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Your annual meeting

March 21, 2014

At times, it seems that hospitals are presented with new challenges on a daily basis – from electronic health record and ICD-10 implementation to new penalty programs and payment models and new regulatory hurdles like the “two-midnight” admissions policy.

As hospital leaders strive to improve outcomes, safety, costs and health in the midst of seismic change, it is critical that they speak up, loudly and forcefully, on behalf of their organizations and communities. Legislators, policymakers and regulators need to understand what efforts hospital have undertaken, and continue to pursue, to improve patient care. And they need to understand the real impact any additional changes will have on those efforts.

It is that realization that inspired the 2014 AHA Annual Membership Meeting theme – Ensuring a Healthier Tomorrow – scheduled for May 4-7 in our nation’s capital.

In these challenging times, it is critical that the hospital field articulate one vision and speak with one voice as we contemplate the steps that will be necessary to attain that desired future state.

There is no better advocate for your hospital than its leaders and trustees. You are in the best position to help legislators understand all that your hospital does for the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the challenges that you face as you strive to continue to deliver those services in this new frontier. The annual membership meeting will provide you with the information and context you need to advocate on behalf of both your hospital and the field as a whole.

An impressive roster of leaders from both political parties and across the political spectrum will speak at the annual membership meeting. They include Reps. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, James Clyburn, D-S.C., John Lewis, D-Ga., and Greg Walden, R-Ore.

And as always, the annual membership meeting is a terrific opportunity to exchange thoughts and experiences with the leaders of hospitals across the nation. In this age of instant communication, face-to-face encounters are still the best kind for giving birth to new ideas, getting work done and forging lifelong connections.

We hope you’ll join the policy, opinion and health care leaders at this year’s annual membership meeting … your annual meeting. You’ll leave it better equipped than ever before to be an effective advocate for your organization. To register for the meeting, visit www.aha.org. See you in Washington!