September 14, 2021 | Investing in Health Equity Through Oregon’s Medicaid Waiver: What’s the Best Approach?

Oregon Health Authority is currently drafting a Medicaid waiver application to allow flexibility in how the state tailors its Medicaid programs for the years 2022 through 2027. This process creates an opportunity to build on previous health care innovations and design a more equitable system for over 1.3 million Oregonians who receive care through the Oregon Health Plan. OHA’s recommended concept will establish Health Equity Zones, a model that shifts decision-making power and resources to regional community collaboratives designed to integrate care across health and social systems and reduce the rate of cost increases. Would this plan better serve the broader needs of Medicaid members than the current system of coordinated care organizations (CCOs) developed in the 2012 waiver? Our panel of experts will discuss considerations for each approach to Oregon’s health equity investments. Join us to learn more, and consider adding your voice to the public comments on this proposed policy.


Jill Arena

Jill Arena is the CEO of Health e Practices and leads its consulting operations. She is the co-founder of The Physician Leadership Project, and the author of Physician, Heal Thy Financial Self. She has worked in medical group operations for more than 30 years, and she earned her Fellowship from the American College of Medical Practice Executives in 1999. She has extensive experience in alternative care and revenue models, revenue cycle management, business operations, practice transitions and leadership coaching. She has served on the boards and executive committees of a number of physician groups in a key advisor role.

Over the past 30 years, Jill has guided the launch of more than 80 new medical clinics in multiple states. During her career with Health e Practices, she has served several medical groups in interim leadership positions as CEO and Administrator while helping them conduct successful national recruitment efforts. She started her career as an auditor for a Big 8 public accounting firm and subsequently spent five years as the Director of Physician Services for Providence Health System, where she was responsible for the operations of fifteen clinics and provided matrix management for eight others. She oversaw the risk contracting, budgeting and physician compensation systems as well as technology implementations. Jill derives a great deal of professional satisfaction from convening groups of healthcare leaders and guiding clients through important transitions in their practices to assure that they thrive as they take care of patients in our community.

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Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D) – District 17

Elizabeth Steiner Hayward is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Family Medicine at OHSU. She has served as the State Senator for Northwest Portland and Beaverton since 2012. She is a Senate Co-Chair of the Full Ways & Means Committee, which oversees Oregon’s state budget. She is also a member of the Capital Construction Sub-Committee and the Legislative Audits Committee, both of which address portions of the budget. Senator Steiner Hayward also serves on the leadership team of the Oregon Senate Democrats as Deputy Majority Leader. In her time in the Oregon Legislature, she has raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, increased statewide vaccination rates, passed legislation establishing the nation’s first state-wide universally-offered nurse home visiting program, and addressed the opioid epidemic head-on through behavioral health treatment programs and increasing access to medication-assisted treatment. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, photography, and cooking.

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Stick Crosby

As the Network and Health Equity Director for AllCare Health, Inc., Stick is able to look at inequities on a systems level within the provider network and find ways that we can change the system to work for everyone. Stick is the chair of AllCare Health’s Health Equity and Inclusivity Action Team and a Steering Committee Member of SO-Health-E, a cross-sector Regional Health Equity Coalition financially supported by Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. He is a graduate of the Oregon Health Authority’s DELTA program, a health equity and inclusion leadership program that includes training, coaching, and networking to health, community, and policy leaders in Oregon. Stick sits on both the Oregon Health Authority Health Equity Committee and Oregon Health Care Interpreter Council.

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Annie Valtierra-Sanchez

Annie serves as the Director of SO Health-E (Southern Oregon Health Equity Coalition), one of six Regional Health Equity Coalitions in Oregon supported by the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. SO Health-E works to address social determinants of health by centering community voices and building cross-sector capacity for long-term policy, systems and environmental change that prioritize those historically impacted – people of color and underrepresented populations including LGBTQ+ community members, people living with disabilities, and low-income community members. Annie is a core team member of the Oregon Latinx Leadership Network (OLLN), a member of the Governor’s Racial Justice Council and co-chair of its Health Equity Committee, and she is a member of the Oregon Health Authority’s Health Equity Committee. She serves on the board of directors for the Southern Oregon Education Service District, American Leadership Forum fellow class 37, and participates in other committees related to her work and personal life. Annie holds a Baccalaureate of Science in Sociology and Anthropology and a Regional Studies Applied Research Certificate from Southern Oregon University where she graduated summa cum laude and was presented with the Robert Birge Memorial Scholarship Award. Annie strongly believes in serving her community and strengthening leadership within impacted populations to be drivers in decision making and building communities that feel like home to all people who inhabit them.

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