Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association outlines ways you can educate policymakers about how changes to current health care laws will affect their constituents’ health care. Among the ways you can do that is by attending the AHA Annual Membership Meeting from May 7 to 10. Also, AHA.org offers updates, analysis and tools in a number of areas for both novices and experts.

Nurse hospitalists, violence, immersion

Hospital leaders looking for ways to ease the rounds-making burden of their physicians but who find themselves in a situation in which a hospitalist program seems out of reach should take a look at the cover story. There, you can read about how more small- and medium-size hospitals — often in rural areas — are using nurse practitioners as hospitalists, and doing so in innovative ways.

You can find a Q&A with the University of Chicago Medicine’s Selwyn Rogers Jr., who is heading an effort to build an adult Level I trauma center on the violence-plagued South Side of Chicago.

Another good read is an inside look at how one hospital immersed its trustees — and others — in its operations for a day or more, giving board members, community stakeholders and journalists a taste of what hospital clinicians and staffers do on any given day.

Santamour stepping down

Finally, you may be wondering what the heck happened to Bill Santamour, H&HN’s executive editor, who normally writes in this space. He underplayed his retirement announcement in his final column for us last month, which is why we were forced to spell it out to you this month:

Bill has left the building.Bill-santamour-sendoff

We will sorely miss him as an editor, writer and friend. I can’t speak for his 21 years here, but in the four years I’ve worked with him, he has exhibited an attitude that might be called optimistic skepticism: Santamour tends to view things in a positive light, but he also can’t stop himself from identifying what is wrong, newspaper veteran that he is.

In addition, the proud Penn State grad was professional, kind and thoughtful, and loves chocolate, Red Bull and his Schnoodle Roxie.

As a result of his move, you likely will see different faces in this space going forward. This is a good time for you to let us know what you like about H&HN and what we might do differently. As part of that, let us know your thoughts about the case studies that have been added to some of the feature stories this month. Send your notes — as well as any well wishes for Bill — to my email address: pbarr@aha.org.