PBGH 2018 Health Care Symposium

September 6, 2018 | 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Pittsburgh Marriott

LISTEN: VIP Speakers and Panels

 CONNECT: Networking Sessions

 LEARN: Industry Workshops

Accelerate The New Era Of Health Care

Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks, CEO and Executive Director of PBGH

Our theme, Accelerate the New Era of Health Care, is designed to activate the employer purchasers of health care and their advisors to fearlessly evolve their role from the passenger to the driver’s seat. It is time to put your pedal to the metal to drive the advancement of quality care, innovation, and disruption to make health care more affordable for your business, employees, and families.

Nationally and regionally, there are significant challenges in an ever-changing health care landscape – from the ACA, mergers and acquisitions, technological advancements, wellness to well-being, opioid epidemic and the concentration on mental health – to name a few.

That’s why PBGH is accelerating its pursuit towards a brighter future in health care. By equipping employers with the tools needed to forge ahead, companies and organizations across our region will tap new, sustainable opportunities, harness existing approaches that offer proven results, and – together – collaborate on what’s next.

Don’t miss the region’s most important health care event, Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. Join us and Accelerate the New Era of Health Care in your company.

Thank you,

Jessica Brooks
CEO and Executive Director

Fuel For Your Career

Benefit From Pittsburgh’s Best Health Care Breakout Sessions, Keynotes, Round Table Discussions, Exhibitors, and Networking Opportunities.

Engage in Shaping the Future

Engage in Shaping the Future

National health care thought leaders will take you down the road of the future of health care and what you can do about the changes and challenges right now. Keynote speakers and breakout sessions will give you the actionable steps you need to take to strengthen the value of your company’s health care investment.

Network Your Way to the Top

Network Your Way to the Top
Nearly 500 HR, benefits and business professionals are expected at this year’s Symposium – our largest ever! Meet and exchange ideas with the leading professionals in the industry and learn how your company can improve its health care decisions. From new vendors to other employer members, the Symposium provides awesome opportunities for networking and sharing.
Learn from the Latest Innovations, Great Disrupters and more…

Learn from the Latest Innovations, Great Disrupters and more…

The work of PBGH employer-members impacts more than two million people. Get the latest information you need to make critical decisions to improve care, lower cost, and increase satisfaction at the region’s largest gathering of HR, benefits and business professionals all focused on driving value in health care.

Be Ready for High Level Engagement

Be Ready for High Level Engagement
The Symposium promises once again to be an exciting, action-packed day. With prizes, great food, an awesome awards show and more, this is a don’t miss event.
Get Certified

Get Certified

The Symposium features seven opportunities for you to get smarter and earn re-certification credits for both HRCI and SHRM. The new knowledge you will get will help your company drive health care value and reduce cost.*

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Earn HRCI and SHRM continuing education credits throughout the day! Select breakout sessions are pre-approved for one CE each. See the agenda below.

Symposium Sessions

At the PBGH 2018 Health Care Symposium you will have the opportunity to learn, meet and network over these topics.

Opening Remarks will be presented by the CEO and Executive Director of PBGH, Jessica Brooks

In the NASCAR racing industry, the fan base is 62 percent men and 38 percent women. The biggest engagement opportunity identified for the long-time race car industry is growing increased brand loyalty among women.

NASCAR team owners, such as Melissa Harville-Lebron, are igniting the industry and are a catalyst for a new era in racing. Melissa will share what it means to be a transformative trailblazer across her industry. Her empowering message as the first African-American woman NASCAR team owner will explain how you can overcome challenges in getting to the pole position and how you can apply her success principles within your organization or profession.


  • Melissa Harville-Lebron, Founder and CEO, E2 Northeast Motorsports

Employers are making shifts in pushing and trying out innovation to solve the health benefit challenges of escalating health care costs, sub-optimal quality of care, and employee health and productivity with only modest success. At the same time, there are employers achieving great gains by leveraging direct care strategies to excel in clinical, financial, and administrative risk. Direct contracting isn’t new, but more employers are considering it. This session showcases three direct care strategies that broker incredibly affordable services for patients. Learn how these providers deliver improved health outcomes while curbing costs. Examine direct contracting models that are scalable, significantly reducing financial burden while optimizing care delivery.

    Dr. Bob Nelson

  • Bob Nelson, MD, Founding Member & Spokesperson, Free Market Medical Association
  • David Balinski, Sales Vice President, Continental Benefits
  • Jed Constantz, DBA, Client/Member Specialist, Health TeamWorks
  • Cristin Dickerson, MD, Managing Partner, Radiologist, Green Imaging

Regardless of the industry the success or failure is now totally driven-based on consumer experience and even more specifically on customization. This talk will articulate why the modern distribution of health care has to employ some of these concepts and why only successful providers have found the path to meaningful engagement.


