During the month of September, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) will be throwing not one, but two conferences on the Missouri side of Kansas City. The 2018 NRHA Rural Health Clinic Conference will begin first on Tuesday, September 25 and run until the evening of Wednesday, September 26.
The 2018 NRHA Critical Access Hospital Conference will begin Wednesday, September 26 at 11: 45 a.m. and end on Friday at 10:45 a.m., so there will be some crossover between the NRHA’s fastest-growing pair of events!
Whether you’re planning to visit both conferences or just one, here’s some strategies to get the most out of your time in K.C. and ensure you leave some room for barbeque, too.
It’s worth reminding yourself what you’d like to get out of this event. What events, persons or sessions would you like to see, meet, or attend to consider your time well-spent in Kansas City? Whatever your answer, strategize in advance or reach out to colleagues who you’d like to see while there.
Scan the conference schedules ahead of time and orient your schedule around whatever sessions, panels or events are your top priority. From there, create an itinerary that will act as your own personalized conference schedule. Be sure to leave some time for networking and chatting with your fellow attendees as well.
Whether on the plane or in the hotel room, take some time to review any recent news in the rural health landscape. Scroll through your favorite health news resources for a refresher, or scroll through the NRHA’s weekly newsletter archive to see what industry news and announcements caught their attention. Do a little homework and get up to speed on some of the topics at the event, such as what is going on nationally with legislation or physician compensation models.
Always the heart of the conference, the Exhibit Hall is an ideal locale to purposefully wander. Even if you don’t have time mapped off on your personalized schedule, take a few laps and strike up a conversation with a few of the rural health exhibitors in the exhibit hall. What do you see most impacting rural health? What challenge keeps you up at night? How are you focused on helping rural facilities? Use this opportunity to stop by the MEDHOST podcast booth to talk about topics and industry trends happening in rural health care!
If you’re dialed into social media, go ahead and follow the NRHA on Twitter or Facebook. This might prove useful in the days leading up to the conferences, as well as during if there are any last-minute schedule changes or important announcements you won’t want to miss.
Each year, the NRHA names the “Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals (CAH)” from a larger set of the Top 100 CAH that is evaluated and produced by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. It’s well worth your time to not only peruse the guidelines for which the top 20 are chosen but, if possible also attend the ceremony on the final day of the Critical Access Hospital Conference on Friday, September 28.
With these strategies in tow, be sure to take advantage of the many educational sessions and networking opportunities available as you prep to meet with the clinic and hospital professionals serving rural America.