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Fifth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference

A Healthier Rural West: Critical Issues…Innovative Solutions

Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 23-25, 2017


Thursday, March 23rd


C. Hope Eccles

Vice Chair, Advisory Council for the Bill Lane Center for the American West

Stanford University

C. Hope Eccles is a lifelong Westerner with deep family roots in the Intermountain West. The Eccles family has been integral in the development of this region since the 19th century, organizing many of the area's key companies in a wide range of businesses. Hope and her family have generations of love for and commitment to the West and the western way of life. Hope oversees her family's luxury hotel, the Goldener Hirsch Inn, in Deer Valley, Utah. She has been actively involved in the community for many years and particularly in the area of education. Since 2008, Hope has served on the Advisory Council for Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West. She is currently a member of the University of Utah Hospital Board, and has previously served on the University of Utah's Board of Trustees. Hope was the Deputy for Higher Education for Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. She is the Chair of the C. Comstock Clayton Foundation and is a member of the Board of the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation. Hope is a graduate of Stanford University; she received a JD from the University of Utah and an MBA from Columbia University. She is married to Randal Quarles, Managing Director/Founder of Cynosure Management and former under secretary of the treasury. They reside in Salt Lake City with their three children, Randy, Spencer and Hopie.

David J. Hayes

Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Law at Stanford Law School

Stanford University

David J. Hayes is a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Law at the Stanford Law School, where he has been teaching courses focused on climate change, renewable and conventional energy, wildlife trafficking, the Arctic, and natural resources policy.  In addition to his role at Stanford Law School, Hayes is a Consulting Professor at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment; a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; Chair of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance ( and Chair of the President's Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking.  Hayes serves on the Advisory Council of Stanford's Lane Center for the American West and Pacific Gas & Electric Company's Sustainability Advisory Council. Prior to teaching at Stanford, Hayes served as the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of the Interior for Presidents Clinton and Obama from 1999-2001 and 2009-2013, respectively. As the Senate-confirmed number two official at Interior, he had responsibility over Interior’s 70,000 employees, $14 billion dollar budget, and the Department’s ten major bureaus and agencies.  Hayes focused on energy, climate change, conservation and Indian issues during his two tours of duty at Interior. He led the Interior Department’s Climate Change and Energy Task Force, which stood up a network of Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to address climate impacts on land, water and wildlife resources, and implemented the “Smart from the Start” program that facilitated the siting of major renewable energy on public lands and offshore waters.  Hayes championed new planning and management processes to protect Interior’s sensitive landscapes and resources and worked with Secretaries Jewell, Salazar and Babbitt to establish new National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and National Monuments. Hayes graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame and received his J.D. from Stanford University.


Friday, March 24


Michael Brown, PhD


School for Advanced Research

Raised in upstate New York, Dallas, Texas, and Kansas City, Missouri, Michael Brown received his AB degree from Princeton and a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan. His research has covered a broad range of topics, including the indigenous peoples of Amazonia, new religious movements, and the global challenge of protecting indigenous cultural property from misuse. He has been awarded research fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Institute for Advanced Study. At SAR, he has been a resident scholar and a participant in two advanced seminars. In addition to scholarly articles, Brown is the author of six books, including The Channeling Zone: American Spirituality in an Anxious Age (1997), Who Owns Native Culture? (2003), and Upriver: The Turbulent Life and Times of an Amazonian People (2014). He has also published general-interest articles and reviews in Natural History, Smithsonian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the New York Times Book Review. A list of his publications, many downloadable as full-text PDF files, is accessible here.

Bruce Cain, PhD

Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director, Bill Lane Center for the American West Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in Humanities and Sciences

Stanford University

The distinguished political scientist Bruce E. Cain is the Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in Humanities and Sciences. Professor Cain succeeded the Center's founding faculty co-directors, David M. Kennedy and Richard White. Bruce Cain is an expert in U.S. politics, and particularly the politics of California and the American West. A pioneer in computer-assisted redistricting, he is a prominent scholar of elections, political regulation, and the relationships between lobbyists and elected officials. Prior to joining Stanford, Professor Cain was Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and Executive Director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012.  He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and UC Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000).  He is currently working on state regulatory processes and stakeholder involvement in the areas of water, energy and the environment. Professor Cain holds a BA from Bowdoin College, a B. Philosophy from Oxford University, and a PhD from Harvard University.

