Empower 2017

The premier care management conference.
April 26-28, 2017  |  St. Petersburg, FL

Sponsored by

Now in its 14th year, EMPOWER, the country's premier care management conference, convenes in St. Petersburg, FL from April 26-28. EMPOWER brings together chief medical officers, medical directors and care management executives from health plans, ACOs and health systems serving vulnerable and at-risk populations to share ideas and learn from industry leaders at the forefront of managed care. Hosted by Health Integrated, this content-rich industry summit will provide:

  • Insight and strategic solutions from industry experts as we enter a new era in healthcare policy
  • Best practices from health plan leaders facing similar challenges regarding quality, costs and satisfaction
  • Numerous networking opportunities with peers, thought leaders and innovators
For more information contact marketing@healthintegrated.com.
Regina Benjamin

Keynote Speaker:
Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA

Former US Surgeon General

Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA is the 18th Surgeon General of the United States. As America’s Doctor, she provided the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. Dr. Benjamin also oversaw the operational command of 6,500 uniformed public health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, and protect the health of the American People. In addition, Dr. Benjamin served as chair of the National Prevention Council – 17 cabinet-level Federal agencies that developed the roadmap for the Nation’s health – the National Prevention Strategy.

From her early days as the founder of a rural health clinic in Alabama – which she kept in operation despite damage and destruction inflicted by hurricanes Georges (1998) and Katrina (2005) and a devastating fire (2006) – to her leadership role in the worldwide advancement of preventive health care, Dr. Benjamin has forged a career that has been recognized by a broad spectrum of organizations and publications.

Dr. Benjamin has a B.S. in chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans, an M.D. degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MBA from Tulane University. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Ga. Dr. Benjamin is the recipient of 22 honorary degrees.

Dr. Benjamin is former associate dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile and past chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. In 1995, she was the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. She served as president of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation and chair of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. In 2002, she became the first African-American female president of a state medical society in the United States when she assumed leadership of the Medical Association State of Alabama.
James Prochaska, PhD

Featured Speaker:
James Prochaska, PhD

Founder, Pro-Change Behavior Systems

Named one of the five most influential authors in Psychology by the Institute for Scientific Information and the American Psychological Society, Dr. Prochaska is one of the originators of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change and the author of more than 400 publications on behavior change for health promotion and disease prevention. He was recently recognized as one of three most preeminent clinical psychologists in the world today.

He has served as Principal Investigator on over $70 million in research grants on the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases and has received numerous honors, including major awards from the American Psychological Association, the Society for Prospective Medicine, and Harvard University.

The first psychologist to win a Medal of Honor for Clinical Research from the American Cancer Society, Dr. Prochaska has also received both an Innovators Award and an Innovators Combating Substance Abuse Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Healthtrac Foundation Education Award.

He is co-founder and consultant to Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., He serves as Director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center and Professor of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island and is the author of three other books: Systems of Psychotherapy, The Transtheoretical Approach: Crossing Traditional Boundaries of Therapy, and Changing for Good.

Dr. Prochaska earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Wayne State University.
Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Featured Speaker:
Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, MA, MHSA

Health Economist, THINK-Health

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn is a health economist, advisor and trendweaver supporting organizations at the intersection of health, technology and people. Jane founded THINK-Health after working for ten years with health care consultancies in the U.S. and Europe. Jane’s clients are all stakeholders in health: technology, bio/life sciences, providers, plans, financial services, food and consumer goods. She founded the Health Populi blog in 2007. 

Jane has been named one of the Top 100 Influencers and Brands in Digital Health, one of the Top 100 Influential Economists in the World, one of the Top 5 Women in Healthcare Blogs, one of 40 Healthcare Transformers, and one of 25 Health Care Leaders You Should Follow on Twitter. 

Jane holds an MA (Economics) and an MHSA (Health Policy) from University of Michigan. While Jane loves her work, she is even more passionate about family and home, Slow Food and her local CSA, and living a full and balanced life. 
Cynthia Wallace

Cynthia K. Wallace, MD

Senior Medical Director, Health Integrated

Dr. Cynthia K. Wallace joined Health Integrated as Senior Medical Director in November 2016.  She joins us with several years of leadership experience in Medicare Advantage, managed Medicaid and inpatient hospital medicine, with clinical practice in both inpatient medicine and palliative care.

