for those who want the best information on assisting consumers signing up for health insurance

The 4th annual Wisconsin Enrollment Conference 
October 10-11, 2017 -- Chula Vista Resort

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 

Continuing Education and Pre-Licensing: By attending this conference, Certified Application Counselors (CACs), Navigators, and health insurance Agents and Brokers can fulfill state training or eight (8) continuing education credits as required by the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. 

For questions about continuing education or pre-licensing, please contact Helena Gilbertson,

Thanks to all who joined us!


Below you will find information about speakers, sessions and presentations, and sponsors.




Wisconsin Health Insurance Enrollment: Where we've been, Where we are, & Where we might go next
Donna Friedsam
Covering Wisconsin
CMS Final Rule: Market Stabilization
Adam VanSpankeren
Covering Wisconsin
JP Wieske
Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI)
Techniques for Consumer Intake
Brynne McBride
ABC for Health, Inc.
46 Weeks: SEP's and Other Post Enrollment Options
Julia Garvey
Partnership Community Health Center
Other Health Care Options Outside of Open Enrollment
William Dean Waters
WDW Insurance Group
Applying for Wisconsin's Health Care Programs
Autumn Arnold
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Complex Cases: How can we make this easier?
Julia Garvey
Partnership Community Health Center
Families USA: The Voice for Health Care Consumers
Andrea Callow
Medicaid Initiatives
Understanding & Unlearning Implicit Bias
Jennifer Edgoose
UW School of Medicine and Public Health


Heather Abbott

Resource Specialist/Certified Application Counselor

Family Health la Clinica

Hi my name is Heather Abbott and I have been a Resources Specialist at Family Health La Clinica in Wautoma, WI for the last 9 years. I have served as a point of access for patients and community members seeking information and resources. As a Resource Specialist I have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by those who live in poverty and who lack resources in various populations. Over the years I have gained a substantial amount of knowledge regarding local, state, and federal resources to aide in supporting the populations that we serve. I have also served as the Certified Application Counselor since the 1st open enrollment in the health insurance marketplace.

Joanne Alig

Senior Vice President for Policy & Research

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Joanne Alig is the Senior Vice President for Policy & Research at the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA). Ms. Alig has extensive knowledge of health care reform at the national level, and its impacts at the state level. Ms. Alig leads policy strategies, analyses, and responses on behalf of the nearly 130 member hospital and health systems in WHA’s membership. Ms. Alig focuses largely on financial issues including commercial reimbursement; health insurance coverage and the insurance exchange; and the Medicaid program.


Ms. Alig’s education is in economics and political science and she has over 20 years’ experience in state government programs, and in health care related experience. Prior to coming to WHA in 2010, she had previously worked for the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau (the state Legislature’s budget office), the Wisconsin Medicaid Agency, the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, and Deloitte Consulting.

Marty Anderson

Chief Marketing Officer

Security Health Plan

Marty Anderson is Chief Marketing Officer at Security Health Plan. He provides executive leadership for product management, marketing communications, media relations and brand management for Security Health Plan and Security Administrative Services. 

In his 20-year career, Anderson has developed a depth of understanding of the health care and health insurance market. He led Security Health Plan’s implementation of affordable care act for the major provisions that took effect in 2014, and has been Security Health Plan’s leading authority and media spokesperson on the ACA since that time. He also provides leadership on strategic planning for Security Health Plan. His marketing experience covers product development, sales strategy, measuring marketing return on investment, creating market segmentation models, developing marketing communications and market research techniques.

Anderson earned his Master of Business Administration, Marketing, degree from Capella University, and his Bachelor of Science degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Autumn Arnold

Program and Policy Analyst

Wisconsin Department of Health Services


Autumn Arnold serves as Program and Policy Analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. She has served in this role for more than five years and has extensive experience in public service through her previous roles with the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services as a Project Policy and Evaluation Analyst; as well as Director of Food Stamp Policy Advocacy for California Food Policy Advocates. Autumn attained her Bachelors in English and Women’s Studies from Duke University based in Durham, NC.

