WHO? The top rural health leaders, speakers and board members from across America
WHAT? AHA–Health Forum Rural Health Care Leadership Conference
WHERE? Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix
WHEN? February 9–12, 2014
WHY? For the past 26 years, it has been the place to be for cutting-edge and timely information, discussion and debate of the most pressing issues facing rural health care.

There are so many reasons I make the trip to the warmth of Phoenix every winter for the best rural health gathering in the country. First, it has become a great way for my board members not only to get the education they need to be on top of the growing complexities of health care governance, but also it serves as a planning trip. With typically five or six board members, we have a critical mass allowing for wonderful discussion about what we are hearing from the speakers and the opportunity to compare notes with other trustees.

Second, I go because the Health Forum team has created so many different ways to learn, interact and engage in a conference that keeps on delivering year after year. Given the multiday format, I find that the level of interaction with speakers, Health Forum staff and attendees is unparalleled. From preconference workshops to excellent keynote speakers; breakout sessions for in-depth discussions to more informal hot-topic roundtables; plus networking opportunities to an exhibit hall with vendors focused on the unique needs of rural health care providers — the fact is, this conference has it all.

Finally, I make the trip to Phoenix for the sun. By the time February rolls around, I'm about ready for winter to be over, and a little sunny respite is just what I need to tide me over until spring makes it to Iowa. The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs is an awesome and affordable resort — the perfect setting for this retreatlike conference.

Health care clearly is moving through one of the most challenging times in history. At our annual board planning retreat this past September, we had a hard time setting priorities. The reality is that the very foundation of our health care system is shifting and everything is a priority! JFK once said, "Change is the law of life." This conference is designed to help you navigate the fundamental changes going on in health care today. So, mark your calendars and come join me and all the other health care leaders who have made the AHA–Health Forum Rural Health Care Leadership Conference a must-do each year. More than 600 leaders did just that last year!

WHO? You
WHAT? Best rural health care conference in the world
WHERE? The warm Desert Southwest
WHEN? Winter 2014
WHY? Because you won't want to miss it!

Todd Linden is president and CEO of Grinnell (Iowa) Regional Medical Center and a member of the Health Forum board of directors.

News from the AHA

The place to go for critical information on ICD-10

The AHA Central Office in January will shift its focus to ICD-10 as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepare for the rollout of the new medical coding system that launches Oct. 1, 2014. The official U.S. clearinghouse on medical coding for the proper use of ICD-10-CM/PCS, the Central Office provides frequent updates on news that hospital coders need to know as they prepare for the rollout, as well as essential definitions, timelines and resources. Visit www.ahacentraloffice.org.

Hospitals can still encourage enrollment in marketplaces

Coverage takes effect Jan. 1 for Americans who have signed up for health care coverage through the health insurance marketplaces. But hospitals and other stakeholders can continue to make the enrollment as accessible as possible for eligible individuals yet to sign up. Hospital representatives can find AHA, national and state resources on the association's Web page at www.aha.org.

AHA, Joining Forces urge hospitals to hire veterans

The AHA supports Joining Forces, a national initiative to encourage the hiring of U.S. veterans. The AHA is teaming up with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Department of Defense, state licensing and accrediting bodies and others to provide hospitals with resources to reach out to the vets. Visit www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces.

Nurse executives to meet in Orlando in March

The American Organization of Nurse Executives will hold its annual conference in Orlando, Fla., March 12–15. In addition to educational sessions and continuing nursing education credit, it will feature talks by Jason Hwang on distruptive innovation; Sen. Olympia Snowe; and Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander, co-author of The Art of Possibility. Visit www.aone.org/annual-meeting.