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Blue Oceans & Leadership Notions: A Glimpse Into the 2022 AHA Leadership Summit

August 4, 2022

Waves hitting the bay and seagulls cawing overhead; it’s the soundtrack to the 2022 AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego, California. While the Exhibit Hall was full of chatter and innovative thinking on improving the healthcare experience, the PRC team took time to network with connections, former and brand new, in settings customized to the SoCal scene. Rather than outlining the summit, like the schedule on our AHA app, this article will highlight the experience from each PRC team member showcasing the different benefits and viewpoints from all who attended.

Starting with our Senior Vice President of Client Success, Laurie Speaks fulfilled her expectations of the summit by learning industry trends and meeting like-minded professionals. “I was looking forward to some face-to-face time with our client partners and garnering new connections by letting our hair down and taking in some sights,” remarked Speaks. The PRC team and some fellow summit attendees, like J.R. Greene with Psychiatic Medical Care, tasted authentic cuisine in Little Italy and spoke with locals to understand the culture and health equity challenges of San Diego. The sessions offered great insights on a variety of topics, but the extra hours spent networking revealed the holistic, family-centered service approach that PRC prides itself on. Speaks mentioned the popularity of the speaker, Bryan Stevenson, and his book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Several attendees praised his presentation and deep dive into the Equal Justice Initiative, empowering people of color to combat social injustices when it comes to criminal law. This highly popular topic among healthcare leaders shows that caring for your patient goes far beyond treating bumps and bruises.

Healthcare covers an array of services identified within each of PRC’s product lines. One of our Client Success Managers in attendance, Tim Bowen, was eager to expand upon PRC’s exposure in the marketplace and introduce solutions to organizations seeking to reexamine current approaches. “When the pandemic hit, people were forced to wear several hats and even now, they are still wearing those hats,” said Bowen. After multiple conversations at the PRC booth, Bowen realized that attendees were appreciative of the broad presentation of topics because there are several aspects across the spectrum within every organization that has holes to fill. These weaknesses felt throughout the field include staffing shortages, burnout and health equity. “This conference gave people an opportunity to be a part of a community that has been virtual for so long and sent attendees home with a positive outlook on steps ahead,” said Bowen. It’s a no brainer that visiting the Top Gun bar with Nathan Ziegler from CommonSpirit Health was one of Tim’s favorites outings as they talked to the bartender who served Maverick (Tom Cruise) a beer and tickled the same ivories as Goose (Anthony Edwards) in the movie.

Someone who is always on the prowl for a new book or movie is our Director of Community Health, Jana Distefano, MPH. With a passion for public health, Distefano was pleased to hear about the new initiatives at CommonSpirit Health and Johnson Memorial Health as well as other organizations in attendance. With the AHA Book Club, Distefano was persuaded into breaking the bind on a book that’s been sitting on her shelf, The Happiness Project. She confessed that she is already on Chapter 6 of the uplifting words and research from Grethen Rubin. Distefano’s passion for community health is rich and authentic. Alongside several attendees, Distefano zoned in on current health equity initiatives at organizations across the United States. In her world, collaborations seem to be key for community health professionals, learning from one another’s failures and successes. She serves as a branch between data and action much like the running sports joke between Tripp Grooms from Atrium Healthcare and the PRC team. “Team building doesn’t have to take place in an office. Community collaborations are everywhere you look,” preaches Distefano. The connections made through the diverse titles and backgrounds led to several opportunities to prove that with a common goal of improving the healthcare experience, together we can make instrumental changes.

Common goals are met with unique solutions in healthcare which is why Molly Engebretson, MPA, enjoyed talking to decision makers and thought leaders in the world of patient experience. “In my daily routine, I try to find solutions for clients so learning direct initiatives from the source helps weld together a better healthcare experience,” said Engebretson. She was eager to learn different organizational needs and challenges, tying together solutions from coast to coast. From her perspective, attendees gained conversations and knowledge regarding leadership as well as building connections with people across the continuum of care. This conference was an opportunity to share experiences and educate each other on new, innovative, and better solutions in the market as they relate to leadership and the plethora of decisions made in hospital and health system settings. The conference also revealed the competitive spirit in healthcare professionals, whether that was competing with coworkers to spin PRC’s prize wheel or shooting a few hoops in a midnight rooftop basketball game.

Rebecca Moorhead, PRC’s Marketing Coordinator, shared a different perspective on the conference. She focused on the promotions, signage, lead generation opportunities, and overall roll out of the conference. “My purpose at these events is much more about the nuts and bolts of our booth,” said Moorhead. “While I enjoy creating conversation and connecting dots from PRC to other organizations, the behind-the-scenes management always catches my attention.” Moorhead went on to applaud the AHA team on their smooth processes when it came to using the mobile app to share insights on social media as well as the handling of materials. If your organization is mulling on whether to exhibit or sponsor this conference, our team gives an excellent rating based on audience and ease. On day two of the event, AHA hosted a pool party with food and beverage tables scattered on the poolside pavement. This after-hour treat gave attendees and vendors an opportunity to mingle outside the exhibit hall room, arguably one of the most valuable mixers for the PRC team. Agreeing with Bowen, Moorhead felt the warm San Diego air matched the warm feelings and smiles of healthcare professionals who were delighted to be learning and making connections in person.

Our team is eager to follow up with our new partners in healthcare and continue learning hands-on approaches. We are keeping our promise to teach healthcare differently by hosting the PRC Healthcare Experience Summit on September 28. If you are interested in joining the day filled with educational sessions, save your seat here. We are thankful for those who spoke with us at the event and look forward to continuing to build relationships centered on employee engagement, patient experience, consumer and brand, physician engagement, and community health.

If you’d like to connect with any of the PRC representatives in attendance at this conference, please reach out or find us on LinkedIn below.

The PRC AHA Leadership Summit Team

Laurie Speaks

Tim Bowen

Jana Distefano, MPH

Molly Engebretson, MPA

Rebecca Moorhead