13th Annual: Medical Director/ Physician Leadership Forum

Austin, TX US
May 14, 2019 to May 16, 2019

Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum Testimonial

"The 13th Annual Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum" is developed to provide cutting-edge clinical updates to interprofessional health care teams responsible for managing large patient populations. This accredited medical education event has something for everyone from managed health care medical directors to clinical executives working within the managed care framework.

Our faculty of nationally recognized practitioners and thought leaders will relate innovative and relevant research that can be applied when working to optimize patient care, outcomes and benefits.

Commercial support
This activity is supported by an educational grant from Celgene Corporation.

Target Audience

This conference is designed to meet the educational needs of medical directors, clinical executives/leaders and other health care professionals (HCPs) that manage large patient populations and/or their benefits worldwide. This includes:

  • Medical Directors
  • Physician Executives/Leaders
  • PAs
  • Pharmacists/Pharmacy Technicians
  • Psychologists
  • Nurse Executives/Leaders

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss recent advancements in the structure and function of the microbiome associated with the healthy state and with specific diseased states.
  • Explain how culinary education on diet and lifestyle bridges the gap between medicine and health and the importance of coaching patients on healthful eating.
  • Describe the clinical and economic impact of diabetes on patients and the health care system.
  • Review the most current guideline recommendations for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and highlight novel therapies for CRC that target tumors with specific genetic biomarkers.
  • Identify at-risk populations that are not represented and being treated for cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as the barriers to CVD treatment and clinical trial enrollment among women, ethnic minorities, and the elderly.
  • Examine the current and future roles of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in cancer treatment and explain the management of toxicities and complications related to CAR T-cell therapy in pediatric and adult patients.
  • List the apps that can offer valuable support and guidance for the management and treatment of mental health disorders.
Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 6.00 ACPE - Pharmacist
  • 6.00 AMA
  • 6.00 ANCC
  • 6.00 APA
  • 6.00 Attendance
  • 6.00 CCMC - General
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 
Event starts: 
05/14/2019 - 5:00pm
Event ends: 
05/16/2019 - 1:00pm

Stand Out From the Crowd with an Exhibit, Promotional Support and/or Sponsored Symposium

Exhibit and Support Details

OptumHealth Education invites you to meet face-to-face with this influential audience of medical directors, physician executives/leaders, and other health care professionals that manage large patient populations and/or their benefits worldwide by exhibiting at this year's event.

In addition to exhibiting, there are several ways for you to connect with these attendees. We have dynamic promotional opportunities to help build and maintain business relationships and increase your company’s visibility among the 300–400 health care professionals. And we offer general conference support to give you the opportunity to contribute to the key goals of the Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum without exhibiting or providing promotional support.

Click here to see who exhibited and/or sponsored at last year's forum.
Acknowledgement of this year's supporters, exhibitors and sponsors.

Exhibit and support resources

Exhibitor & Supporter Prospectus (updated 2/20/19)
> Exhibit Application
> Promotional Support Application
> General Conference Support Application
Exhibitor Service Kit
Exhibit Hall Floor Plan and Table Assignments (5/8/19)

Symposia opportunities and resources

Satellite symposia provide attendees the opportunity to register for an independent, sponsored symposium. The symposia will take place on Wednesday, May 15. Satellite symposia are considered unofficial, separate events and are not endorsed by OptumHealth Education (OHE).

Satellite Symposia Prospectus
> Satellite Symposium Application

Exhibit inquiries:
LuAnne Ronning
Support/symposia inquiries:
Bethany Severson


OptumHealth Education gratefully acknowledges our supporters. Click on the organization's logo to be redirected to its website.

Annual Conference Supporters









Seattle Genetics






Kite Pharma


Event Sponsors


Akcea Therapeutics

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals



Event Supporters


Acorda Therapeutics

Advanced Accelerator Applications


Aimmune Therapeutics

Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Alimera Sciences



Amicus Therapeutics

Daiichi Sankyo

EMD Serono

Exact Sciences

Esperion Therapeutics

Greenwich Biosciences

Grifols USA

Harmony Biosciences




J&J Healthcare System

Karyopharm Therapeutics




Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Otsuka U.S.


Sarepta Therapeutics

Sarepta Therapeutics

Spark Therapeutics

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Takeda Oncology

United Therapeutics

UPMC Transplant Services


Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Viela Bio


JW Marriott Austin
110 E 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78701
United States

JW Marriott Austin

Austin—known as the Live Music Capital of the World®—is Texas' capital city and home to unique attractions, world-class museums and beautiful outdoor space. Soaring above the Austin skyline, the JW Marriott is in the heart of it all, ideally located in central Austin, just steps from the live music and nightlife on 6th Street and less than a mile from the State Capitol.

