WORKSHOPS: 2:00 – 3:30 pm

  • WORKSHOP #1: Governing in the Digital Age

    Dottie Schindlinger, VP/Governance Technology Evangelist, Diligent Corporation

    There has never been a time when serving on a board has been more challenging than right now. Board oversight is loaded with more risk than ever before – from operating in an unpredictable climate to the increased regulatory ramifications of data breaches, and much more. In this complex landscape, the question becomes – what might actually help directors govern better? For the organizations with the best performance results, what is different about the way their boards function? To what extent are the norms and practices of governance beginning to transform to ensure the deliberative process can keep pace with the speed of business? Perhaps most importantly, what approaches, tools and technology might help directors and boards transform governance for the digital age? There’s a lot at stake – the boards that continue to find ways to leverage the speed of information and technology to inform careful deliberation could quickly outpace their peers.

  • WORKSHOP #2: Behavior Smarts: Increasing Health Care Leadership Performance

    Michael Frisina, PhD, Founder and Senior Research Scholar, The Frisina Group, LLC

    Individual leadership behavior, driven by an understanding of a highly developed sense of emotional intelligence, is the single most important predictor of organizational performance. People connect emotionally with their leaders before they connect and engage cognitively with their work. Leaders who lack an understanding of the importance of their EQ and this emotional connection to the members of their teams never reach their full leadership potential, and as a result are inhibited from delivering high quality, patient-centered, and coordinated care. Informed by the most recent developments in neuroscience and through a focus on seven key behavior strategies, workshop participants will learn how to transform the performance of their teams by becoming behavior smart leaders.



8:00 – 8:45 am

Rick Pollack, President and CEO, American Hospital Association

KEYNOTE SESSIONS: 8:45 – 11:00 am

  • The Bellwether Effect: Stop Following, Start Inspiring 8:45 – 9:30 am

    Lance Secretan, award-winning author and leadership expert

    In his widely acclaimed new book, The Bellwether Effect, Lance Secretan explores how and why leaders are attracted to, and seduced by, trendy ideas, and the process by which these ideas then become mainstream. He calls these originators of these

    trends “bellwethers.” In this engaging opener, Secretan shares examples of such counterproductive business practices and proposes novel alternatives that lead to transformation and an inspiring organizational culture.

  • Improving Affordability & Promoting Value in Rural Communities 9:45 – 11:00 am

    Reshma Gupta, MD, MSHPM, Medical Director for Quality and Value, UCLA Health, Office of Population Health and Accountable Care, and Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine & Health Services Research, University of California Los Angeles; Peter J. Wright, FACHE, President & CEO, Valley Regional Healthcare; and Michelle Hood, President & CEO, Northern Light Health. Moderated by Priya Bathija, VP, The Value Initiative, American Hospital Association

    This panel draws on the work of AHA’s The Value Initiative, a member-driven, multi-year initiative to support AHA members as the hospital field addresses the issue of affordability. Panelists will discuss the national context for the call for greater health care affordability and share insights into potential solutions that will allow rural hospitals to decrease cost, improve quality and the patient experience.

STRATEGY SESSIONS: 11:15 am – 12:30 pm

  • #1 Affiliations that Work for Rural Health Care

    Marilu Bintz, MD, Senior VP, Population Health and Strategy, Gundersen Health System and Garith Steiner, Vice President, Affiliated Critical Access Hospitals & Clinics, Gundersen Health System

    Gundersen Health System’s model for affiliation with critical access hospitals has produced win-win results for all stakeholders. Its paradigm of shared services, quality improvement, information technology, and bidirectional learning provides a framework for affiliation that other organizations can use to create robust, sustainable, local health care for rural communities. This session explores the advantages to and steps for succeeding with this model of affiliation.

  • #2 Beyond the EHR: Personalizing the Patient Experience with a Consumer Engagement Platform

    Kim Swafford, GVP, Health Technology and Telehealth, Providence St. Joseph Health and Karen Appelbaum, Director, Patient Engagement Center-Business Operations and Strategy, Providence St. Joseph Health

    How do hospitals and health systems adjust to consumerization in health care? Effectively personalizing the consumer experience involves knowing more about patients than only their medical record and being able to expand the venues in which health systems interact with prospective and existing consumers. PSJH will share their journey to creating a Consumer Engagement Platform, exploring concepts for establishing services and technology to navigate consumers and providers to the right clinicians for their specific health needs and preferences. You’ll learn how to apply concepts for building virtual access services for a system telehealth program.

