Valley Schools Employee Benefits Holds Annual Conference

The Valley Schools 6th Annual Conference was held at the Heard Museum last month. The annual conference provides an opportunity for its many members to meet leaders in healthcare, education and other fields that will provide them with insight and knowledge of trends affecting employee benefits and school funding.

The event was emceed by Tom Boone of VSMG and Tom Elliott of VSEBT.

This conference featured an  inspirational group of speakers with timely information on wellness, healthcare, ACA, and State and National legislation.  

Speakers included:

Dr. John A. Hensing, Banner Health Chief Medical Officer spoke on Healthcare Trends and Innovations

John Hensing, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer 

Dr. John Hensing

Dr. Hensing was named executive vice president and chief medical officer in 2009.

He joined Banner (then Samaritan Health System) as senior vice president in 1995. His current responsibilities include care management and organizational performance for Banner including medical management, care coordination, case management and management engineering.

Dr. Hensing practiced internal medicine in Tempe, Ariz. for 18 years and was awarded the Distinguished Internist of the Year Award in 1993. He is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. He has served on multiple boards, including Samaritan Health System, The Samaritan Foundation, HealthPartners of Arizona, and Arizona Medicare Demonstration Project.

Dr. Hensing obtained his undergraduate degree at Iowa State University and his medical degree at the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1972. After completing two years as a flight surgeon in the US Air Force, he completed his residency in medicine in 1977 and is board-certified in internal medicine.

Richard Stavneak, Executive Director Joint Legislative Budget Committee, updated attendees on the state budget
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Richard Stavneak, Director of JLBC

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas spoke about her objectives for the upcoming year

Diane Douglas, Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Diane Douglas, Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas has always been passionate about the American education system and has been actively involved in Arizona’s education landscape for over twenty years. Her interest started first with her daughter’s education and continues with the birth of her new grandson. She wants an excellent education for her own family and for all families in Arizona.

Superintendent Douglas is proud to have served two terms on the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board, including two years as President of the Board.  During her tenure she worked to support the district’s parents and teachers in delivering an excellent education to all of its students. She has also served on the Site Councils for two Peoria Unified schools and on the Board of Education for church education programs.

As the leader of the Arizona Department of Education, Superintendent Douglas is devoted to improving education in Arizona so that all students have the opportunity to succeed in life. She plans to work directly with the state education community to accomplish this goal and looks forward to collaborating with teachers, parents, students, and administrators.

Prior to her advocacy and leadership in education issues, Superintendent Douglas graduated from Rutgers University and had a distinguished career as a financial expert for a variety of private sector firms.

Acclaimed author and speaker, Robert Scanlan, three time organ transplant recipient and author of “Tigers Under My Bed”, told those in attendance about healthcare from the perspective of a high cost patient.

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Bob Scanlon

Bob Scanlon

The event was well attended and at max capacity of around one hundred senior personnel.

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Acclaimed Author Robert Scanlan to Speak at VSEBT Annual Conference

Acclaimed Author Robert Scanlan to Speak at VSEBT Annual Conference

Robert Scanlan was at the peak of his career with a happy marriage and a big income living the American dream.  Then one day he had strange symptoms and all that changed.  Here is what happened in his own words…

I’ve never been in a hospital before. Checked in today at 6:00 A.M.

At 2:30 P.M. a man introduces himself.
He is about to become my new best friend.

“Your liver is in total failure. We don’t know why. You can’t live without it. There is no cure. No way to fix it.

“We need to find you a new liver to replace the one you have, and the sooner the better. To do that, we need to get you approved for the waiting list. In the meantime, we will do our best to keep you alive day-to-day.”

A soul-searing journey has begun.
My life as I know it… is shredded. The same is true for Marie, my wife of twenty-four years.

Ten years after a successful transplant, I need two additional organ transplants to maintain life.

Were lessons learned from the first transplant? Are they repeatable?
Is the reward worth the suffering?

When all has been lost, can a life be rebuilt? Twice?

 

Robert Scanlan

Robert Scanlan

After experiencing three transplants, Robert Scanlan decided to write down his experiences in order to help others.  His truthful story is laid out without any veneer in “Tigers Under My Bed” a recently released novel that covers his time from first diagnosis to his life today.  The things you will learn from reading it are shocking and helpful at the same time.

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Prior to the release, hospitals, transplant surgeons and patient groups have kept Robert Scanlan in high demand to speak to others to help them through similar circumstances in dealing with traumatic illness, facing death, or being the caregiver in this situation.  Since the publication of the book, Robert Scanlan has been asked to speak to various organizations, including the staff who treated him at the UCLA Medical Center.  Patients, medical staff and their families have all thanked him for his unique narrative which provides insight to what many of us will face in our lives.

Each year, the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Staff (VSEBT) holds an Annual Conference for its members.  This year’s event will be in mid-November.  Guests will be able to hear directly from Robert Scanlan about parts of the healthcare system past, present and future, that few get to understand in such detail until they are thrust into it unprepared.

Robert Scanlan speaking to a group of patients and their families.

Robert Scanlan speaking to a group of patients and their families.

His book is now available on Kindle as well through many hospitals and patient groups.  Prior VSEBT Annual Conference guests have included Dr. Andrew Weil, Congressman John Shadegg, and other prominent leaders in the healthcare industry.  Congratulations to VSEBT for landing such an outstanding speaker for its annual event.

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This year’s event will include other prominent speakers as well.  Tom Boone will start off the event and the Master of Ceremonies will be Tom Elliott.