Welcome & Introductions

About This Session


Non-CME session: This interactive question-answer session provides an opportunity to engage a panel of experts including a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program officer and several clinical researchers. The discussion will include topics relevant to clinicians interested in pursuing all forms of clinical research. Funding opportunities for further research training and educational loan repayment, productive mentor-mentee relationships, diverse career paths, intellectual property, and industry funding are just a few of the topics that will be discussed.

Connie Hwang, MD

Chief Medical Officer and Director, Clinical Innovation

Company/Employment: ACHP

Bio: Dr. Hwang is a general internist with expertise in quality measurement and population health. At Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), she is Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Innovation, providing clinical leadership on health care transformation, provider partnerships, quality improvement and affordability. Prior to ACHP, Dr. Hwang was Vice President of Quality at Evolent Health and led improvement initiatives for Medicare Advantage Star Ratings, CMS ACOs, State Medicaid quality programs, payer partnerships, and NCQA HEDIS performance. Dr. Hwang was previously Vice President at the National Quality Forum and launched the Measure Applications Partnership, a public- private collaboration convened to review performance measures for CMS’ value- based care programs. Dr. Hwang is a former RWJ Clinical Scholar and MPH graduate from Johns Hopkins who completed her Internal Medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and graduated with her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Russ Kuzel, MD

Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Company/Employment: SelectHealth

Bio: Dr. Kuzel has more than 30 years of healthcare and medical management experience. Most recently, he served as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at UCare, a nonprofit health plan in Minnesota. Previously, he held leadership positions at Security Health Plan, Aurora Medical Group, and Dakota Clinic/Innovis Health. Dr. Kuzel holds a Master of Medical Management degree from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. He earned his medical degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. In addition, he received a Bush Medical Fellowship to complete Physician Leadership College at the University of St. Thomas.

Stephen Perkins, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Commercial and Medicare Services

Company/Employment: UPMC Health Plan

Bio: Dr. Perkins provides clinical leadership for all Commercial and Medicare Services, Medical Management, and Provider Network Development activities for the Health Plan. In addition, he oversees UPMC Health Plan Community Health Initiatives. Dr. Perkins provides clinical leadership for Commercial Products and WorkPartners suite of productivity products. Current areas of focus for the Health Plan include payment reform, development of alternative value based payment models, management of total cost of care and initiatives with UPMC as an integrated finance and delivery system. Dr. Perkins served as Vice President of Medical Affairs and Senior Medical Director for the Health Plan. In these previous positions he provided strategic clinical leadership for all the Health Plan's line of business products and served as Senior Medical Director for UPMC WorkPartners’ suite of workers' compensation, employee assistance, health promotion, and health management products. Before joining the Health Plan in 2010, Dr. Perkins served for 12 years as Corporate Medical Director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, the largest Vermont-based health coverage carrier. His 30 years in the health care field also include 14 years as a family physician in South Charleston, W.Va.