  • #3 The Change-Ready Rural Health Care Board

    Steve Long, President/CEO, Hancock Regional Hospital; Timothy Clark, Board Member, Hancock Regional Hospital; Beth Nelson, Principal, Witt/Kieffer; and Jim King, Senior Partner, Chief Quality Officer and Board Member, Witt/Kieffer

    Rural hospital boards are challenged by the daunting changes in today’s environment, especially in pursuing a more strategic type of governance centered around value-based care and population health. Governance leaders wonder what crucial skills and knowledge are needed on the board, where these can be found, and how such expertise can be maintained. This presentation addresses these questions through the example of one change-ready board that has aligned governance activity, developed member qualifications, established onboarding best practices, instituted performance reviews, and oriented board membership around the organization’s population health goals.

  • #4 Emergency Care Quality Improvement Programs Designed for Rural Hospitals

    Caroline Ring, DNP, CNO, Spectrum Health Big Rapids & Reed City Hospitals and Beth Langenburg, Director of Care Management and Community Health, Spectrum Health Big Rapids & Reed City Hospitals

    Today’s emergency health care interventions are often time-based measures with standards that can be challenging for rural hospitals to meet, while other programs may not have time dependent measures but face sustainment challenges. In this session, participants will learn about the components and protocols for four innovative programs tailored to the rural environment—STEMI protocol, Stroke Hotspot, Pediatric Observation and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, each of which demonstrate sustainability and the ability to meet the associated standards of care.

  • #5 Fighting the Opioid Epidemic through Collaboration between a CAH and an FQHC

    Steven Kelley, President & CEO, Ellenville Regional Hospital; Ashima Butler, VP & COO, Ellenville Regional Hospital; and Robert Donaldson, NP, Clinical Director, Emergency Department, Ellenville Regional Hospital

    Learn about a collaboration that led to the implementation of a new model of care that has successfully decreased opioid administration in the ED, especially to high utilizing, chronic pain patients, and connected those patients to primary care services, including pain management, outside of the emergent setting. Explore how education of providers about the new Pain Policy helped to build a community approach and care continuum to better manage care of this vulnerable population, while reducing the use of opiates in their treatment.


The Essential Role of Leaders in Addressing Persistent Behaviors that Undermine Team Performance and Patient Safety 2:00 – 3:15 pm

Gerald B. Hickson, MD, Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention, Joseph C. Ross Chair for Medical Education and Administration, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

What do you do with Dr. X, a professional who persistently undermines your safety culture even after he's made aware that he stands out? Sometimes these individuals seem recalcitrant and "untouchable" for a variety of reasons. Leaders who want to pursue a safety culture and promote joy and meaning in the workplace must learn to address Dr X's behaviors in ways that maximize the probability of success for everyone. Dr. Hickson will describe the critical infrastructure needed to support sustained accountability for individuals who fail to self-regulate and offer tactics for developing and implementing corrective action plans under authority.


  • #4 Diabetes Self–Management Program for Rural Communities

    Caroline Ring, DNP, CNO, Spectrum Health Big Rapids & Reed City Hospitals and Beth Langenburg, Director of Care Management and Community Health, Spectrum Health Big Rapids & Reed City Hospitals

    Patients with chronic illnesses struggle with self-management with over half failing to take their medications as prescribed and even fewer following lifestyle modifications. Innovative diabetes self-management programs that impact known risk factors for diabetic complications are proving to be an effective strategy for rural hospitals. In this session you’ll learn how to leverage existing programs to enhance diabetes identification and promote self-management, engage providers in new models of self-management and assessment of diabetes distress, and pursue cost effective strategies to improve sustainment of diabetes self-management.

  • #5 A Rural Primary Care Clinic’s Successful Response to the Opioid Epidemic

    Heather Bell, MD, Family Physician, CHI St. Gabriel's Health and Kurt DeVine, MD, Family Physician, CHI St. Gabriel's Health

    The Morrison County Drug Task Force and CHI St. Gabriel’s Controlled Substance Care Team work collaboratively to reduce narcotics in the community. This session examines their patient-centered, non-punitive approach to reducing opioid prescriptions coming out of clinics, thus stopping the flow of opioids into communities. They will address how to use MAT (as Suboxone) as part of a normal primary care clinic to treat opioid addicted patients, and share strategies for engaging local and state resources to to approach the epidemic from all facets: primary care clinics, specialty clinics, law enforcement, legislative input and local community organizations and programs such as public health/school systems.