Jeff Bingaman, JD

Former U.S. Senator for New Mexico

Jeff (Jesse Francis) Bingaman Jr. was born in El Paso, TX on October 3, 1943 and grew up in Silver City, NM. His father taught science at Western New Mexico University; his mother was a public school teacher. Jeff graduated from Harvard College in 1965 with a degree in government. He earned his law degree from Stanford in 1968. He met his wife, Anne Kovacovich, a fellow law student, while at Stanford. Jeff and Anne returned to New Mexico after graduation, and had their son John. That same year, Jeff was admitted to the New Mexico bar. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve, from 1968-1974. Jeff Bingaman became assistant New Mexico Attorney General in 1969. He was in private practice from 1970-1978 and was elected Attorney General of New Mexico in 1978. Bingaman successfully ran for the U. S. Senate as a democrat in 1982, defeating incumbent Harrison Schmitt (R). Bingaman served 6 terms in the Senate and chose not to run for reelection in 2012. While in the Senate, he chaired the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He served on the Committee on Armed Services; Committee on Finance; Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and Joint Economic Committee. Bingaman’s priority issues were energy, natural resources, public lands, national and border security, health care, education, economy and competitiveness. He championed issues important to New Mexico’s families and communities.

David M. Kennedy, PhD

Founding Co-Director, Bill Lane Center for the American West Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus

Stanford University

A founding co-director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, David Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University. Professor Kennedy received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1988. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1999 for Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War. He received an A.B. in History from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. Reflecting his interdisciplinary training in American Studies, which combined the fields of history, literature, and economics, Professor Kennedy’s scholarship is notable for its integration of economic and cultural analysis with social and political history. His 1970 book, Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, embraced the medical, legal, political, and religious dimensions of the subject and helped to pioneer the emerging field of women’s history. Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980) used the history of American involvement in World War I to analyze the American political system, economy, and culture in the early twentieth century. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War (1999) recounts the history of the United States in the two great crises of the Great Depression and World War II.


Panel 1

What Will Deliver a Healthier Rural West?

Friday, 9:15 am

William deBuys, PhD

Writer and Conservationist

Writer and conservationist William deBuys is the author of seven books, which range from memoir and biography to environmental history and studies of place. A native of Maryland, he attended the University of North Carolina, where he was graduated with highest honors in 1972. Soon afterwards, the writer and social critic Robert Coles brought him to New Mexico as a research assistant, initiating deBuys’s deep relationship with the cultures and landscapes of the Southwest DeBuys has long been active in environmental affairs. From 1982 to 1986 he directed the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and from the late 1980s through the 1990s he represented The Conservation Fund in the Southwest. His efforts have led to the permanent protection of over 150,000 acres of wild lands in North Carolina and the Southwest. From 1997 to 2004 he developed and directed the Valle Grande Grass Bank, a cooperative effort involving ranchers, conservationists, and public agencies in the rehabilitation of rangelands in northern New Mexico. In 2000 the effort earned the National Range Management Award of the U. S. Forest Service. From 2001 to 2004, under appointment by President William Clinton, he served as founding chairman of the Valles Caldera Trust, which administers the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve under an experimental approach to the management of public lands. DeBuys earned an MA and PhD in American Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin, finishing in 1982. He was named a Lyndhurst Fellow for 1986-1988, a Carl and Florence King Fellow at SMU in 1999-2000, and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008-2009. Today he lives on the farm he has tended since 1976 in the remote village of El Valle in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Santa Fe and Taos.

