Fall 2023 Forum

Michigan Health Policy Forum
A Non-Partisan Venue to Discuss Health Policy
Hosted by Michigan State University


The Michigan Health Policy Forum announces its Fall 2023 Forum:

Access to Care, Strategies, and Solutions: Payer, Manager, and Provider Perspectives

Tuesday, November 28, 2023
1:00-4:30 PM

Optional Networking Luncheon from 12:00-1:00 pm.

This Forum has concluded. A recording of the Forum will be available soon.

The agenda can be found here.


Speaker Slide Decks

Dr. Chad Ellimoottil, MD, MS

Dr. Karla Mitchell, ND

Elizabeth Gallagher, MPA

Dr. Sabrina Ford, PhD, ABPP

Meghan Groen


Leigh Small Headshot
Dr. Leigh Small, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN
Dean, MSU College of Nursing

Dr. Small earned her Master’s degree as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and PhD from Rochester, New York. Since that time, her practice and academic positions have focused on providing, studying and/or improving the health care of children and families. She has a passion for high quality healthcare, evidence-based practice, and implementation of thought-provoking educational strategies to challenge learners to always seek and provide best practices. For over two decades she has integrated and applied these passions with the goals of impacting healthcare practices.

Embracing the academic tripartite mission of education, research, and service; Dr. Small has served as a nursing educator and researcher for greater than 20 years, held multiple leadership roles in several professional nursing organizations as well as serving colleges and universities, and she has continuously engaged in scholarship. As a Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for nearly 30 years, she has a strong foundation in child healthcare. As such, her research portfolio and scholarship is based on positive approaches to parenting, usual and unusual child development, motivational interviewing, and the synchrony of interactions between parents and young children. Her dedication to the healthcare of children and families has been recognized by acceptance of Fellowship in the National Academies of Practice, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Nursing.
 Chad Ellimoottil Headshot
Dr. Chad Ellimoottil, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Urology, University of Michigan

Dr. Ellimoottil is the Medical Director of Virtual Care for the University of Michigan Medical Group, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Telehealth Research Incubator lab, and an Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Michigan. As the Medical Director of Virtual Care, he oversees the strategy and implementation of virtual care services across all specialties, which includes approximately 450,000 virtual encounters per year. As the PI of the Telehealth Research Incubator lab, he directs a portfolio of projects focused on optimizing the delivery of virtual care. Specifically, he studies the population-level impact of virtual care on access, costs, and quality of care in the Medicare population. His research is funded through an R01 grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. He has been invited to speak about virtual care in many private and public venues including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Public Radio (NPR) and Freakonomics Radio. He was listed as one of HealthTech magazine's 2023 "30 Healthcare IT Influencers". In addition to his research and administrative duties, he also has first-hand experience using virtual care with his own patients and is well-versed in the benefits and challenges of this mode of healthcare delivery.

Karla Mitchell Headshot
Dr. Karla Mitchell, ND
Owner of HAUS of Healthy Living and President, Changing Lives and Staying Sober (CLASS Agency)

Dr. Karla Mitchell, ND is owner of HAUS of Healthy Living and the President/CEO of Changing Lives and Staying Sober (CLASS Agency) - both of which are located on Detroit's Westside. Dr. Mitchell is well-known for her work as a skillful and caring Naturopathic Doctor. She has spent the last 20 years in private practice where she provides natural and holistic healthcare. As the President/CEO of Changing Lives and Staying Sober (C.L.A.S.S.), she leads its innovative model for behavioral health; with a mission of holistically improving the quality of life for those impacted by mental health challenges and/or substance misuse. She works to engage the community by focusing on four objectives: eliminating health disparities, building healthy and safe community environments, empowering people to make informed health choices and expanding quality care in both clinical and community settings. Dr. Mitchell is a native Detroiter and enjoys a full life with her husband and their five children.

Elizabeth Gallagher Headshot
Elizabeth Gallagher, MPA
Manager, Home and Community Based Services Section, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

Elizabeth Gallagher, MPA began working with the MI Choice program in 1994 at the Tri-County Office on Aging. She became a contract manager at MDHHS in 2000 and has been the Manager of the Home and Community Based Services Section for about 10 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Northern Michigan University and a master’s degree in public administration from Western Michigan University.

Sabrina Ford Headshot
Dr. Sabrina Ford, PhD, ABPP
Associate Professor, Department of OB/GYN, MSU Institute for Health Policy

Dr. Sabrina Ford is a leader in evaluation and research in public health programming focused on reducing health disparities for vulnerable populations including African Americans and rural communities. Her evaluation experience includes programs addressing Maternal Child Health, Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening, Flint Water Crisis Medicaid Expansion, and other health programming in urban and rural health outcomes. Her research explores HPV and cervical cancer prevention and treatment across a woman’s lifespan. Sabrina studies health information exchange and telehealth as valuable tools to address health disparities.

Sabrina earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Counselor Education from the University of Iowa. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania examining neurocognitive precursors to adolescent health risk behaviors.

Farah Hanley Headshot
Meghan Groen
Senior Deputy Director, Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration (BPHASA), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

Meghan Groen is the senior deputy director for the Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration (BPHASA) for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she oversees Michigan’s Medicaid program, services for those with developmental disabilities, and long-term care and aging programs.

Groen has 20 years of experience in government, policy and nonprofit administration and previously served as senior advisor to MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel.

She also previously served as deputy policy director and health policy advisor for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, where she helped oversee creation of the Healthy Moms Healthy Babies initiative to address health disparities among women and infants. Prior to that, she started her own consulting firm, served as director of government relations for Planned Parenthood Advocates/Affiliates of Michigan and worked as a policy analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives Majority Policy Office.

She received bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and English from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University in Illinois.



1. As Medicaid ‘unwinding’ continues and more states expand eligibility, Michigan report provides key insights.

2. USDA announces $2.1 million in grants to expand access to rural health care across lower Michigan.

3. Assessing the Effectiveness of Policies to Improve Access to Primary Care for Underserved Populations, Case Study Analysis: Detroit, Michigan.

4. DentaQuest Donates $45,000 to Michigan Organizations Increasing Oral Health Care Access.

5. Allowing Michigan nurse practitioners to have full practice authority could improve access to care in rural areas, MNA says.

6. Can Older Adults with Employer Coverage Afford Their Health Care?

7. Promoting Health Equity by Changing How We Pay for Care.

8. Moving Toward Inclusion: Access to Care Models for Uninsured Immigrant Children.

9. West Michigan organizations awarded grants to expand access to care.

10. New report highlights how telehealth has transformed the access to care across Michigan.