TAI CHI 6:30 – 7:15 am

Get lost in the sounds and movement of the ancient art form of Tai Chi, an old world exercise that improves posture, balance, agility, coordination and mental focus. This low-impact, slow-motion exercise class is open to all fitness and experience levels


SUNRISE SESSIONS: 7:00 – 8:00 am

  • #1 Rural Hospital Policy, Regulations and Resources Update

    Tom Morris, Associate Administrator, Health Resources & Services Administration, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy; George Pink, PhD, Deputy Director, North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Paul Moore, DPh, Senior Health Policy Advisor, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and Executive Secretary for the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, HRSA-Federal Office of Rural Health Policy; and Keith Mueller, PhD, Gerhard Hartman Professor and Head, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa

    This panel will provide emerging information about rural hospital research on performance and quality issues as well as other policy issues affecting rural hospitals including Medicaid, new delivery models, post-acute care, physician payment issues, and telehealth. You’ll also hear an update on available funding and resources from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

  • #2 Developing a Population Health Framework: Where Can I Start?

    Nancy A. Myers, PhD, Vice President, Leadership and System Innovation, Health Research & Educational Trust, American Hospital Association and Dave Ressler, CEO, Aspen Valley Hospital

    While hospitals are implementing population health strategies and tools, many are struggling with how to communicate to their internal and external audiences about their programs and how their work fits together. This session will provide you with a national framework and tools (Pathways to Population Health) for mapping your population health journey and activities, assessing for areas of opportunity for enhanced tactics, and communicating internally and externally about what “population health” means to your facility.

The Rural Hospital Federal Update 8:15 – 9:30 am

Rick Pollack, President and CEO, American Hospital Association; Erika Rogan, PhD, Senior Director, Policy, American Hospital Association; and Travis Robey, Senior Associate Director, Federal Relations, American Hospital Association

This session will provide a federal regulatory update on recent regulations impacting Critical Access Hospitals and rural PPS hospitals. Learn what policies Congress is considering and what it means for rural community hospitals.

STRATEGY SESSIONS: 9:45 – 11:00 am

  • #1 Communication is a Procedure

    Patrice Weiss, MD, EVP and CMO, Carilion Clinic, Steve Arner, EVP and COO, Carilion Clinic and President/CEO, Carilion Medical Center; and Elisa Arespacochaga, Vice President, Physician Alliance, American Hospital Association

    Simply put, to move forward in delivering health care in an affordable, effective way, we need a strong team, working together. To foster that teamwork we need a common language and shared leadership. So where does that come from? The delivery of health care requires an integrated, well-orchestrated team which is only as functional as its degree of communication. It isn’t quick, it isn’t easy, and it can be messy. But, in the end, building a culture of teamwork where decisions are made together will sustain us.

  • #2 Harnessing the Power of Data to Transform Care

    Cheryl Brown, CEO, Henderson Health Care Services and Darcy Ost, RN, BSN, Performance Improvement/Education Coordinator, Henderson Health Care Services

    Henderson Health Care Services’ journey to achieve clinical transformation entailed a look-back approach to a patient-centered preventative health strategy using data analytics. After overcoming the challenge of collecting and analyzing data, patients are now being screened for osteoporosis, colon cancer, breast cancer and COPD in a more proactive and preventative manner. This presentation will focus on the strategies and tools employed to improve clinical outcomes through data analytics, gap reports and performance improvement methodology.

  • #3 Human Trafficking in Health Care Settings

    Susie Baldwin, MD, MPH, Co-Founder and Board President, HEAL Trafficking and Medical Director, Office of Women's Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

    Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and a global industry of exploitation, which impacts rural as well as urban communities in the US. Health care providers and leaders can play an important role in recognizing and responding to human trafficking victims. Greater awareness of human trafficking among providers and other health care professionals enables the health care system to more effectively assess risk among vulnerable patients in the US and can improve victim identification and response.

  • #4 Total Integration: Merging a Rural Not-for-Profit Health System with a Rural For-Profit Physician Group

    Michael Canady, MD, CEO, Holzer Health System; Brent Saunders, Chairman, Board of Directors, Holzer Health System; and Michael Haynes, CFO, Holzer Health System

    Hear about the assumptions and concessions that drove the merger of former competitors Holzer Hospital and Holzer Clinic, and learn how the new health system is maximizing strategic partnerships, advancing population health with limited resources, approaching physician alignment and recruitment differently, enhancing workforce engagement, and leveraging HIT. Special attention will be paid to the governance dimensions including the importance of having the right structure, strategies to improve the inner workings of the two boards, and the establishment of strong board performance improvement measures.

