Hotel Information
Register to Attend
Make Hotel Reservations
Sponsor the Conference
2012 Awards

Register Online

Make Hotel Reservations

Tentative Conference Schedule

Sunday, April 15th

3:00 - 6:00 PM
2012 Board of Directors Retreat

6:30 - 8:00 PM
(guest tickets available for purchase during registration)

Monday, April 16th
7:00 AM
Registration Open

7:00 - 8:30 AM
Transformer Leadership Learning Community Breakfast
Mary Kay Chess, Ph.D. - for NCHN Leadership Learning Community participants only

7:30 - 8:15 AM
Networking Breakfast

8:30 - 9:20 AM
Exhibits Open


8:30 - 9:00 AM
NCHN Annual Membership Meeting (Carolyn Witherspoon, NCHN President)

8:30 - 9:15 AM
HRSA Network Development Grantees Meeting
(Leticia Manning, HRSA) for ORHP Grantees only

9:00 - 9:15 AM
NCHN Board of Directors Meeting (Carolyn Witherspoon, NCHN President)

9:30 - 11:30 AM

Keynote Presentation: Collaboration Strategies: From Brainstorming to Results!
moreCrista F. Benavidez
During this dynamic and interactive presentation, Crista F. Benavidez will share ready-to-apply collaboration techniques to help you accomplish more of your organizations goals. Be prepared to jump into the driver’s seat of your own success toward becoming a more effective health network professional.

By the end of this keynote presentation, conference participants will:

  • Receive information that emphasizes the “how” behind collaboration concepts
  • Learn the 10 Keys to creating a collaborative environment
  • Be able to identify the five elements that impact collaboration

Crista F. Benavídez is an internationally recognized speaker specializing in interpersonal communication, and organizational learning. Her subject offerings include: conflict management, personality/behavior styles, communicating with difficult people, customer service, communication diversity, and effective teaming. She holds a Master of Arts degree, with Distinction, in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technologies and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication and Spanish from the University of New Mexico.

» about Crista

Best Practice Sharing by NCHN Member: Improving Hospital Internal Communications
moreJason Friesen, KS
Case study on how the Pioneer Health Network partnered with two IT vendors to implement hospital intranets that include a variety of applications used to improve communication and efficiencies.

In 2011, the Pioneer Health Network Information Technology Roundtable identified the need for improving internal hospital communication through the use of local intranets. Nursing and ancillary departments have been requesting intranet functionality, but the small IT departments have been unable to accomplish it on their own so HospitalPortal was contacted.

» about Jason

11:45 AM - 1:15 PM
NCHN 4th Annual Awards Luncheon

1:30 - 3:00 PM

moreEngaged, Resilient: Network Board Members Working Together: Mary Kay Chess, Ph.D.
Network board members often wear several "hats": client or customer, interested community participant and, official member of the board. There is a saying in business that, "structure drives behavior". During this session, we'll recognize and celebrate the diverse perspectives held by board members. Through the creation of sound and effective board structures, these diverse member perspectives actually enrich strategic thinking and business planning. Come prepared to consider innovative business planning for your network board through structures that support full engagement and resilient work to meet the ever-changing needs in our unique communities.

» about Mary Kay

moreBest Practice Sharing: Keeping Your Board Committed: Steve Stoddard, ID
One of the critical success factors for any network is keeping its Board members committed and engaged with the organization.  Come learn about one network's experience with this important process.

The healthcare industry is facing some of its most challenging times ever with financial constraints through decreased reimbursement, increased government regulation and a major drive for improved quality and outcomes.  Networks can provide an important key of collaboration to help our members address these challenges.

In order for our networks to excel, we must have committed and active Board members.  This session will focus on ways to achieve and maintain a committed and active Board.  Attendees will learn about the experiences of the Southwest Idaho Community Health Network in working with its Board and get ideas of how to improve their Board participation and engagement.

» about Steve

Other NCHN Members: TBA

3:00 - 3:30 PM

3:30 - 5:00 PM
Network Best Practice Models & Resources for Health Networks

morePackaging the Message and Promoting the Mission
Jessica Walden, GA
Kathleen Ashley, GA
Understanding an organization's mission comes from a well-packaged communications strategy that includes print, video and active social media. Promote your mission through today's marketing mediums that make the most of your budget and let your audience know exactly what your organization is out to accomplish.

» about Jessica
» about Kathleen

moreSunflower Health Network Rural Recruitment
Heather Fuller, KS
The Sunflower Health Network offers a physician recruitment program to its 16 member hospitals.  The network employs a full time physician recruiter that focuses on the recruitment of both physicians and mid-levels.

In 2009, the Sunflower Health Network developed a physician recruitment program for its members.  The presentation will focus on the discussion and development of the program, the financial aspects, and the collaboration with medical schools and residency programs.  Lessons learned will also be discussed.