Committed to improving the patient experience, she is focused on both patient-centered care and improved healthcare delivery systems to achieve this goal.  She is a proponent of innovative approaches to care that increase patient engagement and empowerment while facilitating the delivery of high-value care.

Dr. Wallace received her undergraduate degree in History from Duke University.  In addition to her MD from Baylor College of Medicine, she has a Master of Science in Public Health and an MBA in Healthcare Management.  She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine as well as Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine, and is a Fellow of the Society for Hospital Medicine.  She has published and presented on a wide variety of topics coalescing around the central theme of improving the quality of healthcare.
Melanie Bella

Melanie Bella, MBA

Former Director, Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Melanie Bella has spent her career focused on transforming care for complex and costly populations in the Medicaid and Medicare programs with experience at all levels of government and in the private sector.   Ms. Bella established and served as the first Director of the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As Director, Ms. Bella led the work to more effectively integrate benefits for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and improve the coordination and financing between the federal government and states for such individuals.  Under her leadership, the Office designed and launched demonstrations across the country to test new delivery system and payment models for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees in both community and institutional settings.  

Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Bella was the senior vice president for policy and operations at the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). She led the organization’s efforts to integrate care for complex populations and directed a unique leadership training institute to help Medicaid directors.

Prior to CHCS, Ms. Bella served as Medicaid director for the state of Indiana from 2001 through 2005. She earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from DePauw University.
Ross Hoffman

Ross Hoffman, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Envolve Pharmacy Solutions

Ross Hoffman, MD, is Chief Medical Officer at Envolve Pharmacy Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager that provides total drug management for clients and members across the US. His areas of focus include improving healthcare transparency, quality and access, as well as leveraging informatics and technology to improve convenience and reduce waste. He believes that by providing patients with more targeted and personalized information, they will gain greater control of their healthcare and lifestyle decisions.

A board certified cardiologist, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and MD from the University of Florida College of Medicine. He completed training in adult cardiology at Brown University and advanced training in Adult Congenital Heart Disease at Brigham and Women’s/Boston Children’s Hospital.
With extensive experience in clinical, invasive and preventive cardiology, Dr. Hoffman has been an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCF College of Medicine since May 2013, is medical advisor with the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training, and is President of Cardiology Partners.

Prior to working at Envolve Pharmacy Solutions, Dr. Hoffman held management roles developing new programs and products for health care IT companies, commercial and government payers, regional hospitals and medical device companies, designing programs that improve health care value, consumerism, utilization and safety. His previous roles have included Medical Affairs Director at INRANGE Systems, Chief Medical Officer at Ultralinq Corp, and Senior Medical Director/VP Product Development at MedSolutions (now eviCore).
Elizabeth Barnett

Elizabeth A. Barnett, BSN, JD

Vice President of Government Solutions and Innovation, ZeOmega

Elizabeth “Liz” Barnett, B.S.N, J.D, is Vice President of Government Solutions and Innovation for ZeOmega, a population health management software company serving the payer and provider communities.   In this role, she is responsible for the development and enhancement of products to fully support the government healthcare segments that ZeOmega and its clients service, including Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act products, and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan.

Liz has served in significant leadership positions specializing in insurance, health law, and clinical practice. Positions she has held include Vice President of Care and Quality Programs for Florida Blue, as well as Staff Vice President for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in roles in clinical operations for Medicare and Clinical Compliance and Audit. Additionally, she has held leadership positions with Capital Blue Cross, Cigna Healthcare, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Connecticare, among others. Liz began her career as an active duty officer in the United States Army, serving as Assistant head nurse/Charge nurse in the emergency room and surgical intensive care units at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. 

Liz earned her BSN degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a J.D., Cum Laude, from Western New England College School of Law, Springfield, MA.
Russ Kuzel

Russel J. Kuzel, MD

Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, SelectHealth

Dr. Russ Kuzel has served as the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of SelectHealth since 2016. He has more than 30 years of healthcare and medical management experience.