Phil Polakoff, MD

CEO, A Healthier Me Consulting Professor, Stanford School of Medicine

Stanford University

Dr. Phil Polakoff’s distinguished career in health care spans 35 years. He is a health transformation advisor, and previously has worked in product and network development, care management, organizational and business development, policy formulation, communications and financing. He serves as the CEO and host of A Healthier Me, a disruptive, innovative venture situated at the intersection of medicine/health and media. For many years Dr. Polakoff and his wife, Nancy Pfund, have been integral advisors to the Center. As an affiliated scholar at the Bill Lane Center, Dr. Polakoff is intimately involved with the Rural West initiative, and particularly with the program design of the 2017 Eccles Family Rural West Conference, which focuses on rural health and health care issues. In addition to his work at the Center, Dr. Polakoff is a consulting professor at Stanford’s School of Medicine. He is the author of five books and has published more than 200 articles. Dr. Polakoff holds degrees from Cornell University (B.S), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (M.S. Environmental Sciences), Wayne State University (M.D.), UC Berkeley (M.P.H.) and Oxford University.

Craig Thomas, PhD

Professor, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

University of Washington

Craig Thomas joined the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance faculty in 2006, after serving on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Thomas teaches courses in policy processes, environmental policy, performance management, and research design. His current research analyzes collaboration among public, private, and nonprofit partners as an alternative form of governance to centralized planning and command-and-control regulation. He also studies a variety of environmental topics, including climate change, marine fisheries, habitat conservation planning, and watershed management. He is the author of Bureaucratic Landscapes: Interagency Cooperation and the Preservation of Biodiversity (MIT Press, 2003), and co-author of Collaborative Environmental Management: What Roles for Government? (RFF Press, 2004). He has also published numerous articles in interdisciplinary journals, and is former editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Prior to being a professor, Thomas was an administrative analyst for the University of California, a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, and worked in staff positions for environmental nonprofits in Washington, D.C. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and an MPP from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington. He is the 1998 recipient of the American Political Science Association's Leonard D. White Award, which recognizes the best dissertation in the field of public administration.


Christopher Muste, PhD

Associate Professor of Political Science

University of Montana

Christopher Muste is associate professor of political science at the University of Montana, where he has taught since 2005. His research examines American public opinion about issues related to social groups and group competition, focusing on immigration, political polarization, and group identities. He received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001 and taught at Louisiana State University from 1999-2004. He was senior polling analyst at The Washington Post during the 2004 general election campaign, and prior to his graduate studies worked in polling, political consulting, and public opinion survey organizations for nine years.



Panel 2

Better Health (Care) for the Rural West

Friday, 11:00 am

Sally M. Davis, PhD

Director, UNM Prevention Research Center Professor, Department of Pediatrics

University of New Mexico

Dr. Sally M. Davis is a tenured professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico (UNM) where she is Chief of the Division of Prevention and Population Sciences and the Director of the Prevention Research Center (PRC). Dr. Davis has more than 35 years experience conducting prevention research in partnership with under-represented populations, especially in rural communities. She has been the Principal Investigator (PI) of numerous studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the prevention of obesity, tobacco use, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Much of her work has been school-based with a focus on primary prevention and health promotion. She recently received the first annual University of New Mexico Health Science Center's Excellence in Research Award for Population Science.

Lynn Gallagher, JD

Secretary, State of New Mexico Department of Health

Lynn Gallagher is the Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health. Gallagher served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health since 2013. Prior to that, she served as General Counsel for the Aging and Long-Term Services Department. Among the many public health priorities, Secretary Gallagher is committed to working to prevent and treat substance abuse, strengthen vaccination rates statewide, and continue to improve health outcomes throughout New Mexico by strengthening community partnerships and their engagement in health initiatives. Prior to her career in public service, Gallagher lived in New York City, working for US Bank in the wealth management, corporate and municipal bond market fields. She also worked for the Home Shopping Network in Florida, providing state and federal compliance and contract management. She returned to New Mexico in 2009 where she entered private practice for a short time. Gallagher was born and raised in Truth or Consequences. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Arthur Kaufman, MD

Professor and Vice Chancellor

University of New Mexico

Dr. Arthur Kaufman attended medical school at SUNY, Health Science Center (1969) and completed an Internship (1970) and Residency training (1974) at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in New York. Dr. Kaufman is board certified in Internal Medicine (1974) and Family Medicine (1977). He currently sees patients at UNM Family Health Clinic – Tucker.


