What do six-time NBA Champion Pat Riley, former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy and influential author and physician executive Bob Wachter, M.D., have in common?

All three have valuable leadership lessons they'll share with hospital execs at the Health Forum and American Hospital Association’s Leadership Summit starting Sunday in San Diego. It'll be the 24th annual Summit, and this year’s theme is “Empowering Leaders Driving Health Care’s Transformation.” The conference gives hospital leaders from across the country a chance to unite with other big thinkers, share ideas and build on the innovation they’re already undertaking in the field, says Maryjane Wurth, the AHA’s chief strategy and relationship officer and president and CEO of Health Forum, this magazine’s parent company.

This will be my fourth time at the Summit and my Hospitals & Health Networks colleagues Genevieve Diesing and Matt O'Connor will join me to post blogs and videos with the most fascinating people, eye-opening insights and practical takeaways we come across every day. Watch for our dispatches right here in H&HN Daily this coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

There always seems to be a special buzz about this meeting. As Wurth says, "Health care is something that touches everyone and it is being discussed at a national level as a priority. At the event, innovations are discussed, advances in care are shared for the first time with an eager audience and all of this combines with colleagues interacting in a personal way. To me buzz comes naturally from that.”

Other keynote speakers — most of whom bring fresh perspectives on leadership from outside health care’s traditional circles — include author and New York Times columnist David Brooks, CBS News’ "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan, and columnist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria. A series of educational sessions will be hosted by health care experts on themes ranging from consumerism to new payment and risk-management strategies, from advancing population health to leveraging technology and data analytics.

If there's one thing Wurth hopes hospital leaders will come away with from the Summit, it’s that “change may be the norm, but there is no limit to the tools available to support your work and the work of the organization.”

“As hospital leaders are looking to redefine the ‘H,’ we must help to give them the tools needed to make those changes,” she says. “Hospitals and health systems are at the center of health care reform and those who lead and work within those organizations are central for this reform. The Summit is a chance to bring those leaders together with others within health care to share ideas, learn how to build on the strong work they are doing and drive innovations in performance improvement.”