Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted key insights from the educational sessions at VITAL2018. But our annual meeting goes far beyond education alone — it’s about energizing essential hospital leaders. From hallway conversations to inspiring award presentations, there’s much more that makes this a conference you can’t miss.

1. VITAL is a unique opportunity to network with essential hospital leaders from across the country.

One of the greatest benefits of attending VITAL is the opportunity to network with hospital and health system leaders who share your commitment to high-quality care for all. VITAL2018 saw our greatest attendance yet, with 333 hospital and health system leaders from 107 organizations. The conference is peppered with opportunities — networking breaks, educational sessions, preconference sessions — to engage in discussions with other hospital leaders who are tackling similar challenges.

2. Our Gage Awards honor inspiring work by essential hospitals.

During VITAL, America’s Essential Hospitals recognizes member success at the Gage Awards luncheon. These awards highlight projects that enhance care for vulnerable populations or improve specific health outcomes. The Gage Awards promote innovation among essential hospitals and inspire other hospitals to apply best practices in their facilities. At VITAL2018, four essential hospitals were recognized for their work in quality and population health.

3. Engaging keynote speakers highlight topics of importance to essential hospitals.

At VITAL, you can expect to hear from a wide variety of speakers on issues of importance to essential hospitals, such as population health, equity, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and innovative payment models. Program speakers provide on-the-ground examples of innovative programs that improve care in essential hospitals. At VITAL2018, two engaging keynote speakers — Kelly McGonigal, PhD, and Nadine Burke Harris, MD — captivated the audience with presentations on the upside of stress and the long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences, both timely and relevant topics for essential hospital leaders.

Want to hear from other attendees? Listen to firsthand perspectives on VITAL2018 (below), and consider sharing your own work at VITAL2019, June 19–21, in Miami. Our call for presentation and poster proposals opens Monday, Oct. 1; proposals will be accepted through Nov. 16.