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Kansas State of Health speakers

Andy Allison, Ph.D., is the acting executive director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority. He was the agency's deputy director from December 2005 through May 2009, and served as Medicaid director during much of that time. Prior to joining the KHPA, he spent six years at the Kansas Health Institute as a researcher and director of health care finance and organization. His research focused primarily on the effectiveness, availability and cost of health care and health insurance in Kansas. He worked as a Medicaid budget analyst at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C., from 1992-95 providing staff support to President Clinton's health care reform effort and reviewing comprehensive statewide health care reform waiver applications. He has a bachelor's degree in history from Ouachita Baptist University, a master's degree in public policy from Duke University, and a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University.

Roderick Bremby is the longest serving secretary in the history of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. His background includes almost two decades of local government management and extensive experience in community health issues. In his role as secretary, Bremby provides policy recommendations to the governor and Kansas legislature in addition to providing leadership to an agency whose mission is to protect the health and environment of all Kansans by promoting responsible choices.

Paul Davis is a Democratic member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing the 46th District. He has served since 2003 and is currently the Minority Leader. Davis has a B.A. from the University of Kansas and a J.D. from Washburn University. Since 2003 he was worked as an attorney for Attorney, Skepnek, Fagan, Meyer and Davis, PA. Prior he worked for the legislative and ethics counsel of the Kansas Bar Association and as assistant director of government affairs, Kansas Insurance Department.

Jason Eberhart-Phillips, M.D., M.P.H., serves as the health director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). In this role, he directs and administers all programs and budgetary activities of the agency's Division of Health. He also serves as the state health officer and as medical advisor to the department, medical professionals and the public. Prior to that he served as the county health officer of El Dorado County in California. He has also served as senior lecturer in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand, the chronic disease director for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, as a medical epidemiologist for the ESR Health Communicable Disease Centre in Porirua, New Zealand, and as an epidemic intelligence service officer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University and his medical degree from the University of California San Francisco. He also holds a master's degree in public health from the University of California Berkeley, and a master of divinity degree from the Pacific School of Religion. Before becoming a physician, he worked as a news reporter in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Anthony Hensley is a Democratic member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 19th District since 1992. He has been the minority leader since 1996 and has also been a committeeman of the Democratic precinct since 1976. In 1992, he was the majority whip. From 1977 to 1992, he was a representative. In 1991 and 1992, he was the chairman of the 2nd District Democratic Committee and from 1981 to 1986 he was the chairman of the Shawnee County Democratic Central Committee.

BRENDA LANDWEHR is a Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing the 91st District. She has served since 1995. Landwehr is the owner of LT Care Solutions, Inc. and is a member of Christ the King Church, Comcare Mental Health Advisory Board, and the Salvation Army Foster Care Advisory Board.

JEFF PORTER became special projects director for AHCJ in 2008 after serving six years as the database library director for Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting. In that position, he conducted and directed data analysis for broadcast and print investigative projects, served as lead instructor for computer-assisted reporting boot camps, and provided journalism training across the United States and overseas. He also has served as a CAR instructor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Previously, he worked 20 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist, served as adjunct college faculty, and co-created and hosted a weekly radio program. His last newspaper job was at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where he served as CAR specialist, combining traditional investigative reporting techniques with advanced data analysis tools.

Sandy Praeger was elected Kansas' 24th commissioner of insurance in 2002 and began serving in the position on Jan. 13, 2003. She was re-elected in 2006. Praeger is responsible for regulating all insurance sold in Kansas and overseeing the nearly 1,700 insurance companies and 90,000 agents licensed to do business in the state. Commissioner Praeger has testified before Congressional committees and most recently testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on health reform issues.

Derek Schmidt is a Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 15th District, a position to which he was first elected in November 2000. He has been the Senate majority leader since 2005. He was previously a part of the special counsel to the governor.