Keynote Speaker

François de Brantes is a nationally recognized thought leader on payment reform and has spent close to two decades working to transform the U.S. healthcare system by improving incentives for providers and consumers in order to encourage value-based decisions. He is the Senior Vice President of Remedy Partners, responsible for designing episodes of care solutions for employers, payers and providers. Prior to joining Remedy, Francois was the Executive Director of the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, a non-profit focused on improvements in the quality and affordability of health care through evidence-based incentive programs and support of payment reform models, where he lead the development and implementation of the Prometheus Payment model and the Bridges To Excellence program. Early in his career working in General Electric's corporate health care development, he was involved in many strategic programs that created, connected and supported Active Consumers, and defined market mechanisms to reward providers for better performance. Francois holds a master's degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Paris IX-Dauphine and a master's degree in Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College.

Conference Speakers

Mike Andrade served in the healthcare, employee benefits, and financial services space since 1993.  As an independent benefits advisor he is literally changing the way employers think about their health insurance program.  He uses his unique combination of market data, practical innovations, research, and life experiences to help his client’s craft health plans built for long-term success. His company is Maverick Benefit Advisors and specializes in working with firms that are frustrated with the current state of healthcare’s impact on their employee’s financial wellbeing and the organizational bottom lines. Michael is not a native Texan, but he got here as soon as he could.  He’s lived in the Houston area since 1996 and prior to that was a resident of California.  Mike’s professional background includes:  Financial Underwriter for a major health insurance company , Consultant major accounting firm, Sales Leader with a major Insurance company, Executive for a major insurance company and Benefits Advisor for a national brokerage firm. 

Andrade is the Founder and host of the industry-leading podcast Solving Healthcare, where he identifies and promotes companies that are positively disrupting healthcare.  His podcast interviews can be found at www.solvinghealthcare.net.  Andrade resides in Sugar Land, TX with his wife Tracy.  Together they have 6 kids and 2 grandkids. 

Dr. Eric Bricker is a Johns Hopkins-trained internal medicine physician and former Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of  Compass Professional Health Services.  Compass is a healthcare navigation service that was founded over 12 years ago and has over 2,000 employer clients.  Compass was acquired by Alight Solutions in July 2018.  Alight is a 10,00 person employee benefits and HR outsourcing company that separated from Aon in 2017. 

Dr. Bricker is the current Chief Medical Officer of AHealthcareZ, a healthcare finance video journal.  AHealthcareZ.com has over 170 educational videos with over 80,000 monthly views across all platforms.  Topics range from hospital/insurance contracting to pharmacy benefits managers to case studies of employers that have successfully increased healthcare quality and decreased costs. 


Jennifer Bryant serves as Executive Vice President, Policy, Research and Membership for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).  PhRMA advocates for public policies that encourage the discovery of life-saving and life-enhancing new medicines for patients by biopharmaceutical research companies.  Ms. Bryant leads PhRMA’s Policy and Research department in the development and implementation of legislative, regulatory and political strategies to successfully navigate the ever-changing federal health care landscape.  In her prior role as Senior Vice President for Policy and Research, she oversaw the analysis and development of public policy related to health care costs and spending, prescription drug pricing, and changes in health care delivery and payment.

Prior to joining PhRMA, Ms. Bryant was Vice President at The Lewin Group, a national health care consulting firm.  Previously, she held positions at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and the State of New York. 

Ms. Bryant graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received her MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Al Charbonneau is a hospital executive with over 30 years of experience as the CEO/COO of urban teaching/rural hospitals and as the founding CEO of a business sponsored organization leading healthcare reform.  He spent more than half of his career working in nationally recognized health reform initiatives in Rochester, New York.  During the early part of his career, Charbonneau was one of the founding hospital CEOs participating in the Hospital Experimental Payment program (HEP).  HEP was an all-payer global budgeting experiment that eliminated fee-for-service payment to hospitals.  The General Accounting Office credited HEP with producing health insurance premiums that were 33% less than the national average.