Phil Polakoff, MD



Panel 3

A Healthier Rural Westerner

Friday, 12:00 pm

Gabriel Garcia, MD

The William and Dorothy Kaye University Fellow in Undergraduate Education Professor of Medicine

Stanford University

Gabriel Garcia is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions at Stanford University School of Medicine. He was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He received his A.B from Cornell University in 1973 and his M.D. from New York University in 1977. He is an internist and gastroenterologist who specializes in the care of patients with viral hepatitis and other liver diseases, and has research interests in the natural history and management of patients with liver diseases. In 2004 he was invited to provide testimony to the Institute of Medicine Committee on Institutional and Policy Level Strategies on Increasing the Diversity of the U.S. Health Care Workforce, and in 2005 was a key informant to the Sullivan Alliance. He also directs a year-long undergraduate patient advocacy service-learning course at Stanford University and has developed an international service learning program entitled Community Health in Oaxaca to address immigrant health issues. He has supervised an alternative spring break that examines the lives of California farm workers. In September of 2006, he was appointed Peter E. Haas Director of the Haas Center for Public Center at Stanford University.

Chitra Dinakar, MD

Clinical Professor, Medicine - Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

Stanford University

Dr. Chitra Dinakar joined the Stanford University School of Medicine in January 2017 as a Clinical Professor of Medicine; the Gies Endowed Faculty Scholar at the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research; and the Allergy and Asthma Clinical Chief, Stanford Health Care. Prior to coming to Stanford she was a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Director, Food Allergy Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City. She completed her fellowship in Allergy/Immunology (A/I) at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, and her residency in pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University/Metrohealth Medical Center, Ohio. She completed her medical school and pediatric residency training at JIPMER, a premier medical institution in India. Having had the benefit of experiencing health care in diverse settings, Dr. Dinakar is empowered with the perspective, and driven by the passion, to improve health care across the globe. Her interests and expertise include food allergies, pediatric asthma, and health care disparities, delivery, and outcomes. She serves on the editorial boards of four reputed Allergy/Immunology journals and the World Allergy Organization Web Editorial Board. She has been involved in more than 50 multi-centered, clinical trials relating to asthma and food allergies, and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and research abstracts in prestigious journals. She is an invited speaker at national and international allergy conferences, and serves on the Board of Directors at national A/I organizations [American Board of A/I; American Academy of A/I; Joint A/I Task Force on Practice Parameters; American Academy of Pediatrics Section of A/I]. Dr. Dinakar’s honors include the following national awards: ”Distinguished Fellow", "Woman in Allergy", “Acellus Teacher of the Year”, "Award of Excellence", and an honorary “Kentucky Colonel” awarded by the Governor of Kentucky, “Best Doctors in America”, and “Kansas City SuperDocs”.

Charles Sorenson, MD

President Emeritus

Intermountain Health Leadership Institute

Charles W. Sorenson, MD, is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Intermountain Healthcare. He served as its Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 1998 until he assumed his role as the President and Chief Executive Officer at the end of 2008. Dr. Sorenson, a graduate of the Cornell University Medical College, is a board-certified Urologic Surgeon. He began his practice at LDS Hospital in 1982. His professional activities have included serving as President of the Medical Staff at LDS Hospital, chairing the Committee on Young Surgeons for the American College of Surgeons, and serving as President of the Utah Urologic Society and as Speaker of the House of Delegates of the Utah Medical Association. He is an Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the University of Utah, and he served as Educational Director of LDS Hospital's Urologic Residency (a joint program with the University of Utah). In addition to his other responsibilities, Dr. Sorenson has had a long-standing interest in clinical process improvement. He helped create the Intermountain Medical Group, an integrated practice of approximately 1,300 physicians and advanced practice clinicians employed by Intermountain. He served as the founding Chair of the Medical Group Board from 1994 to 1998, when he assumed his full-time administrative duties with Intermountain.


Phil Polakoff, MD



Panel 4

What’s the Public in Public Lands?

