Though the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us excruciatingly difficult times, I keep saying this is the finest hour for hospitals. Our field has risen to incredible challenges with expertise, commitment and compassion, and it’s inspiring to see.

Rural hospitals are an outstanding example. Despite unprecedented financial and health care challenges, rural hospitals are deeply committed to their communities. All across the country, they are working to retain local access to quality, affordable health care during the pandemic and beyond.

I have seen firsthand the dedication and hard work of rural hospitals and their communities. At Providence, we see our rural hospitals as mission-critical, and we make sure they have the networks and support they need to continue meeting the needs of far-flung populations.

Please join me Feb. 17–18 at the AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference. This virtual conference and engagement event brings together hospital executives, physician and nurse leaders, trustees, and experts and thinkers outside health care. We’ll hear about strategies and resources for accelerating the shift to a more integrated and sustainable rural health system.

The conference offers rural health care leaders many resources. We’ll look at the changing health care environment and explore virtual health technologies along with ways to strengthen leadership and support workforce resilience. In addition to hearing thought-provoking keynotes and engaging in dynamic roundtable discussions, attendees can participate in one or more affinity groups. These groups are designed for peer-to-peer exchange and organized around key issues in rural health care.

I am convinced that sustainability for rural hospitals will come through continued transformation — toward affordability and value. And it calls for innovative approaches and strategic partnerships. The conference will highlight efforts that cut across the continuum of care, address social determinants of health, leverage digital technologies and more. 

You can find out more by visiting the conference website. There’s still time to register and attend. Hope to see you there.

Rod Hochman, M.D.
AHA Chair


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