Please note:
Our deadline for the 2020 AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference speaking opportunity submission has passed. Please check back in April for information for the 2021 AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference.

The Rural Health Care Leadership Conference is the American Hospital Association’s annual offering for the rural hospital audience.  Since 1987, this conference has been the educational event of choice for rural health care leaders who want to learn from top researchers, strategists, and practitioners who can stimulate their thinking and provide the tools and approaches needed to transform the rural health organization for a sustainable future. The conference is designed for health care leaders from rural hospitals, health care systems with a strong presence in rural communities, rural health clinics, associations, and community health organizations. Participants include administrators, trustees, physician executives, nursing administrators, public health officials, and community leaders. 

The 2020 conference will provide information and strategies that will enable participants to:

  • Examine the impact of the changing environment on the rural hospital and health system.
  • Strengthen the hospital's position by exploring unique partnerships, networks, and strategic affiliations to enhance care coordination, clinical integration and business performance.
  • Gain insights into emerging care delivery models that expand access, improve health outcomes, and lower the total cost of care.
  • Clarify the role of trustees and gain tools for improving governance performance.
  • Learn strategies for fostering a culture of innovation, quality and patient safety.
  • Understand the consumer perspective on value and transparency, and examine opportunities for connecting with patients as partners in care.
  • Improve recruitment and retention of skilled personnel by building an organization that effectively engages and supports physicians and staff.
  • Explore emerging technologies and data analytics for improving care coordination and information management.

We will begin the design process this spring and would be pleased to consider your speaking proposal. We are especially interested in presentations that feature rural hospital executives, physicians and trustees as presenters, including those who represent critical access and frontier hospitals.

How to submit a proposal

Submissions are now being accepted through our online form.  The following information is required:

  • A title for the session
  • A detailed summary of the session including its focus and participant learning objectives
  • A description of how this session is customized for a rural health care audience
  • Identification of a content area:
    • Driving value and affordability through rural hospital and delivery system innovation.
    • Strategic affiliations and networks with providers, payers and/or public and community health partnerships.
    • Best practices for achieving governance excellence.
    • Strategies for managing risk and succeeding under new payment methodologies.
    • Ensuring access through new models of care delivery, including telehealth.
    • Responses to the rise of consumerism and nontraditional market entrants.
    • Critical Access Hospital performance improvement.
    • Advances in quality and patient safety.
    • Strategies for improving population health, care coordination, and clinical integration.
    • Approaches for recruitment of rural physicians and other clinical professionals.
    • Organizational culture, leadership development and workforce engagement.
    • Community-based responses to the opioid crisis and the need for behavioral health services.
  • An assessment of whether the session is basic, intermediate or advanced in its content
  • Full contact information for the main contact
  • Full contact information on the proposed speaker(s)
  • A brief bio for each speaker
  • One speaking reference for each presenter (noting where the individual might have presented in the past — along with contact information for those who can vouch for the speaker.)
  • A brief description of each speaker's organization (bed size, services, etc.)

Please note: You will not be able to return to edit your submission in the online form. We suggest completing and saving all of the required information above in a Word document and then cutting and pasting into the online form.

You will receive an e-mail confirmation once the proposal has been successfully submitted. We'll contact you in October with the status of your proposal.

Please contact Laura Woodburn at

Waived Conference Fee
Accepted speakers will receive a complimentary registration to the conference. Please note that we typically do not pay honoraria and speakers are usually expected to cover their own travel and lodging expenses.