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September 2, 12:00 – 1:15 pm

Session 3: A Two-Tiered Strategy to Support Employee Mental & Emotional Health During and Beyond COVID-19

Fear, stress, anxiety, depression, and uncertainty are widespread in the workforce, as COVID-19 continues its rampage across the world. A second wave will deliver an even more severe collective shock to employees’ already fragile mental state. Employers are readying their resources to support employees as they adjust to the “new normal” workplace, whether in the office or at home. In this session, you will learn about The Path Forward’s two-tiered strategy, which employers can use to mitigate Covid-19’s impact on employees’ mental health and wellbeing, and better prepare health systems to respond to the increased demand for behavioral healthcare services and improve patient outcomes.

Moderator: Chris Skisak, Executive Director, Houston Business Coalition on Health

Dr. Chris Skisak is the Executive Director of the Houston Business Coalition on Health. HBCH is the leading resource for Houston area employers and associate partners dedicated to providing health benefits at a sustainable cost while improving the quality and experience in their delivery. HBCH currently has 85 organizational members representing more than 800,000 local and more than 2 million national employer-sponsored lives. Dr. Skisak also serves on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasing Coalitions, and Board of Directors of the Texas Business Group on Health. He serves on the leadership councils for Houston Cities Changing Diabetes and Houston Social Determinants of Health Council. Prior to HBCH he was President and Founder of Corporate Health Management Solutions, an organizational health and productivity management company which provided consulting and software to demonstrate the value of an integrated health management strategy. Dr. Skisak had previously worked 25 years with Houston Fortune 50 energy companies in a variety of population health management positions. He is originally from Chicago and attended the University of Illinois. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas School of Public Health.


David Nill, MD, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Cerner

 As Chief Medical Officer I have the opportunity to deliver population health to a large sponsored population. I have been in my role for over the past 10 years which has evolved from being the physician providing direct care to a sponsored population then evolving to Chief Medical Officer responsible for more than 40,000+ lives around the globe. I have watched the landscape of employer sponsored benefits and healthcare morph from basic wellness approaches to a more holistic generalized approach to associate wellbeing. My responsibilities include co-management of a $200M+ health plan spend to oversight of all of the clinical approaches to managing the health of the Cerner population which includes associates and their families. I also have the opportunity to influence IT development in order to scale to the needs of our broader population. My ambition is that our service delivery and experience for members is over 5 years ahead of anyone else trying to innovate in health and care delivery. There have been significant outcomes at Cerner in reducing PMPY trend and developing new approaches to managing a sponsored population. At Cerner we have been delivering a team based approach to care delivery and have incorporated health into the model with seamless interactions across fitness and other benefits related service offerings. The greenfield to develop in this area is astonishing and it is exciting to see what others are trying to accomplish across employer sponsored health and care. I have been honored to serve as a co-chair to the National Business Group on Health Cost Institute Board where we get to share ideas with the biggest employers across the globe. The key to success at this time is to rapidly execute on the various ideas (some very disruptive) and realize that health and care do not have to continue as it currently exists. We will continue to enhance the member/patient experience well beyond the status quo.

Frank Webster, MD, Senior Executive Medical Director, Behavioral Health, HCSC

Executive Medical Director with more than 25 years of clinical and leadership experience improving and implementing system-wide reorganizations. Possess extensive experience in Managed Behavioral Healthcare including commercial and government contracts as well as ASOs. Led UM, QI and URAC accreditation for the largest privately owned behavioral HMO. Experienced with NCQA, risk and disability management as well as IT implementation. Led claims reviews for high cost cases to identify fraud, waste and abuse saving $4M. Implemented Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) with a spending budget of $260M which included prior authorization, concurrent review and claims analysis for a savings of $10M.

Monica K. Guidry, LCSW, ACSW, Executive Director, UT Employee Assistance Programs

Monica Guidry is Executive Director at UTHealth Houston Office of Employee Assistance Programs. As Executive Director, she is responsible for the internal EAP WorkLife and Wellness program at UTHealth Houston and for the operations of EAP services for external organizations which includes Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, Texas State University and several UT sister organizations across the state. Our focus with all of these institutions is to assist the physicians, faculty, staff with all dimensions of well-being including a focus on mental health. For UTHealth, this strategy includes creating opportunities to offer a full spectrum of services from management tool-kits about compassion and empathy to ways to improve employee stress on such topics as mindfulness, caregiver support services and debt/spending tools. She is serving a key role in strategies to effectively return employees back to campus effectively. Monica joined UT Health in 2010 after spending 10 years as the Director of the University of Florida Addiction Treatment Program in Gainesville, FL.

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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