Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

The “Healthy Michigan Plan” turns one: How is expanded insurance coverage affecting stakeholders and communities?

Date & time

Apr 7, 2015, 4:00-5:30 pm EDT


Weill Hall, Annenberg Auditorium
735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free and open to the public.

Reception to follow.

Join the conversation: #policytalks


Laura Appel is senior vice president for strategic initiatives at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. In her current role, she focuses on healthcare policy, hospital finance, legislation, governance and communications; her goal is to develop better ways to do healthcare whether it is healthcare delivery or running effective board meetings. At the federal level, she represents the interests of Michigan hospitals and health systems in both the legislative and regulatory arenas on key issues, including federal healthcare reform and Medicare. Since joining the MHA staff in 2000, Ms. Appel has focused on strategic priorities related to state and federal lobbying and healthcare policy analysis. She served as vice president of federal policy and advocacy and executive director of the MHA Health Reform Resource Center prior to being named to her current position in September 2014. Before joining the MHA, Ms. Appel was director of the Democratic policy staff for the Michigan House of Representatives. She also spent 12 years as a legislative policy analyst and did regulatory work for the Michigan Insurance Bureau (now known as the Department of Financial and Insurance Regulation). She currently serves on the boards of the Citizens Research Council, Livonia, MI, and the Alliance for Advancing Nonprofit Health Care, Washington, DC. She is on the executive committee for the Coalition to Protect Auto No-Fault based in Lansing. Ms. Appel has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Given her current interest in design as it relates to creating and improving organizational systems and healthcare delivery, she is currently completing coursework toward an MBA certificate in design and innovation from Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI, which she expects to complete in May 2015.

Robert Fowler is President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan. Having joined the staff of SBAM in 2000, he served for three years as the Vice President of the subsidiary corporation Small Business Insurance Services. He assumed his current position in July of 2003. The Small Business Association of Michigan was founded in 1969 and today serves over 23,000 member companies from all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The organization’s mission is to help Michigan small businesses succeed by promoting entrepreneurship, leveraging buying power and engaging in political advocacy. Before coming to Michigan, Mr. Fowler served as the Executive Director of the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) in Cleveland Ohio from 1995 to 2000. COSE is the small business arm of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce which was the country’s largest Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that he was a lobbyist for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for ten years where he also served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Small Business Council. Rob worked for the Indiana Lt. Governor for two years before his time with the Indiana Chamber. In his capacity as President of SBAM he is a registered lobbyist representing small business before the Michigan legislature. Mr. Fowler serves as the Chairman of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. He served as Chair of the Business Advisory Committee of the Michigan Hospital Association and the Association Advisory Council of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Small Business Association. A graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Political Science. Rob and his wife Lisa live in Haslett with their son Reid and daughter Emma.

Erin Knott is the Michigan State Director for Enroll America.  Erin is an accomplished organizer who has dedicated over 15 years to building a stronger, more permanent progressive infrastructure on the ground, including serving as the Michigan Political Director for America Votes and Deputy Director for Michigan Citizen Action.  Erin's experience with Michigan Citizen Action afforded her the opportunity to work with members of Congress, the state legislature, and volunteer teams to advocate for racial and economic justice, and equality for all Michiganders. Erin has extensive experience working on high-impact campaigns, involving a combination of legislative, public education and organizing strategies and was the recipient of the 2012 Progressive Leadership "Grassroots Leader" Award.

Kim Sibilsky has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Primary Care Association since 1994. She possesses 35 years of experience in working to improve access to health care for underserved populations through optimization of community-based primary care. As CEO of the Michigan Primary Care Association, she has worked in state and national health systems development, planned strategically about improving access to care, and reduced health disparities for people in Michigan with public and private stakeholders. She also served as Deputy Director of the National Rural Health Association, where she developed national policy and program implementation. She has consulted nationally in health systems development. She worked with seven universities and 32 underserved counties as Center Director of the Northern Michigan AHEC, bringing health professionals in training to community-based care providers and valuable practical training resources to academic centers. She also combined her community development and finance experience as executive director of the Alcona Health Center in Lincoln, MI. 

Ken Sikkema is a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants. His areas of concentration at PSC include public finance, environment, and energy policy. His background in state government and experience in the legislature are particularly useful to organizations seeking to move the state’s public policy agenda forward in innovative and creative ways. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Sikkema served in the Michigan House of Representatives for six terms and in the Michigan Senate for two terms. In the House he served as Majority Floor Leader from 1995 to 96 and as the Republican Leader from 1997 to 98. In the Senate he served as the Senate Majority Leader from 2002 to 06. Prior to his service in the Michigan Legislature, Mr. Sikkema was market manager for Herman Miller Inc. in Zeeland, Michigan. He has also served as both an adjunct and visiting professor at Grand Valley State University. Mr. Sikkema is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University with a BA in History. He received his MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan School of Business Administration.

Moderated by Professor John Z. Ayanian, MD

John Z. Ayanian, MD, MPP is the inaugural Director of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, where he is the Alice Hamilton Professor of Medicine at the Medical School, Professor of Health Management and Policy at the School of Public Health, and Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.  He also serves as an Associate Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Ayanian has published over 260 articles on access to care, quality of care, and health disparities related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and renal disease.  He received his BA degree from Duke University, MD degree from Harvard Medical School, and MPP degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Ayanian is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine. 

With an introduction from Professor Matthew Davis, MD

Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP is Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Internal Medicine, Public Policy, and Health Management and Policy.  He joined the faculty at UM in 2000, and over the last 14+ years has focused his research on 3 major areas of health policy: policy related to preventive health strategies, function and financing of government-sponsored health programs, and characterization of public attitudes and opinions about health, healthcare, and health policy.  He has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and teaches extensively about health policy across the UM campus.  Since 2013, Davis has served as Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan, in the Department of Community Health, through which he contributes his clinical and policy perspectives to multiple initiatives developed and implemented by Michigan state government.  Dr. Davis earned his M.D. cum laude from Harvard Medical School and subsequently trained in public policy and health services research as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Chicago.  He is board-certified in both pediatrics and internal medicine and continues to provide primary care in his clinic within the University of Michigan Health System.