2021 Schedule

Friday | Wednesday | Thursday

Check back as we continue to add sessions!
Click on the session title to be taken to the description.


Friday, February 12
3:00 – 4:00 pm CT


Participants will have the chance to network virtually and engage in guided conversations on topics in rural health. Stop by to say hello to colleagues from rural hospitals across the country, meet our sponsors, and get excited for the conference.
Sponsored by: Phillips

Wednesday, February 17
10:00 – 10:30 am CT


10:45 – 11:30 am CT


Solving for Why: Lessons on Life, Work and the Transformative Power of Purpose
Mark Shrime, MD, O'Brien Chair of Global Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland and lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

11:45 am – 12:30 pm CT


COVID-19 Highlights the Value of Value in Rural Communities
Mandy Reed, Director, Operations, Virtual Health, Spectrum Health; Carrie Saia, CEO, Holton Community Hospital; Karen Titchener, Director of Strategic Development, Huntsman at Home, University of Utah Health; Jeanie Youngwerth, MD, Director of Palliative Care, University of Colorado Hospital; Leslie Marsh, CEO, Lexington Regional Hospital; and Christina Campos, Administrator, Guadalupe County Hospital

Inoculating Rural America: What COVID-19 has Taught Us
Michelle Hood, Executive Vice President/COO, American Hospital Association; Ruby Kirby, CEO, West Tennessee Healthcare Bolivar Hospital; Tamara Miller, CEO, Madison Regional Health System; Vicki Began, RN, CEO, San Carlos Apache Healthcare; and Terry Scoggin, CEO, Titus Regional Medical Center

12:45 pm – 1:30 pm CT


Preserving Local Access to Care in Rural Communities
Kris Doody, CEO, Cary Medical Center and chair of the AHA Future of Rural Health Care Task Force; Benjamin Anderson, MBA, MHCDS, Vice President for Rural Health and Hospitals, Colorado Hospital Association; and Rachelle Schultz, EdD, President/CEO, Winona Health

Is Your Rural Board Prepared for Constant Disruption?
Kimberly Russel, Russel Advisors

How Rural Hospitals Drive Optimal Financial Reimbursement & Quality Performance in Today’s Environment
Angie Curry, Client Services Manager, Nuance Healthcare

1:45 – 2:30 pm CT


The #1 Governance Unmentionable: Succession Planning for the Rural Board
Kimberly Russel, Russel Advisors and Rebekah Mussman, CEO, RuralMed Management Resources

Preparing Your Culture for an Unforeseeable Future: Culture as a Strategic Imperative
Joel Beiswenger, President & CEO, Tri-County Health Care and Joe Tye, CEO & Head Coach, Values Coach Inc.

Improving Access to Behavioral Health Services – The Important Role of a Trustee
Bill Menner, Founder, The Bill Menner Group, and Executive Director, Iowa Rural Health Association and Jennifer Havens, CEO, UnityPoint Health-Grinnell Regional Medical Center

Unlocking Disparities with Data-driven Improvement Strategies
Sarah Stewart de Ramirez, MD, VP, CMO, Clinical Innovation, OSF Health; Sara Karraker, LCSW, Manager of Quality, Safety and Operations Improvement, Passavant Area Hospital; Erika Procarione, Community Health Worker, Passavant Area Hospital; Lori Hartz, Community Relations and Benefit, Passavant Area Hospital; and Julie Kim, CPHQ, Performance Improvement Coach II, AHA Center for Health Innovation

Vaccine Distribution: Building Connections and Trust

Growth of the APP Role in the Rural Setting for Service Line Expansion and Cost Savings
Cameron Byers, PA-C, Vice President of Clinical Services, Rural Physicians Group

Pharmacy Performance in a Pandemic: Key Steps to Ensure Success
Chuck Ball, President, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services

2:45 – 3:30 pm CT
3:45 – 4:30 pm CT


Rural Hospitals Teaming Up for Shared Expertise, Resources and Scale
Konnie Martin, CEO, San Luis Valley Health; Steve Simonin, CEO, Iowa Specialty Hospital; Kelley Evans, CEO, Beartooth Billings Clinic; and Todd Linden, President, Linden Consulting and CEO Emeritus, Grinnell Regional Medical Center