> www.jwmarriottaustin.com
> Parking
> Ground transportation and directions

Conference Attire

Business casual attire is suggested for the conference. Although every effort is made to maintain a comfortable learning environment, meeting room temperatures can fluctuate greatly and may be difficult to control. The temperature is often cool in the meeting room. Therefore, bringing along a jacket or sweater is recommended.


> UnitedHealth Group Employee Special Travel Instructions

To Reserve Your Room

Book Now


Hotel reservations:
Online reservations
Call-in reservations: 844-473-3959
To receive the conference discounted room rate, you must reserve your room by Friday, April 19 and mention "Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum."

Hotel room rate and fee:  $269 special group rate
A limited number of rooms are available at the JW Marriott Austin for Tuesday, May 14 to Friday, May 17 at the special conference rate of $269. This rate includes complimentary high speed Internet access. The rate is per room, per night, and subject to prevailing state and local taxes. Individuals are responsible for room costs and fees.

Reservation deadline: Friday, April 19, 2019, or when rooms sell out, whichever comes first. You are strongly encouraged to make your reservation before the group block is released on April 19. Reservations received after April 19, or after the room block is sold out, will be accepted on a space-available basis at the prevailing room rate.

Reservation cancellation deadline: To avoid a cancellation penalty equal to the room rate and tax for one night, your cancellation notice must be received by JW Marriott Austin at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the arrival date.

Attention UnitedHealth Group, UnitedHealthcare, Optum Employees

To book your hotel stay: To reserve a room at JW Marriott Austin, please follow the reservation instructions listed above to receive the group discounted rate (do not use Concur for the Forum's reservations).

To book your flight: Employees traveling for the Medical Director Forum are exempt from the pre-trip approval process. The Travel Request form is NOT required. To qualify, employees MUST book airline reservations directly with BCD Travel and reference Group #UHG1036999. If you book through Concur, you will NOT receive the exemption. You will receive a declined message to cancel your reservation and you must then have an approved Travel Request prior to booking.

  1. DO NOT BOOK through Concur
  2. Call BCD Travel Desk at 1-800-238-9047
    • BCD Travel Business Hours are Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–6 p.m. central time
  3. Reference Group # UHG1036999
  4. After receiving your confirmation, verify that your name matches your valid ID.
  5. Double check dates, time and that airport information is correct. If changes need to be made, call the BCD Group Air Desk directly at 1-800-238-9047.
  6. Book air by Friday, April 19, 2019.

Faculty and Planning Committee

Click here for a list of faculty and planning committee members.


Printable Schedule-at-a-Glance (Updated: 04/27/19)

Tuesday, May 14
Wednesday, May 15
Thursday, May 16 (Now available)

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019

5:00–7:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception (provided)

7:00–8:30 p.m.

Group Dinner (provided)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2019 Up to 6.0 continuing education credits available — ACPE UAN JA0007123-0000-19-007-L01-P/T

6:30–7:45 a.m.

Breakfast Satellite Symposium (Optional; not affiliated with the Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum)

7:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks, Heidi Leenay, Vice President, OptumHealth Education

8:15 a.m.

Keynote Address — Culinary Medicine: Transforming Health Through Nutritional Education, Timothy S. Harlan, MD, Tulane University School of Medicine

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. despite existing evidence that they could be postponed or prevented by individuals making healthier fundamental lifestyle choices. According to an article in Academic Medicine, only 27 percent of medical schools in the U.S. offer students the recommended 25 hours of nutritional training.

Dr. Timothy S. Harlan—a board-certified internist, chef and author—is the executive director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, the first-of-its-kind teaching kitchen operated by a medical school. The center offers an innovative program teaching medical students about diet and lifestyle that bridges the gaps among the basic sciences, clinical medicine, community, and culinary education. The goal of the kitchen is that future doctors see the benefits of adding nutritional education to their treatment practice. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on CNN, among other top-tier media outlets. During this session, Dr. Harlan will share with us the substantive impact of having a discussion with patients about the fact that eating nutritious food is the easiest path to health.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe, compare, and contrast the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and Mediterranean diet.
  2. List the nine dietary components of the Mediterranean diet.
  3. Describe the health benefits of each fundamental Mediterranean diet component.
  4. Summarize research-based outcomes used to demonstrate effective diet/health connections.

9:15 a.m.


9:30 a.m.

