Education event

2011 Rural Health Care Symposium
From paper to practice—shaping health care reform for rural communities

March 16 – 18, 2011
Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego

Act now:
Tuition savings deadline is March 8


Health care reform is now law, but the question of how to implement looms large. Why? Few regulations exist to help rural hospitals comply. How will reform play out? What can we do to help shape reform to better meet the needs of our rural communities?

This year’s annual event will take a penetrating look into the mandates of health care reform. The symposium will open with an examination of reform’s first year, where we stand now and what is coming down the pipeline. As the nation is turning its attention to integrated care models, many still question how this will take shape. We do know that the hospital and physician relationship remains key and that we’ll need to work together, now more than ever. Several sessions will explore this important topic. We’ll also hear from state leadership on the challenges and opportunities ahead under a new administration. Plus, sessions on meaningful use implementation, rural health policy and the annual CEO panel discussion round out the information-packed agenda.

Make plans today to join us as we explore options, share ideas and plan the pathway to successful health care reform implementation. 

Corporate Sponsors

On behalf of the California Hospital Association, we would like to thank our corporate sponsors for their support of the 26th annual Rural Health Care Symposium.

Platinum Sponsors:

  • HFS Consultants
  • State Office of Rural Health

Gold Sponsors:

  • EmCare

Silver Sponsors:

  • Anova Nexus Architects
  • California Association of Nurse Anesthetists (CANA)
  • Capital Program Management
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Executive Health Resource
  • Fidelis Partners
  • Healthcare Resource Group
  • Healthland
  • Pacific Hospital Management
  • Prognosis Health Information Systems
  • Siemens
  • Turner Construction Company
  • Wipfli LLP


Day One: Wednesday, March 16

12:00 – 5:00 pm
Symposium Check In/Registration

12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Pre-Conference Session
The Bottom Line of Electronic Health Record Implementation
Michael Bell, CPA, Partner in Charge, Spokane Region, Wipfli
By 2014, hospitals receiving Medicare and Medi-Cal payments will be required to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records. In this finance-based session critical access and PPS hospitals will learn how meaningful use will impact their operations and be given the tools needed to make a decision based upon the numbers. How to evaluate vendor and operating costs against the return of incentive payments will be outlined in detail. Strategies will be shared to maximize benefits and help avoid pitfalls. Ample time will be allowed for questions and for meeting one-on-one with hospitals to evaluate the cost and reimbursement of implementing meaningful use. (Click here to view statistical and other information to bring with you.)

3:00 – 5:00 pm
Rural Healthcare Center Advisory Board Meeting
The Rural Healthcare Center’s leadership conducts its first quarterly meeting of 2011. All symposium attendees are welcome to attend.

5:00 – 6:30 pm
Welcome Reception
Renew friendships and meet new colleagues at this informal event.

Day Two: Thursday, March 17

8:00 – 9:00 am
Symposium Check In/Registration

9:00 – 9:15 am
Opening and Welcome
Evan Rayner, Chair, Rural Healthcare Center Advisory Board and Chief Executive Officer, North Sonoma County Healthcare District; and Peggy Broussard Wheeler, Vice President, Rural Healthcare and Governance, California Hospital Association

9:15 – 10:30 am
Health Care Reform, Year One — Where We Stand Now

Anne McLeod, Senior Vice President, Health Policy, California Hospital Association
Listen to an up-to-the minute report on the status of reform’s key components, including integration opportunities, expanded coverage and California’s Health Benefit Exchange. Learn the details of California’s “Bridge to Reform” including who will receive coverage, the programs included and why rural hospitals are uniquely positioned to reap the benefits of the program. Real-time examples will be presented to demonstrate the potential impact on rural hospitals.

10:45 – 11:45 am
Physician Integration and Sustainable Health Care Delivery Models —
Financial Implications
James Daniel, Jr, JD, MBA, Partner, Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle, PC
Rural providers face unique operating challenges. Special rules apply for recruiting, retention, reimbursement and subsidized incentives in rural practice. This session will review existing strategies, but also forward-thinking practices that can be implemented now to position providers for accountable care. Learn about physician networks, anti-trust issues and special rules relating to rural hospital and physician relationships.

