About the Reforming States Group

Who Participates

Reforming States Group (RSG) participants include state health policy leaders from both the executive and legislative branches—and Milbank Memorial Fund staff. The group’s focus on state leaders and policymakers is intentional—the health of the communities served depends upon state leadership to balance competing priorities and advance health policy.

What It Does

Meetings. The RSG holds annual fall meetings as well as specially-focused meetings. Discussions focus on state health policy successes, challenges, and legislation—and specific topics of interest to states, such as behavioral health integration into primary care or hospitals’ shift from volume to value.

These invitation-only meetings are purposefully kept small, the better to provide a trusted forum for policymakers to candidly share experiences and discuss common challenges. The MMF arranges and pays for all participants’ travel expenses.

Peer-to-peer information sharing. The RSG supports state-to-state technical assistance meetings so that policymakers in one state can learn from those in another state. This learning between state leaders provides a forum for the meaningful exchange of ideas and the development of professional relationships.

Joint projects. State leaders often commission joint projects—either in the form of meetings or issue briefs and reports. RSG projects are selected based on specific criteria—projects must relate to state health policy needs, have broad application, yield practical and timely results, and adhere to the organization’s bipartisan, collegial style.

How the RSG Works

Participants say they take part in the RSG because of the opportunity to learn from legislative and administrative colleagues from across the country in a bipartisan setting.  The RSG is unique in several ways, including:

  • Focus on policymakers. The RSG values discussion and conversation among peers. The health of our communities depends upon state and local leadership to balance competing priorities in order to advance health policy.
  • Non-partisanship and collegiality. The group’s strict adherence to these principles enhances its credibility as source of information.
  • “Milbank Rules.” During RSG gatherings, leaders discuss policy ideas and learn how their peers address challenges, all while adhering to the idea that “what’s said here, stays here.”
  • Governance. The RSG is a self-governed association of executive and legislative officials, led by a Steering Committee.  Steering Committee members provide guidance and direction to the RSG, serve as chairs of RSG-commissioned projects, and work as ambassadors for the work of the RSG in local and national settings.