Exploring the Future of the Gut Microbiome, David F. Mercer, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), FACS, University of Nebraska Medical Center

The gut microbiome consists of approximately 100 trillion bacteria, viruses and other microbes that reside in the gastrointestinal tract. Recent evidence suggests that the gut microbiome plays an important role in the pathogenesis of several disease states. The microbiome has tremendous potential to impact our physiology, both in health and in disease. It contributes to metabolic functions and, through these, can affect directly or indirectly most of our physiologic functions. This session will provide a better understanding of the interactions between the human host and the microbiome and its potential role to new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic capabilities.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss recent advancements in our understanding of the structure and function of the microbiome associated with the healthy state and with specific diseased states.
  2. Identify current and emerging microbiota-based treatments.
  3. Discuss how dysbiosis (changes in the structure and composition of the microbiota that are associated with diseased states) may be involved in the pathogenesis of different disease states, including those that do not directly involve the gut.
  4. Describe current and novel microbiota-based therapies that may be used to treat diseases affected by dysbiosis.

10:30 a.m.

Reducing the Clinical and Economic Impact of Diabetes: Translating Evidence-Based Medicine into Clinical Practice, Felicia Hill-Briggs, PhD, ABPP, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Effective measures for improving the quality of diabetes care are urgently needed to reduce the clinical and economic impact of diabetes. Practicing evidence-based medicine is essential to improving diabetes care and outcomes. Evidence-based practice entails familiarity with published research and the application of the most current findings to clinical practice. However, the amount of available information can easily overwhelm health care providers. This session will review the translation of evidence-based medicine to clinical practice in order to optimize diabetes care, and will discuss the economic impact that diabetes has on the individual and the health care system.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the clinical and economic impact of diabetes on patients and the health care system.
  2. Discuss quality-of-care indicators for and strategies to improve the quality of diabetes care.
  3. Outline measures that facilitate the translation of evidence-based medicine to clinical practice at the provider and system levels.

11:30 a.m.

Lunch Buffet (provided)

11:45 a.m.

Satellite Symposium (Optional; not affiliated with the Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum)

1:00 p.m.

Colorectal Cancer: Screening Guidelines and Genetic Biomarker Testing, George A. Fisher, MD, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer and cancer-related deaths in the United States. Updates in guidelines for CRC screening provide recommendations based on the most current data. Several novel therapies for CRC that target tumors with specific genetic biomarkers have recently been approved. During this presentation, the most current guideline recommendations for CRC screening will be presented, along with novel therapies for CRC that target tumors with specific genetic biomarkers.

Learning objectives:

  1. Review current guideline recommendations and available tests for CRC screening.
  2. Describe the indications, safety, and efficacy for recently approved and emerging therapies for CRC that target tumors with genetic biomarkers.

1:45 p.m.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Therapy, Matthew Lunning, DO, University of Nebraska Medical Center

CAR T-cell therapy is a novel immuno-oncology treatment that has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment, particularly for relapsed/refractory (R/R) malignancies. CAR T-cell therapy has demonstrated high response rates in R/R B-cell malignancies, which typically carry a poor prognosis and the area of CAR T-cell therapy is expected to expand quickly, with nearly 400 clinical trials ongoing around the world. While the majority of CAR T-cell therapy studies involve B-cell malignancies, this treatment is being investigated in solid tumors as well, such as triple-negative breast cancer.

While CAR T-cell therapy is highly effective against R/R malignancies, serious toxicities present an important treatment challenge, and no management guidelines or standardized approach for administering CAR T-cell therapy in adults currently exist. This session will discuss recommendations for patient selection for CAR T-cell therapy, along with its safety, efficacy, role and future strategies in cancer treatment.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the safety, efficacy and role of CAR T-cell therapy in cancer treatment.
  2. Outline guideline recommendations for patient selection, administration of treatment, and monitoring and management of toxicities with regard to CAR  T-cell therapy in pediatric patients.
  3. Discuss current and future strategies for applying CAR T-cell therapy and managing treatment-related complications in adults.

2:30 p.m.

Dessert Reception and Exhibit Grand Opening

3:30 p.m.

Cardiovascular Disease in Women and In Underrepresented Populations, Karol Watson, MD, PhD, UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center, UCLA Health

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death among women, African Americans, and Hispanics, and it is the second leading cause of death among American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, and Pacific Islanders. Furthermore, the prevalence of CVD increases with age, affecting nearly 70 percent of people 60–79 years old and 85 percent of people 80 years and older. Despite the substantial impact of CVD on all segments of the U.S. population, women, ethnic minorities, and the elderly often receive suboptimal treatment for CVD. This presentation will review the barriers to CVD treatment, as well as the patient populations that are at risk for CVD undertreatment. Strategies to improve CVD management and clinical trial enrollment among women, ethnic minorities, and the elderly will be discussed.

