Georgia Law organizes symposium to address rural healthcare issues


UGA law school organizes symposium to address rural healthcare issues

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law will present, in conjunction with the health law and consulting firm Boling & Company, the inaugural Rural Healthcare Symposium titled “Obstacles and Opportunities Going Forward” on March 25 at 9 a.m. in the Larry Walker Room of Dean Rusk Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

“This symposium will be a focused policy discussion between local and national healthcare executives, policymakers and advocates,” said Associate Professor and symposium organizer Fazal Khan. “This will be an opportunity to examine the issues currently faced by rural healthcare providers as well as issues of the past and future, and how stakeholders can work together to solve some of these concerns.”

The symposium’s keynote presentation will be given by Alan Morgan, chief executive officer of the National Rural Health Association. Morgan has more than 20 years of experience in health policy development, including tenures with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the Heart Rhythm Society. Prior to joining the NRHA, he served as a federal lobbyist for VHA Inc., a Texas-based corporation that serves 5,000 not-for-profit health system members and their affiliates. Morgan has published health policy articles in several publications and served as the co-author of the sixth edition of Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care.

The daylong conference also includes four panel discussions centering on: rural hospital consolidation, affiliations and closures; regulatory issues affecting rural healthcare and potential remedies; technological innovations addressing access shortages; and medical staff alignment and recruitment strategies.

Panelists at the event will include, among others, Carol Alexander, Stroudwater Associates; H.D. Cannington, interim chief financial officer at Fishermen’s Community Hospital; Lisa Carhuff, director of hospital services for the Georgia State Office of Rural Health; Jim Coleman, senior vice president of southeast hospital operations for Community Hospital Corporation; Kay Floyd, chief executive officer of Monroe County Hospital; Dr. William Kanto, Augusta University (formerly Georgia Regents University); Gary Nelson, president of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation; Robin Rau, chief executive officer of Miller County Hospital; and Jeff Robbins, director of telemedicine for Tift Regional Medical Center; and Baha Zeidan, chief executive officer of Azalea Health.

Georgia Law professors including Khan, Hosch Professor Elizabeth Weeks Leonard and Adjunct Professor William H. Boling Jr. will act as moderators.

Organized by the law school’s student organization Health Law Society, the symposium is also sponsored by the Georgia Partnership for Telehealth and Community Hospital Corporation.

UGA School of Law Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, Georgia Law was established in 1859. Its accomplished faculty includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship. The school offers three degrees—the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law—and is home to the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Georgia Law is proud of its long tradition of providing first-rate legal training for future leaders who will serve state and nation in both the public and private sectors. For more information, see www.law.uga.edu.