Andrea Callow

Associate Director, Medicaid Initiatives


Andrea Callow is Associate Director of Medicaid Initiatives with the Medicaid team at Families USA. She focuses on preserving and strengthening the Medicaid program through federal and state advocacy, in collaboration with advocates, government officials, providers and other stakeholders.

Prior to joining Families USA, Ms. Callow was a policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy where she specialized in Affordable Care Act implementation and improving and expanding Medicare low-income programs, including for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. 

Ms. Callow has worked as health policy fellow at Families USA and a client services associate at the Medicare Rights Center. While in law school she clerked for the Department of Justice as well as the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and Health and Disability Advocates where she provided legal representation to low-income, HIV positive Chicagoans, and homeless individuals with severe mental illness. She has served as an expert resource to trade, local and national press, congressional staff, and state advocates.

She received her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago with certificates in Health Law and Public Interest and her B.A. in English and Religion from the University of Toronto.Dave Chandrasekaran has over 15 years of health policy experience, with specific expertise in public insurance programs including Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplaces and Medicaid.  

Claribel Camacho

Manager & Operational Lead

WKRP Income Maintenance Consortium

Claribel Camacho is the Manager for the Division of Economic Support and the Operational Lead for the WKRP Income Maintenance Consortium.   Her experience includes 27 years in Economic Support holding different roles from various services to families,  Long Term Care,  Fraud and Program Integrity,  as a Supervisor and Manager.  Claribel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and is the Community Partner Liaison for the Consortium overseeing outreach efforts within our counties. 

Dave Chandrasekaran

Health Care Consultant

Dave was most recently a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he provided technical assistance on ACA implementation to public and private sector entities, including State-based Marketplaces, Departments of Insurance, consumer health advocacy organizations, navigator/assister entities and community health centers all over the country.  He has provided training on high level Exchange policy and plan selection topics in over 30 states and the District of Columbia.  He has previously served in various capacities in the Government of the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Primary Care Association, and Health Care For All in Massachusetts.  Dave is also a member of the Board of Directors of Mary's Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Washington, DC, and has been a volunteer Certified Application Counselor (CAC) in the state of Virginia since the 2013 Open Enrollment Period.

Trevor Cooper

Americorps VISTA Member

Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

Trevor is currently an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Wisconsin Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (WAFCC) and serving at St. Joseph’s Medical Clinic in Waukesha. In May 2017, Trevor received his Master’s in Medical Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He previously served as an AmeriCorps member through the Wisconsin HealthCorps, where he created a six county regional community health needs assessment. He is passionate about medicine with an emphasis in public health, health equity, and interdisciplinary programming.

Mike Daly

Director of Sales


Mike Daly is the Director of Sales for Medica’s Individual and Family Business and Government Programs.  His team is responsible for distribution to consumer markets across seven states in the Midwest.  In addition to managing over 11,000 independent brokers and distributers, Mike and his team have developed a direct-to-consumer organization at Medica that is a tailored approach to fulfilling the needs of consumers in each unique market.  Mike studied Business at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and Leadership at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis, MN.  

Nik Duke

Lead Navigator

Covering Wisconsin

Nicholas Duke has been a Licensed Navigator since the first open enrollment of the Affordable Care Act. He has experience in program management, Outreach, and training. He is excited to join the Covering Wisconsin team as the Southeast Regional lead. Nicholas received his undergraduate degree from Marquette University in Writing Intensive English and Criminology and law studies, and his M.B.A. from Concordia University. 

Kathleen Duschene


Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency

Kathie was born and raised in the Chicago Area where she spent many years working at very large Pharmaceutical company. She obtained her college education in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan and worked as a home visitor in very rural places, sometimes traveling 2 hours to see one client. She moved to Colorado to take a position as the director of a program working with parents of children birth to 3, where she managed and trained over 60 volunteers who provided home visits to new parents in the Boulder area, which included very rural mountain areas. She then directed a program at a large residential facility training and placing thousands of corporate volunteers. Finally to rural places north of Brainerd, Minnesota to spend time with the Restorative Justice Program as a facilitator. Prior to her becoming a Navigator for Rock and Walworth counties, Kathie lead a research program in 9 rural Wisconsin counties where volunteers visited Alzheimer’s clients in their homes introducing a brain stimulation program to patients and their caregivers. Kathie loves her work as a Navigator and being able to go where consumers need her. “The Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency and Covering Wisconsin have been extremely supportive. It’s my dream job!  What I love the most is my one-on-one time with consumers and the many surprised faces when they thought one thing and learned another!”

