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Sunday, October 1: registration and Check-in

3:00 – 6:00 pm – Registration – Regency Foyer


The Public Policy Institute is a day full of policy sessions, workshops, and keynote speakers. By the end, attendees will be well-equipped to tackle the Hill on Tuesday.

7:00 am – 5:00 pm– Registration – Regency Foyer

7:45 am – 8:30 am– Breakfast

8:30 am – 8:45 am– Welcome & Opening Remarks: Featuring Linda RosenbergRegency Ballroom

8:45 am – 9:30 am– General Session: Advocating for Health Care in Chaotic Times: What’s Next and How YOU Can Make a Difference – Regency Ballroom

9:30 am – 9:45 am– Coffee Break

9:45 am – 10:45 am– Advocacy 101: Making the Most of Your Meetings with Lawmakers – Regency Ballroom

9:45 am – 10:45am– Telebehavioral Health: Program Solutions & Policy Implications Supported by Envolve – Congressional B

9:45 am – 10:45 am– Removing Barriers to Treatment Access: Strategies for State Advocacy Supported by Teva – Congressional A

9:45 am – 10:45 am– Crunching the Numbers: Breaking Down the FY2018 Budget – Concord/Lexington

10:45 am -11:00 am– Coffee Break

11:00 am -12:00 pm– General Session: Insider Perspective: Health care, Politics and Policy – Regency Ballroom

12:00 pm -12:45 pm– Box Lunch – Regency Ballroom

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm– Advanced Advocacy: Building Bipartisan Support in a Polarized World – Congressional A

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm– Behavioral Health IT: Moving Toward “Whole Person Care” Supported by Netsmart –Concord/Lexington

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm– Film “Beyond Silence” Supported by Sunovion – Regency Ballroom

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm– Affordability and Access in Medicare Supported by PhARMA- Congressional B

1:45 pm – 2:00 pm– Break

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm–  General Session: SAMHSA: An Update & the Year Ahead Featuring The Honorable Elinore McCance-Katz, SAMHSA – Regency Ballroom

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm– General Session: Medicaid: What’s Next: Featuring Judy Solomon and Chuck IngogliaRegency Ballroom

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Coffee Break

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm– General Session: Why We Fight: Featuring Jennifer Marshall, Justin Luke Riley and Tom Hill (moderator)Regency Ballroom

5:30pm – 7:00 pm– Capitol Hill Reception – Dirksen Senate Office Building G-50


After a group picture in front on the Capitol steps on the National Mall, Hill Day advocates take to the Hill for a day full of Congressional meetings.

7:30 am – 10:00 am– Registration – Regency Foyer

7:30 am – 9:00 am-Breakfast & State Delegation Meet Up – Regency Ballroom

8:15 am- 8:30 am– Hill Day Send Off Featuring The Honorable Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senator for MichiganRegency Ballroom

9:00 am- 9:30 am– Walk to Capitol steps for group photo

9:30 am – Group Photo on the Capitol Steps – West Steps of the U.S. Capitol

9:00 am – 5:00 pm– Advocate Meetings with Elected Officials – Off-Site

12:00 pm– Congressional Staff Briefing Sponsored by Scattergood and PEGS Foundation –Capitol Visitor Center SVC-215

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm– Advocates Reception – Regency Ballroom

Check out some of the great sessions AT Hill Day 2017:

Title: Advocacy 101: Making the Most of Your Meetings with Lawmakers
Type: Breakout Session
Speakers: Michael Petruzzelli, National Council for Mental Wellbeing; Al Guida, Guide Consulting Services
Description: Are you ready to ace your Capitol Hill meeting? Join this session to learn how to make the most of your visits with your legislators. Learn how individual constituents can make a difference, how to effectively make your case before legislators and their staff and how to run a successful Hill meeting. Practice your new skills with your peers and with advocates who work on Capitol Hill every day.

Title: Advanced Advocacy: Building Bipartisan Support in a Polarized World
Type: Breakout Session
Speakers: Catherine Finley, Thorn Run Partners; Jessica Nickel, Addiction Policy Forum
Description: It often seems like the battle lines are so firmly drawn, there’s no way to have a productive dialogue about behavioral health in the midst of slurs being thrown around about Obamacare and Trump Care. We know that behavioral health is bipartisan, what are the most effective things advocates can do in their visits to advance the conversation? How do advocates position themselves to rise about the noise of partisan politics?  Join two of the National Council’s leading consultants for this advanced advocacy session and explore effective techniques to ensure your message gets through.

Title: Crunching the Numbers: Breaking Down the FY2018 Budget
Type: Breakout Session
Speaker: Tiffany Kaszuba, Coalition for Health Funding; Andrew Sperling, NAMI
Description: Did important programs get cut or saved? How much money did SAMHSA receive? What does it mean moving into year two of the Trump Administration? Learn all of that more in this session with one of DC’s federal appropriations expert, Tiffany Kaszuba, Deputy Director for the Coalition for Health Funding and Andrew Sperling, Director, Legislative Affairs at NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Advocates will learn the latest updates from Congress and the 2018 budget and come away prepared to discuss these issues with legislations during meetings.

