Health & Human Services

Saturday, 8:30 AM – Texas vs Obamacare

Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General

Attorney General Greg Abbott was re-elected as the 50th attorney general of Texas in 2010. Before winning office, Abbott served as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court and as a state district judge in Harris County. As the state’s head lawyer, Abbott oversees more than 700 attorneys who represent the state.

Saturday, 9:45 AM – The Affordable Care Act is Constitutional. What now?

Anne Dunkelberg

Associate Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities

Anne Dunkelberg is the associate director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, where she focuses on policy and budget issues related to health care access, as well as general issues related to immigrants’ access to public benefits. Previously at the State Medicaid Director’s Office at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Dunkelberg joined the center in 1994.

Dan Stultz

President and Chief Executive Officer, Texas Hospital Association

Dan Stultz is the president and chief executive officer of the Texas Hospital Association, an Austin-based trade association representing more than 85 percent of the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Stultz is a member of the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board 7 and of the State Hospital Association Executives Forum.

Thomas Suehs

Former Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Thomas Suehs retired in August as executive commissioner of Texas health and human services, a position to which he was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009. The commissioner oversees the operations of the five health and human services agencies, including more than 57,000 employees and combined annual budgets of $30 billion.

Arlene Wohlgemuth

Executive Director, Center for Health Care Policy, Texas Public Policy Foundation; Former State Representative, R-Burleson

Arlene Wohlgemuth is the executive director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Center for Health Care Policy. Wohlgemuth served for 10 years in the Texas House, where she authored HB 2292, a sweeping reform of the state's health and human services agency and the largest government reform bill ever passed in the state.

Saturday, 11:00 AM – The Future of State Health Policy

Kyle Janek

Executive Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Gov. Rick Perry appointed Dr. Kyle Janek of Austin to serve as executive commissioner of Texas health and human services effective Sept. 1. Janek, a physician, also represented District 17 in the Texas Senate until 2008.

Chris Traylor

Chief Deputy Commissioner, Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Chris Traylor is chief deputy commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Traylor most recently served as commissioner for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, the agency that regulates long-term services and nursing homes, provides state services for people with disabilities and oversees state programs for aging Texans.

Saturday, 1:15 PM – Family Planning: The Great Debate

Kimberly Carter

Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Austin Programs

Dr. Carter is a board-certified OB/GYN who completed undergraduate studies at Southwestern University and obtained a graduate degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. She graduated from Baylor College of Medicine where she stayed to complete her OB/GYN residency training. Carter is on the executive council for the Texas Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves on the expert panel for Texas' Department of Health and Human Services' 'Healthy Texas Baby' initiative.

Donna Howard

State Representative, D-Austin; Vice Chairwoman, House Administration Committee

State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, sits on the House Higher Education Committee and the House Technology Committee and serves as vice chairwoman of the House Administration Committee. Howard has previously served as vice chairwoman of the House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee.

Bryan Hughes

State Representative, R-Mineola

State Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, was elected to represent House District 5 in 2002 and is the vice chairman of the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. He also serves on the Human Services Committee and as vice chairman of the Rural Caucus. He currently practices law in Mineola, his hometown.

Joe Pojman

Executive Director, Texas Alliance for Life

Joe Pojman is the founder and executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion organization whose goal is to protect human life by peaceful, legal means. He has served as the executive director for 17 years.

Saturday, 2:30 PM – Is Texas' Stem Cell Policy Good For Texans?

David Bales

Chairman, Texans for Stem Cell Research

David Bales founded Texans for Stem Cell Research in 2008 to help people with chronic diseases and injuries. Bales' professional life has always been tied to the state Capitol. For more than 35 years, his family owned Scholz Garten, where Bales discovered his love of politics and public service.

Andrea Ferrenz

Executive Vice President, Celltex Therapeutics

Andrea Ferrenz is the executive vice president of CellTex Therapeutics. Ferrenz has more than 14 years of experience as a practicing attorney representing companies in health-related industries. Her practice has focused on regulatory compliance and litigation, with expertise in FDA law, advertising law, administrative law, civil litigation and contract law.

Rick Hardcastle

State Representative, R-Vernon, Chairman, House Agriculture & Livestock Committee

State Rep. Rick Hardcastle, R-Vernon, was elected in 1998 to serve his first term in the Texas House representing District 68, which consists of 16 counties in North and West Texas. Hardcastle has served on several House committees, including Public Education, Land and Resource Management, Energy Resources, Natural Resources, and Border and International Affairs.

Leigh Turner

Associate Professor, Center for Bioethics & School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

Leigh Turner is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota's Center for Bioethics, School of Public Health and College of Pharmacy. His research examines ethical issues related to medical travel and the emergence of a global market in health services. He is co-editor of "The View From Here: Bioethics and the Social Sciences and Medical Tourism: Understanding the Global Market for Health Services."

Saturday, 3:45 PM – An 83rd Legislative Session Preview

Garnet Coleman

State Representative, D-Houston; Chairman, House County Affairs Committee

State Rep. Garnet F. Coleman, D-Houston, has represented District 147 in the Texas House since 1991. Coleman serves as a member of the Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding, charged with ensuring that the state maximizes its funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Robert Deuell

State Senator, R-Greenville; Vice Chairman, House Health & Human Services Committee

State Sen. Robert F. "Bob" Deuell has represented Senate District 2 since 2003. Deuell now serves as chairman of the Senate Nominations Committee and vice chairman of both the Health and Human Services and the State Affairs committees. He also sits on the Finance Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.

Royce West

State Senator, D-Dallas

Royce West was first elected to the Texas Senate in November 1992. Since taking office he has represented the 23rd Senatorial District on behalf of the citizens of Dallas County in the Texas Legislature. West is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations and is a member of Senate committees on Education, Finance, Health and Human Services and Higher Education.

John Zerwas

State Representative, R-Simonton; Chair, House Select Committee on Federal Legislation

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, was elected in 2006 to represent House District 28. He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee as chairman of the Health and Human Services Subcommittee. He was also appointed to the Conference Committee for Senate Bill 1, the 2010-11 state budget, and serves on the House Public Health Committee.