The New England Rural Health Roundtable Announces Fall Conference

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New England Rural Health Conference to take place November 5-6, 2015 in Southbridge, MA

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“The New England Rural Health Conference brings together regional health care leaders and pioneers in innovation to share their strategies and solutions with each other."

The New England Rural Health Roundtable, which serves as the Rural Health Association for all six New England States, today announced that Alan Morgan, Chief Executive Officer for the National Rural Health Association, and William Kassler, New England Region Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will provide the keynote remarks at the New England Rural Health Conference. Hugh Silk a Professor at the UMASS Medical School will kick off the second day of the conference with a morning keynote session. The annual conference offers vital networking opportunities to regional health care professionals and will be held at the Southbridge Conference Center in Southbridge, MA on November 5 & 6, 2015. Conference registration remains open at http://www.newenglandruralhealth.org however seating is limited.

“Rural New England communities are home to nearly 3 million people who rely on access to high quality affordable healthcare,” said New England Rural Health Roundtable Executive Director Kim Mohan. “The New England Rural Health Conference brings together regional health care leaders and pioneers in innovation to share their strategies and solutions with each other. While there is much to celebrate there is still much more work to be done. A study recently conducted by the RoundTable highlighted many of the challenges that our rural communities and residents face. Rural New Englanders statistically have less access to health insurance and primary care providers. They are far more likely to have gone without a checkup or routine preventive tests within the past 5 years. Higher chronic disease rates and poor dental outcomes are common in our rural communities. Rural residents experience a severe lack of mental and behavioral health resources in comparison with their urban counterparts.”

Dr. Kassler offers more than 25 years of experience in health policy and currently focuses on initiatives to improve health care quality in his role with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will also be joined by other federal officials as part of a Federal Program and Policies Panel. Additional participants include Rachel Kaprielian, Regional Director, US Department of HHS, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Chris Bersani, Captain, US Public Health Service, Senior Public Health Analyst/Behavioral Health Lead - HRSA, Kathryn Power, Regional Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - SAMHSA, Rick Hoover, Health Insurance/Provider Relations Specialist - CMS, Penelope Markle, Associate Director, Veterans Rural Health Resource Center – VA

National Rural Health Association CEO Alan Morgan, who will provide the evening keynote, offers more than 22 years of experience in health policy development at the state and federal level. He has previously served as an aide to former US Congressman Dick Nichols and former Kansas Governor Mike Hayden. Additionally, his experience includes tenures with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. Prior to joining NRHA, he served as a federal lobbyist for VHA Inc.

Hugh Silk, Professor at UMASS Medical School will share his presentation “Integrated Care – Maximizing People, Places and Population Health Resources” on Friday morning. Conference attendees will spend the remainder of the day attending breakout sessions. The conference will feature over 25 multi-disciplinary breakout sessions structured to provide specialized tracks in Oral Health, Public Health, Hospitals & Healthcare Systems, Workforce Development and Behavioral Health. Breakout topics include: forming community partnerships and leveraging funds, recruitment and retention strategies, primary care collaborations and integrated delivery systems, population health, hospital and clinic management, implementing and applying telehealth technologies. Detailed descriptions of each breakout session can be found at http://www.newenglandruralhealth.org/2015.

About The Roundtable: The New England Rural Health RoundTable (The RoundTable) was established in 1997 with funding from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). The RoundTable, a non-profit, membership-driven advocacy organization serves as the rural health association for the six New England states fosters a mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of communities throughout rural New England, and a vision to serve as the forum for promoting healthy rural communities and solutions to the unique health challenges facing rural New England.

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Kim Mohan, NERHRT Executive Director
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