President's PerspectiveLast week, more than 700 individuals gathered in Sioux Falls to attend the SDAHO Annual Convention. This year’s event was special. To be certain, we were there to attend important educational sessions, receive advocacy updates and to recognize colleagues for outstanding service and excellence. But, we were also there to renew past friendships, enjoy food and fellowship and have some fun celebrating 90 years of caring, advocacy and impact. As we settle back into our communities and resume our roles, it seems fitting to take a moment to share some reflections from the three-day event.

The conference included more than 70 educational sessions. Opening keynote speaker and “Blackhawk Down” U.S. Army Ranger Keni Thomas recounted his gripping story about experiences in battle and weaved in an inspiring message about the importance of knowing your role as a member of a team and how everyone is responsible for being a leader, regardless of rank or position.

Speaker Ciaran Staunton, whose son, Rory, died in 2012 after developing sepsis from an elbow scrape in gym class, shared his family’s tragic story and how it has developed into a mission of raising awareness related to one of the deadliest threats to children in the world.

Health care technology expert Dr. Aaron Carroll gave a perplexing presentation sharing statistical information which indicates both the challenges and opportunities associated with the health care system and outcomes in the United States.

Generational guru Anne Loehr presented fascinating information related to emotional intelligence (EQ) to help address the challenging workforce shortage issue we face, and health care quality leaders Laura Adams and Dr. Tom Evans shared insights related to transforming clinical practice in pursuit of the “triple aim.” We trust there was something for everyone, with each session containing valuable aspects that you can take home and utilize to improve overall performance.

The gala event, featuring the Spazmatics, offered the opportunity to enjoy food, fellowship and fun as members danced to the music from the ‘80s generation. A good time was had by all!

In closing, we offer a sincere congratulation to this year’s Distinguished Service Award and Affiliate Award recipients and appreciation for our many sponsors and exhibitors who help make this annual event possible.

Here’s to the next decade of caring, advocacy and impact … when we will celebrate our centennial!