Thank you for joining us for the 2nd Annual Summit on the Future of Rural Health Care on October 18, 2023!

On October 18, Sanford Health convened the second annual Summit on the Future of Rural Health Care in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The hybrid event brought together health system CEOs, industry experts, prominent tech leaders and frontline caregivers for candid, wide-ranging conversations about the future of rural health care. The Summit is an opportunity to hear from the industry’s most exciting voices on breakthrough ideas to reimagine how we build the health care workforce of tomorrow to best serve rural America.

These diverse voices from across the health care ecosystem discussed timely topics, including:
- Creating a more resilient and sustainable rural health care workforce
- New care delivery models that redefine workforce needs
- The role of AI and digital innovation in transforming how we work
- Public policy solutions to attract and retain the caregivers we need today and cultivate the workforce we know
we will need tomorrow

The purpose of the Summit is to deliver bold solutions to meet current and future health care needs and improve communities for generations to come. Rural America faces unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to health care access:
- Nearly 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas but only 11% of physicians live and practice in rural communities.
- The U.S. faces a projected physician shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034, with the biggest gaps in primary care, behavioral health and rural communities.
- Nearly 25% fewer rural physicians will be practicing by 2030.
- The shortage of health care providers in rural areas exacerbates rural health disparities. 60% of health outcomes are determined by a person's zip code.

A full event recording and recap video will be posted shortly. Please check back for updates. 
2023 Speakers and Moderators

Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH
President, Commonwealth Fund  
One of the nation’s preeminent leaders in health care policy, equity, quality, and community health, Betancourt formerly served as the senior vice president for Equity and Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and as founding director of the Disparities Solutions Center. He has devoted his career to improving the quality and value of health care for diverse populations.

Betancourt has served on committees that have provided advice to all agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, among others. He has also provided guidance to private industry, and at the state and local level, including a term on the Boston Board of Health. His roles in governance have included serving on the Board of Trinity Health, Neighborhood Health Plan, and the Massachusetts Health and Hospitals Association.
Betancourt is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a board-certified internist, providing primary care to a large Spanish-speaking and minority patient panel.

He earned his M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed an internal medicine residency at New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center. Following his residency, he was a member of one of the first classes in the Commonwealth Fund–Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, where he earned an M.P.H. in health policy and management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

An author of nearly 80 peer-reviewed articles, Betancourt has served on several Institute of Medicine committees, including the committee that produced the seminal report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care.

Betancourt is an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow and recipient of the Sumner M. Redstone Endowed Chair in Health Equity at MGH. In 2022, he was named one of Modern Healthcare's “Top 25 Diversity Leaders,” and in 2023 as one of the “Top 50 Clinical Healthcare Executives in the United States.”

Kasey Buckles, PhD
Professor of Economics and Concurrent Professor of Gender Studies, University of Notre Dame 
Kasey Buckles is a Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame. She is also a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute for Labor Economics. She is currently serving the profession as Associate Chair and Director of Mentoring for the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, and is a past president of the Midwest Economics Association. 
Buckles earned her B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 2000, and her Ph.D. from Boston University in 2005. Professor Buckles’ research interests include the economics of the family, economic demography, child health and well-being, and economic history. Her recent work has focused on the relationship between the business cycle and fertility, and on understanding the decline in fertility over the last decade. She is also collaborating with a team at the Record Linking Lab at Brigham Young University to construct new methods for digitizing and linking historical records for use in empirical work. Her scholarship has appeared in leading journals such as the Economic Journal, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Demography. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Erica DeBoer, RN, MA, CCRN-K, CNL
Chief Nursing Officer, Sanford Health 
Erica DeBoer serves as Sanford Health’s chief nursing officer. A member of the organization’s executive leadership team, DeBoer provides clinical expertise for Sanford Health’s work in quality, safety, research and care management. She also oversees the integration of clinical initiatives. DeBoer has more than 20 years of experience as a front-line registered nurse, including roles in critical care, clinical leadership and education.

Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH
President, American Medical Association 
Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, was elected president-elect of the American Medical Association in June 2022. He is a senior associate dean, tenured professor of anesthesiology and director of the “Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment” at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He was elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees in 2014.

Dr. Ehrenfeld divides his time among clinical practice, teaching, research and directing a $560-million statewide health philanthropy. He also has an appointment as an adjunct professor of anesthesiology and health policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and as an adjunct professor of surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. Dr. Ehrenfeld is a consultant to the World Health Organization Digital Health Technical Advisory Group and previously served as co-chair of the Navy Surgeon General’s Taskforce on Personalized and Digital Medicine and as a special advisor to the 20th U.S. Surgeon General.

