It's that time of year. The 2014 Leadership Summit will be here before you know it and, once again, we have a fantastic program of renowned keynote speakers who will motivate and inspire us as we tackle this year's theme: "Health Care and Hospitals in Transformation — Early Results from the Front Lines." Across the country, leaders are stepping up to the challenge of change. Transformation is underway and the Summit is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to learn how to lead in a time of high change from our stellar keynoters:

Robert M. Gates, secretary of defense, 2006–2011. Gates served under two presidents and knows a thing or two about the global context of change. His insights on national security issues, here and abroad, will be a great kickoff for the Summit. The secretary will provide a unique perspective on how top leaders deal with the toughest issues in times of fundamental transformation.

Adrian Slywotzky, partner, Oliver Wyman, and author of Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It. Slywotzky is a nationally recognized strategist who specializes in helping organizations unlock value in times of transformation. He will share his groundbreaking ideas about how demand can change and how to create value growth for the future. As health care transforms from volume to value, his thinking will be extremely timely and helpful.

Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author and staff writer for The New Yorker. Back by popular demand, Gladwell is a legend in helping us all think differently about the world around us. Drawing on his latest bestseller David and Goliath, Gladwell will share with us how the misfits and outliers often battle giants successfully. He has a gift for telling stories through the written and spoken word that is unmatched. You will learn and you will be entertained.

Peyton Manning, Super Bowl-winning quarterback and five-time NFL Most Valuable Player. Few athletes are as beloved and respected as Manning, who embodies leadership on and off the field. His insights on how to deal with success and adversity in the big games will be inspiring. A respected and committed philanthropist, he has a special interest in disadvantaged youth and in improving the health and health care of children.

Cokie Roberts, political commentator, ABC News and National Public Radio. Roberts brings vast experience of the Washington scene from her 40 years in journalism. A true D.C. insider, she will provide her perspective on upcoming elections and political battles thatinevitably will have huge implications on health care, no matter what the outcome.

Benjamin Carson, M.D., renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and New York Times best-selling author. Carson is a globally acclaimed neurosurgeon, whose own journey is testimony to hard work, perseverance, self-reliance and smart choices. He will draw on his life and work to help us understand how we can create a better future for ourselves and our health care system.

In addition, the Summit offers educational tracks with nationally recognized thinkers and doers. As always, I will be your guide to help make connections to our theme of transformation and to share stories from health care's frontlines.

Ian Morrison is an author, consultant and futurist. He will serve as synthesizer of the Health Forum and AHA Leadership Summit.

News from the AHA

Hospitals make quality strides, save 15,000 lives, $4.1 billion

Hospitals have reduced early elective deliveries by 65 percent, ventilator-associated pneumonia by 53 percent, pressure ulcers by 25 percent, patient falls by 15 percent, venous thromboembolisms by 13 percent and Medicare 30-day readmissions by 8 percent since 2010, Health & Human Services reported in May. The measures are among the 10 patient safety focus areas of the national Partnership for Patients, which includes the AHA's Health Research & Educational Trust Hospital Engagement Network. HHS estimates the improvements announced in May prevented 560,000 health care-acquired conditions and saved 15,000 lives and $4.1 billion.

Study shows importance of DSH

Hospitals provided an estimated $44.6 billion in uncompensated care in 2013, which was offset by nearly $17 billion in Medicare and Medicaid Disproportionate-Share Hospital payments, according to a study published in Health Affairs. The Affordable Care Act is scheduled to reduce Medicaid DSH funding by 50 percent and Medicare DSH funding by 28 percent by 2019, although 25 states still have not opted to expand Medicaid coverage under the law, the study notes. "Given the importance of the Medicare and Medicaid payments in helping to defray providers' uncompensated care costs, it will be critical to monitor how the ACA-mandated cutbacks in DSH funding will affect hospitals — which, according to our cost estimates, provided about 60 percent of uncompensated care in 2013," the authors conclude.

A leadership team for the future

For its report, "Building a Leadership Team for the Health Care Organization of the Future," the AHA and consulting firm Spencer Stuart surveyed senior hospital executives and interviewed more than two dozen leaders in the field about the ways health care organizations are responding to changes within the field and building the teams needed to achieve their strategic priorities. Visit