Keynote Speakers 

ACOS is excited to welcome these keynote speakers to the 2021 Virtual Virtual Annual Clinical Assembly:


Keynote Address:
Dream Makers
Jim Morris, Jr.

Jim Morris shares his memoir, documented in the movie “The Rookie,” and tells about the dream makers who helped to shape his life.  Jim recalls the life lessons passed down to him by his grandfather and the lessons he learned from a small-town baseball team, who helped him pursue his life-long dream of becoming a major league baseball player.  Jim pitched two seasons for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays reaching speeds up to 102mph and chose to retire to raise his children. His life story made cinematic history with the heartwarming and unforgettable Disney movie The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid.

Through Jim’s self-deprecating humor and his ability to take the audience on an emotional ride, everyone is inspired as he shares his journey of failures and successes while chasing his dreams and overcoming life’s obstacles.

Keynote Address:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare
Renee Canady, PhD, MPA


Dr. Canady has been recognized as a national thought leader in the areas of health inequities and disparities, cultural competence, and social justice. She has published and presented broadly on these topics and her passion for this work is evident in her personal, academic, and professional life. Dr. Canady has been highly influential in broadening the discussion of health equity and social justice while serving on numerous national boards, review panels, and advisory groups.

She has been an outstanding public health advocate, researcher, educator, and facilitator. She earned her PhD in Medical Sociology from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Renée Branch Canady serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MPHI; a unique public trust dedicated to advancing population health through public health innovation and collaboration. In this role she leads the strategic direction of the organization as they strive to build a world-class infrastructure to support the Institute’s diverse and progressive program areas and projects, while establishing and maintaining stakeholder relationships.


Theodore F. Classen Memorial Lecture:
The Art and Science of Life and Death
Debra Classen, MA

Debra has a fascination for recognizing beauty in all its forms, particularly as a means to evoke hope and healing. She has discovered its power through her education in psychology and theology, her work as a therapist, her passion for art and writing and her work as the co-founder of a non profit.

Understanding that beauty is the primary standard for scientific truth, along with aethestics as the means of bringing to light the sacred, was the foundation on which Debra and her late husband, Dr. Roger Classen, founded their non-profit ministry, "The Mute Swan" in 2005.

Speaking to healthcare professionals, hospital chaplains, at retreats, and inside prisons, Debra shares how the power of beauty's truth and simplicity is both scientific and divine in healing and finding hope and healing in life.