Health Care Community Gathers in Roanoke for 2023 Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Conference

September 27, 2023

“Aim for the Stars” is the Theme of This Year’s Annual Conference, Which Focuses on Health Care Innovation Amid Transformational Times

ROANOKE, VA – The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) is hosting its annual fall conference this week (Sept. 27-29) in Roanoke, Virginia, bringing together hundreds of health care leaders, clinicians, and stakeholders, as well as partner organizations for networking, shared learning, and collaboration.

“Aim for the Stars” is the theme for the 2023 Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Conference whose agenda is focused on the identification of opportunities for growth and advancement in the health care sector, as well as strategies to navigate future challenges. Program highlights include keynote remarks from Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and pediatric cancer survivor who recently served as chief medical officer on the first all-civilian mission to orbit (Inspiration4); and Kay Firth-Butterfield, the head of Artificial Intelligence and a member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum.

Other conference highlights include a reception at the Taubman Museum of Art and breakout learning sessions on government advocacy, health care workforce development, and health care quality and safety (view the conference brochure here). The program also features an awards luncheon to honor several health care and community leaders. Keynote remarks at the awards luncheon will be delivered by Marvin Figueroa, Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Augusta Health President and CEO Mary N. Mannix is the event master of ceremonies. Leaders being honored during the ceremony include James D. “Jim” Dahling, former President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters; William B. “Bill” Downey, former President and CEO of Riverside Health System; Sentara Health CEO Emeritus Howard P. Kern; Dr. Kurt Newman, the former President and CEO of Children’s National Hospital; Eileen L. Dohman, former Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer with Mary Washington Healthcare; Peter F. “Pete” Gallagher, former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Valley Health System; Steve Danziger, Board Chair for the UVA Community Health Unified Community Board; and Virginia Senator Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (view the awards luncheon brochure here).

“We are living through transformational times when scientific, technological, and medical advances happen before our eyes,” said Eric Deaton, Ballad Health Chief Operating Officer and VHHA Board of Directors Chair. “In this fast-paced climate, our focus as a health care community is on improving each day to support the treatment needs of the people we serve. That idea is central to the theme of this year’s conference. While the notion of aiming for the stars may have different meaning for individuals, the essence of it is an innate belief that innovation can take us to new heights. We aspire to that ideal, which the content of this conference reinforces.”

Added VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton: “The purpose of this annual conference is to foster an environment where health care professionals can learn from and collaborate with each other. In an increasingly complex world, there is significant public health value in health care providers coming together to share experiences, knowledge, best practices, and lessons learned regarding the health needs of the communities they serve. This conference helps promote enhanced coordination among hospitals and health systems that are working to improve care and patient outcomes and preparing for future public health challenges.”

VHHA extends its gratitude to program participants, attendees, and speakers as well as the following sponsors whose support helps make the 2023 Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Conference possible:

  • VHHA Shared Services Elite Industry Partners: Qualivis, Vizient;
  • Awards Luncheon Sponsor: W.M. Jordan Company;
  • Welcome Reception Sponsor: Sentara Health;
  • Blue Ridge Sponsor: RCM&D;
  • McAfee Knob Sponsors: Allstate Identity Protection, Apollo MD, Intellimed, KII Consulting Inc., The Language Group, LifeNet Health, Meadows & Ohly, Omnicell, Realty Trust Group, SCP Health, Unite Us, US Anesthesia Partners, VCU College of Health Professions, VHHA Shared Services, Virginia Rural Health Association, Virginia Tech Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement; and
  • Supporting Sponsors: Healthcare Administrators of Tidewater, Truist, LewisGale Regional Health System, Virginia Coordinated Clinical Research Network, Troutman Pepper Strategies, Virgnia’s Blue Ridge, and Williams Mullen.

About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 111 hospitals and 26 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to achieve excellence in both health care and health to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. Its vision is through collaboration with members and stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of Virginia health care system, transform the delivery of care to promote lower costs and high value across the continuum of care, and to improve health for all Virginians. Connect with VHHA through FacebookTwitterInstagramTikTokLinkedIn, and YouTube.


Julian Walker
Vice President of Communications
(804) 297-3193 office
(804) 304-7402 mobile