Pre-Conference Workshops

Sunday, February 6 | 12:00 - 1:30 pm


The Trustee’s Role in Advancing Rural Vaccine Confidence

Sean Barry, Senior Associate Director of Media Relations, American Hospital Association
Joel Beiswenger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tri-County Health Care
Ryan Smith, Chief Executive Officer, South Peninsula Hospital
Christy Tuomi, DO, Chief Medical Officer, South Peninsula Hospital

Join a facilitated discussion to help our communities improve vaccine confidence. Get up-to-speed on the most recent data on vaccination uptake in rural America and hear from hospitals that have succeeded in countering misinformation. Share your organization’s experience and engage with colleagues on how your hospital can lead in addressing vaccine hesitancy. The AHA will develop a vaccine confidence playbook based on the outcome of this session.

Lunch will be served during this session.


Sunday, February 6 | 2:00 - 3:30 pm


The Role of Governance in Creating Equitable Systems that Improve Health

Benjamin Anderson, Vice President, Rural Health and Hospitals, Colorado Hospital Association
Lauren Hughes, State Policy Director, Farley Health Policy Center
Erin Sullivan, Associate Professor, Healthcare Administration Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University

This interactive workshop is designed for rural hospital trustees and CEOs to grapple with a real-life case study in which a hospital partners with community leaders to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. The session will engage participants in examining the implications of decisions at both the organizational and broader community levels as a hospital navigates local culture and politics in the context of a global pandemic. The presenters will then leverage the collective expertise of participants to propose solutions to the key challenges revealed in the case and apply the findings to situations within their communities. You will learn to build leadership capacity and problem-solving abilities while you dig into the importance of cross-sector collaboration in preparation for a crisis – and come to appreciate the importance of empathetic listening and mutual respect in preparing for and addressing a public health crisis. Participants will leave the workshop with tools for establishing credible relationships among fellow community leaders and for effectively giving and receiving difficult messages.


Teaming Up for Innovation: Improving Access to Care through Strategic Partnerships and Alliances

John T. Supplitt
, Senior Director, Field Engagement, Rural Health Services, American Hospital Association

Richard Allen
, Chief Executive Officer, Warren General Hospital
Carol Friesen, FHFMA, Chief Executive Officer, OSF Northern Region, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center
Rachelle H. Schultz, EdD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Winona Health

This workshop will explore how a variety of rural hospitals have leveraged partnerships and affiliations into their strategic direction to transform their organizations. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the importance of strategic partnerships with other health care organizations, the need for innovation in rural health care, and how to utilize data to drive long-term decision making and prioritization.