Most recently, Dr. Kuzel served as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at UCare, a nonprofit health plan in Minnesota.  Previously, Dr. Kuzel was Chief Medical Officer for Security Health Plan in Marshfield, WI and Regional Director of Medical Operations for Aurora Medical Group in Milwaukee, WI. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dakota Clinic/Innovis Health, and as a member and leader of various local and regional health care advisory and governing boards.

Dr. Kuzel holds a master of medical management degree from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. He earned his medical degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. In addition, he received a Bush Medical Fellowship to complete Physician Leadership College at the University of St. Thomas. 

Steve Tarver

Steve Tarver, YMCA of Greater Louisville

President & CEO

Steve Tarver currently serves as the President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville.
The YMCA of Greater Louisville serves 240,000 people annually and has a budget of $55

Steve Tarver grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and has been involved in the YMCA since age six. Involved in the Teen Leaders Club Program, his first job was as a lifeguard, swimming and gymnastics instructor. His first full-time position was as the Physical Director of the Tallahassee YMCA while attending Florida State University. He worked in program positions in Kentucky and Tennessee, and served as a YMCA Branch Executive in Nashville. Prior to Louisville, he served as the CEO of the YMCA of the Suncoast (Clearwater, Florida).

Steve served as the Director of YMCA Blue Ridge Leaders’ School (2007 – 2016) involving over 700 teens from YMCAs across the southern states. He has worked on health and wellness at the regional and national level. Steve carried the Olympic Torch prior to the 1996 Games, and has received several awards and certifications in the field of health and wellness. He is a member of the GLI (Greater Louisville Inc.) Board of Directors, Coalition for Louisville Youth, Louisville Health Advisory Board and is a Rotarian. With the YMCA of the USA, Steve serves on the Advisory Boards for Disadvantaged Youth and the Areas of Focus (Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility).
Sam Toney speaker  photo

Sam Toney, MD

Executive Vice President, Clinical Integrity and Chief Medical Officer

Sam provides primary clinical, program and criteria oversight for Health Integrated and brings more than 25 years of expertise in designing and implementing successful specialized integrated utilization, disease and case management programs across the country. A board-certified psychiatrist, Sam founded Health Integrated in 1996 in response to the growing need for sophisticated care management systems that address both the medical and behavioral health issues affecting patient care. Sam has led the development of Health Integrated’s integrated care management programs targeting vulnerable and costly populations that are often experiencing multiple chronic conditions and psychosocial barriers. He frequently consults with clients and provides best practices on integrated programs to drive down utilization while enhancing quality patient care.

Sam is licensed to practice medicine in 26 states and is also board certified in utilization review and quality assurance. Sam recognized the connection between mind and body as far back as his days in medical school in the early 1980s, and has held ever since to his vision that integrating the care and management of both is essential to improving a patient’s overall health.

He received both his bachelor of science in biology and his doctor of medicine from the University of South Alabama, completing his residency in psychiatry in Tampa at the University of South Florida Affiliated Hospital System. He chose to spend his residency there because of its eclectic approach and emphasis on the impact of behavioral health on overall physical health. Following this, he started private practice in 1988 in Tampa and applied the methodology he had learned.

Sam pioneered the Dynamic Somato-Social Theory™ (DSST) that is the clinical underpinning of Health Integrated’s philosophy. DSST is an interventional and management approach that works on behalf of patients who are burdened with numerous psychosocial barriers, as well as facing ethnic, cultural, economic or geographic barriers to care. This proactive and comprehensive approach has been shown to drive savings, close care gaps and improve quality. 

Toyin Ajayi

Toyin Ajayi, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Commonwealth Care Alliance

Toyin Ajayi, MD, MPhil, is Chief Medical Officer at Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA), a Massachusetts nonprofit health plan and integrated care delivery system created to provide high quality care to people with complex health needs. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ajayi directs clinical programs and oversees clinical care delivery, care management, and clinical operations.

Dr. Ajayi is a board-certified family physician and maintains an active clinical practice, serving as primary care physician to forty women over 65 years of age who are homeless or marginally housed. She also serves as a Boston Medical Center (BMC) hospitalist, caring for acutely sick patients admitted to CCA’s shared inpatient service unit at BMC.  