Friday, 2:15 pm

John Freemuth, PhD

Executive Director, Cecil D. Andrus Center for Public Policy Professor, Department of Public Policy and Administration

Boise State University

John Freemuth is Professor of Public Policy, Boise State University. His primary academic interest is with the public lands of the United States. Currently his work gravitates towards puzzling out the relationship between science and public policy as it relates to issues surrounding the public lands.  He wrote “Thoughts on the Role of Science in Public Policy Making” in Ecology and Conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse: A Landscape Species and Its Habitats (University of California Press, 2011). He just published his and Zachary Smith’s Environmental Politics and Policy in the West (UC Boulder,). He chaired the Science Advisory Board of the Bureau of Land Management, after being appointed by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. He was the Senior Fellow at the Cecil Andrus Center for Public Policy from 1998-2011, and returned as Senior Fellow for Environment and Public Lands in February, 2015 until being named Executive Director of the Center in July, 2016.  He is principal investigator on a grant from the United States Geological Survey working on improving the policy utility of GAP Analysis, Species Modelling and Protected Area data.  He and the Andrus Center are also working on a grant from the Bureau of Land Management on policy issues surrounding sage grouse and wildland fire.  He has also been a high school teacher, and seasonal park ranger. While a ranger, long ago, at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area he wrote “Wanderer for Beauty: Everett Ruess in the Glen Canyon Area”, a park interpretive handout and is glad Everett has yet to be found.  He has a BA from Pomona College and a Ph.D. from Colorado State University. He was named the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching /CAES of Professor of the Year for Idaho for 2001.

Anthony L. Rampton

Utah Attorney General’s Office, Public Lands Section

Anthony L. Rampton is an accomplished attorney with 39 years of extensive experience in civil litigation, trial and appellate practice.  His legal practice has also included a wide spectrum of expertise in government relations at federal, state and local levels, administrative and regulatory law, eminent domain, natural resources and water law, as well as public lands and utilities.  He has years of experience in energy development, especially oil shale, as well as environmental regulation and permitting, and endangered species assessment.  Throughout his career, he has been active in legislative matters, having authored and lobbied dozens of pieces of legislation.  Presently, Tony serves as Assistant Utah Attorney General, and is Director of the Public Lands Section.  In this capacity, he serves as lead litigation counsel in the several R.S. 2477 roads litigation pending in federal district court.  He has also been actively involved in the State's transfer of public lands, sage grouse, oil shale/tar sands and other public lands issues.

Jenna Whitlock

Bureau of Land Management

Recently retired from the Bureau of Land Management, Jenna Whitlock was born in Idaho and raised in the West. Jenna studied Range Science at Utah State University and began working for the BLM in Elko Nevada as a Rangeland Management Specialist. Most of her 35-year career was spent in the Great Basin – Nevada, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.  Jenna also worked in Washington DC at the BLM’s headquarters, in the Senate as a Legislative Fellow and in the Department of the Interior, Office of the Assistant Secretary – Land and Minerals Management. In 2012, Jenna Whitlock returned to the West, working in Utah as the Associate State Director and then as the interim Utah State Director for nearly two years.  In that capacity,she oversaw 23 million acres of public land, including the BLM’s first national monument –the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Jenna capped her career by acting as the BLM’s Deputy Director, overseeing management of over 245 million acres of public land in the West and one-third of the nation’s subsurface mineral estate. Over her career, Jenna has worked on a wide variety of issues, including livestock grazing,wild horses and burros, master leasing plans, energy development and air quality, travel management planning and RS 2477, and the BLM’s recent updates to its land use plans to help avoid a listing of the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.


Patrick A. Shea, JD

Research Professor

University of Utah

Patrick Shea has worn many impressive hats during his career. He’s a lawyer in private practice today in Salt Lake City, with an emphasis on emerging biotech companies. He is an associate research professor of biology at the University of Utah, where he is teaching a graduate seminar on the biology of an urban stream. He has been Director of the U.S Bureau of Land Management and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. He has worked with the Senate Intelligence Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the President’s Commission on Aviation Safety, Security, and Air Traffic Control. He holds degrees from Harvard Law, Oxford, and Stanford.  