Dr. Jennifer Edgoose

Associate Professor

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Jennifer Edgoose completed her MD, MPH from Columbia University and her family medicine residency at the University of Washington.   She then practiced full-spectrum family medicine for over ten years at Community Health Care, a federally qualified health center in Tacoma, WA.  She is now an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and focuses her attention on care of vulnerable populations and strategies to promote health equity and community engagement.

Sue Ezalarab

Policy Initiatives Advisor

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

Susan Ezalarab is a policy initiatives advisor at the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). She trains navigators and certified application counselors in the basics of health insurance and the role of OCI in regulating the insurance industry in the state. Susan received a B.S. in Education and a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  

Crystal Gabrielson


Partnership Community Health Center

Crystal Gabrielson has been a CAC/Navigator at Partnership Community Health Center in Appleton, Wisconsin since 2015. In addition to serving Partnership patients and the surrounding community, Crystal is the health access educator at our satellite medical clinic COTS. She takes pride in addressing barriers to care for individuals experiencing homelessness or in transitional living across multiple organizations - barriers include transportation, communication, trauma, limited funds, lack of insurance or understanding of benefits, etc. She is also the resident expert on accessing prescription assistance programs (PAP).

Julia Garvey

Regional Enrollment Network Coordinator

Partnership Community Health Education Center

Julia Garvey is a Regional Enrollment Network Coordinator in Northeast Wisconsin and Healthcare Navigator at the Partnership Community Health Education Center in Appleton, Wisconsin. Partnership CHC is known in East Central Wisconsin as the “little house that roars” contributing to the second highest enrollment numbers in the state for Open Enrollment 3. When Julia started at Partnership, she was a Certified Application Counselor, and has since become a Navigator to five counties. Julia mobilizes the community around enrollment by bringing together assisters, health insurance agents, county economic support, community health systems, local HealthWatch members and community partners to network, educate and impact policy change.

Michael Heifetz

Medicaid Director

State of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services

Michael Heifetz was appointed as State Medicaid Director in October 2016, leading multiple programs that serve 1.2 million members with an annual budget of $8 billion.  Michael has 24 years of private and public sector experience, including eleven years in the health care arena.  Immediately before his current position, Michael served as the State Budget Director for three years, running the budgeting, financial services and policy analysis functions for the Executive Branch.  This included working directly with the Governor to develop the $72 billion state biennial budget, and ensuring implementation.  Prior to these senior positions in state service, Michael served as the Vice President for Government Affairs for Dean Clinic and SSM Health Care of Wisconsin (now SSM Health), the parent company of three wholly-owned hospitals plus five affiliated hospitals, numerous clinics, an award-winning health plan and a PBM.  In that role, Michael worked closely with federal and state elected and appointed officials to address many health care issues, including:  access, cost and quality improvement.  He was also a key strategist for Dean and SSMW in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and a national speaker on that same topic.

Cathy Mahaffey


Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative

Cathy Mahaffey is the CEO of Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative. She has an extensive health insurance background and a passion for the cooperative business model where members govern the business, and profits are not the driving force directing the decisions being made. Prior to joining Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, Cathy was the Executive Director of Farmers’ Health Cooperative, a health insurance purchasing cooperative for farmers and agribusinesses in Wisconsin while she also ran her own benefits consulting business. Cathy also worked with The Alliance, a nonprofit employer-owned and directed cooperative, where she led the effort to establish a small employer purchasing cooperative offered by 27 chambers of commerce.