11:45 am – 1:00 pm
Hosted Luncheon

12:30 – 1:00 pm
Federal and State Policy Updates
C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO, California Hospital Association
In this annual update, participants will learn about CHA’s advocacy priorities for 2011 including the hospital fee program, physician alignment and seismic compliance. Insights into California’s new administration and efforts to resolve the state budget deficit will also be shared.

1:00 – 2:15 pm
Planning Ahead to Achieve Breakthrough Hospital Performance
Paul Moore, DPh, Senior Health Policy Advisor, Office of Rural Health Policy, Department of Health and Human Services
Rural hospitals are exempt from some aspects of public quality reporting — for now. But, it may not stay this way. This session will provide attendees with insight and strategies to motivate and encourage rural implementation of health care reformn now. Hospitals will learn about the value of participating in the voluntary Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project, and learn how process measurement may be used to improve patient care and outcomes in rural hospitals.

2:15 – 3:30 pm
Patient-Driven Leadership™
Brian Wong, MD, Chief Executive Officer, The Bedside Trust
What can our patients teach us about leadership? This session will explain how you can prepare for health care reform with Patient-Driven Leadership™ — a practice that connects how you lead to what matters most to patients. Participants will hear about what patients value and discover that hospital leadership, physicians and staff share the same view. Learn how to reprioritize leadership roles to create the conditions that promote patient trust and teamwork, and will inspire the entire organization.

3:45 – 4:45 pm
California Health and Human Services Agency — Meeting the Challenges Ahead
Diana Dooley, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS)
Listen to the newly-appointed secretary address the opportunities and challenges ahead for CHHS. Gain insight into the tough choices Ms. Dooley will face and how she plans to support the Governor’s goal to achieve a balanced budget.

5:00 – 6:30 pm
Exhibitor Fair and Reception
Meet with rural industry vendors displaying the latest products and services while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Day Three: Friday, March 18

7:30 – 8:30 am Breakfast Sessions (choose one)
Rural Health Clinic Update
Gail Nickerson, Director of Clinic Services, Adventist Health and founder of the California Association of Rural Health Clinics; and Sheree Kruckenberg, Vice President, Behavioral Health, California Hospital Association
Rural health clinic providers will network with their peers, hear an update on federal activities and discuss the California Association of Rural Health Clinics’ recent activities and plans for the coming year.

California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) Update
Raymond Hino, Chair, CCAHN Advisory Board and Chief Executive Officer, Mendocino Coast District Hospital; and Carolyn Bruce, Interim Chief Executive Officer, CCAHN and Chief Executive Officer, Western Healthcare Alliance
Critical access hospital members are encouraged to attend and hear an update of the Critical Access Hospital Flex Grant program and activities for the 2010 – 2011 grant year.

8:30 – 10:00 am
Annual CEO Panel Discussion
Moderator, Steven Rousso, MBA, MPA, Principal, HFS Consultants; Rural Chief Executive Officers John Friel, Oak Valley Hospital District; Lee Barron, Southern Inyo Hospital; and Michael Stewart, Barstow Community Hospital
Listen to your colleagues’ frank discussion of the impact of health care reform and other key issues on their operations. Hospital CEOs will share their successes and challenges on numerous topics including innovative health care delivery models, achieving board alignment, meaningful use implementation, and progress toward physician integration. Audience participation is encouraged for this candid, interactive session.

10:15 – 11:15 am
Transforming Care Through Meaningful Use — From Volume to Value
Jonah Frohlich, Managing Director, Manatt Health Solutions, and former Deputy Secretary, Health Information Technology, California Health and Human Services Agency
Health care reform will require more effective care transition, including better care coordination and treatment outcomes. Through the achievement of EHR meaningful use, providers will be able to securely exchange data and have more comprehensive information to support decision making and improve treatment options. This session will explain how to start process, who to involve and obstacles to avoid.