In addition to his work with the AMA, Dr. Ehrenfeld has served on the governing boards of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Resident Component, the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Illinois State Medical Society. He also served as speaker of the house of delegates of the Massachusetts Medical Society for six years.
Dr. Ehrenfeld’s research, which focuses on understanding how information technology can improve surgical safety and patient outcomes, has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, and the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research. He currently serves on the National Academy of Medicine’s Health Policy Fellowships and Leadership Programs Advisory Committee.

Luis Garcia, MD, FACS, MBA, FASMBS
President, Sanford Clinic and World Clinics

Luis Garcia, MD, FACS, MBA, FASMBS serves as the President of Sanford Health’s Clinic division, overseeing governance, recruitment and retention, well-being and development, and overall clinic integration for physicians and advanced practice providers. Dr. Garcia has been with Sanford Health since 2002 and is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgeries.

Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD
Vice Provost of Global Initiatives, Levy University Professor, Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, is one of the leading practitioners shaping the future
of healthcare, with a long record of experience at the top levels of policy. He is an engaging, incisive, forthright, and witty speaker on healthcare reform and the transformation of American medicine.
Trained both as an oncologist (MD, Harvard Medical School) and a political scientist, Dr. Emanuel offers a uniquely thoughtful perspective on the most difficult issues in medicine today.
From January 2009 to January 2011, Zeke was a special advisor for health policy to the White House Office of
Management and Budget. As one of the most prominent voices advising the White House about healthcare, he
had a significant impact on federal healthcare budgets and the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Emanuel is a founding chair at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. He currently serves as Chair of the meta-council on The Future of Health Committee for the World
Economic Forum. Until 1997, he was an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School.

Russ Gronewold
President and CEO, Bryan Health
A Nebraska native, Russ Gronewold is President and CEO of Bryan Health.  Bryan is a six-hospital system serving over 60 communities in urban and rural Nebraska.  

Gronewold started his career as a CPA with Arthur Andersen in their health care division and has over 30 years in the health care industry, including senior management positions with 4 different health systems working in the areas of finance, business development, operations, innovation, physician practice management, and managed care. After 10 years as Bryan’s Chief Financial Officer, he became CEO in 2020. He is a member of the American Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Trustees and serves as chair of the AHA’s Regional Policy Board 6. He is a past chair of the Nebraska Hospital Association and is on the board of the Nebraska Educational Health and Finance Authority.

Tommy Ibrahim, MD, MHA
President and CEO, Bassett Healthcare Network
Dr. Ibrahim held leadership positions within the health care industry for over 15 years. Before joining Bassett in 2020, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive for INTEGRIS Health in Oklahoma, as Chief Physician Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs at MercyOne in Des Moines, and as Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois.

Dr. Ibrahim received his Doctor of Medicine degree and his Bachelor of Medical Science degree at St., Christopher’s College of Medicine and completed his internal medicine residency at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, an academic affiliate of Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, Md. Dr. Ibrahim holds a Master of Science degree in Health Administration from Seton Hall University. He received a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Behavior and Executive Coaching from the University of Texas, in Dallas, and is currently completing executive education through Cornell University and Columbia University. Dr. Ibrahim was a nominee for Modern Healthcare’s list of the 50 Most Influential Clinical Leaders of 2019 and 2021.

A hospitalist, Dr. Ibrahim is boarded in internal medicine and hospital medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Fellow in Hospital Medicine, and received the Certified Physician Executive accreditation from the American Association of Physician Leadership. Dr. Ibrahim has held numerous board positions with non-profit organizations including Autism Oklahoma, Health Alliance for the Uninsured, and The Iowa Medical Education Collaborative, where he served as board chair from 2014-17. Founder of the J. Christian Autism Foundation, he was a Medical Missionary for International Medical Relief in 2016 and was a GI research assistant for the National Institutes of Health in 2009.

Dr. Ibrahim is an industry thought leader in health care, publishing and speaking regularly on topics focused on advancing rural health and transforming care delivery models through innovation and technology.

Ann Mond Johnson
CEO, American Telemedicine Association 
Ann Mond Johnson has been a pioneer in healthcare for more than two decades, where she has dedicated most of her career to raising Chicago’s profile as a major hub for healthcare technology firms. Serving as the CEO for the American Telemedicine Association since 2018, Johnson and her team has prioritized patient access and virtual care throughout COVID-19 and the challenges that followed. In her role, Johnson leads efforts to build ATA’s strategic partnerships and alliances that ensure patients, employees and consumers across the United States and globally can reap the full benefits of advanced healthcare technologies to gain access to top-quality care, delivered cost-effectively.

