2018 Rural Healthcare Symposium: SpEAKERS & Schedule


9:00AM - Opening Remarks

  • Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge, JD, Dean, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Bill Boling, JD, Boling & Company


9:30-10:30AM - “In the Trenches”
This panel will feature hospital executives and highlight rural healthcare challenges and opportunities as told by those most directly living it. Issues in the legal and regulatory landscape will be discussed from the perspective of c-suite administrators. 

  • Lou Semrad, CEO, Jefferson Hospital (GA)
  • Vicki Lewis, CEO, Coffee Regional Medical Center (GA)
  • Tyler Williams, Director, Operational Support, Habersham Medical Center (GA)
  • Roger Forgey, CEO, Stephens County Hospital (GA)


10:30-11:00AM - Networking Break


11:00AM-12:00PM - “Big Ideas in Rural Health”  
This panel will include a variety of speakers who have studied, written about, or are out in the field offering transformative ideas aimed at saving rural healthcare. The common thread will be the disruption of business as usual.

  • Mac McCormick, MD, President & CEO, Eagle Telemedicine 
  • Robin Rau, CEO, Miller County Hospital (GA)
  • Beth NeSmith, Chair, Department of Physiological & Technological Nursing, Augusta University 
  • Tee Faircloth, CEO, Coordinated Care Inc.


12:00-1:00PM - Lunch & Keynote Speaker

  • Maggie Elehwany, JD, VP of Government Affairs and Policy, National Rural Health Association 


1:30-2:30PM - “Rural Mental and Behavioral Health” 
Because of the severity of rural behavioral and mental health shortages, the prevalence of the opioid issue, and the depth of theses conversations generally, this panel will continue and build on the discussion featured on our “2018 Preview Webcast,” a pre-Symposium event held in February. 

  • Ron Manderscheid, PhD, Executive Director, National Association for Rural Mental Health (NARMH)
  • Sarah Vinson, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Jennifer Dunn, Regional Services Administrator, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities
  • Kalyn Lane, MD, Unison Behavioral Health (GA)


2:30-3:30PM - “Local Governance and Economic Development”
This panel will focus on the intersection of rural healthcare and rural economic development. Sitting hospital board members and other subject matter experts will discuss the importance of rural healthcare to the survivability of rural communities. 

  • Daniel Graves, JD, Chair, Elberton-Elbert County Hospital Authority
  • Rob Gordon, Executive Director, University of Georgia Archway Partnership
  • Reggie Taylor, Community Development Specialist, USDA Rural Development
  • Andy Miller, CEO, Editor-in-Chief, Georgia Health News


3:30PM - Closing Remarks


Program subject to change. This event is free to attend, but please RSVP in advance to secure your spot.