  • #5 Emergency Department Care Coordination: Strategies for Addressing Social Determinants of Health while Improving Outcomes & Impacting the Cost of Care

    Lori Profota, Chief Nursing Officer, Copley Hospital; Michael Brigati, Director, Emergency Services and Clinical Life Safety, Copley Hospital; and Dominique Couture, Social Worker, Copley Hospital

    Over the past two years, Copley Hospital has collaborated with community medical homes, the Vermont Chronic Care Initiative, local community agencies and other stakeholders to address the high cost of care. Copley focused first on monitoring Super Utilizers–high-need, high-cost patients that make up a small percentage of ED patients, but accounted for a disproportionally high amount of health care utilization. Learn how a quality improvement project to decrease Super-Utilizer ED visits by 25% within 180 days improved outcomes and resulted in cost savings to the system of almost $180,000.


  • #3 Stopping Violence in Health Care

    Katie Harris, MPH, Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems, Director of Rural Health & Federal Policy

    Health care and social assistance workers are nearly five times more likely to be injured & require time away from work as a result of workplace violence. To assist hospitals and their employees, the Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems, in partnership with other stakeholders, developed an evidence-based toolkit to reduce the incidence and severity of workplace violence incidents. The Workplace Safety and Violence Prevention Toolkit is a comprehensive program, which helps hospitals from workers to management assess the effectiveness of their current programs and implement a sustainable program based on best practices. Learn about the toolkit and how Oregon hospitals are undertaking a voluntary initiative to proactively reduce violence and employee harm and promote a culture of safety.

  • #4 The Board & CEO Relationship—What Could Be More Important?

    Todd Linden, President, Linden Consulting and Bill Menner, Board Chair, Unity Point-Grinnell Regional Medical Center and member of the AHA Committee on Governance

    In today’s ever changing landscape, keeping patients, employees and the medical staff all satisfied can be a tall order that creates tension between administration and the board. For exceptional organizational performance, the board and CEO relationship must be optimized through trust, transparency, understanding and a thoughtful game plan. Learn strategies for building strong board and CEO relationships including topics such as creating effective board meeting agendas, tackling CEO evaluations, and maintaining excellent medical staff relationships.

  • #5 Health Efficiency Navigation Initiative (HENI): It Takes MORE than a Village!

    William D. Jacobsen, MHA, FACHE(R), Vice President, Carilion Clinic (Retired), Administrator, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital (retired) CE), Iumination! LLC, and Tyler Lee, Manager, Community Outreach & Development, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital

    HENI has proven to be a sustainable “win-win-win” proposition. Patients are navigated to a primary care setting where their care can be coordinated and chronic disease can be managed, and coverage is sought. For providers, HENI navigates patients to appropriate medical homes closer to home and puts them in charge as the “captain of the ship”; from there, providers access specialists as needed, avoiding costly emergency room care. HENI has lowered unnecessary readmissions and overutilization of hospital services such that Carilion Franklin Memorial is now the 3rd lowest cost hospital in Virginia per Medicare beneficiary and the only Virginia hospital to go two years without a Medicare readmission penalty.

NETWORKING LUNCH 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Trends and Their Impact on Governance: Time for a New Model 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Jamie Orlikoff, President, Orlikoff & Associates, Inc.

For years we have analyzed the impact of trends on hospitals and health systems. But what about the impact of these trends on the governance model itself? Profound societal, economic, and demographic challenges, in addition to the daunting and disruptive pressures of the health care environment are stressing the traditional governance model to the point of failure. In this provocative presentation, Jamie Orlikoff identifies the trends challenging the traditional governance model, and outlines strategies to both sustain it as long as possible and to create new governance models.

Transforming Your Independent Community Hospital for Success in the 2020’s 3:00 – 4:00 pm

Bruce White, Chief Executive Officer, Knox Community Hospital and Alan P. Richman, President and CEO, InnoVative Capital LLC

Knox Community Hospital relies on the collaborative efforts of senior management, board members, staff and third party professionals to develop and execute comprehensive strategic initiatives to improve population health. Having reengineered itself to set a course for its future, Knox consistently produces strong operating results by dynamically recruiting physicians, expanding services and modernizing its facilities. In this session we’ll examine how other rural hospitals also can use debt analysis, financial forecasting, facility needs assessments, medical staff development, and market research to impact proactive decision making.

