16th Annual Western Regional Conference

Event Date(s): 
May 16-18, 2013
Salt Lake City, Utah
Event category: 
Thursday, May 16 - Saturday, May 18
Hilton Salt Lake City Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
The 16th Annual Western Regional Conference took place May 16-18 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The meeting convened female state legislators from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming to discuss the most pressing policy issues facing the region.
  • View the Agenda here
  • View the Participant List here
  • View Speaker Biographies here
  • View Conference Sponsors here
  • View the pictures here

Conference Proceedings
Oncology: Sequestration Cancer Care Cuts 
Karen Kellogg, PharmD, the Secretary & Treasurer of the Society of Utah Medical Oncologists, and the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Utah Cancer Specialists gave a presentation on how oncology has been impacted by the sequestration. As a byproduct of spending cuts brought on by the sequester, some cancer care has been affected, and many treatments have become extremely expensive for some Medicare patients.
  • View Ms. Kellogg's presentation here.
  • View the Community Oncology Alliance survey results on the impact of sequestration on community cancer care here.
Compounding Drugs: Meningitis
An outbreak of more than 700 cases of meningitis in 20 states leading to 26 deaths due to contaminated compounded preservative-free steroid injections focused federal and state health authorities on issues related to pharmaceutical compounding.  In this session, legislators learned about how to ensure that appropriate limitations and safeguards are put into place for drugs made in compounding pharmacies. Jennifer Gudeman recently published a review paper titled “Potential Risks of Pharmacy Compounding” in the journal Drugs Research and Development, and gave a presentation on this topic to inform legislators about the risks and the role of state government. She was joined by C. Andrew Combs, MD, PhD, the Associate Director of Research at the Obstetrix Medical Group spoke about his clinical perspective, and how compounded drugs impact medicine, specifically on the impact compound medications have on pregnancy and pre-term births. Compounded drugs are often cheap, so providers often want to use them to keep costs low for their patients, but without the regulation, it is often a risky and difficult choice.
  • View Ms. Gudeman's presentation here.
  • View Dr. Combs' presentation here.
Encouraging Your Colleagues: Diabetes
Senator Anna Tovar from the Arizona State Legislature and Senator Nan Orrock, the Chair, WIG CAN! & Member, Women In Government Board of Directors from the Georgia State Legislature spoke about working with Women In Government to host state briefings. Women In Government hosted eight state briefings in the past two years on diabetes, with the help of legislators. Learn about what goes into a successful briefing, and what can happen when stakeholders are brought together on a topic.
HPV & Cervical Cancer
Beth Meyerson, MDiv, PhD, the Assistant Professor, Health Policy & Management at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington gave a presentation that provided an overview on HPV and cervical cancer, and gave some key examples of state policy efforts.
  • View Dr. Meyerson's presentation here.
Comprehensive Medication Management
Don Downing, Clinical Professor for the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, gave a presentation on how state legislatures can require managed care systems to provide a commitment to low-income populations, provide quality services, and demonstrate the capacity to deliver the services they commit to in order to be considered for a state contract.  Senate Bill 5213 recently passed in Washington state, in which the legislature finds that chronic care management, including 8 comprehensive medication management services, provided by licensed 9 pharmacists and qualified providers is a critical component of a 10 collaborative, multidisciplinary, inter-professional approach to the 11 treatment of chronic diseases for targeted individuals, to improve the 12 quality of care and reduce overall cost in the treatment of such 13 diseases.
  • View Washington State Senate Bill 5213 here.
Mental Health & Recovery Programs
One in four adults experience a mental illness in a given year, amounting to approximately 61.5 million Americans. Jackie Rendo, MD, the Criminal Justice & Family Mentor at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Utah Chapter gave a presentation on programs at NAMI that are focused on recovery support for adults and young adults iving with mental illness. NAMI chapters are expanding in communities throughout the country, and Ms. Rendo encouraged legislators to work with NAMI chapters in their states. State funded facilities for mentally ill people have gone through many policy changes throughout history as the perception, stigmas, and abuse has been addressed throughout history.
  • View the report on Mental Health Surveillance Among Children here.
  • View the mental health fact sheet here.
  • View Ms. Rendo's presentation here.
  • View West Virginia Senate Bill 371 here, which was discussed in the Q & A portion of this segment.
Alzheimer’s Disease Policy Update
Jennifer Rosen, the Associate Director of State Affairs for the Alzheimer’s Association, and Kate Morrison, the Senior Program Director for the Alzheimer's Association gave a presentation on state policy.
  • View their presentation here.
  • Visit the Alzheimer's Association's website here.
Adult Learners & Higher Education
Established in 2009, Complete College America is a national non-profit that works with states to increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations. This session focused on ways legislators can improve education in their states.
  • View Complete College America's website here.
Solar Energy in the States
Sara Baldwin, the Senior Policy and Regulatory Associate from Utah Clean Energy gave a presentation on how legislators can play a critical role in the advancement of renewable energy and energy efficiency. She talked about the many energy options available, and shared information about the successes of solar energy in Utah.
  • Visit Utah Clean Energy's website here.
  • Visit DSIRE's website here.
  • View Ms. Baldwin's presentation here.
Water Accessibility: Challenges & Successes
Representative JP Pomnichowski from the Montana State Legislature gave a presentation on water policy, the many policy options legislators have, and the complicated rights that Western states must navigate. She has passed legislation with bi-partisan support on water law, including industry standards for water use, the prevention of polluting and wasting water, protecting groundwater and surface water, and implementing innovations for water conservancy and efficiency.
  • View Representative Pomnichowski's presentation here.

For Legislator or Registration information, please contact:
Johnathan Lozier, Sr. Legislative Outreach Associate
202.333.0825 ext. 214

For Sponsor information, please contact:
Sarah Mier, Associate Director of Development
202.333.0825 ext. 246

For Policy information, please contact:
Brenna Kehew, Sr. Policy & Programs Associate
202.333.0825 ext. 211