UHF’s 2021 conference on Medicaid in New York focused on Medicaid’s role in addressing social needs and the worsening health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers highlighted the need to address homelessness, the increased use of telehealth, and the role of community-based organizations.

The conference was held on July 15, 2021; it was supported by the Commonwealth Fund. Because of the COVID-19 emergency and the need to continue physical distancing to protect health and safety, this conference was presented exclusively as a live webcast, as the 2020 conference was. Attendees had opportunities to submit questions in real time for response from speakers and panelists.

Detailed agenda and presentations below. A news story on the conference is available here

Full Agenda and Participants

Keynote: State of the State of New York Medicaid — Brett Friedman, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Medicaid Counsel in the Office of Health Insurance Programs, New York State Department of Health
(Begins at 07:30 in the video recording; link below)

Panel: Medicaid’s Role in Providing Holistic Health Care for People Experiencing Homelessness in New York
(1:19:00 in video link)

Panelists discussed gaps in Medicaid funding, intergenerational cycles of homelessness, and the increasing number of aging people experiencing homelessness. The services this population needs are often unavailable or inadequate. 

Moderator: Bonnie Mohan, Executive Director, The Health and Housing Consortium, Inc.


  • Lisa Green, Senior Vice President, Residential Services, The Bridge 
  • Ron Lawson, Chief Operating Officer, Care for the Homeless
  • Van Yu, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Center for Urban Community Services and Janian Medical Care

Fireside Chat: What's the Future for Medicaid? — Anne Marie Costello, Deputy Center Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(2:34:15 in video link)

Panel: Addressing Community Needs Through Medicaid
(3:33:18 in video link)

The afternoon panel, featuring panelists from a range of organizations working with Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn to address social needs, examined the need to take a more holistic approach to addressing health through community-designed solutions.


  • Kishor E. Malavade, MD, Vice Chair, Department of Population Health, Maimonides Medical Center
  • Shari Suchoff, Vice President, Population Health Policy and Strategy, Maimonides Medical Center / Executive Director, Brooklyn Communities Collaborative


  • Susan Beane, MD, Vice President and Executive Medical Director, Healthfirst
  • Debra Lesane Watson, previously with Caribbean Women's Health Association
  • Jeffannie O’Garro, Alumna, Participatory Action Research Alumni

Additional Links

Webinar recording (link to video; requires a free one-time registration at Brandlive.com)
Speaker Bios