Southwest Idaho Community Health Network (SWICHN) Hospital Board and Leadership Conference


Provides educational opportunities for members of hospital boards, rural board members in particular, via an annual statewide conference.


The Southwest Idaho Community Health Network determined that there was a need among their member hospitals to provide high-quality education for their board members. In response, they created an annual SWICHN Board and Leadership Conference to address this need and to provide a great opportunity for hospital board members to network with their peers. Although the key audience is the hospital board members, SWICHN also invites executive teams and physician leaders from member hospitals.

Services offered

The annual SWICHN Board and Leadership Conference is the major service provided. The costs of the conference are built into SWICHN's annual budget so that attendees are only responsible for their travel expenses.

SWICHN also created an Education/Professional Development Committee that helps to select speakers and address conference details. Surveys of the attendees help SWICHN measure the quality of each speaker and each conference.


The annual SWICHN Board and Leadership Conference has been very successful. 2012 marks the 10th annual conference, with average attendance at about 60; many attendees participate every year. This has not only been a great educational event for hospital board members, executives, and physician leaders across Idaho, it has also been a great opportunity to present the value and successes of the Southwest Idaho Community Health Network.


Since many executives and board members already attend the annual Idaho Hospital Association Convention, SWICHN schedules their conference just prior to that event. Recognizing the time limitations of their key attendees, SWICHN also schedules their conference to be shorter than many other conferences, normally just an evening dinner and speaker followed by a morning of additional speakers. This is typically long enough to obtain some valuable information and short enough to maximize attendance.

One of the keys to a successful conference is the quality of the speakers. SWICHN learned that the best speakers are energetic and engaging, but also provide valuable content that is useful and applicable--especially in rural hospital settings. They normally try to use speakers who one of their members have heard and recommended, or who have online videos of previous programs.

Contact person
Stephen Stoddard
Governance of healthcare facilities
States served
Date added
November 15, 2012

Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RAC for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RAC or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.