ICYMI: NHC’s Health Leadership Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL


By: Jennifer Schleman, Senior Director, Marketing, Communications, and PR

Earlier this month, more than 120 chief executives and board members of leading patient advocacy organizations, health-focused nonprofits, and other National Health Council members met to share information about emerging issues in health care and nonprofit management and learn from nationally recognized experts and each other during NHC’s Health Leadership Conference. The conference, The New Normal: Access, Affordability, and Sustainability, was Feb. 14-15, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

It kicked off with a lively keynote from artist and author Mike Rayburn. Rayburn challenged attendees, via a mix of music and inspirational messages, to step beyond what has been done before and ask, “What if?” He encouraged attendees to view transformation as the “new normal” and to change their mindsets to look for opportunities when problem present themselves.

Over the two days of the conference, attendees heard about the latest trends from health care policy and organizational management experts, as well as peers from across the health ecosystem. Topics included:

  • Anticipated outcomes of the new Congress;
  • How collaboration can increase impact;
  • Navigating your mission despite stormy seas; and
  • Building a strong organization.

This year, we also offered concurrent breakout sessions for a more personalized experience. Breakout session topics included, The Latest on the 2017 Tax Law: What Does It Mean for Nonprofits? and Navigating Sensitive HR Issues, as well as CEO/Board Partnership and Board Effectiveness.

We closed out the conference with a keynote from Robin Caruso, MSW, LCSW, Chief Togetherness Officer, CareMore Health, titled, The Role of a Chief Togetherness Officer:  What It Means and the Impact on the Health of the Patient. Caruso inspired the attendees with moving examples of how having the right social supports can help patients achieve better health outcomes. By connecting people to the health care system and community organizations, and by encouraging physical exercise, Caruso demonstrated how CareMore’s Togetherness Program was able to counter the isolation and loneliness many seniors experience and improve the quality of their lives, improve outcomes, and satisfaction with care.

The conference program was developed by the HLC Planning Task Force, which was led by Co-Chairs Dory Kranz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, and Paul Pomerantz, Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. You can view a summary of the presentations and panels at the meeting.

And remember to save the date for next year’s Health Leadership Conference! We’ll be back in Fort Lauderdale, FL, February 12 -14, 2020.