Brynne McBride

Chief Operating Officer

ABC for Health, Inc

Brynne McBride is the Chief Operating Officer and a public interest attorney at ABC for Health, Inc., a nonprofit, public interest law firm dedicated to ensuring health care access for children and families, particularly those with special needs or who are at risk. She engages in direct legal advocacy on behalf of clients, drafts and manages contracts, and negotiates with federal, state, and private benefits and insurance institutions. She oversees ABC for Health’s teaching and training activities, including its growing HealthWatch Wisconsin project, Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) project, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPRA) activities. She got her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law and her undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. In her spare time, Brynne tries to learn the names of the "Thomas the Train" characters to keep up with her nephew.

Lisa Olson

Director of Policy and Programs

Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association

Lisa Olson serves as Director of Policy and Programs for the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association. Lisa supports the work of Community Health Centers by leading the strategic policy and regulatory work of the Association, with a focus on improving public benefits and health insurance access for low-income families. She also oversees the Wisconsin HealthCorps, WPHCA’s AmeriCorps program focused on building Community Health Center capacity. Lisa has been with the Association since 2009. She earned her Master in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Frank Robinson

Program Manager

City of Milwaukee Health Department


Married with 3 children. Currently working for the City of Milwaukee Health Department as Program Manager for the Community Healthcare Access Program.

Oversee enrollment, supervise and manage staff, collaborate with Community Partners for assistance in enrollment. I seek out and find new community partners for enrollment opportunities. I have to enhance my program with branding to increase public awareness as to the services we offer.  Perform outreach activities with meetings and presentations for medical providers, community agencies, day care facilities, schools including back to school events, and health fairs. I provide my staff with training for changes in Public and the Federal Market Place. I serve as the chief spokesperson for the CHAP program. Prior to coming to the Health Department I worked for Children’s Hospital of WI for 28 years in financial services advocating for parents, and children.

Greg Skemp

Vice President, Quartz

Sales Western Region and Middle Markets

Greg Skemp is Vice President, Sales Western Region and Middle Markets for Quartz.  Greg joined Gundersen Health Plan in 2007 and moved into his current role with Quartz after the 2016 merger of Gundersen Health Plan and Unity Health Insurance. He provides sales leadership and strategy for Small Group, Individual, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement for all service areas of Quartz as well as Large Group and Self-Funded employer groups in the Western region. He also shares responsibility for broker relationships across the organization.  He is a member of the Executive Team that leads Quartz.


Greg has almost 25 years of managed health care experience that includes sales, account management, marketing, PBM, provider contracting and customer service. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from St Cloud State University and lives in Onalaska with his family. 

Steve Sparks


Wisconsin Health Literacy

Steve provides leadership for Wisconsin Health Literacy, a division of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc., a statewide nonprofit organization. In this role, he provides consultation and coordination for statewide health literacy strategies and programs. 


Steve has spent his career in health and health care communication. Before joining Wisconsin Health Literacy, he held marketing, communications, and community relations positions in four hospitals and health systems in Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska. Most recently he was Regional Director of Marketing and Public Relations for SSM Health of Wisconsin. He has taught communications courses at UW-Madison, Madison College and the University of Nebraska.


He holds a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication and bachelor’s degree in English Education. 


Steve has conducted numerous health literacy and patient engagement training sessions with health care and health insurance professionals and led several health literacy interventions on public health issues. He currently leads a Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program project to implement easier-to-understand prescription medication labels in Wisconsin.  He has been a presenter at all four nationally recognized health literacy conferences, including the Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit, which he coordinates.

Rhonda Stuart

Application Counselor & Social Worker

Northern Health Centers

Rhonda Stuart works for Northern Health Centers, a Community Health Center in Northeastern Wisconsin, as both a Social Worker and Certified Application Counselor and oversees the Enabling Services Department. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has been working in the health care industry for 8 years. In her current position, she serves as an Advocate for the clinic as well as their patients. Her primary duties include assisting individuals with applications for enrollment in programs like health care, FoodShare, prescription assistance and Social Security Disability. Rhonda serves on several government relations and advocacy committees at the local and state level which includes the HealthWatch Wisconsin Council and ABC for Rural Health BOD. Prior to working at NHC, she has worked extensively with the elderly and disabled populations to assist them in becoming their own advocates while helping them to remain independent in their homes.

