Special Events

Sunday | Monday | Tuesday

Sunday, February 2


AHA Design and Dissemination Studio Event to Inform and Improve Rural Health Research: Sunday, February 2

This invitation-only experience from the Collaborative for Rural Primary care Research, Education, and Practice aims to make research more community-centered and culturally-relevant with a focus on rural hospital-relevant research topics. The Sunday, February 2nd from 12:30-3:30 pm event features Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, Director of the University of MN Rural Health Research Center, who will solicit input from key informants on financial, workforce, and clinical safety challenges for providing obstetrical care in rural communities. Davis Patterson, PhD, Deputy Director, WWAMI Rural Health Research Center seeks reaction to a Rural PREP study on the value of rural residency training for family physicians. 

Separate registration through Rural PREP is required and travel allowances are available. Contact rprep@uw.edu for more information and to learn how to participate.

Monday, February 3


Hot Topic Roundtable Discussions | 12:30 - 2:00 pm

Grab lunch and join a roundtable discussion group for facilitated conversation on thorny issues and current topics in rural health care. Share what’s working well in your organization and gain others’ advice on your challenges. We’ll address a variety of topics including health disparities in rural women, attracting and retaining great employees, innovative models to engage communities, and creating expert teams.


Networking Reception | 5:30 - 7:00 pm


The perfect way to end the first day of Rural — renew relationships, network with colleagues, and visit with Sponsors.


Tuesday, February 4


Business Briefing: Understanding and Successfully Navigating the USDA Community Facilities Loan Program | 3:15 - 4:15 pm

Ralph Castillo, Chief Executive Officer, Morgan Medical Center
Alan Richman, President and CEO, InnoVative Capital LLC
Anita Lopez, Asset Risk Coordinator, Rural Development, USDA

Learn how a critical access hospital successfully reengineered itself and procured a 2.375%, fully-funded $35 million USDA Direct Loan. Learn directly from USDA about new developments in the Community Facilities RD Program that may impact hospital decision making when considering a capital project. This session will examine how MMC procured various types of external credit support to enhance its loan underwriting, while working through all aspects of the national, state and local-based USDA loan process. Topics to be covered will include the development and financing process, the construction and permanent loan, as well as new developments at USDA.


Recreation and Rejuvenation

Desert Nature Hike | 3:30 – 6:00 pm

Nature lovers and exercise enthusiasts of all levels will enjoy this scenic hike through the South Mountain Preserve. Knowledgeable guides will direct hikers and provide commentary on plant and animal life as well as the history of the area.


Shopping Excursion | 3:30 – 7:00 pm

Enjoy access to two of Arizona’s premier shopping destinations. Fashion Square is Scottsdale’s largest mall, offering the very best in every category. Old Town Scottsdale is a Wild West-themed enclave filled with period buildings, covered sidewalks and shops showcasing Native American jewelry and Western art and clothing.

Bus transportation is included in the $10 fee.


Plan a Retreat for Your Leadership Team or Governing Board

The Conference offers an excellent opportunity for your team or governing board to meet in a retreat setting with select conference faculty or other facilitators. Contact Laura Woodburn at lwoodburn@aha.org for more information.