Guide to Healthcare Leadership Conferences (2021)


Healthcare leadership is a team effort in every sense of the term. Today’s healthcare systems require the intersection of IT, policy, finance, and public health. To bring it all together requires networking, collaboration, and a holistic view of the healthcare space. No one is a master of each component within this space, and that’s why they turn to conferences to build their understanding of the wider landscape.

Healthcare leadership conferences are nodes of knowledge that act as temporary centers of excellence. It’s here that industry leaders get together to discuss their challenges, opportunities, and research on the topics that matter most. Some may focus specifically on a particular niche, such as healthcare marketing or healthcare IT, while others may act as an omnibus wherein attendees can customize their track.

And there’s plenty of room for out-of-the-box thinking, too, with some conferences bringing speakers from roles as diverse as astronaut, artist, or singer to help explore the future of healthcare.

Whether you’re a veteran healthcare leader or someone just getting their start, healthcare leadership conferences are likely to be an important fixture of your career progression. Below, we’ve collected the top ten conferences in the United States for healthcare leadership in 2021.

Rural healthcare leadership comes with its challenges and opportunities, which are the focus of the American Hospital Association’s 34th annual Rural Healthcare Leadership Conference. Designed for rural healthcare administrators at all levels, the conference schedule emphasizes operational sustainability, improved performance, and community health.

This year’s keynote speakers include the O’Brien Chair of Global Surgery, the Senior Associate Director of the American Hospital Association, and the president of Orlikoff & Associates, Inc. Areas of discussion cover disruption, governance, politics, and patient-centric care.

Participants will be examining the environment such as the impact of the 2020 elections and COVID-19 on the health system, exploring how virtual health technologies are improving access to care, gaining practical tools for achieving clinical and operational performance, and learning strategies to foster a culture of innovation.

  • Location: Virtual / Online
  • Date: February 17-18, 2021
  • Focus: Rural healthcare leadership
  • Sponsor: AHA
  • Cost: Members ($198 early bird, and $245 after January 8); non-members ($348 – early bird, and $400 after January 8)

Hosted by Academy Health, an advocate of evidence-based healthcare policy, Health Datapalooza and National Health Policy Conference brings together disruptive voices and established experts to exchange ideas on how to turn data into innovative policy and practice. This combination of Health Datapalooza and the National Health Policy establishes and reinforces the professional connection that exists between health policy communities and health data. Through a combination of the poster, breakout, and plenary sessions, as well as group-working and networking activities, this event will harness and strengthen the synergies that exist between the policy and data worlds.

This year’s speakers include the Chief Health Officer of Cityblock Health, the President & CEO of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Founder and CEO of Onboard Health, the Co-Director of Harvard Data Science Initiative, the Industry Assistant Professor of NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, and many more.

  • Location: Virtual / Online
  • Date: February 16-18, 2021
  • Focus: Health data and health policy
  • Sponsor: Academy Health
  • Cost: AcademyHealth member, organizational member, and federal government member ($495); non-member ($695); patient, developer, and student member ($350); speaker ($250); group rate ($525)

ICHLA 2021 focuses on bringing together leading researchers, research scholars, and academic scientists to share and exchange their research results and experiences on nearly all aspects of healthcare leadership and administration. The conference also provides an interdisciplinary platform for practitioners, educators, and researchers to discuss and present the most recent trends, concerns, and innovations as well as the challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Healthcare Leadership and Administration.

Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to health administration, strategic planning, effective communication, corporate governance, project management, effective management, leadership and governance in health, health administration and policy studies, leadership, management and administration of public health systems, and stewardship, accountability, and integrity.

  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Date: June 10-11, 2021
  • Focus: Healthcare leadership and administration
  • Sponsor: World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology
  • Cost: Non-student oral or poster presenter (early bird €450, normal €500); student oral or poster presenter (early bird €350, normal €400); listener (early bird €250, normal €300); additional paper (€100)

The American College of Healthcare Executives’ (ACHE) Congress on Healthcare Leadership brings together over 4,200 people from the healthcare leadership community.

This 2021 edition is a premier networking and educational event for healthcare executives providing them an opportunity to come together and reimagine healthcare. Attendees will be able to connect with their colleagues, discover new insights from innovative thought leaders, and access resources that will empower them to lead in the field.

Learners in this conference will earn up to 12 ACHE Face-to-Face Education credits. This conference remains a pilgrimage for healthcare leaders at all points of their career.

This year’s featured faculty include the CEO of the American Hospital Association, the CEO of Henry Ford Health System, the President of the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the President of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, the Managing Director or Founder of the Kaufman Strategic Advisors LLC, and the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation.

  • Location: Virtual / Online
  • Date: March 22-25, 2021
  • Focus: Customizable
  • Sponsor: ACHE
  • Cost: Early bird registration (ACHE members and fellows $449, nonmembers $599, and students $169); registration fees beginning February 23 (ACHE members and fellows $599, nonmembers $749, and students $199)

The 17th annual WHCC will bring together over 1,200 changemakers to discuss the industry’s critical issues. Attendees can choose from 19 different customizable tracks, such as front-line leadership; population health analytics; payer transformation; member engagement; and women leaders in healthcare.

This year’s distinguished faculty includes the VP of network solutions for Blue Cross Blue Shield, the vice president at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, and the executive director of the Association of Independent Doctors. In total, over 300 speakers will be present to discuss the path forward for healthcare leaders.

