We're excited that you're interested in attending the Minnesota Rural Health Conference! Whether you're a returning attendee or attending for the very first time, you might have some questions. We've tried to anticipate those questions and answer them below. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at ruralhealthconference@ruralcenter.org.  

General Conference Information
Sponsorship and Exhibition
Accommodations and Duluth Area

General Conference Information

What are the dates for the 2024 conference?
The 2024 Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held on Monday, June 17 and Tuesday June 18, in Duluth.

Where will the conference sessions be held?
Conference sessions will be held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). The DECC is within walking distance of Canal Park, downtown Duluth, and local restaurants and hotels.

Is a full conference agenda available?
Visit the "at-a-glance" overview of the conference schedule for additional details about conference sessions. Full descriptions of conference sessions will be available in the conference app.

Does the conference have different tracks?
Yes. In addition to sessions that are designed for all attendees — like keynote addresses, panel discussion sessions and the Minnesota Health Association Policy Forum — breakout sessions on both conference days are arranged around four tracks: 

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. Topics that may be addressed 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; and 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. Topics that may be addressed 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; and care coordination.

Behavioral and Mental Health
Sessions in this track focus on innovative strategies, programs, and initiatives that address behavioral and mental health challenges. Topics that may be addressed 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; and 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. Topics that may be addressed 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; and responding to new health equity measures and requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and The Joint Commission.

Do I need to sign up to attend individual sessions at the conference?
No. Once you register, you have access to all of the conference sessions — you can “build your own” personal conference agenda and attend any sessions that you choose.

Can I still submit a proposal for the conference?
Unfortunately, no. Conference proposals were due on Friday, January 12, 2024.

Who typically attends the Minnesota Rural Health Conference?
The conference tends to attract a mix of participants: health care executives; health care providers and other professionals; network directors; policy analysts and other researchers; representatives from health plans and accountable care organizations; educators; staff from government agencies; health professions students; elected and appointed officials; and other community members, leaders and activists.

Are continuing education credits offered for attendance at the conference sessions?
Continuing education credits are pending approval and will be available for attendees who participate in the full conference. In the past, credits have been available for physicians, executives of long-term care services and support, health care executives, social workers and nurses. A certificate of attendance will be emailed to conference attendees seeking continuing education credits once they complete an online course evaluation.

Will conference sessions be recorded?
Conference sessions will not be recorded this year.

If I can’t attend the conference in person this year, is there a virtual option?
There is no virtual option to attend the Minnesota Rural Health Conference this year.

What is the reimbursement process for a critical access hospital attendee? 
Complete the CAH Reimbursement Form by August 1st, 2024 to be reimbursed for one-night lodging up to $200, mileage up to 200 miles total, and a conference registration. 


How do I register for the conference?
Registration for the conference opened on Tuesday, April 2 and can be completed online.

Can I register in person at the conference?
On-site registration will be available for both days of the conference. We accept payment via Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover. Cash and check payments are not accepted.

Is there a discount for registering early?
Yes. An “early bird” discount applies to registrations purchased from April 2, 2024 to May 17, 2024. Registration rates increase beginning on Saturday, May 18.

What is included in my registration fee?
The conference registration fee provides access to all conference sessions (keynote sessions, plenary sessions, breakout sessions, the Minnesota Rural Health Association Policy Forum), and food/meals (continental breakfast on both days, lunch on Monday, Networking Reception on Monday evening, snacks throughout both days).

Are there any registration discounts for conference attendees who travel a significant distance?
Yes, conference attendees who travel more than 250 miles one-way to Duluth are eligible for a $100 discount off the full conference registration rate. 

Are there any scholarships available to help defray the cost of attending the conference?
Scholarships are typically available to help make the conference as accessible as possible to all rural health professionals. Additional details about scholarships can be found on the Registration page. Applicants who apply for and are not approved for a scholarship will be given the opportunity to register for the conference at the early bird rates.

What is the conference’s cancellation policy?
Registration fees are refundable. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after June 1, 2024. All cancellations must be made in writing and submitted to ruralhealthconference@ruralcenter.org.

If I can’t attend the conference after I’ve registered, can I transfer my registration to someone else?
Yes, registrations can be transferred to another staff member at your organization. Requests for a transfer of registration must be made in writing and submitted to ruralhealthconference@ruralcenter.org

Are there registration discounts for students?
Students currently enrolled in health professions programs are eligible to attend the Minnesota Rural Health Conference at a reduced rate. To qualify for the student registration rate, attendees must be a part-time or full-time student in a health professions field and must not be employed more than half-time. 

Who should I contact with registration questions or problems?
If you have any questions about the registration process, please reach out to ruralhealthconference@ruralcenter.org or call us at (218) 464-6121.

Sponsorship and Exhibition

My company is interested in serving as a sponsor for the conference. What opportunities are available?
The conference offers a variety of options to help organizations increase their profile among attendees. The conference Sponsorship Opportunities page and the Sponsor & Exhibitor Prospectus offer more detailed information about the Platinum, Gold and Silver Sponsor levels.

What is the deadline to register as a conference sponsor or exhibitor?
The deadline to reserve a sponsorship is Friday, May 10. General exhibitor registration opened on Tuesday, April 2. Exhibit space is available on a first come, first served basis, and we expect it to sell out quickly. 

How much does it cost to serve as a conference sponsor or exhibitor?
The conference offers sponsor and exhibitor options to meet a range of budgets. The conference Sponsorship Opportunities page and the Sponsor & Exhibitor Prospectus offer more information about sponsorship packages and exhibitor opportunities.

Accommodations and Duluth Area

Which Duluth hotels are near the conference venue?
Reservations for rooms in the discounted conference blocks are now closed. Please contact hotels directly to find out the current availability of rooms and rates. 

What is there to do in Duluth while I’m attending the conference?
Visit Duluth, the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau, and its official destination marketing organization, offers dining, shopping and attractions recommendations to help you make the most of your stay in Duluth.