2018 Annual Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Patrick McCarthy
Patrick McCarthy 
President and Chief Executive Officer
Annie E. Casey Foundation

A respected clinician and public sector leader, Patrick McCarthy joined the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1994 to manage its Mental Health Initiative for Urban Children, a five-year, $20 million effort to provide high-quality community-based mental health services for children in four high-poverty communities. With a career serving in multiple capacities in the mental health and human services fields, McCarthy brought to Casey a broad perspective on what children, families and systems need to prosper.

Throughout his tenure, he has led efforts to improve human services practices and policies to boost positive results for the nation’s most vulnerable kids and families. He held positions of increasing responsibility before being appointed the president of the Foundation, replacing Doug Nelson in 2010.

Before joining the Foundation, McCarthy held positions ranging from psychiatric social worker and head of a school for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges to university professor and division director at the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families. He holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.


Elisabeth Rosenthal
Elisabeth Rosenthal
Kaiser Health News

Elisabeth Rosenthal, M.D., joined Kaiser Health News—an independent foundation-funded reporting project providing health and health policy news to media partners like NPR, PBS, The New York TimesThe Washington Post and USA Today—as Editor-in-Chief in September 2016 after 22 years as a correspondent at the New York Times, where she covered a variety of beats from healthcare to environment to reporter in the Beijing bureau. While in China she covered SARs, bird flu and the emergence of HIV/AIDS in rural areas. Her two-year-long New York Times series “Paying Till it Hurts” (2013-14) won many prizes for both health reporting and its creative use of digital tools. She is the author of An American Sickness: How Healthcare became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back, published by Penguin Random House in April 2017.

A frequent contributor to the New York Times’ Sunday Review, Dr. Rosenthal has made national appearances on media outlets such as MSNBC Morning Joe, C-Span, This American Life, NPR’s Fresh Air and The Diane Rehm Show, among others. Her awards include the Association of Health Care Journalists’ 2014 beat reporting prize, the 2014 Victor Cohn Prize from the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, the 2014 Online News Association’s topical reporting prize and the Asia Society’s Osborn Elliott prize, as well as multiple citations from the Newswomen’s Club of New York.

She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Medical School and briefly practiced medicine in a New York City emergency room before converting to journalism.


Dr. Bill Thomas
Dr. Bill Thomas
Author, Entrepreneur and Physician
Dr. Bill Thomas is an author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging. Best known for his health care system innovations, he is the founder of a global non-profit (The Eden Alternative) which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House® which Provider Magazine has called the “pinnacle of culture change.” Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER model of care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders.
His synthesis of imagination and action led the Wall Street Journal to highlight Dr. Thomas as one of the nation’s “top 10 innovators” changing the future of retirement in America and US News and World Report to name him as one of “America’s best leaders.” Dr. Thomas also recently starred in the Sundance award-winning documentary Alive Inside. He has been traveling the country since 2014 starring in what he calls his Age of Disruption Tour, a “nonfiction theater performance” that has played in over 80 cities.
Dr. Thomas’s books include Principia Senescentis, Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper and More Connected Life, Tribes of Eden, What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World. He blogs regularly at ChangingAging.org and lives in Ithaca, New York.