In a new location for 2024, the 37th Annual AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference, will be held Feb. 11-14 in Orlando, Fla. The conference brings together senior executives, physician leaders, trustees and nurse executives from the nation's leading rural hospitals and health systems to share powerful insights and strategies to transform rural health care delivery and business practices.

Showcasing prominent leaders from inside and outside health care who offer unique perspectives and solution-oriented thinking, the conference highlights actionable strategies and resources aimed at improving access to care, leveraging unique workforce approaches, implementing digital technologies and prioritizing health equity.

The program features:

  • Content focused squarely on the unique and urgent challenges faced by rural providers and their communities.
  • Thought-provoking plenary presentations to drive the pursuit of innovation and leadership excellence.
    • Transforming Rural Health Care Navigating the Digital Frontier
      Geeta Nayyar, M.D., former Chief Medical Officer, Salesforce; author of Dead Wrong: Diagnosing and Treating Healthcare’s Misinformation Illness and board member of the American Telemedicine Association
    • Washington Update
      Travis Robey, Vice President, Political Affairs, American Hospital Association Shannon Wu, Ph.D., Senior Associate Director of Payment Policy, American Hospital Association
    • Rural Hospitals at the Tipping Point
      Jamie Orlikoff, President, Orlikoff & Associates, Inc., National Advisor on Governance and Leadership to the American Hospital Association, and health care governance expert
    • Lead with Passion
      Art delaCruz, Chief Executive Officer, Team Rubicon; Officer, United States Navy, Retired
  • Four pre-conference workshops highlighting health equity, cybersecurity, youth mental health and governance relations.
  • Educational programming designed specifically for trustees.
  • Hosted Buyer Forum to connect rural health leaders with solution providers.
  • Conversation starter roundtables to spark facilitated conversation on current rural health care issues.
  • Numerous opportunities to network with fellow rural health care leaders and field partners during the conference.

Attendees of the conference can expect to:

  • Develop strategies for a more sustainable and flexible rural health care workforce.
  • Promote the adoption of innovative approaches to improve quality, patient safety and performance in rural health care to enhance patient satisfaction, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Explore disaster preparedness and response plans specific to rural communities.
  • Explore new models of care and payment that align with rural health care systems' needs.
  • Elevate equity and eliminate disparities in treatment, access and outcomes.
  • Advance community and population health and economic development in rural areas through collaborative efforts between health care organizations, public health agencies and community stakeholders.
  • Share inventive approaches to mergers, joint ventures and affiliations to help improve financial stability, operational efficiency and clinical outcomes.
  • Learn how advances in telehealth, information technology and artificial intelligence are improving access in rural communities.
  • Share best practices in health care delivery for American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
  • Highlight best practices for achieving governance excellence in rural health care organizations, including effective leadership, stakeholder engagement and accountability.

This year’s conference offers two-and-a-half days of education, networking and collaboration with leaders who are committed to advancing rural health and providing quality care for patients and communities.

Please visit our webpage for more information.

Michelle Hood is executive vice president and chief operating officer of the AHA.

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