  • Shauna Sanford Howell, SVP, Business Development, Wellview Health

Even Warren Buffet described General Motors as a Healthcare company with an auto unit attached to it because it spends more on healthcare than it does on steel. As soon as we start to think of healthcare differently, understand the competing interests, and how to design a plan with the proper incentives, everything changes for the better. In this presentation, learn how to take the first steps in that direction.

Key topics will include:

  • Why does the health care and health insurance system continually get more expensive and degrade in quality?
  • How can I turn my benefits from a liability into an asset?
  • Where do I turn if I am tired of the answers I am getting seemingly everywhere I look?


  • David Contorno, Founder, E Powered Benefits
  • Bob Gearhart Jr., CEO – DCW Group

As the most costly & prevalent MSK condition, low back pain is the #1 cause of opioid prescription and a leading driver of employment costs due to associated medical costs, worker’s comp & disability, absenteeism, and lost productivity.

This presentation will focus on how Kiio's digital solution is changing the paradigm, delivering effective, 24/7, consumer-centric care to employees that is proven to improve employee health and reduce health care costs.

Specific mention will be given to:

  • Quantifying the cost of back pain to the employer
    • How does it work? - Automating an evidence-based care path for back pain
    • Consumer-centricity - Definition and impact
    • Employer considerations - Turnkey onboarding & scalability
    • Price model
  • Kiio clinical and financial outcomes
    • Clinical outcomes
    • Reduction in opioids
    • Reduction in medical utilization
    • Reduction in medical spend
  • Value proposition


  • Lydia Zeller, Vice President of Product Strategy, Kiio
  • Dave Grandin, CEO, Kiio

In 2009, Albert Lea, Minnesota, a statistically average American city, completed a one-year community health experiment that raised life expectancy by three years, trimmed a collective 12,000 pounds off waistlines and dropped healthcare costs of city workers by some 40%. USA Today, Good Morning America, AARP, ABC Nightline, CNN and U.S. News and World Report all covered the story. Harvard’s Dr. Walter Willett, writing in Newsweek magazine called the results stunning. Dan Buettner, founder and director of the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project created a perfect storm of health that transformed a city. He tells the fascinating story of how one typically obese American city of 18,000 reversed the trend and also got happier. Dan’s presentation takes audiences on the year-long journey as this town adopts 28 evidence-based ways to change their environment to live longer and better. They got healthier without thinking about it.


  • Dan Buettner, Founder, Blue Zones, LLC

Enjoy a catered lunch with entertainment and awards.

Benefit and enjoy from another opportunity to speak with exhibitors and networks with event attendees.

Access to provider quality is one of the nation’s best-kept secrets and has been difficult, if not impossible, to uncover. While looking to make advancements, we draw our attention to achieving better health outcomes while avoiding unnecessary costs. These efforts have continually excluded the most essential piece to the puzzle until now.

During this session, Shane Wolverton, Robert Smith, and Christina Bell will unveil and explain provider data and provide a path forward. Attendees will also learn how others are using this data to make widespread change and what the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health will do with its access to the data.


  • Shane Wolverton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Quantros, Inc.
  • Robert Smith, Executive Director, Colorado Business Group on Health
  • Christina Bell, Director of Programs, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health

Millennials, born between 1982 and 2000, are the largest generational cohort in today's workforce. Because millennials are generally young, healthy and low-utilizers of heath care, employers tend to not focus their health and wellness strategies on them. However, millennials present the greatest opportunity for employers to create a new type of health care consumer. Millennials do not have established buying behaviors for healthcare and are primed to change the way consumers buy and use healthcare in the future.

The existing healthcare and insurance system was built for the baby boomer generation. However, the landscape has changed and consumers are more responsible than ever for the cost and navigation of the health care system. Employers can guide and engage millennials into improving health literacy, smarter benefits usage, and driving more value for healthcare dollars.

Session Objectives:

  • Better understand how to identify and communicate valuable employee health and benefits behaviors.
  • Identify the millennial cohort within their population and understand the benefits they value and others they don't.
  • Create a benefit design strategy with a focus on millennial values and opportunity areas.
  • Identify areas of opportunity in their benefits communication strategy to better reach and engage millennials.


  • Jonathan So, President, Solera Strategies

More than 90% of the world’s population will battle a musculoskeletal disorder at some point in their lives. This session will focus on how employers decreased health care costs, improved clinical outcomes and increased productivity for those associated with musculoskeletal conditions. PBGH claims data will also be presented to identify opportunities within our specific employer member population.


