The North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program and the Center for Rural Health present the
Rural Transformational Leadership Series. Three virtual, 90 minute interactive sessions will teach case studies
and tie in resources from this nationally-released toolkit and playbook
Leadership: A Pathway for Rural Health to Thrive in a COVID-19 World. After laying out each
case, participants will engage in small group discussions about ways to address issues, followed by discussion,
debate, and lessons learned in the larger group. Case content includes physician/healthcare worker burnout,
crisis communication, and value based care in the shadow of a pandemic.
Sessions will be conducted by Benjamin Anderson, Vice President of Rural Health and Hospitals for the Colorado
Hospital Association, and Erin Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor at Suffolk University, and part-time faculty
at Harvard Medical School.
This series is a partnership effort between the Center for Rural Health and the Utah
Department of Health Office of Primary Care and Rural Health.
Rural Hospital Leadership Conundrum: The Burnout of a Good Doctor
Rural hospitals face an ever-evolving set of challenges, one of which is the burnout of dedicated physicians on
the front-lines of care delivery. If you are struggling with how to address the root causes of burnout in your
health system, then this session is for you! Through an interactive discussion of a Harvard Business
School-style case study, we will explore the individual and structural issues that contribute to burnout in a
rural setting. At the end of this session, you will have specific tools and strategies that you can use in your
hospital next week.
Key Learning Points
Understand the definitions and prevalence of burnout and moral injury in the context of healthcare delivery
Understand the structural as well as individual contributors to burnout and moral injury among healthcare
Learn coping mechanisms for mitigating the individual impact of burnout and moral injury among healthcare
Learn tools to transform the systems that currently perpetuate burnout and moral injury among healthcare
Fullerton Hospital: A Communications Crisis in a Rural Community
July 27 • 12:30 – 2:00 pm Central
The stability of rural healthcare delivery systems may be determined by hospital and clinic administrative and
governance leaders' effectiveness with communicating significant events and strategic decisions to other
stakeholders. What guardrails are in place to ensure the right messages are communicated to the right audiences
at the right times? In this session, we will introduce the true story of a hospital board scenario that went
terribly wrong as an opportunity for participants to learn and benefit from common communication challenges in
hopes that it will mitigate the chance of something similar happening to you. At the end of this session, you
will have a foundational understanding of the importance of a crisis communications strategy as part of a
broader emergency preparedness plan.
Key Learning Points
Understanding what can and should be communicated outside of executive leadership and board meetings.
Equipping rural hospital board members, administrative leaders, and clinicians with the tools to manage
crisis communications and public relations. What message should be communicated to whom and when?
Key steps for building out a crisis communications strategy for rural hospitals, clinics, and communities.
Value-based Care in the Shadow of a Pandemic
August 10 • 12:30 – 2:00 pm Central
As healthcare payments have shifted from volume to value for over a decade, some transformational rural health
leaders have been driving efforts to provide value-based care. The arrival of COVID-19 presented formidable
challenges to sustaining and continuing those efforts, which are now – more than ever – necessary in rural
communities. Delivering value-based care will require new processes, policies, and priorities within healthcare
delivery systems, local public health departments, and the broader health community. This case introduces the
true story of Aspen Valley Hospital and the Rocky Mountain Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and their
continued journey toward value amidst the formidable challenges of COVID-19. If you are seeking to better
understand healthcare finance and interventions that improve health outcomes in your hospital and community,
then this interactive session is for you. At the end of this session, you will have a foundational understanding
of healthcare finance and some tools to guide your organization toward its future vitality.
Key Learning Points
Understanding the basic components of value-based care in a rural context.
Understanding key points for rural hospitals to engage with ACOs or other value-based payment models.
Understanding best practices for ensuring financial vitality of rural healthcare delivery systems following