The 2013 AHA Annual Membership Meeting April 28–May 1 in Washington, D.C., is an excellent opportunity for new and returning trustees to stay current on the latest in both health care and health care governance. You'll hear from noted experts and congressional leaders, and have the chance to voice your concerns with AHA staff.

There also are special educational opportunities designed for trustees. The AHA's Center for Healthcare Governance again will sponsor three educational sessions.

On Sunday afternoon, April 28, James E. Orlikoff, president, Orlikoff & Associates Inc., will examine strategies to create effective board and leadership engagement in and oversight of quality and patient safety.

On Monday morning, April 29, Center President and COO John R. Combes, M.D., and former AHA Chairman Rick de Filippi, a trustee of the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation, will highlight the findings of the Center's new Blue Ribbon Panel report, including insights from interviews with board members, executives and clinical leaders. Learn what the report identified as the most important contributions boards can make to help their organizations prepare for the future, and the conversations boards should have to move strategic plans forward.

On Tuesday morning, April 30, F. Kenneth Ackerman Jr., chairman, Integrated Healthcare Strategies, will outline trends in many leading health care organizations and address questions pertaining to: board size; the board's responsibility to manage risk; finding quality board candidates; CEO turnover; and transparency in quality, customer service, pricing and compensation.

Throughout the meeting, you'll have numerous opportunities to meet and network with colleagues. On Tuesday, for example, the Committee on Governance again will sponsor the Trustee Leadership Breakfast. This year we will be joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker.

Early bird registration ends Friday, March 15, so register today at

Katherine Keene ( is COG chair and a trustee of Salem (Ore.) Hospital.