Texas Healthcare Speaker Information

Meghan Kempf, Associate Director, IDD-BH and HSCS Team, Policy Department, HHSC Office of Chief Counsel

Meghan currently leads the legal policy team that supports mental health and intellectual and developmental disability services for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, including the state hospitals, state supported living centers, and community services. Prior to taking this management position in 2020, she was the lead policy attorney for women’s health and family violence services and the Medicaid program for children in state conservatorship. Before joining HHSC in 2014, Meghan was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. in San Antonio, where she provided advocacy and community education on domestic violence court orders and issues. She graduated with B.A.’s in American Studies and Government from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, and a J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 2012.


Shauna Lorenz, Partner, GJERSET & LORENZ, LLP

Shauna Lorenz co-founded the national healthcare law firm of Gjerset & Lorenz, LLP in 1998. Ms. Lorenz’s legal practice focuses on advising health care providers in reimbursement, regulatory, legislative, and operational business matters. She also represents large hospital systems across the country in numerous complex payment and contract disputes.

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Geronimo M. Rodriguez, Jr., Chief Advocacy Officer, Ascension Texas

Geronimo M. Rodriguez Jr. currently serves as Chief Advocacy Officer for Ascension Texas which comprises Ascension Seton and Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas and Ascension Providence in Waco, Texas. Ascension Texas is a part of Ascension, one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in the United States. He joined Ascension Texas in June 2006 to expand and institutionalize efforts across the healthcare system in the areas of diversity, inclusion, cultural competence, federal contract compliance, workforce development and civic engagement. He is currently responsible for the Ascension Texas’ Advocacy & External Affairs, Community Investment, Human Trafficking, Workforce Development and Medical Response Unit Departments.

Mr. Rodriguez currently serves as President of the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees and Board Member of the Austin Community Foundation Board of Governors, St. Edward’s University Board of Trustees, and the Austin Anti-Defamation League Board. He is also a Member of the Austin Area Research Organization, Member of the Subiendo Academy for Rising Leaders Advisory Council, and is an alumni of the Texas Lyceum, the Lola Wright Foundation and the FBI Citizens Academy. Finally, he is Past Chair of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Past Chair of the Leadership Austin Board of Directors, served two year as a Board Member of the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), a Member of the National PTA Resolutions Committee, former Board Member of Austin PBS, the local public television station, the Impact Center, and served as a member of the Seton Board of Trustees’ Justice in the Workplace Committee.

Mr. Rodriguez served in the White House Office of Congressional Affairs where he helped in legislative preparations for the Seattle Round of the World Trade Organization. In addition, he served as Deputy Associate Director and later Acting Associate Director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel where he was responsible for recommending a third of the President’s senior level appointments. He was also responsible for advising senior White House staff on appointments affecting the Hispanic community.

Mr. Rodriguez, a native of Alamo, Texas, graduated from St. Edward’s University with a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, where he received a four year academic scholarship and a College Assistance Migrant Program Scholarship. He served as Student Body President of St. Edward’s University. Mr. Rodriguez also attended the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.

As a child, Mr. Rodriguez spent eight months a year as a migrant farmworker traveling with his parents from South Texas to the Northwest United States following the harvest seasons. His parents continue to harvest crops in Oregon and Mr. Rodriguez joins them annually for a week.