SPOKANE, Wash. — A two-day conference designed for a wide range of rural health care advocates will be March 21-22 at the WestCoast Grand Hotel at the Park in downtown Spokane.

The conference is presented by the Washington Rural Health Association and the Washington statewide Office of Rural Health including the Area Health Education Center, Washington State University, Spokane; Office of Community and Rural Health, Washington State Dept. of Health; University of Washington School of Medicine; Washington State University; and, Western Washington Area Health Education Center.

The Northwest Regional Rural Health Conference this year titled “Mission Possible” is designed to provide insight into continuing complex issues facing rural community health systems and is designed for community leaders, administrators, hospital board members, commissioners, providers, policy makers, public health professionals, medical librarians and others.

Featured topics include disaster preparedness, bio-terrorism, critical access hospitals, professional workforce issues, hospital and physician collaborations, cultural competency and rural health care access issues.

Dr. John Saultz, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University, will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers during the two lunches are Marcia Brand, director of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, and Steve Wilhide, executive director of the National Rural Health Association. Professional development contact hours are available.

A pre-conference workshop is planned for 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., March 20. “Using Telehealth to Improve Healthcare Delivery” will be held at the hotel. The workshop is sponsored by Inland Northwest Health Services. The registration fee is $40.

Registration also is required for the two-day conference. The registration fees range from $85-215. For all registration information, contact the Area Health Education Center WSU Spokane at (509) 358-7640, (800) 279-0705 or conference@wsu.edu.