In the later part of his career, Charbonneau was the founding CEO of the Rochester Health Commission.  In 1998, the Governor of New York recognized the accomplishments occurring under the Commission’s umbrella by appointing Charbonneau Chairman of the New York State Task Force on Health Care Quality Improvement and Information Systems, established under the Health Care Reform Act of 1996.  In 2003, the RAND Corporation recognized the Commission’s work in a report sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  In 2004, the Institute of Medicine invited the Rochester Health Commission to participate in the First Annual Crossing the Quality Chasm Summit.  Charbonneau presented at the Quality Chasm Summit’s Community Organization breakout sessions and served on the Summit’s Reactor Panel. 

After retiring to Rhode Island, Charbonneau was appointed Executive Director of the Rhode Island Business Group on Health (RIBGH).  Since assuming the position in 2014, RIBGH has pursued strategies illustrating cost, affordability and health system waste. 

David Contorno began his career as a teenager whilst living in New York and, over the span of more than 20 years, has become a leading expert in employee benefits for large employers across the nation. With sights firmly set on enacting positive change, David created E Powered Benefits; a benefit consulting firm with a clearly defined mission to deliver a different benefit experience based on full transparency. His business model has produced average oneyear savings of over 40% along with substantially reduced out of pocket costs for employees.

Giving back to the community is something that David has remained committed too. He actively participates in the membership drive for the United Way, assisting the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and supporting the Dove House Child Advocacy Center. He is also a member of the board of directors for both the Charlotte Association of Health Underwriters and former board member Healthreach Community Clinic.

Daniel Crowe, MD, FACP is a board certified internist, a physician executive, a diabetologist, and a leader in changing the paradigm for managing chronic pain and addiction. Since 2013 he has been Senior Medical Director with Superior Health Plan, the largest government-sponsored managed care organization in Texas (Centene is the parent corporation).   Prior to that he was the Chief Medical Officer of CommUnityCare, the Federally Qualified Health Center in Austin.  Before moving to Texas, he lived in Massachusetts where he was Assistant Medical Director with Southboro Medical Group, a large group practice outside of Boston.  Prior to that he was a primary care internist in Maine and New Hampshire for over 20 years where he also held a variety of physician leadership roles with regional hospitals in the area.  He was a member of the Clinical Advisory Board for the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology and has been a long-time member of the Diabetes Technology Society and the American Diabetes Association. He is a graduate of the Institute for Health Care Improvement's Innovation College and has worked on health care reform in New England and in Texas and is also a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt.  He is also a Board member of the Texas Heath Institute.  Dr. Crowe is on the faculty of the UT Austin Dell Medical School where he is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and Population Health. In their spare time, he and his wife perform jazz and enjoy the outdoors together with their dog Olivia.

Robert “Bo” Gamble joined the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) in May 2011 as the Director of Strategic Practice Initiatives. Bo was active in the development and support of the Oncology Medical Home (OMH) program.  His primary responsibilities include: supporting most of the cancer care teams that are involved in the CMMI Oncology Care Model, development and promotion of other reform models for cancer care, support of the COA Administrator’s network, and other projects to preserve and promote community cancer care.   

 Mr. Gamble brings a diverse range of cancer practice expertise at the national and local levels. His extensive experience includes 13 years’ experience as administrator at a multi-physician, multi-location oncology practice.  Prior to that he has served in various  healthcare capacities including as an independent consultant for healthcare patient accounting and IT implementation projects, national director of client support for a healthcare software company, and business office manager for a 300+ bed hospital.  He got his beginning in healthcare as a hospital orderly during his college years.    

James Gelfand is Senior Vice President, Health Policy. He 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 at the federal, state, and local levels.  

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. 


Josh Golden has 20 years of experience as a strategic thought leader within the health care industry. He brings to bear a keen understanding of the entire pharmacy benefits supply chain to help plan sponsors optimize financial and healthcare outcomes for the populations that they cover. Josh is frequently called upon for speaking engagements and media inquiries at a national level.  As Senior VP of Strategy for Capital Rx, Josh assesses market trends, evaluates business initiatives, and develops strategic partnerships to support the continued growth of the organization. 


Misty Hambright, Senior Manager – Benefits Strategy, American Airlines, Inc. 

