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Highlights from the 2021 CHI and EXPO

Taking place 18 months into a national public health emergency, the 2021 Community Health Institute (CHI) & EXPO gave participants an opportunity to connect with each other, reflect on lessons we’re learning during the pandemic, and ways to improve operations and enhance care going forward. And we managed to have a festive reception in honor of NACHC’s 50th anniversary! Visit the blog to see highlights and great photos. Visit the blog to see highlights and great photos

Day One: Passing the Gavel

In addition to offering rich educational opportunities, CHI is the annual meeting where we elect officers, assess the work of the past year, and look to the future. Yesterday, the House of Delegates met and seated a new Board Chair, Michael Holmes, to help steer NACHC through the challenges and opportunities ahead.

When handing over the gavel to Holmes, outgoing Board Chair Lathran Woodard praised him as “one of NACHC’s strongest and most visionary leaders at both the state and national levels.” Holmes, CEO of Scenic Rivers Health Services in Minnesota, has long been part of the health center movement. He pledged to help NACHC build on our five decades of progress and take advantage of opportunities to expand and strengthen the health center movement. Read more highlights on the blog: Day One: Passing the Gavel

Hybrid CHI kicks off

The hybrid 2021 NACHC Community Health Institute (CHI) and EXPO is underway in Orlando, FL, (August 22-24). Health care leaders from around the country are gathering in person and virtually to chart a path out of the pandemic and assess the health care policy landscape. This year, NACHC is marking its 50th anniversary as the leading voice for Community Health Centers and the celebration starts now.

The conference offers virtual options for attendees who did not want to risk the travel at a time when the Delta variant is spiking. Indeed, this year’s CHI takes place as health centers have been fighting COVID-19 in underserved communities for more than 18 months. They have administered nearly 14 million vaccines to protect hard-to-reach populations. Now they continue forward with an eye toward how to take the lessons learned on the front lines of the pandemic and leverage that wisdom and experience in ways that strengthen public health and ensure equity. That’s why the theme for the CHI, “America’s Health Centers: Change Leaders in Health Care for the Future,” is timely and appropriate.

With change as the theme, some features about this year’s NACHC CHI have indeed changed while others stay the same. Strict masking and health protocols will be in place throughout the conference. The always popular pre-conference “Board Member Boot Camp” took place on August 21, giving health center board members a primer on the fundamentals of their roles and responsibilities. More than 100 health center board members attended boot camp in Orlando with another 160 people participating virtually.

women on a dais with masks on
Avni Shridharani, CEO of Community Health Strategies; former health center chief strategy officer, Deborah Morrison, current board member and former board chair of Roanoke-Chowan (NC) health center; Rachel Gonzalez Hanson, Senior VP at NACHC and former CEO of a Texas health center; Jackie Leifer, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, national legal expert.

As with past NACHC conferences, there is an EXPO Hall of health care exhibitors where health center staff can talk directly to vendors — but downsized. What also remains unchanged is the family reunion atmosphere as health center leaders greet each other, both virtually and in person, after a long and difficult few months.

General Session speakers

Attendees can also count on the usual menu of engaging keynote speakers. During the General Sessions, we’ll hear from Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work (Sunday, August 22). Monday’s General Session (August 23) will feature CBS Sunday Morning contributor, actress, comedian and self-described “accidental pundette,” Nancy Giles. They will be followed by leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to talk about policy and regulatory developments that are fundamental to health center operations.

Education sessions at CHI

Read the new blog about the education sessions that focus on clinical issues and see the full list of sessions in our Education Sessions At-a-Glance document (PDF).

CHI highlights on blog and social media

Stay tuned to the NACHC blog and follow #NACHCevents on Twitter as we update you on conference developments from the NACHC CHI.