Attendees will learn:

  • Structure and development of a network physician recruitment program
  • Financial considerations and potential model
  • Challenges and tips to overcome challenges

» about Heather

moreCreate your own “Mystery Shopper” Program
Dave Johnson, WI
Provide a "value add" service to your Members by developing and managing a Mystery Shopper service. By using volunteers from your Member facilities, you can provide this service for little to no cost to your Members and give them an outcome that has an immediate, positive impact on their day to day operations.

Participants will:

  • learn about mystery shopping
  • receive examples of reporting instruments
  • learn how to manage "Shoppers"
  • have a model that they can implement for little to no cost to their Members

» about Dave

moreElectronic Resources & Tools for Health Networks
Holly Gabriel, RAC
This presentation will focus on low-cost ways to improve your health networks. The goal of the presentation is to help you make the most of your resources by sharing tools that are freely available online, including showcasing the newest tools from the Rural Assistance Center.

Learning Objectives:
1. Locate funding opportunities to provide health services
2. Calculate the economic impact of a health facility on the community
3. Identify free resources and model programs to assess and improve health networks

» about Holly

6:30 - 9:00 PM
Colorado Rockies Baseball Game at Coors Field
(guest tickets available for purchase during registration)

Tuesday, April 17th
7:30 - 8:30 AM
2012 President’s Breakfast

8:45 - 10:00 AM

Bringing it All Together through Business Planning
Buzz Davis, Davis & Associates
Eric Buckland, Oregon Rural Health Care Quality Network, OR
Toniann Richard, Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri, MO
moreAmy Forsyth-Stephens, Forsyth-Stephens Consulting, LLC
This interactive panel presentation will provide strategies and tools for successful network business planning, which leads to network sustainability. Business planning has been identified as one of the top issues facing networks. The panel discussion will include an overview of business planning and a framework model to facilitate business planning. NCHN members on the panel will discuss their networks’ business plan documents, how they were developed and how they are utilized in the management of the network. In addition, a seasoned grant writer will discuss the role of the Business Plan in seeking private foundation funding.

» about Buz
» about Eric
» about Toniann
» about Amy

10:00 - 10:25 AM
Last chance to visit!
Don't miss the sponsors!

10:30 - 11:50 AM
News from Washington, DC - Federal Update
(Rebecca Wilson, HRSA)
Flex Program and ORHP Update (Leticia Manning, ORHP)

12:00 - 1:00 PM
Networking Lunch
Roundtable Discussions, Best Practice Presentations Follow-Up

1:15 - 2:15 PM
Concurrent Sessions

Negotiating from a Position of Strengthmore
Don Tapella, Medical Recovery Services
Negotiation is frequently misunderstood as attempting to simply "get your own way", when in fact it is really helping others understand your position and respond in a favorable manner. This session will focus on helping to identify your actual need(s), how to communicate your position and ask for that need to be met.

Do you work with people? Do you manage a budget? Do you have to work within a budget? Then this negotiating skills session is for you. Whether you work with hospitals, physicians, departments, inside and/or outside vendors or insurance companies, this session will help you identify your position and teach you how to communicate that position in order to lower cost by negotiating greater discounts from vendors, better reimbursement from payers or even justify your budget.

By attending this presentation, participants will learn:

1) What is negotiation / what is NOT negotiation?
2) Who negotiates?
3) What is the result of a successful negotiation?
4) What leads to a successful negotiation?
5) What is leverage?
6) How is leverage utilized in negotiation?
7) What is your goal?
8) What is your position?
9) How to identify your position
10) Communicating your position
11) What is THEIR position
12) Analysis of their position
13) Arriving at a joint position
14) Going Forward.

» about Don

Network Sustainability through Viable Peer Networks
moreDaryl Bohlender, Western Healthcare Alliance
Western Healthcare Alliance is one of the premier healthcare networks, and has distinguished itself through unique sustainability ventures. WHA's viable peer networks are also unique in terms of the value they provide and the sustainable programs they have developed.

Attendees will learn about sustainable programs developed by Western Healthcare Alliance, with particular focus on peer networks and the ROI their members have realized.

» about Daryl

2:15 - 2:30 PM

2:30 - 3:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions

Diversity in Rural Health Networks – A Sustainability Strategy
moreToniann Richard, Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri
The HCC will present information on a diversified business plan that includes multiple revenue generating programs as well as grant development. Topics to be addressed include collaborating with Community Health Centers, Health Information Technology & Telemedicine and Access to Care.

HCC Has A Strong Mission: To provide leadership in securing comprehensive services across the continuum of care through collaborations with our network partners. We will present on the successes of our integrated network and share the tools we have used to achieve success over the last seven years.