Misty leads the Benefits Strategy organization at America Airlines, responsible for developing and promoting health benefits programs and strategies centered around the team member experience.  During her 15 years with American Airlines, she has worked in various departments in the People organization including Workers’ Compensation and Benefits Delivery.  In addition, Misty serves on the Board of Directors for the DFW Business Group on Health.   

Vivian Ho, Ph.D., is the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics, Director of the Center for Health and Biosciences, a professor in the Department of Economics at Rice University, and a professor in the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Ho’s research examines the effects of economic incentives and regulations on the qua lity and costs of health care. Her research is widely published in economics, medical and health services research journals. Ho’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the American Cancer Society.  

Dr. Ho has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Health Statistics, as well as on the NIH Health Services, Outcomes and Delivery study section. She is also a founding board member of the American Society for Health Economists and a board member for Community Health Choice. Ho received her A.B. in economics from Harvard University, a graduate diploma in economics from The Australian National University and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. 

Steve Hoffman has 39 years of experience in the insurance industry and specializes in health and welfare programs for insured and self-insured clients.  Steve focuses on health and welfare programs for middle market plan sponsors. In 2017 Steve led the effort on behalf of Higginbotham to co-sponsor the annual benefits survey for HBCH. Higginbotham donates all time and expenses for the survey to HBCH. Steve assists his clients with the strategic alignment of human resource and employee benefit plan objectives. He has a diverse background in benefits programs including plan design, funding, compliance, communications, underwriting, actuarial, data analytics and online enrollment systems.

Steve has 35 years experience as a benefits advisor, including health and welfare practice leader responsibilities with Johnson & Higgins, Marsh, Palmer & Cay and Aon. In 2011 Steve joined Higginbotham to concentrate on client management for middle market organizations. Steve graduated from Georgia State University with bachelors degree in accounting. He is a fellow of the Certified Employee Benefit Specialists Society since 1982 and has also earned his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1994. Steve is active in a number of human resource and charitable organizations in the Houston area.

Ken Janda is Managing Principal of Wild Blue Health Solutions, a Texas-based consultancy solving health system challenges, including increasing coverage options and connecting our most vulnerable populations to health care access. Prior to starting Wild Blue, Ken served for over ten years as President and CEO of Community Health Choice, a nonprofit health insurer which included over 400,000 enrollees in Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA’s subsidized individual Marketplace. A 35-year veteran of the health industry, including executive positions with Prudential, Aetna and Humana, Ken teaches health insurance at Rice University’s Jones Business School and is an Adjunct Professor in Population Health at the University of Houston College of Medicine. He is passionate about connecting every Texan to quality, affordable care.

Dave Milich serves as chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare’s (UHC) Employer & Individual operations in Texas.

Based in Houston since 2011 when he became UHC’s South Texas health plan CEO, Dave works extensively with customers, consultants, brokers, physicians, hospitals, regulators, legislators and community leaders to address issues related to health care accessibility and affordability.

Prior to his most current roles as health plan CEO, Dave provided strategic oversight of business development and customer retention for commercial markets as regional vice president of sales and account management for the 15 states and 16 health plans in UHC’s central region.

His more than 20 years of industry experience include various sales and account management leadership roles with UHC and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Outside of work, Dave is involved in the Houston community. He currently serves on boards of directors for the Greater Houston Partnership; American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer; American Diabetes Association of Houston; and SpringSpirit, an organization providing safe pathways for youth to realize life opportunities through sports, education and mentoring programs.

A St. Louis native, Dave earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration with emphasis in finance and banking from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. He and his wife, Teresa, have two sons.

Mark Miller, Executive Vice President of Health Care Arnold Ventures, leads Arnold Ventures' work to lower the cost and improve the value of health care. He joins the team with more than 30 years of experience developing and implementing health policy, including prior positions as the executive director of Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; assistant director of Health and Human Resources at the Congressional Budget Office; deputy director of health plans at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; health financing branch chief at the Office of Management and Budget; and senior research associate at the Urban Institute.
Mark has extensive experience identifying emerging health care issues, developing policy solutions, working with policymakers, and engaging diverse stakeholders. Over the course of his career, he has been directly involved in the development of major health legislation such as the Balanced Budget Act; the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act; and the Affordable Care Act.
Mark holds a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an M.A. and B.A. in political science from Old Dominion University.