Prior to joining ATA, Johnson was the CEO of Zest Health and served as a Board Chair and advisor to ConnectedHealth after earning her Masters of Business Administration and Health Care Administration degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Thomas H. Lee, MSc, MD, BA
Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Editor-in-Chief, NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery 
Dr. Thomas Lee is Chief Medical Officer for Press Ganey, and an internist/cardiologist who practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and is Editor-in-Chief of NEJM Catalyst and a member of the Editorial Board of The New England Journal of Medicine. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Geisinger Health System and chairs the Board of Geisinger Health Plan.  He is also a member of the Panel of Health Advisors of the Congressional Budget Office and the Board of Directors of Health Leads. He received his BA from Harvard College (1975) and his MD from Cornell University Medical College (1979), and then trained in internal medicine and cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received a MSc in Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health in 1987. Before joining Press Ganey in 2013, he was Network President for Partners Healthcare System.

Kimberly Marselas
Senior Editor of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News
Kimberly Marselas is senior editor of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. She joined the staff in 2021 after working as a contributor for eight years. A proud journalism graduate of the University of Maryland, Marselasis an award-winning journalist covering the skilled nursing industry, delivering policy, payment and treatment news that keeps providers and staff informed and competitive in this ever-changing healthcare environment. 

Alan Morgan
CEO, National Rural Health Association
Recognized as among the top 100 most influential people in healthcare, Alan Morgan serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the National Rural Health Association. His more than 31 years' experience in health policy development has positioned him to improve the lives of 62 million Americans who call rural home. Morgan is one of the nation’s leading experts on rural health policy.

Morgan served as a co-author for many publications, including “The Handbook of Rural Aging,” “Rural Populations and Health,” and for the publication, “Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care.” Included in “30 Healthcare IT Influencers to follow,” Morgan is leading innovation, equity and change in the digital health space.

Dave Newman, MD
Endocrinologist and Medical Officer of Virtual Care, Sanford Health

Dr. David Newman practices endocrinology in Fargo, North Dakota. He provides diabetes care using the latest technology. He also serves as the medical officer for virtual care at Sanford Health.
Dr. Newman is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Services and is the department chair.

Mhoire Murphy
Partner, Healthcare Systems & Services Practice, McKinsey & Company
Mhoire Murphy is a Partner in McKinsey’s Healthcare practice, where she co-leads our provider workforce excellence capability area. She works with a range of healthcare organizations—including both hospitals and services providers—on talent strategy and workforce excellence topics. She is passionate about the caregiver experience and helping healthcare organizations and their workforces evolve in the face of a rapidly changing environment.
During graduate school, Mhoire worked for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City supporting special projects for the Executive Offices. Currently, she serves on the board of directors of Engineering World Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare delivery in the developing world. Mhoire received her B.S.E from Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering, and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Nancy O'Connor
Director, Office of Program Operations & Local Engagement, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Nancy O’Connor is the Director of the Office of Program Operations and Local Engagement (OPOLE) at CMS. O’Connor is responsible for ensuring the smooth policy implementation and operations of the Medicare and Federally Facilitated Exchange programs throughout the country. She also leads the agency’s field strategic outreach and engagement with stakeholders.  

Prior to her current role, O’Connor served as Deputy Consortium Administrator for Health Plans Operations and as the Regional Administrator for CMS’ Philadelphia office with responsibility for the external affairs operations of the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP programs in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

O’Connor’s CMS career includes positions as Acting Deputy Director for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and Acting Director for the Office of External Affairs in Washington, DC. In 2015 and 2019, she received one of the highest honors, the Presidential Rank Award, an award received by the top one percent of the Senior Executive Service in the country for outstanding leadership. O’Connor received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Villanova University and a Master of Health Services Administration from George Washington University.

Mark Parkinson
President & CEO, American Health Care Association
Mark Parkinson is the President and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), which represents more than 14,000 skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers.

Parkinson served as the 45th Governor of the State of Kansas. Prior to that, he was the owner and operator of long term care facilities in Kansas and Missouri. Under Parkinson’s leadership, AHCA/NCAL focuses on delivering policy solutions to the Hill and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), with a special emphasis on quality care. AHCA/NCAL is now the largest association in long term care and is at record membership.
Parkinson’s vision and leadership has brought him recognition. He has been named a top lobbyist for ten consecutive years (2013-2022) by The Hill, a leading Capitol Hill newspaper. Parkinson also has the distinction of being selected as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare in 2015, 2020, 2021, and 2022. Parkinson was also named Top CEO in the small-employer category by The Washington Post 2019 Top Workplace survey, and Top Association CEO by CEO Update in 2013.

