Keynote Speakers




A special thanks to the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) for their generosity in sponsoring this special session  


Health Equity: Moving Beyond the Legacy of Racism and Discrimination

FRIDAY, June 19, 2020
10:30 – 11:30AM Eastern Time

Vetta.jpgVetta Sanders Thompson, PhD, MA
Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri


AUPHA is pleased to announce a special addition to the 2020 Annual Meeting. Dr. Vetta Sanders Thompson will be delivering a presentation that highlights the role of systemic racism and discrimination in health disparities, with a specific focus on the legacy of racism in healthcare. Educational strategies to support systemic changes will be shared.  The presentation will be held on Friday, June 19th, from 10:30 – 11:30am eastern time.  The session, as with all other virtual Annual Meeting sessions, will be recorded.

Vetta Sanders Thompson is the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Studies at the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis and currently serves as the School’s Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  Dr. Sanders Thompson serves as co-director of the Center for Community Health Partnership and Research at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University, is an associate member of the Siteman Cancer Center, and a faculty affiliate of the Department of African and African-American Studies.

Dr. Sanders Thompson’s research focuses on the health and well-being of diverse communities, particularly the African-American community. Her scholarship addresses racial identity and socialization, implications of experiences of discrimination and socio-cultural determinants of disparities. Her goal is to empower members of the community to improve their health and well-being through education and opportunities for action. She teaches courses in human diversity, disparities, and mental health. Her funded research addresses promotion of cancer screening among African Americans and community engagement.

A licensed clinical psychologist, Sanders Thompson is active in professional associations. She served as an associate editor for the APA journal PsycCritiques, a past Chair of the State Committee of Psychologist, past President of the Missouri Psychological Association and has been honored by the St. Louis community, as well as her profession.




Preparing MHA Students for a Very Different Healthcare Future

TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2020
3:00 – 4:00 PM Eastern Time 


Brent C. James, MD, M.Stat
Clinical Professor, CERC, Dept of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

Brent James is known internationally for his work in clinical quality improvement, patient safety, and the infrastructure that underlies successful improvement efforts, such as culture change, data systems, payment methods, and management roles. For more than 20 years, he has championed the standardization of clinical care through data collection and analysis on a wide variety of treatment protocols and complex care processes. He has devoted himself to using quality improvement tools to better understand the cause and effect relationship between various practice and environmental factors. Dr. James firmly believes that the practice of medicine and delivery of health care stands at another critical crossroads today.

Currently Dr. James is a Clinical Professor at the Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC), Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine and also serves as a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine), where he participated in the organization’s seminal works on quality and patient safety. In addition, he holds adjunct faculty appointments at several other universities, to include Harvard School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, and University of Utah School of Medicine (Family Medicine; Biomedical Informatics). Formerly he served over 20 years as the Executive Director of the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research and Vice President – Medical Research and Continuing Medical Education at Intermountain Healthcare. 

Dr. James was named among Modern Physician’s “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare.”  eight times, was named among the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” (Modern Healthcare) for over 5 consecutive years, and among Modern Healthcare’s “25 Top Clinical Informaticists”. He holds an M.D. degree (with residency training in general surgery and oncology) and a Master of Statistics degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine. 



AUPHA Forum Speaker

Leadership Insights in a COVID-19 World

FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020
1:00 – 2:15 PM Eastern Time 

Natalie Gochnour, MS
Associate Dean David Eccles School of Business,
Director Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute,
University of Utah


AUPHA is pleased to have Natalie Gochnour as its 2020 AUPHA Annual Meeting Closing Forum Speaker. Gochnour serves as an associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. She also serves as chief economist at the Salt Lake Chamber. Gochnour’s experience includes a diverse mix of public service and business expertise.

For seven years she guided the public policy work of the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest business association. During Gochnour’s state service she advised Utah governors Bangerter, Leavitt and Walker. She also served as a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an associate administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and deputy to the secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Gochnour is a sought after public speaker with the unique ability to translate policy-speak into everyday language. A native Utahn, her professional focus is public policies that promote balance, civility and prosperity. Gochnour has authored over 250 published columns in Utah Business magazine and the Deseret News and co-hosts the weekly radio program Both Sides of the Aisle on KCPW public radio. She has been recognized by the Downtown Alliance for leading the Downtown Rising movement, YWCA of Salt Lake City for an Outstanding Achievement Award for business, and Wasatch Women magazine as the “Wasatch Woman of the Year.” She serves on the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, World Trade Center Utah, and Primary Children’s Hospital boards. She is also a Utah Transportation Commissioner and vice-chair of Envision Utah.

Gochnour has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in economics from the University of Utah and teaches public finance


Pattullo Lecturer

1:00 – 2:15 PM Eastern Time 

Leavitte_1.pngStephen Shortell, PhD, MPH, MBA
Professor, Graduate School and Dean Emeritus
UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health



We are pleased to announce the 2020 Annual Meeting Opening Keynote Speaker, presenting the Pattullo Lecture:  Stephen M. Shortell, PhD, MHA, MBA. 

Dr. Shortell is the Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management Emeritus, Dean Emeritus, and Professor of the Graduate School  at the School of Public Health and Haas School of Business at University of California-Berkeley where he also co-leads the Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research (CHOIR) and the Center for Lean Engagement and Research (CLEAR) in healthcare. 

The author or co-author of over 350 peer-reviewed articles and 10 books Dr. Shortell and his colleagues have received numerous awards for their research examining the  formation and performance of integrated delivery systems; the organizational factors associated with quality and outcomes of care;  and the factors associated with the adoption of evidence-based processes for treating patients with chronic illness.  He is currently conducting research on patient engagement and the performance of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and on Lean applications in healthcare He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a recent recipient of the AHA/HRET TRUST Visionary Leadership Award.