A Message from Matt Salo, NAMD Executive Director
NAMD 2020 Virtual Conference:
Together Towards the Future
November 9 – 11, 2020
On behalf of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), we welcome you to the Fall 2020 NAMD Conference.
When we began designing the 2020 meeting, we had just entered the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and were hopeful that it would present only minor inconveniences. As time went on, it became clear that the conference, like our collective jobs and lives beyond work, would be fundamentally altered.
We pivoted to find silver linings and to “take advantage of the crisis” to bring new offerings to the now 100% virtual conference. This will not simply be a regular Fall conference converted to virtual format – rather we have redesigned the networking and engagement in ways that no other conference is even attempting. We hope that the results will be wildly successful and will stand the test of time.
The conference reflects three major themes that have characterized our work this year: Flexibility, Innovation, and Resiliency.
All of us are now performing daily feats of flexibility, balancing work and family obligations while maintaining difficult and isolating physical distancing. Programming has also had to be flexible, pausing long-standing projects to take on emerging priorities such as leading a virtually overnight revolution in telehealth. Some of these innovations in Medicaid could permanently change American healthcare.
In addition to these new priorities, we are all fighting to maintain our core functions- administering the nation’s largest health insurance program and ensuring that Medicaid remains strong and relevant for the 73 million (and growing) Americans who rely on it as a matter of life and death.
NAMD members and staff have shown extraordinary resiliency in the face of an unprecedented pandemic and financial crisis. We hope to not only survive the pandemic but emerge from it with new programming, connections, and strength that will actively shape the program for years to come. We invite you to celebrate the work of 2020, and we look forward to partnering with you as we tackle the challenges ahead.
Our breakout sessions will showcase Medicaid Directors sharing how they are navigating the Public Health Emergency, re-envisioning behavioral health, advancing health equity, and much more. You will hear the voices of our Medicaid members throughout the event, as a constant reminder of the need to include their perspectives in decision-making at all levels.
Don’t miss the keynote presentation by Dr. Dayna Matthew, the Dean of the George Washington University Law School, on the challenges and opportunities to address the longstanding racial and ethnic disparities that impact not just Medicaid and the broader health care system, but American society as a whole. Dr. Matthew is a prominent scholar and expert in this area and will challenge us all to rise to the occasion.
The meeting takes place one week after the November elections, and we are thrilled to welcome a “strange bedfellows” conversation with former Obama CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and former Trump FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. From their distinct perspectives they will review what the past four years have meant for Medicaid and what the next four years might bring.
We deeply appreciate our sponsors and virtual exhibitors, without whom this conference would not be possible. Please take time to visit our interactive virtual exhibit hall. These connections are what make us all successful.
We take great pride in offering an exceptional learning and networking opportunity for professionals who administer the Medicaid program and the vendors and providers who partner with us. We hope that you will take full advantage of the new and innovative virtual opportunities.
Enjoy the conference!
Beth Kidder Matt Salo
President Executive Director