Alti Rahman is the Practice Administrator for Oncology Consultants in Houston, Texas. He holds a dual Masters degree in Healthcare and Business Administration from the University of Houston and is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB). Oncology Consultant’s has 17 physicians, 4 advanced practitioners operating out of 9 full service Medical Oncology offices including a large International Cancer Center located in the Texas Medical Center. Ancillary services include 2 Radiation Oncology office, 2 Diagnostic Imaging centers, 3 Retail Pharmacy’s, and  Clinical Research programs all supported by a central administrative office.  

Alti’s business strategies focus on continuous quality and risk assessment of the patient/physician relationship and advancement of value-based payment models to align quality and economic objectives. Alti holds additional supplementary roles including: Six Sigma course instructor for Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), Steering Committee Member for McKesson Specialty Health, Treasurer for the National Cancer Care Alliance (NCCA), Board Member of the Oncology Circle Advisory, Board Member of Coalition of Hematology and Oncology Practices (CHOP), and Co-Chair of COA (Community Oncology Alliance)-Administrator Network.   

Carrie Rust is Chief Human Resources Officer of ELLWOOD Group, Inc. (ELLWOOD) in New Castle, PA.  ELLWOOD is a family-owned, privately-held company that has been operating since 1910. Through growth and acquisition, ELLWOOD has become the leading vertically-integrated supplier of quality metals and custom-engineered components for critical applications worldwide. 

Carrie has 30 years of experience in the metals industry and is responsible for overseeing ELLWOOD’s long-term people strategy, HR policies and programs, Payroll, and its unique culture of positive engagement with more than 2,000 employees in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Grove City College, a Master of Education in Instructional Systems from Pennsylvania State University, and an Executive Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University. 

Dr. Gloria Sachdev serves as President and CEO of the Employers’ Forum of Indiana, as Clinical Associate Professor at Purdue College of Pharmacy, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Indiana University School of Medicine. The Employers’ Forum is an employer-led healthcare coalition consisting of self-funded employers, health plans, hospitals, physician groups and other interested parties who work collaboratively on initiatives to improve the value of heath care provided in Indiana.

Dr. Sachdev received her B.S. Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy.  She completed a primary care pharmacy residency at VA Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.  She then practiced for 12 years as a clinician in primary care physician offices at the VA in Madison, Wisconsin; at Scott & White Hospital and Clinics in Temple, Texas; and at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She stepped out of direct patient care and founded a consulting company in 2009.  In this capacity, she presented nationally at over 100 conferences and partnered with dozens of organizations across the US to assist in developing sustainable business models for team-based care.   


Bob Smith has worked with the Colorado Business Group on Health since 2010 on piloting payment reform and promoting value-based purchasing in Colorado. He became Executive Director in May, 2017 and is committed to employer-led, market-based reform of healthcare across Colorado through direct contracting and supporting value-based purchasing and benefit designs.

Prior to joining CBGH Bob spent 38 years as a hospital/health system executive, providing leadership on strategic planning, business development, continuous quality improvement, and performance-based contracting. He facilitated various joint ventures, partnerships, and collaborative initiatives between providers and purchasers, working within the community hospital, university medical center, and managed care settings. He started and ran a hospital-owned health plan called “the most successful provider-owned plan in the country” by Modern Healthcare after his tenure as CEO and he has overseen development and management of over 20 risk-bearing physician organizations as VP of Development with McNerney Heintz.

Bob holds an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, has co-authored a book on healthcare contracting strategies, and has published numerous healthcare articles. He taught managed care and risk-based contracting as a faculty member of the American College of Healthcare Executives for 15 years. He served as a member of the St. Vrain Valley School District Board of Education from 2007 to 2019 including as Board President from 2013-2018. He is a Trustee of the National Coalition of Healthcare Purchasing Alliances and a member of the All Payer Claims Databased Advisory Committee. He is a prior Board member of the Savannah, Georgia and Longmont, Colorado Chambers of Commerce.