Patty Turner

Health Benefits Advocate

ABC for Rural Health

Patty Turner is a Health Benefits Advocate for ABC for Rural Health.  Patty helps clients obtain, maintain, and effectively use health care coverage by filing and troubleshooting applications for Medicaid, BadgerCare +, Disability, FoodShare, and the Marketplace and by appealing denials.  She works directly with the Polk County Behavioral Health Department to provide clients with a face to face benefits screening and follow-up advocacy or application assistance to make sure they have the best available coverage for their treatment plans.  Patty also conducts health care coverage outreach activities at area schools, churches and community organizations on behalf of the Polk County Health Department.

Adam VanSpankeren

Lead Navigator

Covering Wisconsin

Adam VanSpankeren joined the CWI team in June 2016, becoming the Southwest Regional Navigator Lead. He is responsible for coordinating Navigator and outreach efforts and for providing direct assistance to consumers. Before coming to CWI, Adam was the Partner Outreach Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services for three years. Adam graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing.

Maria Vargas


Partnership Community Health Center

Maria Vargas has been a CAC/Navigator at Partnership Community Health Center in Appleton Wisconsin since 2013.  She has worked tirelessly around Latino/immigrant issues related to Medicaid/Marketplace enrollment, access to care and advocacy related to the challenges that new citizens, refugees and immigrants face.  She has worked with applicants who face asylum, temporary protective status and multiple immigration status within families.  Ms. Vargas works in the heart of the Latino community, mobilizing businesses, churches assisting them with their enrollment needs.

Dean Waters


WDW Insurance Group

For over 22 years Dean’s passion has been helping people access the best available healthcare. To ensure these options will enrich their business, personal finance, personal relationships, families and health.


Originally from Oklahoma, Dean attended college at Oklahoma State University where he was a student-athlete, attaining a degree in Business Administration and Marketing.


Once Dean moved to Wisconsin he started working for a fortune 50 Health Insurance Carrier in group sales.   After 17 years of helping agents from the corporate side of health insurance Dean decided to start his own agency WDW Insurance Group, focusing on benefits for individuals and group plans.


He currently resides in the lovely rural village of Belleville, WI with his wife Laura and their 14-year-old Boston Terrier, Quincy.

J.P. Wieske

Deputy Commissioner

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

Commissioner Nickel appointed J.P. Wieske as Deputy Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin in June 2016. Deputy Commissioner Wieske, subject to the general direction of the Commissioner, supervises the regulatory, public information and administrative functions of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. As Deputy, he also exercises and performs the functions of the Commissioner in the Commissioner's absence. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Wieske served as the OCI Legislative Liaison/Public Information Officer (PIO) for 5 years.

Mr. Wieske brings more than 20 years of experience working in the insurance industry. He is the Chair of the NAIC's Regulatory Framework Task Force and has served as Chair of the NAIC's Network Adequacy Subgroup. As PIO, Mr. Wieske directed OCI's communication strategy including responding to press inquiries, supervising OCI's Web site, and editing OCI publications. As Legislative Liaison, he shepherded OCI's legislative agenda through the legislative process including bills relating to insurance company solvency requirements and bills impacting all lines of insurance.

Prior to his appointment as Legislative Liaison/PIO, Mr. Wieske served as the Executive Director of the Council of Affordable Health Insurance. In that capacity, he authored and co-authored numerous publications related to timely health insurance issues and testified on insurance issues in state legislatures across the country. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Political Science from Carroll College.

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Sponsor & Exhibitor Information

Thank you to our sponsors and other contributors:



United Way of Dane County


For Sponsorship and Exhibitor inquiries, please contact Helena Gilbertson at

Madison Health
Insurance Help
(608) 261-1455
Milwaukee Health 
Insurance Help
(608) 262-2618
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