June 17-18, 2024
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC)
Duluth, MN

The Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, the Minnesota Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Resource Center invite proposals for presentations to be delivered at the 2024 Minnesota Rural Health Conference (June 17-18 in Duluth). The call for submissions is now closed.

The Minnesota Rural Health Conference seeks to support, connect and inspire rural health professionals and leaders from across the state as they work toward the goal of building healthy communities.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals for oral presentations and panel discussions that align with one of four conference tracks are encouraged:

Leadership and Workforce Development

Sessions in this track focus on how health care organizations are effectively addressing workforce gaps and developing current and future leaders internally. (Possible topics include: Recruitment and retention strategies; building and supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce; leadership training and mentorship programs that prepare staff and providers for advancement; board education and development)

Access to Care 

Sessions in this track focus on successful approaches to removing barriers and expanding access to care by addressing challenges related to transportation (lack of vehicle access, long travel times), workforce (shortages, difficulty accessing specialty services), health care costs and health care coverage, technology (lack of broadband access), health literacy (difficulty navigating the health care system), social stigma, and other social drivers of health. (Possible topics include: Creative community partnerships; new care delivery models, like community paramedicine and community health workers; mobile clinics; the use of telehealth and other technologies; changes in reimbursement; care coordination)

Behavioral and Mental Health

Sessions in this track focus on innovative strategies, programs, and initiatives that address behavioral and mental health challenges. (Possible topics include: Best practices for integrating behavioral and mental health services into primary care settings; education and training programs; peer recovery support services for people with substance use disorders; transitioning people with mental or substance use disorders from institutional/treatment settings into the community; partnerships between justice and support services and health care providers; mental health support for corrections involved individuals)

Process Improvement

Sessions in this track focus on creative strategies for using data to drive financial, operational, and/or quality improvement in health care organizations and practical approaches to implementing quality improvement initiatives. (Possible topics include: How to put data into action; building capacity for quality improvement across teams; building a culture of continuous improvement; successful implementation of value-based models; partnering with patients and families to improve care; responding to new health equity measures and requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and The Joint Commission)

Proposals should be educational and informative, and should avoid promoting or advertising specific businesses, products or services.

Proposal submissions must include at least one presenter who is a rural health care provider, student, person with lived experience or a person working at a rural health care organization or facility. Proposals that list speakers as "to be determined" will not be considered for review.

Proposals must be submitted using the online form. Each of the following elements must be provided during the proposal submission process:

  • Session Title
  • Presenter’s Geographic Location
  • Conference Track
  • Intended Audience
  • Number of Presenters
  • Session Description
  • Primary Contact Information
  • Contact Information for All Presenters (including a short bio)

The information provided will be used by reviewers to evaluate the proposed presentation’s fit for the conference.

Session Format

Each conference session is scheduled for 60 minutes and should include time for introductions and audience questions. Sessions can take the form of oral presentations or panel discussions. Sessions are limited to a total of three speakers or panel members. Content must be effectively covered in the time provided. Presenters should plan for up to 120 attendees in each session.

Conference Audience

Attendees at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference typically include: health care executives; health care providers and other professionals; network directors; policy analysts and other researchers; health plan and accountable care organization representatives; educators; staff from government agencies; health professions students; and community members, leaders, and activists. 

Submission Deadline

The deadline to submit a proposal was Friday, January 12, 2024.

Proposal Selection

The conference’s Proposal Review Committee will review, evaluate, rank and select proposals with an eye toward developing a balanced conference program that meets the needs of conference attendees. The primary contact for each submitted proposal will be notified of their presentation’s status (acceptance/rejection) by March 4, 2024.

Priority will be given to proposals that:

  • Demonstrate the potential for an engaging experience for conference participants.
  • Tie to the conference theme and conference tracks.
  • Tell a story (e.g., create suspense; engage emotions; show, don’t tell; etc.).
  • Share outcomes and impact, actionable solutions, and/or successful models. 
  • Address health equity.
  • Can be effectively covered in the time provided.

Each session topic should be presented with an equitable lens for the people in the audience and consider how the strategy/model/tool being presented could be replicated to advance health equity.

Presenter Expectations

All Minnesota Rural Health Conference presenters are expected to:

  • Register for the conference and pay the reduced registration fee.
  • Attend the conference in person.
  • Submit any PowerPoint presentations to conference organizers no later than Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Only one presentation should be submitted per session. If multiple speakers are scheduled to present during one session, their presentations should be combined into a single file.) Presentation files will be shared with conference participants in the conference app.
  • Adhere to federal copyright laws and regulations when preparing presentation content.

Contact Us

Please direct any questions about the 2024 Minnesota Rural Health Conference or the proposal submission process to ruralhealthconference@ruralcenter.org.