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2024 tha annual conference

2024 THA Annual Conference

The THA Annual Conference and Expo will be held in Dallas, providing the latest in health law, finance, health IT and more. Make plans to join us in-person or virtually in February 2024!

Main Conference Day One

7-8 a.m.

  • General Attendee Breakfast and Microlearning Sessions
  • Horace Cardwell ACHE Affiliates Breakfast (additional ticket purchase required)

8-11:30 a.m.
Concurrent Workshops (additional registration fee required)

  • Rural Health Care Workshop
  • ACHE Face-to-Face Sessions

9-10 a.m.
Concurrent Breakouts

  • Revolutionizing Health Care Education: A Blueprint for Success
    Jeff Frey, MCS, Ph.D., MBA, 
    Vice President of Innovation, Abilene Christian University
    Discover the future of health care workforce development in this dynamic session led by Abilene Christian University. Join us as we discuss a university-hospital system partnership model designed to elevate employee skills, streamline credentialing, and seamlessly integrate new talent into health care organizations. Real-world success stories from industry leaders will highlight the tangible benefits of adopting an innovative approach with transformative impacts on employee skills, patient experiences and overall organizational success. You’ll leave with a blueprint for success – a guide on identifying unique education needs, reverse engineering ideal employee profiles, and establishing a framework for cost-effective educational partnerships. This session isn’t just about training; it’s about shaping the future of health care together.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • Additional Session Information Coming Soon

10-10:30 a.m.
Networking Break

10:30-11:30 a.m.
Concurrent Breakouts

  • Hospital Finance Update
    Anna Stelter, 
    Vice President of Policy, Texas Hospital Association, Austin
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • AI in Health Care
    Barbara Bennett, J.D., 
    Partner, Frost Brown Todd LLP, Nashville; and Darren Skyles, J.D., Attorney at Law, Frost Brown Todd LLP, Houston/Dallas
    From historical trends to cutting-edge applications like surgical robots, the speakers will explore the specific risks associated with AI implementation in health care settings. Our speakers will provide a comprehensive overview of the legal landscape, highlighting laws, executive orders, frameworks and guidance shaping AI development. Stay ahead of the curve by learning about enforcement actions and lawsuits that are redefining standards, posing tangible risks for businesses involved in AI. Attendees will leave equipped with the knowledge to build a robust AI Governance Program, ensuring ethical and responsible AI practices in the dynamic health care landscape.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
Opening General Session and THA Awards Luncheon

THA Welcome and Year in Review
John Hawkins, 
President and CEO, Texas Hospital Association, Austin

1-2 p.m.
Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  • Legislative Update – Recap of 88th Legislative Session and Interim Hospital Priorities
    Jennifer Banda, J.D., 
    Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, Texas Hospital Association, Austin
    This discussion will delve into the outcomes and implications of the last legislative session, dissecting key decisions and their impact on health care and hospital policies. THA’s Jennifer Banda will recap the outcomes of the 88th Texas Legislative Session and review the top priorities for hospitals during the interim period. This session is a must-attend for hospital executives, and health care advocates seeking to gain insights into legislative outcomes, identify ongoing priorities, and participate in shaping a more positive narrative surrounding the vital role hospitals play in our health care ecosystem.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • A Strategic Approach to Trauma-Informed Care
    Natasha Benatti, Psy.D., 
    Trauma Psychologist, Parkland Health, Dallas; Amy Felker, LMSW, Senior Director for Child and Family Policy, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Dallas; Jessica George, Ph.D., Director of Psychosocial Services, Rees-Jones Trauma Center, Parkland Health, DallasAnnie Lewis-O’Connor, Ph.D., NP-BC, MPH, MSN, FAAN, Founder and Director, C.A.R.E. Clinic, Associate Scientist, Division of Women’s Health, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
    Moderated by Tegan Henke, MS, MFT, Vice President of Community Systems Innovation, Center For Child And Family Wellness, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, Dallas
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • Navigating Health Care Employment Law: Recent Updates and Key Issues
    Mario Barrera, J.D., 
    Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Austin
    Mario Barrera will provide an in-depth analysis of the most recent changes in staffing laws, offering insights and updates from the latest legislative session. From emerging trends to potential employer challenges, Barrera will discuss key focal points crucial for health care professionals and organizations to understand. Attendees will gain valuable knowledge to navigate the complexities of employment law and stay abreast of pertinent regulations affecting their business.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE
  • Leadership Fellows Capstone Presentations
    The capstone project aims to reinforce the mission and purpose of the Fellows program: to create change agents who drive improvement and innovation and have the confidence to be advocates on behalf of their hospital, community and the hospital industry. Hear from THA’s 2023 Leadership Fellows as they present their capstone projects covering innovative approaches to tackling the health care industry’s priority issues. Presenting capstones include:
    • Deceptive Marketing Practices
    • Hospital Financial Stability—A Fresh Look at Cooperative Agreements and the Use of Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 314
      CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT

2-2:45 p.m.
Networking Break and Microlearning Sessions

  • 2:15-2:45 p.m.
    Winning at the Draft: Building Better Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Early Career Physicians
    Dane Altman, 
    Senior Vice President of Business Development, and Tonya Hamlin, Director of Recruiting, Jackson Physician Search
    Do sports teams really win or lose at the draft? While the reality is more nuanced, there’s no doubt that a successful draft contributes to building a competitive team and a winning season. The same is true for medical groups in competition for physicians. Using insights from a new survey, speakers will delve into the factors influencing physicians’ first job choices, their motivations to stay or leave, and strategies for medical practices to adapt their recruitment and retention approaches, fostering a strong cultural fit and long-term engagement.
    CE: 0.5 hours ACHE Qualified, 0.5 hours CHT

    Managing the Multigenerational Workforce
    CE: 0.5 hours ACHE Qualified, 0.5 hours CHT

2:45-3:45 p.m.
General Session
Economic Outlook: How Hospitals Can Stay Ahead of the Curve
Alan Beaulieu, 
International Economic Analyst and President of the Institute for Trend Research, New Hampshire

Join us for an exclusive educational session with economic expert Dr. Alan Beaulieu as he provides tools and insider knowledge to position your organization to succeed in today’s ever-changing economic environment. Gain invaluable insights and actionable strategies that health care organizations can put into practice to proactively navigate upcoming economic shifts. Don’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and secure your hospital’s financial future.
CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

3:50-4:50 p.m.
Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  • Legal Hot Topics
    Heather De La Garza, J.D., 
    Assistant General Counsel; Cesar Lopez, J.D., Associate General Counsel; and Steve Wohleb, J.D., Chief Legal Officer, Texas Hospital Association, Austin
    This session delves into the specific legal challenges confronting hospitals, offering a comprehensive review of the evolving terrain. It addresses recent litigation, pivotal changes in federal and state regulations, and a detailed examination of the legislative bills emerging from the 88th Texas Legislature that bear significant implications for hospitals in the state. The speakers will share why staying informed about these developments is not just advantageous but imperative for the sustained success and compliance of Texas hospitals.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • Best Practices in Media Relations
    Carrie Williams, 
    Chief Communications Officer, Texas Hospital Association, Austin; additional speakers coming
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT

  • Top Issues for Your Hospital Board
    Amy Eskew, President and CEO, Texas Healthcare Trustees; and Kevin Reed, J.D., Member, Reed Claymon Meeker & Hargett, Austin
    Healthy team dynamics are critical to the success of an organization – one of the most important being the board-CEO relationship. In this breakout session join health care law expert Kevin Reed, J.D. and governance professional, Amy Eskew, where they will explore current hot topics in health care from both the board and CEO perspectives. Whether you’re a board member, CEO, or other executive that works with the board, this session will provide valuable insights to navigate this complex industry and this important relationship. Have your questions at the ready for this interactive discussion.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.2 hours CPE, 1.0 hours CHT
  • Behavioral Health Workplace Violence Interventions
    Zelia Baugh,
     Executive Vice President of Behavioral Health; Amanda Schweng, Director of Behavioral Health, Quality and Patient Safety; and Shanan Sims, RN, Executive Director of Psychiatric Nursing, JPS Health Network, Fort Worth
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT

