The Speakers


Keynote Speaker

Michelle Rathman

Keynote Speaker

Michelle founded Impact! Communications, Inc., in 1989, a leader in health care strategy and communications. Impact’s focus includes academic, for-profit, Critical Access and Rural Hospitals, clinics, primary and specialty care provider practices, as well as organizations and associations serving the health care sector. Their work across the U.S. includes strengthening hospital identity and brand, engaging community stakeholders and strategic partners, identifying opportunities to decrease outmigration, improving internal culture, communications, and customer service across service lines and practices, as well as providing transformative professional development that inspires positive change. 


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Jennifer Findley

Jennifer Findley serves as the vice president of education and special projects for the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA). Her primary responsibilities at KHA include development, management and oversight of education programs and services. She provides leadership to KHA membership engagement activities, leadership development programming and the KHA Annual Convention. She is also the executive director of the Kansas Hospital Education and Research Foundation. In her role with KHERF, she provides leadership to KHERF grant projects, many with a focus on rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Jennifer serves as a liaison to the Kansas Healthcare Engineers Association and Kansas Healthcare Environmental Services Association. She serves on a number of committees dedicated to education, technology, and advocacy and is a former board member of the Kansas Society of Association Executives.

Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communication from Wichita State University and a training and development certificate from Southwest Missouri State University College of Business Administration.

R. Shawn Martin

Shawn Martin, senior vice president, advocacy, practice advancement and policy at the AAFP.  In this role, he provides strategic leadership to the AAFP leadership and directs the public and private sector advocacy efforts of the nation’s largest primary care organization. 

Martin is responsible for overseeing the AAFP’s Division of Government Relations and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington, DC, as well as the Division of Practice Advancement at the AAFP headquarters in Leawood, Kan.  He also oversees the Alliance for eHealth Innovation and HealthLandscape, a data aggregation and geospatial mapping enterprise.

He is recognized for his thoughtful leadership on a range of health care and workforce issues.  While his portfolio includes numerous issues, he is nationally known for his work on the development and implementation of primary care delivery and payment models.  He has served in leadership roles of several coalitions and partnerships during his career, including a six-year period as chair of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access.  He currently serves on the board of the National Coalition on Health Care and the Coalition for Sustainable RX Pricing. 

Scott Shipman, MD, MPH

Scott Shipman, MD, MPH, is Director of Clinical Innovations and Director of Primary Care Initiatives at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Dr. Shipman works with a wide range of health system leaders to promote effective innovations in ambulatory care delivery and training.  He guides AAMC activities promoting emerging high-value ambulatory care models, and supports efforts to criticially assess and scale effective telehealth inovations within teaching health systems.  Dr. Shipman established Project CORE (Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences), an AAMC-led clinical model that establishes higher quality and greater efficiency at the interface of primary care and specialty care.


A general pediatrician and health services researcher by training, Dr. Shipman has studied the healthcare workforce and workforce policy extensively.  Dr. Shipman completed medical school at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and a fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Johns Hopkins, where he also received his MPH.  Dr. Shipman maintains a faculty position at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. 

Ashley B. Thompson

Ashley Thompson is senior vice president, public policy analysis & development for the American Hospital Association (AHA), a position she has held since 2015. In this role, Ashley provides leadership, strategic direction and management in the development, articulation and advocacy of the association’s policy positions. Additionally, she leads AHA’s formal policy development process, which solicits input from key hospital leaders on issues related to advocacy, public policy and field leadership. A 15-year veteran of the AHA, Ashley has also served as acting senior executive for public policy analysis, vice president and deputy director of policy, and director of policy.


Previously, Ashley was Health Policy Advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where she served as policy lead for Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) on Medicare Part A issues, including those related to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health care and hospice. During her tenure with the Committee, she developed and drafted the Medicare provisions adopted in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, including provisions related to value-based purchasing and post-acute care payment reforms. 


Before working on Capitol Hill, Ashley spent seven years at hospitals and health systems, working in the areas of strategic planning, finance and policy at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health Systems, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, and Mount Sinai Health System in Chicago. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, and her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Harry Wilkins III

Dr. Harry Wilkins III is a native of Illinois and a practicing trauma surgeon on staff at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill. He completed his medical school and surgical residency training at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed a trauma fellowship at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Md. After practicing for several years in Texas, Kansas and Missouri, Dr. Wilkins then completed a Master’s Degree in Health Care Management from Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health before joining Quincy Medical Group in 2010. Dr. Wilkins has received the HRSA medal of honor for his role as co-faculty of the HRSA-sponsored Organ Donation and Transplant Breakthrough collaboratives and serves as the current administrative medical director for Midwest Transplant Network in Kansas City. Dr. Wilkins is also the medical advisor-elect for AOPO, is widely published in medical literature and is a member of numerous medical societies.

Additional speakers will continue to be added.



7:30 - 8:30 AM

Registration and Breakfast

8:45 - 9:45 AM

Keynote Session: The Rural Health Landscape

Insights on Today’s rural health landscape from Michelle Rathman, host of Rural Matters podcast series

10:00 - 11:00 AM

The Rural Hospital

Changing visions for the rural hospital in a discussion moderated by Moody’s Daniel Steingart

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

The Rural Health Workforce

Developing the next generation of rural clinicians with Dr. Harry Wilkins, Quincy Medical Group

12:15 - 1:15 PM


1:15 - 2:15 PM

New Payment and Delivery Models for Rural Health

Innovative payment and care delivery models for rural health with Jennifer Findley, Kansas Hospital Association

2:30 - 3:30 PM

The Future of Rural Healthcare:
A Policy-Focused Discussion

Promising policy solutions for the challenges facing rural healthcare providers with representatives from AHA, AAFP, and AAMC

  • Ashley Thompson, SVP, Public Policy and Development, American Hospital Association

  • Shawn Martin, SVP of Advocacy, Practice Advancement, and Policy, American Academy of Family Physician

  • Scott Shipman, MD, Director, Clinical Innovations, Association of American Medical Colleges

3:30 - 3:45 PM



5 CPE credits are available for attending a full complement of conference sessions.

Course levels: Basic.

No advance preparation or prerequisites are required.

Instructional Delivery Method: Group-Live.


In accordance with the standards of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, CPE credits are granted based on a 50-minute hour.  Kaufman Hall is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State Boards of Accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

The Ritz Carlton Chicago Hotel

160 East Pearson Street at Water Tower Place

Chicago, IL 60611

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago for 249 USD per night

  • Start date for room rate: Saturday, March 7, 2020

  • End date for room rate: Sunday, March 15, 2020

  • Last day to book: Monday, February 17, 2020

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