Title: Beyond Silence Screening
Type: Breakout Session
Description: Join us for a screening of Beyond Silence, a Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health documentary. Directed by Shaul Schwarz and executive produced by Demi Lovato, Beyond Silence celebrates the strength, perseverance and dedication of courageous individuals determined to break through the silence often associated with mental illness and help others along the way. During the documentary, you will meet Jeff, Lauren and Lloyd, three very different people who share one common experience — their lives have been transformed by speaking up for mental health. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the documentary cast. The screening is supported by Sunovion.

Title: Behavioral Health IT: Moving Toward “Whole Person Care”
Type: Breakout Session
Speakers: Kevin Scalia, Netsmart; Al Guida, Guide Consulting Services
Description: To date, federal programs that incentivize the use of health information technology have largely excluded behavioral health providers. What efforts are underway in Congress to address this gap? What service delivery models focused on care coordination and population health management are emerging that may impact the legislative and regulatory landscapes?  This session includes background and talking points for the Improving Access to Behavioral Health IT Act (S. 1732), and its companion bill in the House (H.R. 3331). The legislation recommends creation of a pilot program within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) that includes financial incentives for providers who use EHRs to improve quality and coordination of care. This session is supported by Netsmart.

Title: Removing Barriers to Treatment Access: Strategies for State Advocacy
Type: Breakout Session
Speakers: Gavin Clingham, Alliance for Patient Access; Phyllis Foxworth of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Description: As new medications and treatment innovations become available, how can we as advocates ensure they are accessible to those in need? States commonly use Medicaid formulary placement, prior authorization requirements, and fail-first or similar policies to manage treatment utilization, often preventing consumers from accessing needed care. This session will provide an overview of common state-level restrictions on medications and will explore an emerging frontier in treatment access: Tardive Dyskinesia (TD). Attendees will leave with effective strategies for removing barriers to treatment access at the state level. This session is supported by Teva.

Title: Affordability and Access in Medicare
Type: Breakout Session
Speakers: Bonnie Duffy, MAPRx Coalition; Joel White, Council for Affordable Health Coverage
Description: The Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) has been a critical tool in helping Medicare beneficiaries access treatment since the inception of Medicare Part D. With a renewed focus on potential entitlement program changes on Capitol Hill, what threats do Part D and LIS face? Join Bonnie Duffy of the MAPRx Coalition and Joel White of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage for a discussion on the current policy environment and how advocates can work to protect the program. This session is supported by PhRMA.

Title: Telebehavioral Health Program Solutions & Policy Implications
Type: Breakout Session
Speakers: Rebecca Klein, ABHW; Mei Wa Kwong, JD, Interim Executive Director, Center for Connected Health Policy; Ramiro Zuniga, MD, MBA, FAAFP, Medical Director, California Health and Wellness
Description: Join us in a dialogue with a panel of experts on the advantages and limitations of behavioral health telehealth solutions and the related federal regulatory and policy implications. The session is supported by Envolve.

Title: Medicaid: What’s Next?
Type: General Session
Speakers: Judy Solomon, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities; Chuck Ingoglia, National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Description: This year there has been a whirlwind of activity on Medicaid, a program that provides health coverage to more 70 million low-income and disabled Americans. The U.S. House and Senate both introduced proposals to slash Medicaid spending, a move that would devastate mental health and addiction care. During this session, Judy Solomon, Vice President for Health Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will outline current threats to Medicaid as well as highlight opportunities to strengthen it. Ms. Solomon will also provide tips to advocates on how to garner support for Medicaid from lawmakers during their meetings on Capitol Hill.

Title: Why We Fight: Peers Share their Stories
Type: General Session
Speakers: Jennifer Marshall, This is My Brave; Justin Luke Riley, Young People in Recovery; Tom Hill, National Council for Mental Wellbeing (Moderator)
Description: The best way to educate legislators about the need for action is to inform them about the realities of living with mental illness and/or addiction. This panel discussion will explore the power of personal stories in advocacy by focusing on the lived experience of individuals in recovery from addiction and mental illness. Panelists, Jennifer Marshall, This is My Brave and Justin Luke Riley, Young People in Recovery will explain how their own personal processes of transformation inspired them to help others and advocate for positive community and systems-wide change. Tom Hill from National Council for Mental Wellbeing will moderate this session.

Title: Advocating for Health Care in Chaotic Times: What’s Next and How YOU Can Make a Difference
Type: General Session
Speakers: Rebecca Farley David, National Council; Al Guida, Guide Consulting Services
Description: After the demise of the latest attempt to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act while cutting and restructuring Medicaid, what’s next for Congress? Join the National Council’s policy and lobbying team for insider insights on whether Congress will return to health care, how the Trump Administration may pursue strategies to restructure Medicaid, and the role of states in any future changes. During this session, attendees will get advice on how to select the issues to raise with their legislators and review the most important talking points to share with Congressional offices.

Title: SAMHSA: An Update and the Year Ahead
Type: General Session
Speaker: Assistant Secretary Elinore McCance-Katz
Description: Join us to hear from the newly appointed Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz. She will provide an update from SAMHSA and will also discuss the future direction for the agency and what it means for mental health and addictions services.

Questions about Hill Day? Email Michael Petruzzelli, Manager, Policy and Advocacy at, or call him at 202.684.7457, ext. 267.