2017 NAME Conference Summary
If you did not attend the 15th Annual National Alliance for Medicaid in Education Conference, read these highlights to see how much you missed! But first, please join the 2017 “The Sunshine State is Calling Your Name” Conference Committee in thanking NAME’s sponsors for their belief in NAME’s vision and mission. Our sponsors’ valued support helped make learning opportunities, resource sharing and networking possibilities available to 2017 Conference goers, who took away tools and tips that contribute to informed decision making in our work.
The 2017 “The Sunshine State is Calling your Name” Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida kicked off Sunday evening with the NAME Academy, which provided an introduction to School-based Medicaid for rookies as well as veterans seeking a subject matter refresher. From there we took a ride to the rooftop Sky Terrace to meet new and greet familiar friends and colleagues. We dined on a delicious assortment of crab cakes, sliders, and vegetables until dark.
Monday was packed full of presentations, including the welcome by Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, who understands concerns we face and discussed his hopes for the future of Medicaid in Schools. The Keynote address, presented by Dr. Charlene M. Grecsek, also from BCPS, provided a glimpse of how trauma affects a school-age child’s mind in the educational setting. We also heard from a multi-state speaker panel and the Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team. The rest of the day was packed with two rounds of 30-minute “nugget” sessions on over 10 different topics School-based Medicaid topics!
As always, this year’s social event allowed us to see the sites, relax, have fun and get to know each other. The scavenger hunt, aboard a chartered water taxi on Fort Lauderdale’s inter-coastal waterway, culminated with the winners scoring a $75 conference hotel gift certificate.
Bright and early on Tuesday the highest number of participants to date ran, walked or rolled this year’s 5 kilometer course to raise funds for the annual Anysia Drumheller Memorial NAME Conference Scholarship. Little wonder – there’s no more beautiful place than the Florida coast line to get in some exercise!
After the 5K and a delicious buffet breakfast, representatives of a few strategic partner organizations spoke about “What the Future (of U.S. health care reform) May Hold,” during a Fireside Chat with NAME Executive Director John Hill. Next, representatives of national related services provider associations shared updates and information from their disciplines. The morning concluded with “It Takes a Village,” our Florida colleagues’ walk-through of their state’s School-based Medicaid Program. Tuesday afternoon, 2017 NAME Conference attendees chose from over 12 Medicaid in Schools best practices presentations offered during two 90-minute breakout sessions.
Wednesday morning two of Broward County Public School’s finest psychologists gave an interactive session on the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Child Find process, after which NAME Regional Town Hall meetings reconvened to wrap up discussions and answer questions following Monday’s Regional Town Hall sessions. The 15th Annual NAME Conference concluded with the Annual Membership Meeting, where President Shannon Huska (Colorado) passed the gavel to incoming President Kevin Bauer (Michigan). Outgoing Board Members were recognized for their service, and everyone showed their appreciation for the passion and commitment with which outgoing President Huska served NAME throughout her tenure as President Elect and President.
As we look ahead to the 2018 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, the NAME Leadership Team and Conference Committee thanks all of you for partnering with us to achieve NAME’s Mission: To Advocate Program Integrity in School-Based Medicaid Reimbursement.
We are ready for our next challenges and victories, and we look forward to ‘Moving Forward in the City of Firsts’ with you when you attend NAME’s 16th Annual Conference alongside Baltimore’s inner harbor next year!