President's PerspectiveLast week, more than 600 individuals came together in Rapid City to attend the Annual Convention. This year’s event had many important components, including amazing keynote speakers, educational sessions, advocacy updates, and celebrating colleagues for outstanding service and excellence.

In addition, there were numerous opportunities to renew past friendships, enjoy great food, fellowship and fun! As we return home to our daily roles, it seems fitting to share some reflections from the three-day event.

The event began on Tuesday afternoon when more than 60 golfers gathered to participate in the annual golf tournament held at the Golf Club at Red Rock.  On Wednesday morning, a special Trustees Boot Camp session was held.  Overall, the conference included more than 80 educational sessions.

Opening keynote speaker Ben Nemtin shared an inspirational story when he joined with three college friends to answer the question: “What do you want to do before you die?” Their journey to explore this question began when they collectively developed a “bucket list” of nearly impossible must-do items that later became an inspiration for people around the world to unbury the life they want to live!

Speakers Nicole Fallon, LeadingAge, and Erik Rasmusson, American Hospital Association (AHA), shared perspectives for “what’s ahead for health care” related to legislative and regulatory issues, and Professor Richard Brynteson, PhD, shared an interesting presentation on the applications and contributions possible related to behavioral economics.

We were thrilled to have Dr. Cara James, Director, Office of Minority Health and Co-Chair, Rural Health Council, CMS, speak at the convention.  Also, Dr. James, Kerrie Cornejo, Policy Analyst, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and Diane Moll, Deputy Regional Administrator, CMS Denver Office, spent significant time in the state and felt the visits at the Pine Ridge Reservation and Wagner Community were invaluable! Thanks to your assistance, coordination and hospitality, they were able to see firsthand the challenges and opportunities that are part of the delivery of health care services for diverse populations in rural/frontier areas and experienced a warm and gracious welcome from everyone involved.

Health care futurist and best-selling author, Nicholas Webb, presented fascinating information about how the four powerful “shifts” occurring today, patient consumerization, economy, connection, and disruption shifts, will completely change how organizations drive future strategy and innovation.  In addition, a number of presentations were available to address the challenging workforce shortage issues and advancing quality integration and population health strategies 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 SDHAO PAC “Luau” featured great food and fellowship along with drawing the grand prize travel voucher for a trip to Hawaii.  Congratulations to winners, Scott Larson (travel voucher) and Jean Ewalt (hand-made quilt)!  Many thanks to everyone who purchased raffle tickets, raising more than $13k!

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 once again helped make the annual convention a success!