Last month, several months of dedicated work culminated in WSHA members coming together for two significant events. I had the opportunity to travel to D.C. with our members for the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Annual Meeting and congressional visits. It was inspiring to say the least. We had the opportunity to hear from top political leaders, including Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, and received perspective on the current landscape from political historian Jon Meacham and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
In total, 25 WSHA members attended, representing all 10 districts. I was moved to see WSHA members advocate for important issues, such as protecting insurance coverage expansion, and seeing powerful politicians engaged in understanding their perspectives. I left our congressional meetings feeling that Washington is well represented and our members’ voices are being heard.
After the AHA’s Annual Meeting, I returned to Washington State to attend the Rural and Public Hospital District CEO Retreat in Cle Elum. This was another event where WSHA facilitated members convening, this time to focus on the various leadership challenges that rural CEOs face. The retreat included interactive opportunities for CEOs to connect and share input and best practices. Discussions included building effective boards, rural investment opportunities, peer discussion on payment models, optimum use of data, safety culture and legislative updates.
Following these events, WSHA members again came together for the CEO & Trustee Safety & Quality Summit earlier this week. The summit was an opportunity for Washington and Oregon hospitals to discuss some of the most critical issues facing health systems today. Session topics included the behavioral health care crisis, the role of boards in safety and quality, workforce safety, the importance of patient perspectives and more. Feature speakers Dr. Travis Rieder and Sam Quinones offered different but equally compelling perspectives on the opioid epidemic.
At WSHA, we take pride in being able to offer our members opportunities to gather together and collaborate on the common goal of providing Washington residents with the highest quality health care. I look forward to future moments of partnership and connection, such as the 2019 Rural Hospital Leadership Conference and the 2019 Annual Member Meeting and Governance Day.