Optional Recreational Activities 3:30 pm and on



STRATEGY SESSIONS: 7:30 – 8:45 am

  • #1 Managing Cybersecurity Risk in Health Care: The Leader’s Role

    John Riggi, Sr. Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk, American Hospital Association; Mitchell Parker, MBA, CISSP Executive Director, Information Security & Compliance, Indiana University Health; and Michael Archuleta, CIO / HIPAA & Information Security Officer, Mt. San Rafael Hospital

    Protecting health care organizations from cyberattack is a growing challenge. Health care data is highly attractive, the tactics used by potential hackers are constantly evolving, and significant information sharing within our environments places you uniquely at risk. And yet protecting your organization’s data extends beyond technical systems and processes; leadership from the top of the organization is critical to establish a culture of cybersecurity. Join us to explore best-practice leadership behaviors to reduce the likelihood and impact of a cyber event.

  • #2 Lean on a Shoestring: The Journey to Reduce Costs & Improve Affordability

    Dan Grigg, CEO, Harney County Health District and JoDee Tittle, CEO, Plumas District Hospital

    Two critical access hospitals have successfully applied the principles of Lean to create a culture of continuous improvement and increase employee engagement without an exorbitant spend on consultants. In this session you’ll gain a simple road map to launch your own Lean journey including how to secure board, physician and executive team buy-in; create an implementation plan that fits the size and capacity of your organization; identify the resources needed to support and sustain a lean journey; and explore common Lean tools and approaches—plus select three to begin using immediately!

  • #3 Optimizing Partnerships to Improve Behavioral Health Care in a Rural Setting

    Trece Gurrad, VP, Patient Care Services/CNE, Columbia Memorial Hospital

    Mental health care is an especially compex issue in rural settings in which the barriers of accessibility, availability, and acceptability of treatment are complicated by distance to resources. Discover how one critical access hospital partnered with local and state agencies and other health care providers to open a Crisis Respite Center, which has improved quality and access to care for individuals suffering a mental health crisis. You’ll see how strategic partnerships can be identified and developed around a common goal, leveraged to overcome barriers, and embedded in a structure in which such partnerships are sustained over time.

  • #4 Managing Smooth Board Succession during Uncertain Times

    Steve Gordon, MD, Member, Board of Directors, St. Charles Health System and National Principal Consultant, Point B and James E. Orlikoff, President, Orlikoff & Associates, Inc., Member, Board of Directors, St. Charles Health System

    Effective succession management is an essential function of self-perpetuating boards. Vetting, appointing, and onboarding new trustees is a critical opportunity for aligning the board around organizational purpose, values, and strategic direction, while introducing fresh energy and perspective. The process must be well executed by and for the board itself. This session will review the approach taken by one board from various perspectives: the existing board, executive leadership, staff support, the board candidate, and national best practice.

STRATEGY SESSIONS #1 and #2 REPEATED, WITH NEW SESSIONS #3 and #4: 9:00 – 10:15 am

  • #3 Creating an Integrated Crisis Team: New Directions for Behavioral Health

    Russell W. Johnson, President & CEO, LMH Health; Linda Gall, Sr. Director, Care Coordination, LMH Health; and Derrick Hurst, Integrated Crisis Team Director, LMH Health

    For far too long, individuals with chronic health care challenges, particularly mental illness and substance use disorders, have suffered because of a lack of inpatient psychiatric beds, a shortage of psychiatric care providers, fragmented service delivery, and limited funding. With no sign of relief in sight, Lawrence Memorial Hospital formed a Crisis Oversight Team with multiple community stakeholders to provide crisis assessment including attention to social determinants, intervention, transition planning and coordination of care. Learn how the coalition is building an integrated system of care that moves from crisis and illness as a norm to recovery and prevention as a practice.

  • #4 Interactive Governance Clinic

    James E. Orlikoff, President, Orlikoff & Associates, Inc.

    Bring your thorniest governance issues to one of the nation’s preeminent health care governance experts. You’ll gain practical solutions and proactive ideas for improving governance performance. This session will be very interactive and no issue is off the table, so come prepared to talk, to question and be challenged!

The Health Care Revolution 10:30 – 11:30 am

Michael Rogers, journalist, author and the Practical Futurist

The future is bright for medicine: telemedicine, wellness monitors, personal genomics, electronic health records, and more. Plus, “big data” and smart computers will choose the best and most efficient treatment options based on actual outcomes. All of this progress will come with caveats, of course: how do we keep the human element in health care? What are the privacy implications of personal genomic data? How do we fund the latest technologies while still making sure that basic health care is affordable?