Each year, the THA Annual Conference and Expo serves as the backdrop for the most significant issues affecting Texas hospitals, their leaders and their communities. This year’s event, held in February in Austin, reflected the important decisions being made just a few streets away at the Texas Capitol. The program brings influential experts to guide leaders on operational and financial trends, public policy concerns, regulations and potential new legislation that could affect operations and patient care. Being part of the THA Annual Conference program is vital for growing as a leader and ensuring every hospital has the intellectual resources to meet the challenges of the future.

Special Section

2018 THA Award Winners

Click here to read more about winners of the Earl M. Collier, Pioneer, HOSPAC Star, Excellence in Community Service and Bill Aston awards.

The conference this February marked the official swearing in of the 2019 THA board of trustees, including THA board chair Sally Hurt-Deitch, RN, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services for Tenet Healthcare. During her chair speech and throughout the event, Hurt- Deitch emphasized the importance of recognizing the passion those serving hospitals and health care in Texas must bring to their jobs each day – as well as the need to view issues holistically to uncover the best way to serve patients and communities. Finding ways to work together is key to accomplishs what must be done to help hospitals.

The event’s political debate, a yearly crowd favorite, also reflected the theme of civility and a desire to find common ground in light of historical results at the state legislative level stemming from the 2018 midterm elections. The Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith moderated Harold Smith, a veteran of Democratic politics in Texas, and Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican political consultant, as the three talked through what a shifting number of seats in the legislature mean for keeping politicians in Austin focused on top of mind issues for a majority of voters and away from highly divisive topics.

Ted Shaw, president/CEO of THA, also called on hospital leaders to recommit to the issues and challenges that are core to all hospitals: first, a need to invest in the workforce and the people who bring their passion to care for our communities each day and second, to commit to educating their staffs and communities about the full impact of uncompensated care.

“Without exception, every individual who works for or within a hospital should know what the burden of uncompensated care looks like and the consequences. Because uncompensated care costs, whether from underpayment or from caring for the uninsured, are a financial liability that hold us back from doing our core work really, really well,” said Shaw.

The THA 2020 Annual Conference and Expo will be Feb. 13-14 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Look for more information in the coming months at www.tha.org/conference.