Jerry Penso, MD, MBA
President & CEO, American Medical Group Association
Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A., is president and chief executive officer at AMGA (American Medical Group Association), a trade association that represents medical groups and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation’s largest, most influential integrated healthcare delivery systems.
Dr. Penso previously served as chief medical and quality officer for AMGA and president of AMGA Foundation. Under his leadership, the impact of AMGA’s quality programs grew to improve care for 26 million patients.
Prior to joining AMGA, Dr. Penso served as medical director, continuum of care for Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (SRSMG), the largest integrated healthcare delivery system in San Diego.
Dr. Penso received his Master’s in Business Administration from San Diego State University, his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

Clifton Porter, MBA
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, American Health Care Association 
Clifton (Clif) Porter, II is the Senior Vice President of Government Relations at the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), which represents more than 14,000 for-and not-for-profit nursing homes, assisted living communities, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Porter has been serving the needs of seniors in the long-term care field for over 34 years, beginning his career as an administrator in training at a skilled nursing facility in 1989, serving as an administrator of several skilled nursing centers from 1990 through 1998, and capping his operational experience as a regional director of operations for a large-urban market from 1998 through 2004. Porter then accepted the challenge of leading HCR ManorCare’s Government Relations Department from 2004 to 2013 as its Vice President of Government Relations and served on various state health care association boards from 2004 to 2013.

Now, serving as the top lobbyist in AHCA/NCAL, Porter works to promote the association’s legislative agenda. Under his leadership, AHCA/NCAL was intricately involved in many legislative accomplishments including the passage of the IMPACT Act, repeal of the physician SGR, implementation of SNF Value Based Purchasing, and permanent repeal of Part B therapy caps. Porter’s greatest accomplishment was leading the COVID-19 response negotiations with the White House and Congress ensuring billions of dollars in support for the sector during the pandemic. With his guidance the Association has successfully prevented rate cuts to the Medicare and Federal Medicaid programs since his arrival in 2013.

Travis Robey, JD
Vice President, Political Affairs at American Hospital Association 
Travis Robey serves as the Vice President of Political Affairs at the American Hospital Association. In this capacity, Robey directs AHA’s mission to advance the health of all individuals and communities. His work primarily relates to lobbying efforts relevant to rural health providers and the care they deliver. Prior to joining AHA, Robey worked on the hill as a chief of staff for various congresspersons.

Robey graduated from Kalamazoo College with a Bachelor of Arts and the University of Maryland with a Francis King Carey School of Law with a JD and a Certificate in Health Law.

David Shulkin, MD
Ninth Secretary, US Department of Veteran Affairs 
Appointed in 2015 by President Obama, Dr. David Shulkin was selected to serve as the Under Secretary of Health to lead the Veterans Health Administration – the country’s largest integrated delivery system. Now, serving as the president for Shulkin Solutions, LLC, Dr. Shulkin works with leading healthcare organizations and companies to foster innovation and improve wellbeing for patients in both the public and private sector. Shulkin Solutions has a focus on innovation including artificial technology, behavioral health, consumer engagement, home health, telehealth and veterans' health care.  

Prior to serving with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Shulkin served as the President for Morristown Medical Center, and the President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Shulkin received his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and Bachelor of Science from Hampshire College.

Antoinette (Toni) Thomas, MSN, RN, NP
Chief Experience Officer & Industry Advisor, Microsoft
Ms. Thomas' purpose is to use technology and data to improve the lives of the healthcare consumer, the clinicians and workforce that serves them, and to usher health and healthcare into the new era . The consumer experience has never been more important to clinical care delivery and business objectives of healthcare organizations. Her experience in clinical practice and the patient experience discipline has created a passion for democratizing data that enables consumers to move from passive to active participants in their health and wellness and to bring joy back to the work of clinicians and healthcare workers.
Her passion lies in data analytics, cognitive computing, user experience, democratization of data, and healthcare consumerism. Prior to Microsoft, Ms. Thomas served as Chief Nursing Officer of Oneview Healthcare. Her 15-year experience in healthcare IT also includes building and growing customer base and revenue in companies such as Alaris-Carefusion (NKA BD) and Explorys which was acquired by IBM Watson. She also has 17 years practice in pediatric critical care focusing on pediatric cardiothoracic surgery.
2022 Event Recap
Media Coverage
About Sanford Health
Sanford Health, the largest rural health system in the United States, is dedicated to transforming the health care experience and providing access to world-class health care in America’s heartland. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization serves more than one million patients and 220,000 health plan members across 250,000 square miles. The integrated health system has 47 medical centers, 2,800 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 170 clinical investigators and research scientists, more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations and world clinics in 8 countries around the globe. Learn more.
 Join us in October 2023

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