Partnering for Solutions: A New Decade for Rural Health
August 2-3, 2010
High Country Conference Center
About the Conference
The 37th Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference took place at the High Country Conference Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona on August 2 & 3, 2010. The conference theme ‘A New Decade for Rural Health: Partnering for Solutions’ served as the umbrella for the two tracks: Health Information Technology and Community Based Partnership.
Each general and workshop presentation addressed one of the tracks. The conference presenters were remarkable and displayed a great amount of creativity in their solutions and methods. Presentations included talks on developing partnerships at the state and local level; advocating and planning for specific issues; addressing federal and state policies; discussing operational plans and visions for Arizona; and creating and fostering collaboration among educators and learners. Click here to view the full list of presenters and description of their presentation.
The following conference goals helped set the tone for the presentations:
- Discuss methods of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration between academic and community groups to sustain health care services, retention and recruitment of the workforce, and expansion of residency programs.
- Disseminate information about innovative programs addressing rural health issues among diverse populations groups and cultures.
- Learn about new federal and state policies governing the meaningful use of health information technology.
- Empower communities and organizations to develop policy advocacy strategies and community activism for rural, border, and tribal programs.
Our four distinguished and nationally renowned speakers focused their presentations on the following issues that can help strengthen our rural and tribal communities and further promote access to care.
Dr. Paul Moore, Senior Health Policy Advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, described the programs his agency delivers and people they serve.
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Dr. Joe Jarvis described how the recently passed health reform legislation fails to be either comprehensive or groundbreaking; the steep climb required if Americans are to truly reform our broken health care system.
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View presentation video >
- Dr. Yvette Roubideaux described the importance and her rationale for instituting internal reform within the Indian Health Service (IHS) in relation to national health reform. She said there is a need for improvements in the IHS health delivery system. Activities are currently underway to address each of the Director’s priority. Dr. Roubideaux explained how these activities will result in improvements in agency business practices, health delivery services, and communication with customers, staff, and tribal partners. She also listed her priorities for internal reform for the IHS and state the importance of each to improve the capacity of the IHS to deliver quality health care services to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- Mr. Herb Schutlz, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region IX gave a brief presentation on “The Department of Health and Human Services and Health Care Reform.
Exhibitors, presenters, and conference attendees brought our total to more than 140 participants representing 31 cities in Arizona. People came as far as Utah, California, and Maryland. Our diverse audience included:
- Program Workers
- Faculty (MEZCOPH, NAU)
- Family Physicians
- Registered Nurses
- Behavioral Health Specialists
Exhibitors continue to be a highlight of the conference bringing with them a wealth of knowledge on how their services or products can benefit rural organizations seeking to improve, restructure and re-build their infrastructure and networking capabilities. Most of the 27 exhibitors were new to the conference and were as diverse as the audience.
The Arizona Rural Health Achievement Awards honor individuals and program/ projects for their achievements. The following individuals were acknowledged at this year’s conference:
- Todd Bosen (posthumous award), recipient of the Distinguished Martha Ortiz Volunteer of the Year
- Fred Hubbard, recipient of the Exceptional Rural Health Professional of the Year
- Representative Pat Fleming, recipient of the Outstanding Arizona Legislator of the Year.
To learn more about the award recipients click here.
The Arizona Rural Health Office at The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health presents the Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference in close collaboration with and support from the Arizona Health Facilities Authority, the Arizona Area Health Education Centers Program and the Arizona Rural Health Association. Additional support came from the co-sponsors listed below. Their generous contributions allow us to offer reduced registration fees to presenters and students; waive registration fee for student poster presenters; pay one-night lodging for student presenters; and support a keynote presenter.
- Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
- Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority, NARBHA, Flagstaff, Arizona
- North Country HealthCare/Northern Arizona AHEC, Flagstaff, Arizona
- Copper Queen Community Hospital, Bisbee, Arizona
The statewide planning committee was instrumental in identifying the conference theme and tracks, selecting workshop presentations, and promoting the conference. We greatly appreciate the committee’s input, time and effort to make sure the conference was a success and for their commitment to rural, tribal and border communities.