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September 3, 12:00 – 1:15 pm

Session 4: Emerging Strategies that Incorporate Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) in Benefits Designs

It is well known that racial disparities and social determinants of health, such as socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to healthcare, are prominent factors in health outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this more obvious and urgent than ever before, since racial and ethnic minorities have significantly higher COVID-related hospitalizations and fatality rates. Addressing social determinants of health in benefits planning is important for improving health and reducing longstanding disparities in health and healthcare. In this session, we will address these challenges and discuss emerging benefits strategies designed to mitigate the negative impacts of SDOH on employee health, access to quality healthcare, and health outcomes.


Scott Conard, MD, DFWBGH Medical Director

Dr. Conard is a practicing family physician passionate about transforming healthcare to provide more convenience, increase access, significantly improve quality, and lower cost. He believes that challenges can be best met with innovation, technology, and accountability, and that "greater convenience, increased access, higher quality, and lower costs" are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the surest path to reduced costs lies in a better model of care that embraces preventative care, early detection, excellence in management of known conditions, and improved behaviors.

As a Medical Director for corporations and benefit coalitions, his experience in medicine, corporate leadership, and healthcare allows him to create the strategic plan and serve as the accountability "agent", leveraging this deep understanding as an integrator of effective interventions. His work in patient engagement has led to the development of a new model for chronic care management, building knowledge and skills, resulting in better health outcomes. Dr. Conard believes that every company has a unique culture and needs that create opportunities to achieve significant improvement in health and lower costs.

Jessica Brooks, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health

Jessica Brooks is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, where she is leading the effort to redefine and advance the discussion around health care value, access and quality on behalf of employers.

Jessica is responsible for the vision of the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health – spearheading new initiatives and measures that have resulted in improving the organization’s visibility and growth in the health care market space.

Under her leadership, PBGH has enjoyed consistent financial gains, the growth of the organization’s class-leading prescription drug management program – delivering more than $25 million in annual savings to employers, and the deployment of a comprehensive data strategy that enables employers to better leverage health care and benefits information with health plans, providers and other partners.

Tammy Fennessy, Benefits Director, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.

Tammy has her PHR certification through the HR Certification Institute, GBA designation through the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS) and is currently serving as the President of the Employer Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health (PBGH). As the Director of Benefits for American Eagle Outfitter’s, she is responsible for managing benefit programs internationally and for all 50 states in the U.S., for all AEO brands. Prior to American Eagle Outfitter’s, Inc., Tammy was the Benefits Manager for 6 years for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group. During her career, key initiatives include: leveraging technology to build efficiencies, population management, removing barriers to benefit program entry and navigation, and to align benefit plans and initiatives with American Eagle Outfitter’s strategic objectives and culture.

The Texas Business Group on Health (TBGH) was founded in 1985, as a non-profit 501c (6) organization dedicated to the interest of Texas companies that offer employer-sponsored healthcare for employees, and the development and support of community-based employer coalitions across Texas.  

10260 North Central Expy. Suite 285
Dallas, TX 75231


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