  • Chad Gray, CEO of Integrated Musculoskeletal Care

How does gender affect mental health? This presentation reviews health disparities between women and men and gives specific examples showcasing differences in disease prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment. Disparity perpetuators such as poverty and violence, are also discussed. A major health services company has taken several steps to reduce gaps in care resulting from gender-based health disparities, and potential opportunities for employers to further enhance the health of women are discussed.
Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to list types of disparities in behavioral health between men and women
  • Understand structural factors that perpetuate gender-based disparities
  • Describe employer-based activities to help ensure better mental health for everyone


  • Stuart Lustig, MD, MPH, National Medical Executive for Behavioral Health, Cigna

Maternity care is currently one of the costliest categories in traditional commercial insurance. However, the broad scope and unpredictability of maternity can leave self-insured employers unsure of what coverage to offer. A correlating lack of full coverage and lack of comprehensive support solutions are contributing to the growing instances of maternal mortality and pre-term births in America, putting both mothers and babies at risk, and further increasing the cost of care.

In the face of this crisis, organizations are seeking innovative ways to lower this cost, ensure newborn health, and increase rates of mothers making safe and complete returns to work. This session explores new trends such as telemedicine, active birth planning, lactation education, and back-to-work support. Learn how these modern solutions can fit into an optimal healthcare plan that benefits both employer and employee.


  • Melissa Hanna, Co-founder & CEO, Mahmee


  • Janet Poppe, Vice President, Payer & Employer Relations, Pacira

Changing how the world views and treats obesity

Every day across America, people living with obesity are met with prejudice, discrimination and a lack of compassion. But obesity is not a life choice or simply about willpower. It’s a serious, chronic and progressive disease influenced by a wide variety of factors. People with obesity deserve care, but there are many barriers preventing proactive, systematic medical management from taking place. In this presentation, learn how Novo Nordisk aims to improve the lives of people with obesity by partnering with the community on education and advocacy, increasing access to care, and advancing medical management. Key topics include:

  • The challenge of obesity
  • Why Novo Nordisk?
  • What we need to do to make care happen


  • Paul Dempsey, Senior National Account Manager, Novo Nordisk, Inc.

The PBGH 2018 Symposium will come to a conclusion following the closing remarks.


  • Jessica Brooks, CEO and Executive Director, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
  • Lee Lewis, Area VP & Managing Director, Innovation Lab Practice, Gallagher

Previous Symposium Highlights

Join us at the intersection of opportunity and preparation!

Each year our guest speakers bring the most interesting important topics with them. Please enjoy these videos and discussions from our Keynote speakers during our 2017 Symposium.

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Join us at the intersection of opportunity and preparation!

Our members and attendees have a great time and leave with valuable knowledge that they can begin to utilize immediately.

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Event Speakers

Learn more about our regionally and nationally renowned leaders in business and health care

Full Profile
David Balinski
Sales Vice President, Continental Benefits
Full Profile
Christina Bell
Director of Programs, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
Full Profile Jessica Brooks
Jessica Brooks
CEO and Executive Director, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
Full Profile
Dan Buettner
Founder, Blue Zones, LLC
Full Profile
Dr. Jed Constantz
DBA, Client/Member Specialist, Health TeamWorks
Full Profile
David Contorno
Founder, E Powered Benefits
Full Profile
Paul Dempsey
Senior National Account Manager, Novo Nordisk, Inc.
Full Profile
Cristin A. Dickerson, MD
Founding partner of Green Imaging and a co-founder of Lucent MD
Full Profile
Bob Gearhart Jr.
CEO – DCW Group
Full Profile
Dave Grandin
Founder and CEO of Kiio
Full Profile
Chad Gray
CEO of Integrated Musculoskeletal Care
Full Profile
Melissa Hanna
Cofounder and CEO of Mahmee
Full Profile
Melissa Harville–Lebron
Founder and CEO of W.M. Stone Enterprises, Inc.
Full Profile
Robin Kahn
Head of Employer Marketing initiatives at AbbVie
Full Profile
Lee Lewis
Managing Director, Gallagher Innovation Lab
Full Profile
Stuart L. Lustig
National Medical Executive for Behavioral Health Cigna
Full Profile
Dr. Bob Nelson
Publisher and editor of The Sovereign Patient
Full Profile
Janet Poppe
Vice President, Payer and Employer Relations Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Full Profile
Kate Robinson
Executive Director of Account Management at Merck
Full Profile
Bob Smith
Executive Director, Colorado Business Group on Health
Full Profile
Jonathan So
Senior Director of Healthcare Initiatives
Full Profile
Shauna Sanford Howell
Senior Vice President of Business Development at Wellview Health
Full Profile
Shane Wolverton
Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Quantros Inc.
Full Profile
Lydia Zeller
Vice President of Product Strategy at Kiio

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Overnight Accommodations

To reserve an overnight stay at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center book online here or call directly at 1-877-645-3553 and ask for the PBGH discounted room rate of $144 (available until 8/16/2018).

The Pittsburgh Business Group on Health