With help from our Members, Executive Director and Executive Board, we've established a set of goals and objectives designed to lead the constituents we serve in securing continuum of care services throughout Lafayette County and surrounding areas. Additionally, these goals and objectives are the benchmark by which Lafayette County's success, and ours, will be measured. They include: Monitoring the availability and delivery of health care services, Ensuring that all residents are informed about available health and wellness services, Advocating for the individual, care provider and making an institutional commitment to the health of our citizens, Holding Lafayette County accountable for its commitment to the health of our citizens, Providing a unified voice for Lafayette County that will address health needs with agencies and governmental entities beyond our boundaries. We will meet these goals and objectives through the many voices that speak to us regarding their health needs, the right and responsibility of quality health, a systems approach to quality, holistic health care, accessible, equitable and quality health care services, a commitment to health education to improve mind, body and spirit,
the promotion of personal and organizational health care achievements, collaborations with those who share our values and goals, a pursuit of constructive change and innovation.

» about Toniann

Health Information Technology and Your Network – Bringing it All Together
Terry Hill, National Rural Health Resource Center
Sally Trnka, National Rural Health Resource Center
Jack King, Northcentral Montana Health Alliance
moreTim Cox, Executive Director, Northland Healthcare Alliance
Implementing electronic medical records is a daunting mandate that rural health care facilities face. Learn how you can add to your existing services to support your members with their successful implementation and attestation of Meaningful Use.

All rural health care facilities are faced with the enormous task of implementing electronic medical records in their facilities, and networks are perfectly positioned to support them with their implementation and attestation. While networks do not have to add an entirely new service line to provide this support, there are several strategies that can be executed at low-cost and low-energy that will provide significant value to the members.

This presentation will provide attendees with a snapshot of what the 40 federally funded Rural Health Information Technology Network Development Grantees are working on. Additionally, the presentation will feature a panel of rural network directors who are currently working to support their members with their HIT needs and participants will learn how they can best provide support to their members. Tools and resources will be provided. Presenters will also discuss how offering this type of support can add to the value statement of the network.

» about Terry
» about Sally
» about Jack
» about Tim

3:45 - 5:00 PM
Plenary Session

Going from Grants to moreGrand$ - Key Metrics of a Sustainable Network
Carolyn Bruce, Scot Mitchell, and Jessica Taylor, Western Healthcare Alliance, CO
What does “network sustainability” look like?  During this session, attendees will learn key benchmarking metrics for networks and network in small groups with fellow network leaders.

What are sustainable networks accomplished at? At the very least they have knowledgeable, visionary and respected leadership. They have board members who are dedicated to the success of the network and experienced in the appropriate roles of governance. Their value-added programs are well-received and utilized by their member organizations. Their financial strength is supported by steady streams of revenue and efficient operations.

Quit the worrying and move into action. In this session, you will learn key ideas and concepts of the self-sustainable network to put into place immediately upon your return into the office.

» about Carolyn
» about Scot
» about Jessica

6:00 - 8:00 PM
NRHA Exhibit Hall Reception at the Hyatt Regency Denver @ 650 15th Street

Wednesday, April 18th
7:30 - 8:00 AM
Networking Breakfast

8:00 - 9:30 AM
Welcome to 35th NRHA Annual Conference go
Keynote Speaker: TR Reid, Author, Lecturer
Reid has written several books, including the 2009 New York Times-bestseller, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.
(1 block from The Curtis @ Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center)

10:00 - 11:00 AM

Health Networks of the Future (Doing More, Better, for Less)
moreTim Size, Executive Director, Rural Wisconsin Hospital Cooperative
The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative is owned and operated by 34 rural hospitals. RWHC was started in 1978 with a twin mission of advocacy and shared services. Tim Size, RWHC's original executive director, will briefly describe RWHC and share a few of his ideas about the future of health networks. The second half of the session will be allocated to Q & A.

» about Tim Size

11:00 - 11:15 AM
Closing of NCHN Conference/Door Prizes 

11:30 AM - 12:20 PM
HRSA Network Development Grantees Meeting for ORHP Grantees only


Past Conference Reviews

Reasons to attend...

Our Sponsors

EMTS is a 2012 Conference Exhibitor » more about EMTS

Georgia Health Policy Center

Georgia Health Policy Center is a Conference Sponsor » more about GHPC

Healthcare Management, Member Partner and 2012 Exhibitor

Healthcare Management is a NCHN Member Partner and 2012 Conference Exhibitor » more about HCM


HospitalPortal.net is a 2012 Conference Exhibitor » more about HP.net


National Rural Health Resource Center is a 2012 Conference Advertiser » more about NRHRC

Rural Assistance Center logo

Rural Assistance Center is a 2012 Conference Exhibitor » more about RAC


Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative is a NCHN Member Partner and 2012 Conference Exhibitor » more about RWHC


TAG Healthcare Marketing is a NCHN Business Partner and 2012 Conference Exhibitor » more about TAG

View all sponsors...