Panel 5

Health Equity and Social Disparity

Friday, 3:45 pm

Michele Barry, MD, FACP

Senior Associate Dean of Global Health Director, Center for Innovation in Global Health Professor of Medicine Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute

Stanford University

Michele Barry is the senior associate dean of global health at Stanford University, a senior fellow at both the Freeman Spogli Institute and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and a professor of medicine, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University.  She also is the director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford and the director of the Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholars Program. In addition, Barry serves as a Paul Rogers Ambassador to US congress and a fellow at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Her clinical focus includes internal medicine and tropical diseases.

Denise Herrera, MS, PhD

Program Officer

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Denise E. Herrera, PhD, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2013 with the Research-Evaluation-Learning unit. She employs her extensive training in program design and evaluation in her work across all RWJF areas of focus. As she puts it: “RWJF has a stellar reputation of providing valuable, evidence-based information that can impact individuals and communities nationwide.” She describes the best part of her job as “connecting with partners and grantees in creative ways to disrupt the status quo and improve population health.” Previously, Herrera served on the UT-Austin leadership development team which developed and implemented worksite wellness strategies among Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) staff statewide. She has served as a senior program manager on various initiatives throughout New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas—and has provided expertise in program planning, implementation, and evaluation at local, state, and national levels. Herrera’s experience includes proposal writing, consulting, and collaborating on a host of federal and statewide initiatives. She has provided expertise on community development and civic engagement efforts in rural and urban areas in the United States and abroad. Herrera received a BS in Health Education from the University of New Mexico; an MS in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona; and a PhD in Health Education from the University of Texas–Austin. From 2010 to 2011 she was a Robert Wood Johnson Evaluation Fellow and is also a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. Born and raised in Albuquerque, N.M., Herrera credits her parents with instilling in her a deep appreciation for family, core values and principles, and education. She is a first generation college student and the first person on both sides of her family to complete a doctoral degree. She enjoys visiting family and friends, especially during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. She also enjoys international travel, community service, cooking, and photography.

Charles N. Martin, Jr.

Chairman and Founder

Martin Ventures

Charlie Martin is the Chairman and Founder of Martin Ventures. Charlie joined Martin Ventures full-time in 2013 when Vanguard Health Systems, a hospital chain company he founded in 1997, was sold to Tenet Healthcare. Martin served as Vanguard’s Chairman and CEO for sixteen years. Under his leadership, the hospital chain grew to 28 hospitals with $6.5 billion in revenue. In 2013, Vanguard was acquired by Tenet Healthcare for $4.3 billion. Prior to Vanguard, Charlie served as founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of OrNda HealthCorp. Under his leadership, OrNda grew from revenue of $450 million to $3 billion in four years and became the nation’s third largest investor-owned hospital management company. His career includes serving as President, Director and Chief Operating Officer of HealthTrust Inc., as well as, Executive Vice President and Director of Hospital Corporation of America, and Chief Operating Officer and Director of General Care Corp. He has also served on numerous Boards of Directors including University of Pennsylvania, Penn Law, RAND Corporation, and RAND Health, one of the largest independent health research groups in the world.

Bret Smoker MD, MPH

Clinical Director for the Santa Fe Service Unit

Indian Health Service

Dr. Smoker is the Clinical Director for the Santa Fe Service Unit, an Indian Health Service organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a position he has held since May of 2002.From 1989 until his arrival in Santa Fe, Dr. Smoker worked at the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico, where he practiced full spectrum family medicine, served as the Chief of Family Medicine for six years, and served as Chief of the Medical Staff for three years.  Dr. Smoker received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the New Mexico State University, received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, completed a three year residency in family medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle and received his Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He served as the Chair of the Indian Health Service’s National Council of Clinical Directors in 2007, and was the Council’s Co-Chair in 2009 and 2010.  From June to November 2009 and from June 2015 until the present, Dr. Smoker served as the Acting Chief Medical Officer for the Albuquerque Area Indian Health Service.  From April 2003 until January 2004 and from November 2009 until December 2012 he was the Acting Chief Executive Officer for the Santa Fe Service Unit.