4:55-6 p.m.
Afternoon General Session
Trust: The Secret Ingredient
Natalie Johnson, 
Certified “Dare to Lead” Program Facilitator, and Co-Founder and Chief Visionary of ViDL Solutions, Florida

Research from Google’s Project Aristotle indicates that the number one most important ingredient in high-performing teams is psychological safety or the belief that the environment is safe for interpersonal risk-taking. Additionally, we know from the research that trust is at the heart of all connected, collaborative relationships. But how do we ensure psychological safety exists, demonstrate behaviors that elicit trust and build trusting relationships on our teams? This session will identify the essential elements of trust for participants and offer an opportunity to assess personal strengths and challenges related to trust.
CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

6-7 p.m.
Networking Reception


Main Conference Day Two

7:30-8:30 a.m.
Breakfast and Microlearning Sessions

8:30-9:30 a.m.
Concurrent Breakout Sessions

  • Hospital Staffing Law Update
    Jack Frazee, J.D., 
    Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel, Texas Nurses Association, Austin; and Jennifer Kachel, J.D., Assistant District Attorney and Deputy Chief, Intake/Grand Jury Division, Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • Top Antitrust Issues in Health Care
    Wendy Arends, J.D., 
    Partner, Husch Blackwell, Madison, WI
    It is imperative that hospital leaders stay abreast of the latest antitrust issues affecting the health care industry. Not only do antitrust laws directly impact business practices, but understanding antitrust issues is crucial to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the key regulatory frameworks, recent precedents and potential implications for hospitals. The speaker will highlight pivotal antitrust issues shaping the future of health care practices in Texas.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • Keys to Medical Staff Communications
    Jeff Frost, J.D., 
    Partner, Jackson Walker LLP, Austin
    Explore essential strategies for hospital administration to gain medical staff buy-in while emphasizing patient-centered messages backed by data. The speaker will delve into crucial communication methods for medical staff leaders, ensuring patient safety, fair practices and clear expectations, while addressing concerning behaviors promptly to uphold quality care. Attendees will gain confidence in navigating challenging situations, understanding legal protections and prioritizing patient well-being without fear of litigation.
    CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT, 1.2 hours CPE

  • Additional Session Information Coming Soon

9:30-11 a.m.
Closing General Session: Politics and Health Care: What’s at Stake Heading into the 2024 Presidential Election
Paul Begala, 
Political Analyst and Commentator, CNN; and Karl Rove, Foremost Conservative Commentator and Strategist, and Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush
Moderated by Sewell Chan, Editor in Chief, The Texas Tribune, Austin

Join us for a riveting and insightful moderated point/counterpoint session featuring two political heavyweights, Paul Begala and Karl Rove. In this exclusive event, delve into the dynamic landscape of American politics as these seasoned strategists offer their unique perspectives on the road to the next presidential election. Explore the potential implications and ramifications for the health care industry in a discussion that promises sharp analysis, differing viewpoints and invaluable insights.
CE: 1.0 hours ACHE Qualified, 1.0 hours CHT


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Feb 15 - 16 2024


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Texas Hospital Association
Texas Hospital Association
Texas Hospital Association

Whether in Austin, elsewhere across Texas, or Washington, D.C., the Texas Hospital Association works year-round for patients and hospitals, advocating for the best possible health care environment across the state. From bolstering the hospital workforce, to advancing behavioral and maternal health care – and much more – THA listens to, shapes and drives the conversations that determine health policy, making sure that Texas hospitals’ voices are heard.