Learning objectives:

  1. Identify the patient populations that are at risk for CVD undertreatment and are underrepresented in CVD clinical trials.
  2. Describe the barriers to CVD treatment and clinical trial enrollment among women, ethnic minorities, and the elderly.
  3. Discuss strategies to improve CVD treatment and clinical trial enrollment in  at-risk populations.
  4. Address the ethical implications of suboptimal treatment for ethnic minorities and the elderly.

4:15–5:00 p.m.

The Effects of Social Media and Apps in the Treatment of Mental Health Disorders, John B. Torous, MD, MBI, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The onset of mental health disorders peaks between adolescence and young adulthood; however, young adults face barriers to treatment and are often reluctant to seek professional help. In recent years, there’s been an abundance of mental health apps available to offer a wealth of resources that make therapeutic techniques more accessible, portable and cost-effective. Within minutes, you can find and download a variety of apps that address everything from depression to eating disorder recovery, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more. These apps have the potential to play an important role in the future of mental health care by providing innovative solutions for the treatment and management of mental health disorders.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the barriers young adults face in accessing qualified mental health support and information.
  2. List the mental health apps that can offer valuable support and guidance.
  3. Discuss the role of apps for the management and treatment of mental health disorders.

5:00–6:30 p.m.

Networking Reception and Exhibits (provided)

8:00 p.m.

Esther's Follies (Optional; not affiliated with the Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum)
Network and laugh along with other Forum attendees during a private showing of Esther’s Follies, a modern-day vaudeville theatre. For more than 35 years, the cast at Esther's Follies has kept audiences rolling in the aisles with everything from magic tricks to improv shows.

This meeting is not affiliated with the "13th Annual Medical Director/Physician Leadership Forum."
It is for Optum, UnitedHealthcare, UnitedHealth Group employees. Supporters may attend all sessions deemed open to the public.

7:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Enterprise Meeting Agenda (Updated 4/22/19)

Note: OptumHealth Education reserves the right to make any necessary changes to this program. Efforts will be made to keep presentations as scheduled. However, unforeseen circumstances may result in the substitution of faculty or content.
Last Updated: 04/27/19

Maximum CE Credits Available:  6.0

Accreditation Statement

Joint Logo

In support of improving patient care, OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the health care team.

Credit Designation Statements


This activity was planned by and for the health care team, and learners will receive 6.0 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.

OptumHealth Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of PAs (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

AAPC-Certified Coders
AAPC will honor 1-for-1 CEUs for any live event offering CME credit or AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. A certificate of attendance or completion is necessary to show participation. The certificate will give the total CMEs possible for the offering. Physicians are advised to claim only the actual hours that they were present during the education. We ask that AAPC-certified members abide by this request also. One hour of instruction is worth one CEU.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy Technicians
This activity is approved for 6.0 contact hours (.60 CEUs) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 6.0 contact hours (.60 CEUs).
Unique Activity Number JA0007123-0000-19-007-L01-P/T

OptumHealth Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this program. 6.0 CE hour.

The participant will be awarded up to 6.0 contact hours of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse Practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Case Managers


This program has been pre-approved by The Commission for Case Manager Certification to provide continuing education credit to CCM® board certified case managers. The course is approved for 6.0 CE contact hours. To claim these CEs, log into your CE Center account at www.ccmcertification.org.

Disability Access: If you require ADA accommodations please contact our office 10 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification.

Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.

Conference Evaluation and Certificate of Attendance Request Process

A Certificate of Attendance will be available at the conclusion of the conference. Check back at that time for instructions regarding the Certificate of Attendance Request and Conference Evaluation process.

Available Credit

  • 6.00 ACPE - Pharmacist
  • 6.00 AMA
  • 6.00 ANCC
  • 6.00 APA
  • 6.00 Attendance
  • 6.00 CCMC - General

Accreditation Period

Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 


Please login to register.

Registration Information

Registration includes: Conference sessions, program syllabus, continuing education record-keeping and certificate of attendance, continental breakfast, breaks, lunch, Tuesday's group reception and dinner, Wednesday's networking reception and evening social event.

Registration confirmation: Upon successful completion of registration, a confirmation will be sent to the email address in the registrant's profile. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please request assistance at moreinfo@optumhealtheducation.com.

Cancellation policy:  If you need to cancel your registration, please send your request to moreinfo@optumhealtheducation.com. A cancellation fee will be charged for notices received after Friday, April 19, 2019.

Right of refusal: OptumHealth Education reserves the right to refuse conference registration and attendance.

Consent to use photographic and video images: Registration and attendance at or participation in OptumHealth Education activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to OptumHealth Education’s use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image.

Questions: Email moreinfo@optumhealtheducation.com