Bruce Cain, PhD


Saturday, March 25


Panel 6

Environmental Health: Managing Unmanageable Elements

Saturday, 9:00 am

Bill Armstrong

Forest Fuels Specialist and Program Manager

US Forest Service

Bill Armstrong is the son of a man never happy with where he was, it was always where he had just been or was going to.  He spent time as a kid in West Africa, Colombia, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines and Mexico.  He attended high school in Guadalajara Mexico and upon graduating headed north to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  He received a BS in forestry in 1971. For the next few years he worked cutting, swamping, skidding, scaling, cruising timber from the Lake States to the mountains of Oregon eventually making my way to the Miskito Coast of Nicaragua.  After two years on the Miskito Coast he returned to the States and worked for several forest industries as a forester and later as a forestry contractor and consultant in Wisconsin and Arkansas.  In 1985, he returned to school earning a MS in International Trade and Finance.  He decided not to work in finance and began with the U.S. Forest Service in 1987 on the Carson National Forest in NM, later transferring to the Santa Fe National Forest.  Somewhere along the way he obtained a BS in Fire Ecology from Colorado State. He now works as the Forest Fuels Specialist and Program Manager.  

Anne Bradley

Forest Conservation Program Manager

The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico

Anne Bradley is the Forest Conservation Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. In this role, Anne develops collaborative strategies to improve the health and function of forested ecosystems in New Mexico.   Anne is part of a TNC team that launched and is now implementing the Rio Grande Water Fund in partnership with nearly 60 agencies and organization.  The Fund is a financing and governance mechanism with a goal of protecting forests and water sources from severe wildfires by accelerating the pace and scape of forest restoration.  The 7-million-acre Water Fund landscape encompasses multiple communities and watersheds, requiring engagement at different geographic scales.  Her current priorities within the Water Fund footprint include developing forest restoration strategies in the Upper San Juan River Basin, the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed in the Southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains and continuing support for the SW Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration project. Anne is also the New Mexico lead for the Fire Learning Network- a national partnership between TNC and federal land management agencies whose goal is to restore the natural role of fire to the ecosystem while helping communities become fire adapted.  Anne has a BA in Biology from Colorado College and a Master’s in Botany from the University of Montana.  Prior to her career with TNC she held positions in fire research, land management planning and rare plant management with the US Forest Service in various locations in the West.   Anne is a native New Mexican and lives in Santa Fe.

Rodney Lewis


Akin Gump LLP

Rodney B. Lewis is a consultant to Akin Gump. He advises American Indian tribes on various federal and state public policy issues. Most recently, Mr. Lewis served as general counsel of the Gila River Indian Community, in which capacity he led the community’s negotiations with the federal government, the state of Arizona, and more than 30 non-Indian parties for settlement of the Community’s water rights and claims. As a result of those negotiations, the Arizona Water Rights Settlements Act of 2004, Public Law 108-451, was introduced. Mr. Lewis was the first member of an Arizona Indian tribe to become a member of the State Bar of Arizona and the first member of an Indian tribe to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court, having successfully argued Central Machinery v. Arizona State Tax Commission in 1980. Mr. Lewis is admitted in Arizona only and is the founding chair of that State Bar’s Indian Law Section. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Indian Lawyers Association and the Pinal County (Arizona) Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Mr. Lewis is a Pima-enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community.

