SPOKANE – The Northwest Regional Rural Health Conference – incorporating Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska – is celebrating it’s 20th year. The Northwest’s largest conference on rural health will host more than 250 health care professionals on March 22 and 23 at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane, Wash.

“For 20 years, the Rural Health Conference has been the place to be for northwest rural health leaders and advocates to discuss issues, learn best practices and share success stories,” said Jeanette Weyrich, chair of the NW Regional Rural Health Conference. “This conference is essential to the ‘rurals’ who are a tight knit group of health care professionals that work diligently to serve their communities.”

“Balancing the Tensions – Do No Harm” is the conference theme.  The conference will focus on the balancing act of working relationships in healthcare with the common goal of doing no harm.  The conference strives to stay abreast of the current policy and regulation developments impact healthcare delivery at the federal, regional, state and local levels. 

Keynote speakers and topics include:
– Alan Morgan, “The National Rural Policy Landscape”: CEO, National Rural Health Association.
– Mary C. Selecky, “From the Country to the Capitol”: Secretary of Health, Washington State Department of Health.
– Emily Friedman, “Trust as a Treasure”: Independent Health Policy and Ethics Analyst.

Concurrent session topics include prescription abuse; managing chronic disease in rural communities; fighting the outward migration of rural physicians; as well as safe, quality patient care; emergency communications for remote and minority populations; and cultural competency. The conference is designed to be of interest to a wide range of rural health advocates including providers, community leaders, administrators, board members, commissioners, policy makers, public health professionals and others.

Registration is required to attend the two-day conference and preferred by March 9. Fees range from $125-$245.

For registration information or to download a copy of the conference brochure, go to www.ahec.spokane.wsu.edu or contact the Eastern Washington Area Health Education Center, WSU Extension at (509) 358-7640, 800-279-0705 or ahec@wsu.edu.

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

Conference sponsors include: Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts; Red Capital and The Neenan Company; Core Medical Imaging, Inc.; Parker Smith Feek; Qualis Health, WA & ID; and Washington Casualty Company.