2019 Annual Meeting & Trade Show

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Our annual membership meeting is the culmination of each year's work. Health care professionals from throughout the state gather to advance their skills, network with fellow hospital leaders, and re-inspire their work. A favorite element of the annual meeting is the trade show event, where members can meet sponsors and exhibitors and learn more about the products and services that are shaping the way health care professionals work.


From breaking the cycle of burnout to prioritizing patient engagement – and everything in-between – world-class speakers and panelists delivered sessions that reinvigorated our work.

In an encore to his 2017 keynote address, Ben Nemtin returned this year as facilitator of the leadership workshop to offer a road map for reconnecting to our sense of purpose – in both life and work.

Of course, the best thing about the AHA trade show is learning about the latest and greatest in products and services designed to help our hospitals deliver care more effectively and efficiently than ever. But all the goodies, gifts, and cash prizes awarded certainly come in a close second!

Nothing works up an appetite quite like browsing trade show booths, but – thanks to the AHA food truck lineup – no bellies were growling this year. The variety was wide enough to please every palate, and, because the feast was parked right on the floor of the trade show, no one had to miss a moment of the action. And we didn’t forget your sweet tooth – dessert food trucks really put the icing on the … well, donuts.

This year the CAVHS Chorale had us on our feet with their electrifying performance of patriotic tunes and timeless favorites. Made up of a volunteer group of VA employees, veterans, and other vocalists from the community, they made a joyful noise in the lead-up to the keynote address. 

We all want to be on top of our “game,” but sometimes we get sidelined by life’s challenges. In his keynote address, Joe Theismann – world champion quarterback, broadcaster, and entrepreneur – motivated us to meet “the challenge of change” with the power of positivity and clarity of vision. 

Working toward the mission of creating a healthier Arkansas holds its own rewards, but one of the most essential roles that AHA plays is to foster a statewide community of collegiality, collaboration, and support. That’s why we look forward to the awards dinner each year as an opportunity to recognize those among us – newcomers and seasoned pros alike – whose service to our state is inspiring and transformational.  

And, in a touching and characteristically mirthful farewell, Darren Caldwell offered his reflections – in verse form – on his tenure as AHA’s Board Chairman and welcomed Chris Barber, CEO of St. Bernards, as he assumed the role, turning the page on a new chapter of the association’s story.  

Thank you to all of the members, sponsors, trade show vendors, and staff who came together to create an unforgettable event.

We have more surprises in store for 2020, so save the dates OCTOBER 7-9. We'll see you there!