11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Panel Discussion — Reprioritizing the Executive Role Through Patient-Driven Leadership™
Brian Wong, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Carol Scofield, The Bedside Trust; and Kevin Erich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital
Listen to rural leadership share their experiences as they worked to improve hospital and physician relationships. Learn how, through building trust and role clarity, they achieved greater alignment, not only of the medical staff, but also the board and workforce. Increased patient satisfaction, census and bottom line were also benefits of the leadership’s efforts.

12:30 – 2:00 pm Post-Conference CAH Session
California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) Membership Meeting
Raymond Hino, Chair, CCAHN Advisory Board and Chief Executive Officer, Mendocino Coast District Hospital; and Carolyn Bruce, Interim Chief Executive Officer, CCAHN and Chief Executive Officer, Western Healthcare Alliance
Join your critical access hospital colleagues to learn about CCAHN activities and plans for the coming year.


Rancho Bernardo Inn is the site of this year’s event. Located 30 minutes north of San Diego International Airport, the Inn provides the perfect atmosphere for learning and leisure. Take a stroll through the gardens, plan a spa treatment, or play a round of golf at the 18-hole championship course located just steps away from your room. Many top attractions are close by including world-famous San Diego Zoo and Sea World.

Deadline to secure accommodations was February 22, however rooms may still be available at a discounted rate of $175, single or double occupancy. For reservations call (800) 542-6096 and mention the “California Hospital Association” to inquire about the special rate.

Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Resort & Spa
17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive
San Diego, CA 92128
Phone: (858) 675-8500

Reservations: (800) 542-6096
Directions to the Rancho Bernardo Inn


Register by March 8 and save

Members $425
Nonmembers $550
Registrations received after March 8, add $100

Tuition includes reception, luncheon, program materials and CEs.

To register, click the address below the blue bar, on the right side of this page.

A confirmation will be sent to all registrants who register at least one week in advance. Directions and parking information will be included.

Cancellation Policy/Late Payment:
A $75 nonrefundable processing fee will be retained for each cancellation. Cancellations must be made in writing seven or more business days prior to the scheduled session and faxed to (916) 552-7506. No refunds will be made after these dates. Substitutions are encouraged. Please note: payment is due one day prior to the program. Payments not received by the seminar date may be subject to an additional 10% late fee.

Continuing Education

Full attendance at the educational sessions is a prerequisite for receiving continuing education. Attendees must sign in at the symposium and include their professional license number, if required. Certificates of attendance will be e-mailed after the conference.

Health Care Executives: CHA is authorized to award 2 pre-conference hours and 8.75 conference hours of preapproved Category II (non-ACHE) continuing education credit for this program toward the advancement, recertification or reappointment in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Nursing: Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #C.E.P.11924, for 2.4 pre-conference Contact Hours and 10.5 conference Contact Hours.


Do you have a product or service of interest to rural hospitals? This annual conference is an opportunity to reach California rural hospital executives all in one place. There are many ways to participate. Choose your level.

Click here for more information.

Contact Lisa Sbragia Hartzell at (916) 552-7502 or

2011 Platinum Sponsors



2011 Gold Sponsor


2011 Silver Sponsors

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2011 Exhibitors to Date Include:

  • Access Hardware Supply
  • Amerinet
  • Anova Nexus Architects
  • C3O Medical
  • CAHHS, Unemployment Insurance Division
  • California Association of Nurse Anesthetists (CANA)
  • CalHIPSO
  • California Hospital Political Action Program
  • Capital Program Management
  • CEJKA Search
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Childs Mascari Warner Architects
  • Concerro
  • EmCare
  • Executive Health Resources
  • Fidelis Partners, Inc./Medestar
  • Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Healthcare Design Solutions
  • Healthcare Resource Group
  • Healthland
  • HFS Consultants
  • Hudson Healthcare
  • ILYM Consulting Group
  • Innerface Architectural Signage
  • Lincoln Financial Advisors
  • Modular Services Company
  • NORCAL Mutual Insurance
  • Office of Statewide Planning
  • Pacific Companies
  • Pacific Hospital Management (PHM)
  • Polycom, Inc.
  • Prognosis Health Information Systems
  • Shared Imaging
  • Siemens
  • Turner Construction Company
  • West-Com Nurse Call Systems, Inc.
  • Wipfli LLP


Click here to view attendees.