Rita Maguire, MBA, JD

Founding Member

Maguire, Pearce & Storey LLC

Rita P. Maguire is a founding member of Maguire, Pearce & Storey, PLLC located in Phoenix, Arizona. Ms. Maguire has more than 26 years of experience in water, environmental and administrative law in Arizona. Her clients include municipal water providers, mining companies, international corporations with water and environmental interests, real estate investors, and the State of Arizona. Due to her extensive professional experience in the legislative and executive branches of state government, Ms. Maguire routinely provides advice to municipal, industrial and agricultural interests about public policy, legislative and regulatory rule-making developments. Ms. Maguire provides expert witness testimony on the acquisition, management and utilization of surface water and groundwater in Arizona and the Lower Colorado River Basin and has arbitrated a multi-million dollar water supply and pricing dispute in Southern California. Prior to forming the law firm of Maguire & Pearce, PLLC, now Maguire, Pearce & Storey, PLLC, Ms. Maguire was the founding President and CEO of the Arizona Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan public policy research center providing comprehensive and objective analysis of Arizona’s major policy issues.  Ms. Maguire served as Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources from 1993 through 2001. During her tenure as Director, Ms. Maguire represented the state’s interests in the Colorado River Basin, was a key figure in the development of the Arizona Water Bank Authority, adoption of the Third Management Plan, and played a central role in Indian water rights negotiations in Arizona. Ms. Maguire has written and spoken widely on water policy and management matters. Ms. Maguire holds three degrees from Arizona State University: a Juris Doctorate, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. In 2016, Rita Maguire was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Environmental and Natural Resource Law Section (ENRLS) of the Arizona State Bar.  Ms. Maguire was awarded the Outstanding Alumnus of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Ms. Maguire has been listed as a Southwest Super Lawyer since 2008, is listed in the International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers, is recognized as a 2015 leader by Chambers USA, and is an AV Preeminent Rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell.  In August 2012, Ms. Maguire was appointed a member of the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Science and serves on the Research Committee of the Arizona Town Hall.


Felicity Barringer

Writer in Residence, Bill Lane Center for the American West

Stanford University

Felicity Barringer joined the Bill Lane Center for the American West as a writer in residence in September 2016. She is the editor and lead writer for the Center's blog “...& the West,” which covers western environmental issues. She was a national environmental correspondent during the last decade of her 28 years at The New York Times. She provided an in-depth look at the adoption of AB 32, California’s landmark climate-change bill after covering state’s carbon reduction carbon policies. More recently she focused on the West’s water challenges. Earlier, she covered the United Nations and worked as a correspondent in Moscow. Her career began at The Bergen Record; she worked at The Washington Post for nine years.



Panel 7

News Deserts in the Rural West

Saturday, 10:45am

Alisa Barba

Executive Editor

Inside Energy News

Alisa Joyce Barba is an award-winning journalist, producer, writer and editor with 25 years experience in both commercial and public broadcasting. Prior to IE, she served as Senior Editor for Fronteras: the Changing America Desk, a regional news collaboration project involving seven public radio stations across the southwest.  She also served as Western Bureau Chief for NPR for 12 years.

Tazbah McCullah

General Manager

SFR Santa Fe Public Radio

Tazbah McCullah, a Diné (Navajo) served for eight years as General Manager of KTNN-AM and KWRK-FM in Window Rock, Arizona, thirteen years as Director of Marketing and Advertising, and Director of Public Programs at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque assumed her new position at KSFR on January 1, 2015

Kate Schimel

Digital Deputy Editor

High Country News

Kate is a Colorado native and a lifelong High Country News reader. She got her start covering education in Denver and around the state at Chalkbeat, a start-up education news site. She has a degree in biology at Reed. She spent six months as an intern at HCN during the spring of 2015. Since then she's worked as a freelance education and environment reporter, a Seattle-based correspondent for HCN, and now works from our Paonia headquarters as the deputy editor, digital.


James Bettinger

Director Emeritus, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships

Stanford University

Jim Bettinger is director emeritus of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford. He retired last fall, after 16 years as director and 11 years as deputy director. He worked for daily newspapers for 20 years, as a reporter, editorial writer and editor at the Riverside (California) Press-Enterprise and the San Jose Mercury News. At Stanford he taught classes in opinion writing, feature and analytical writing, literary journalism and creative non-fiction. He was a member of the Lane Center’s faculty advisory committee, and is also on the board of the Navajo Times Publishing Company. He writes and consults on journalism issues, and is a member of numerous journalism organizations.


Closing Remarks

Bruce Cain, PhD


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Rural West Conference Volume

Bridging the Distance

Common Issues of the Rural West

Edited by David B. Danbom
Foreword by David M. Kennedy

Published in cooperation with the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University
The University of Utah Press has published Bridging the Distance, a book by the Rural West Initiative of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Edited by the distinguished historian David B. Danbom and with a foreword by Center co-founding director David M. Kennedy, the book explores the Rural West across four dimensions: Community, Land, Economics – and defining the Rural West itself. The book is the result of work presented at the first Conference on the Rural West, which took place in Ogden, Utah, in October 2012.