Attendee, Lorraine Jordan, chief advocacy officer, from American Association of Nurse Anesthetists said “I attended [HPI] to become more knowledgeable about what's going on in current affairs and trends in the Washington arena and to expose me to even more opportunities in health policy. This program is unique in the breadth in which it addresses health policy especially as it affects health care delivery makes it important to consider this type of program.”

Jordan attended HPI with a group of five certified nurse anesthetists, to help expand the organization’s knowledge of health policy and said, “The AANA has decided to become much more active in our role on Washington, DC. and to understand health policy has been one of the predominant elements to grow our profession. We already have a lobbying day here in DC, but to have individuals who can establish expertise in health policy has been important to us.”

Student Nigel Walker (Master of Health Administration) reported that “HPI has been very beneficial for learning about the policymaking process and interacting with policymakers. In fact, HPI was recommended by several people at the hospital where I currently work. The conference has been thought-provoking and insightful—and incredibly helpful in understanding what happens when we leave the classroom and go into the real world of shaping policy."

Sessions focused on building the skills and knowledge that tomorrow’s health policy leaders will need to live up the challenge of shaping change in a complex environment, including:
  • A panel discussion on value-based health care payment, examining accountable care organizations from diverse perspectives including a system administrator at Ann Arundel Medical Center and an executive at Evolent Health
  • A discussion of Mass Media and Elections with Dr. Bill Schneider, Schar School professor of policy, government and international affairs, covering what to expect and what to reflect on in the upcoming election cycle.
  • An update on the legislative agenda for public health from Carolyn McCoy, senior director of government affairs at ASTHO
  • A review of state policy health reform priorities and discussion of states’ opiod challenges with Dr. William Hazel, former secretary of health and human resources and now senior advisor for innovation and community engagement at Mason.

See the full agenda for the 2019 Health Policy Institute.

Expertise