Paradigm Shift: Why Board Education has Changed Forever and What to Do About It
Rachelle Schultz, EdD, President/CEO, Winona Health; Jeffery Adler, CEO, iProtean; and Pamela Knecht, President, ACCORD LIMITED

Thursday, February 18
9:15 – 10:00 am CT


Each of our rural experience Affinity Groups will offer roundtable discussion sessions during this time. Attendees are welcome to join any session.


10:00 – 10:45 am CT


AHA Washington Update
Travis Robey, Senior Associate Director, Federal Relations, American Hospital Association; Joanna Hiatt Kim, VP of Payment Policy and Analysis, American Hospital Association; and Tom Nickels, EVP, Government Relations and Public Policy, American Hospital Association

11:00 – 11:45 am CT


Innovation, Artificial Intelligence and Rural Hospitals
Jason Cohen, MD

Improvements in Care Management and Chronic Disease Self-management, Stress and Social Isolation
Cindy Esser, BSN, MBA, MHA, Director Emerging Technologies and Knowledge Management, Butler Health System; Kathy Selvaggi, MD, Medical Director, Division of Palliative Care, Butler Health System; and Erin Stewart, BSN, Program Director HRSA Grant, Butler Health System

Pivoting in a Pandemic with Value-Based Care Strategies
Tim Gronniger, CEO & President, Caravan Health; Marcus Lewis, CEO, First Care Health Center; and Naomi Clancy, MD, Medical Director, Gila Health Resources

12:00 – 12:45 pm CT


Setting and Achieving Organizational Goals: The Role of Governance and Leadership
Jane McLeod, Principal/Co-Founder, Capstone Leadership Solutions, Inc., and Sue Tetzlaff, Principal/Co-Founder, Capstone Leadership Solutions, Inc.

Managing Cybersecurity Risk in Health Care: The Leader’s Role
John Riggi, Sr. Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk Advisory Services, American Hospital Association and a panel of experts from the field and from FBI Cyber Division

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

Pathways to Recovery: Re-imagining Leadership: A Pathway for Rural Health to Thrive in a COVID-19 World
Benjamin Anderson, Vice President, Rural Health and Hospitals, Colorado Hospital Association; Lauren Hughes, MD, State Policy Director, Farley Health Policy Center, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; Catherine Harshbarger, RN, BSN, Chief Executive Officer, Melissa Memorial Hospital; and William Cook, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vail Health

Health Equity and Rural Health
Kathleen A. Curran, Senior Director of Public Policy, Catholic Health Association

Leveling the Technology and Legislative Playing Field to Close Critical Capacity Gaps for Rural Health Care Providers
Nick Padula, VP, US Government Health, Philips Healthcare

1:00 – 1:45 pm CT


Compose Your World
Kai Knight, Composer and Musician

2:00 – 2:45 pm CT


The Pursuit of Professionalism: Every Day and Especially During a Crisis
Cindy Baldwin, Senior Associate, Department of Pediatrics, Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Gerald B. Hickson, MD, Joseph C. Ross Chair of Medical Education and Administration, Professor of Pediatrics, and Founding Director of the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Leadership in Crisis: A Case Study of St. Charles Health System Stepping in to Fill the Covid-19 Information Void
Joe Sluka, President and CEO, St. Charles Health System and James E. Orlikoff, President, Orlikoff & Associates, Inc.

3:00 – 3:45 pm CT


Improving Patient Care and Reducing Health Disparities through Cultural Competence
Candy Canga-Picar, Chief Nursing Officer, St. Charles Hospital Madras; Rebecca Dobert, Program Manager, Oregon Office of Rural Health; and Salamatu Barrie, Public Health Analyst, Health Resources and Services Administration, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy

Community Health Care Transformation: A Path to Recovery
Erika Sundrud, Vice President, Care Transformation, QHR Health