Alan Van Amber, Senior Vice President, Provider Services at Navitus since 2007, is responsible for developing networks that meet the access, discount and quality needs of Navitus’ clients, and the oversight of the Navitus pharmacy network, including auditing and credentialing. He directs the execution of strategies for the procurement of pharmacy services through retail, mail and specialty channels to provide the best value to clients and members. He leads a team dedicated to ensuring Navitus’ clients and members are serviced by quality providers and guides the organization’s strategy for all distribution channels. Alan is the executive sponsor for Navitus’ e-heath solutions, including e-prescribing, real-time benefit inquiries, transactions between Navitus and prescribers, providing strategic input for delivering clinical information to prescribers to enhance the member experience at the point of care.

Prior to joining Navitus, Alan spent eight years at Prime Therapeutics, where he held several senior-level positions, including Vice President of Pharmacy Network Management. At Prime Therapeutics, he contracted with provider pharmacies for the initial launch of Medicare Part D, generated multimillion-dollar network savings from market-leading discounts and secured favorable dispensing fee agreements.

Ms. Lauren Vela is a Senior Director for the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH).  Lauren works directly with the large purchaser members of PBGH to facilitate collaboration and to support their purchaser-driven initiatives impacting healthcare delivery in the US.   In addition to translating PBGH’s ground-breaking work in transparency and accountability into workable solutions for PBGH member organizations, Lauren identifies opportunities to apply market leverage for improvement, currently focusing on the business model supporting pharmacy benefit management and low value care.    

Prior to this role, Lauren was the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Employers Forum (SVEF), a coalition of high tech employers that benchmark benefit designs and collaborate for improvement.  During her SVEF tenure, Lauren systematized the group’s benchmarking practices and served as a facilitator and strategist for their joint projects with regard to both US-based and international employee benefit programs.   To this day, SVEF and PBGH maintain a strategic alliance and Ms. Vela works closely with purchaser members of both groups.  

Prior to the SVEF role, Ms. Vela enjoyed a twelve-year tenure with PBGH serving in three distinct areas; multi-stakeholder health information exchange, provider group organization improvement, and employer value-based purchasing. Prior to her work with SVEF and PBGH, Ms. Vela was employed by organizations in the workers comp, TPA, and mental health fields where she held positions in product development, operations, marketing, and provider relations.  Ms. Vela earned an MBA from the University of Houston and has completed all necessary coursework for her Dr.PH. with a focus on managed health care and health economics from the University of Texas. 

Lalan Wilfong, M.D. currently serves as the medical director of quality programs at Texas Oncology. Dr. Wilfong is also a practicing physician. Dr. Wilfong earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas in 1997. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas in 2000. In 2003, Dr. Wilfong completed a fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in hematology and medical oncology. He earned a B.S. degree in mathematics at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas in 1993. 

He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association, and American Society of Hematology. He serves on the Electronic Medical Record and Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committees for The US Oncology Network. He currently serves as Medical Director of Quality Programs for Texas Oncology.  Dr. Wilfong is interested in clinical research and has published on gastric and pancreatic cancers. He has been honored to receive various teaching and community service awards. From 2009-2015, Dr. Wilfong has been elected as one of the best hematology oncologists in Dallas, Texas for D Magazine. 

Shane Wolverton is Quince’s chief evangelist and establisher of business relationships and distribution channels. Shane’s 25+ years of deep domain expertise in the use of clinically and risk-adjusted medical analytics makes him a sought after thought leader on value-based healthcare. Prior to Quince, Shane served as Senior VP of Corporate Development at Comparion Medical Analytics, a management consultant with Health Care Investment Analysts (now IBM Truven Health Analytics), and the McGraw-Hill Healthcare Management Group.  

Company Description - Quince is the fresh way to better care. Quince creates highly personalized (and friendly!) medical “neighborhoods” that are superior because they are very selective and smartly streamlined. This approach guarantees far lower out-of-pocket costs for members, significant cost and effort savings to employers and practices-made-perfect advantages for healthcare providers.