In 1976, Gerald Ford was president of the United States, gasoline cost 59 cents per gallon and Apple Computer was in its infancy. It was also the year that the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) held its first ever Rural Hospital Leadership Conference at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan, gathering health care leaders from across the state for a June workshop that explored the latest issues affecting rural health care in Washington state.Now, WSHA and Campbell’s Resort are celebrating four decades of their partnership, as WSHA will hold its 40th Annual Rural Hospital Leadership Conference at the Central Washington resort this year, June 26-29. The longstanding relationship reflects the resort’s hospitality and its family feel, making its guests feel welcome year after ye Some guests have been visiting the resort for three generations.“Our resort is a five-generation family owned business,” said Clint Campbell, co-owner of the resort. “To have WSHA return every year for 40 years is amazing. I think it’s our close connection with these guests that keep them coming back. It’s like we’re family.”“Our conference in Chelan is where we pay particular attention to issues facing rural health care, and Campbell’s Resort has always been a natural fit,” said Mike Glenn, CEO of Jefferson Healthcare and chair of WSHA’s Rural Hospital Committee. “Guests start booking their rooms for the following year before leaving the conference, and we’re already looking forward to 2017 for another year where we can come together to share ideas and best practices to keep improving health care in Washington state’s rural communities.”“WSHA’s Rural Hospital Leadership Conference has grown and evolved a lot in the last 40 years, but the core of it has remained intact,” said Jon Smiley, interim CEO of Garfield County Public Hospital District, who attended the first Rural Hospital Leadership Conference in 1976. “As members of WSHA, we always look forward to coming to Campbell’s in Chelan, and even though it’s a professional conference, it feels like a vacation. June is also such a lovely time in Chelan, with the warm weather making it the perfect time for everything around the resort, including golfing and wine tasting.”The growth of the wine industry has marked one of the most substantial changes to Lake Chelan valley over the years, diversifying the agricultural traditionally dominated by apples. The region received its own American Viticultural Area (AVA) designation in 2009, and now more than 28 wineries dot the area.The 40th Annual Rural Leadership Conference includes presentations by national health care experts, including Founder of the Harwood Institute, Rich Harwood, and Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman. It also includes breakout sessions, panel discussions and networking events that include a golf tournament, wine tasting, an ice cream social and a barbecue, which has become a conference tradition on the resort’s beach.WSHA will celebrate the milestone of 40 years with historic photos and T-shirts from previous conferences.About Campbell’s ResortCampbell's Resort has been family owned and operated since 1901. Offering guest rooms, award- winning dining, meeting space and spa, it is located on the 55-mile long, glacially fed Lake Chelan. It was recently voted ‘Best Resort’ by and Evening Magazine’s Best of the Northwest Escapes contest. Campbell’s previously won the contest’s ‘Best Resort’ recognition in 2011, 2013 and 2014.About WSHAThe Washington State Hospital Association works to improve the health of all Washington state residents by being active on key issues of policy and quality. WSHA represents more than 100 hospitals and health systems in the state, including those that are non-profit, investor-owned, and county, state and military hospitals. For more about our membership, see our membership brochure on

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The Triple Aim guides our members and our work, as we strive to improve the patient experience, improve the health of populations and reduce the cost of health care. To see more about our strategic plan, visit

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