This 4-day event will bring together key decision-makers and global thought leaders from all sectors of the health care ecosystem to learn, share, and connect best practices in a networking forum resulting in an exchange of valuable strategies.

  • Location: Washington, DC
  • Date: April 11-14, 2021
  • Focus: Customizable
  • Sponsor: World Congress
  • Cost: Standard rate ($3,995); pharmaceutical ($3,695); health plans ($2,395); hospital/health system ($1,795); tpa & brokers ($1,595); investors ($600); employer coalition/purchaser ($495); government ($495)

This virtual gathering is an interactive and dynamic event that will connect the healthcare community to learn, support, and share ideas for positively impacting the experience in healthcare organizations around the world.

Elevate PX is designed for practitioners and leaders who are improving the patient experience with roles in such areas as service excellence, executive leadership, patient experience or satisfaction, physician or nurse leadership, quality or safety operations, and patient and family advisors.

Attendees at this event will be experiencing live networking activities and educational sessions learning from leading experts who tackle issues related to patient experience within healthcare.

  • Location: Virtual / Online
  • Date: April 26-29, 2021
  • Focus: Elevating the human experience in healthcare
  • Sponsor: The Beryl Institute
  • Cost: Through Jan. 31 (per individual member $425, and per individual non-member $525); February 1 – March 31 (per individual member $475, per individual non-member $575); after March 31 (per individual member $500, and per individual non-member $600); keynote package (organizational member $4,000, and organizational non-member $5,000); add-on per individual access (organizational member $350, and organizational non-member $425)

The 2021 HCSRN annual conference will take place virtually on May 11-12, 2021. This conference is a preeminent gathering for researchers based in real-world health care systems and numerous collaborators in academic health systems, patient-partner communities, and funding agencies. The conference offers a diverse slate of content, showcasing relevant, rigorous research on important conditions affecting millions of patients.

The 2021 event will be held virtually and will focus on health policy, health care delivery and coverage, mental health, cardiovascular disease, Covid-19, epidemiology and surveillance, data science, informatics and data models, genomics & precision medicine, and population health improvement, among others.

  • Location: Virtual / Online
  • Date: May 11-12, 2021
  • Focus: Customizable
  • Sponsor: Not mentioned
  • Cost: HCSRN Member ($175); government agency employee ($175); full-time student ($125); patient/patient partner ($100); hcsrn non-member ($250)

The American Hospital Association’s Leadership Summit brings together health care executives, experts, and clinicians in this field who will present innovative approaches and transformational strategies to achieve financial sustainability while also delivering greater value through creative partnerships, redefined delivery models, and operational excellence. Special emphasis will be paid to the practices and strategies that enable leaders to respond successfully and remain resilient in periods of sustained crisis.

Furthermore, this event will explore topics such as leadership resilience, advancing equity and eliminating care disparities, strategic planning, virtual care & digital health transformation, workforce resilience & development, governance excellence, and behavioral health.

Speakers will also talk about the approaches and implications for dealing with financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also talk about the impact the pandemic has on healthcare workers and how the providers will re-engineer behavioral health care processes, develop new care protocols for effectively treating behavioral health patients, and improve access to services.

  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • Date: July 22-24, 2021
  • Focus: Transformational strategy and financial sustainability
  • Sponsor: American Hospital Association
  • Cost: Speakers ($500)

The ICHSM 2021 aims to bring together outstanding researchers, students, and scholars for exchanging and sharing their research results and experiences about all aspects of health management. The event will discuss the most recent trends, innovations, concerns, practical challenges encountered, and the various solutions in the fields of health management.

This event cordially welcomes all experts of academia, government, and industry from all around the world for contributing to and helping shape this conference through submissions of their research papers, posters, and abstracts.

The topics of interest include but are not limited to primary healthcare, healthcare system, health promotion, schizophrenia, geriatric nursing, perinatal nursing, rehabilitation nursing, gastroenterology nursing, nephrology nursing, disease prevention, electroconvulsive therapy & effects, occupational health nursing, and oncology nursing, among others.

  • Location: Kyoto, Japan
  • Date: May 14-16, 2021
  • Focus: Accelerating the evolution of the whole-evidence approach to promote health
  • Sponsor: Not mentioned
  • Cost (Estimated): ICHSM reviewer ($420); CBEES member ($470); student ($470); normal authors ($520); listeners ($350); additional paper ($320); additional page ($30); extra proceeding ($50)

HLTH, a yearly industry event, skimps on the vowels, but not on the content. The conference’s scale is unprecedented, and its mission is to bring together thousands of senior leaders to discuss the most pressing problems in healthcare, as well as the most promising solutions. The event is focused on health innovation and transformation.

Previous speakers have included the president and CEO of Cigna, the president of Health Platforms at Verily, the chief operating officer at Rite Aid, and the chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. HLTH has enjoyed sponsorship support from industry heavyweights such as IBM Watson Health, Optum, and Rectangle Health.

  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Date: October 17-20, 2021
  • Focus: The future of health
  • Sponsor: Pending
  • Cost (Estimated): Not yet available
Matt Zbrog
Matt Zbrog

Matt Zbrog is a writer and freelancer who has been living abroad since 2016. His nonfiction has been published by Euromaidan Press, Cirrus Gallery, and Our Thursday. Both his writing and his experience abroad are shaped by seeking out alternative lifestyles and counterculture movements, especially in developing nations. You can follow his travels through Eastern Europe and Central Asia on Instagram at @weirdviewmirror. He’s recently finished his second novel, and is in no hurry to publish it.

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