Prior to joining CCA in 2013, Dr. Ajayi was an attending physician at BMC’s Department of Family Medicine – where she was awarded the Department’s Faculty Teaching Award in 2013 – and a clinical instructor at Boston University’s School of Public Health. Dr. Ajayi’s mission to combat disparities in healthcare has taken her around the world. Much of that international work has taken place in Sierra Leone where Dr. Ajayi has lived and worked treating sick children and advancing an attitudinal change toward caring for poor patients. She co-founded the Welbodi Partnership, a Sierra Leone based NGO that supports local hospitals and leaders to improve maternal and child healthcare services. As one of Welbodi’s directors, Dr. Ajayi returns regularly to Sierra Leone.

Dr. Ajayi received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University; an MPhil from the University of Cambridge; and her medical degree, with Distinction in Clinical Practice, from King’s College London School of Medicine. 
Robert Kritzler

Robert K. Kritzler, MD, Family Health Network

Chief Medical Officer,

Dr. Kritzler has been in his present position since February 2016. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins (BA) and of Columbia (MD). He served as a pediatric resident at Columbia and as a pediatric endocrine fellow at Hopkins.  After that training Dr. Kritzler remained on the Hopkins pediatric faculty until 1985. At that time he joined Kaiser Permanente as Chief of pediatrics for the Baltimore expansion. He remained at Kaiser Permanente until rejoining Hopkins in 2006. At Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Kritzler held a number of senior medical administrative positions including Baltimore Medical Director (1996-2001, 1988-1993) , Chief Operating Officer of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical group (1993-1996), and Associate Mid-Atlantic Regional Medical Director for various other functions (utilization, contracting, compliance, regional services)(2001-2006).  He is a graduate of the Kaiser-Stanford University School of business executive program.  He remains a clinical consultant to Kaiser Permanente.

At Family Health Network, Dr. Kritzler is part of the executive leadership team with a concentration in areas pertaining to medical management, pharmacy management, quality, and utilization management. Dr. Kritzler also serves the health system in various other initiatives. 

Since 2008 Dr. Kritzler has served on the board of the Center for Health Value Innovation. He is now the chair of the board of directors.
Susan McLaughlin-Beltz

Susan McLaughlin-Beltz, PhD, LifeShare

National Director RCRS

Dr. McLaughlin-Beltz earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Lowell in Lowell, MA, where she graduated cum laude in 1984. She received her Masters of Arts degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University in May 1998 and then worked as the clinical director of a vocational rehabilitation center for adults with mental health issues and developmental challenges. She also worked extensively in the Massachusetts courts, state psychiatric hospitals, and community treatment facilities.

Dr. McLaughlin-Beltz received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Boston University School of Medicine in June 1998. She completed comprehensive training in the specialties of neuro-developmental disorders, neuropsychological assessment, psychopharmacology, lead toxicity, and behavioral teratology. Her pre-doctoral training included internships with the Boston University Autism Team and the Boston City Hospital Pediatric AIDS Team, where she provided neurodevelopmental assessments for children and participated in multidisciplinary research protocols. Dr. McLaughlin-Beltz completed post-doctoral training in neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents, conducting competency evaluations, and emergency crisis intervention at Greater Lawrence Mental Health Center and the Lawrence District Court.

Dr. McLaughlin-Beltz has directed emergency crisis centers and is currently a regional team leader for the NH State Disaster Behavioral Response Team. She has training and experience in critical incident stress management and treatment of persons suffering from trauma.

Health Integrated is excited to host EMPOWER 2017 at the historic
Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.

Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

501 5th Ave. NE
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

  • This luxury Marriott hotel overlooking St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront blends historic charm with modern amenities.
  • Room features include marble baths, ergonomic work areas and LCD TVs.
  • The property is home to five restaurants, a full-service spa, outdoor pool, tennis courts and 18-hole golf course.
Download the conference brochure here.

Registration Rates

  • Health Plan Participant: $449

  • Business Partner: $549

Register Now

  • Registration Includes

  • All sessions and meals
  • Lodging for the nights of April 26 and 27 at the Renaissance Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

If you would like to extend your stay, the Vinoy will honor the discounted conference rate, plus taxes and fees, based upon availability.

Download the conference brochure here.


Join us on May 4 - 6 for Empower 2016.

Register Now