Annual Conference


Join us for the 23rd annual Rural Health Conference in Pigeon Forge, TN, Nov. 15-17!

"Rooted in Healthy Living Across Tennessee"

The Rural Health Association of Tennessee prides itself in partnering with other organizations across the state for the purpose of making lives in Tennessee healthier. This year's conference will include speakers from all ares of the state presenting on topics including Healthy Community Based Initiatives, the Opioid Epidemic, information for new  and established Rural Health Clinics and partnering to improve health outcomes. 



Printable Registration Form to Mail with Payment 

Online Registration & Payment

Breakout sessions last one hour and occur starting on the afternoon of November 15 through the afternoon of November 16, 2017 at the Music Road Conference Center in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Call for Presentations & Interested Speaker Forms


It's never to early to reserve your spot as an Exhibitor/Sponsor of the 23rd Annual Rural Health Association Conference to be held November 15-17, 2017 at the Music Road Resort & Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Click here to register and pay online as a sponsor/exhibitor. * Online payment has been suspended due to limited  exhibitor/sponsor space. Please contact the RHAT office at 615-907-9707 for availability.

Conference Sponsor Prospectus

Ad Specs and Exhibit Information

Hotel Information

Music Road Hotel & Inn
303 Henderson Chapel Road
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863                       
1-855-790-4646  *Mention "Rural Health Association of TN 2017"

Room rate $115.99 plus taxes
Deadline for guaranteed room availability: October 16, 2017

Group ID: 7296        


Photo Contest Information  





22nd Annual Rural Health Association of Tennessee Conference

The Rural Health Association of Tennessee would like to thank everyone for everything that was done to make our 22nd annual conference a huge success. 
Thanks to tremendous support and participation, it was an exceptional event with over 28 guest speakers, three motivational keynote speakers and the annual awards luncheon. The 283 conference attendees were made up from varying groups including coordinated school health workers, hospital & clinic administrators, and medical professionals & students.

To see photos from the conference go to our Facebook page @RuralHealthAssocTN


For the agenda click here. 

To see presentations click here.

                        Conference Registration

                                  Click here for registration and online payment.

                                  Click here for a printable registration form to accompany check payment.

                                  *Early Registrations must be received before October 14, 2016



Emerald Conference Sponsors                                       


A special thanks to our 2016 Emerald Sponsors: Elaine Stapleton, LMU-DCOM, Aaron Haynes, UT  Graduate Medical Education,  and Denise Primm, Tennessee Rural Partnership.


Virtual Poster Competition

Please join us in congratulating the winners of the resent poster competition held at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Health Association of Tennessee.   
• Division 1. There were no submissions from undergraduate and masters students.

• Division 2. Doctoral Students:  Repurposing Phenelzine an FDA-approved Drug as an Anti-oxidant to Scavenge Reactive Carbonyls  Following TBI-Induced Lipid Peroxidation, JE Cebak, IN Singh, JA Wang, ED Hall

• Division 3. Residents and Post-Doctoral Trainees:  Esophagopleural Fistula After Atezolizumab Treatment in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma, Jessica D. Rich, DO, Muhannad Al Hanayneh, MD, Kathryn Foutch, DO

• Division 4. Faculty:  Piecing Together the Mosaic of Rural Clinician Information Practices over a Twenty-Year Period,  Rick Wallace, MA, MDiv, MAOM, MPH, MSLS, EdD, AHIP; Nakia Woodward, MIS 

• Overall Winner:  Extreme Radiation Protection of Human Cells Conferred by a Deinonoccus Radiodurans-Derived Decapeptide Complex, Heather A. Pangburn, Ryan M. Kramer, Heather J. Fullenkmap, John M. Kerber, Richard A. Bennett,  Thomas J. Lamkin



To see this year's winning photos click here!





Rural Health Association of Tennessee's 21st Annual Conference Information is below
November 18-20, 2015
Music Road Hotel & Convention Center
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

"Change. Challenge. Opportunity-

Learning from the Past: Planning for the Future." 

The conference reaches a diverse audience, ranging from hospital adminstartors, coordinated school health personnel; public health workers and administrators; county executives; legislators; school health nurses; health professions students and faculty; physicians, nurses and other providers; health educators; county health council members; rural business; rural citizens and other community leaders and policy makers.

The goal of this year's conference is to be a hub for new information and successful programs, and to showcase how RHAT has impacted rural Tennessee in its first 21 years.This year's conference focuses on Population Health, Community Health, and Healthcare Delivery and redesign.

East Tennessee State University College of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Tennessee Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commision on accreditation.

This program has been reviewed and approved for Continuing Education Units (CEU) by the Office of Professional Development at East Tennessee State University. This program has also been reviewed by the National commision for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. 

The total number of hours has not yet been determined.

Online payment options:

Click here to register and pay online as an attendee
Click here for printable registration form to accompany check payment

Click here to register and pay online as a sponsor/exhibitor 

Conference Sponsorship Packet

Hotel Information

Music Road Hotel & Inn
303 Henderson Chapel Road
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863                       
1-866-429-7700 or 7744
1-865-286-2236 (Fax)
Room rate $109 plus taxes
Deadline for guaranteed room availability: October 16, 2015

Group ID: 6198            Group Password: 37000141


Send us your original photography of rural Tennessee subjects, size 4 by 6 inches. Please specify which category your photo should be listed in from the following list: 

Color Prints 

1. Rural People – focus of the photo should be on people, not their background surroundings 

2. Nature/Rural Location and Objects- focus of the photo should be on nature, location or object; can have people in the picture but not as main focus. 

3. Rural Animals – focus of photo should be an animal in a rural setting.

Black & White Prints

Any of the three topics above, but in black & white. 


No negatives, no sepias. Photos become the property of the Rural Health Association of Tennessee. Winner of each category will receive a monetary prize of $50, may be featured on our website and the RHAT 2016 conference brochure and program, Twitter, YouTube or any other social media platform. Submitter must be attending the RHAT conference. Exhibitors are welcome to submit. 

Photographs that violate or infringe upon another person's copyright are not eligible. The photographer must hold all rights to submitted photographs, especially any photos in which a person is recognizable. Each photograph should be submitted with a caption of up to 60 words that identifies where and when the photo was taken. 

Please send your original rural photos, along with short description, to: 

PO Box 656, 
Decaturville, TN 38329 

Photos must be postmarked by October 30, 2015 to be eligible. 























Click here for Full 2014 Agenda 


Pre-Conferences (3)
Wednesday, November 19
8:00 am - 11:15 am

Grant Seeking: Dos, Don’ts, and Getting Your Foot in the Door 

  •  How To...Ensure Your Grant Application Gets Denied
  • Five Must-Do Things
  • How to Get Your Foot in the Foundation Door:
  • Grant Seeking Tips: Make Grants a Component of Your Organization's Strategic Planning Process
  • Reading Between the Lines: What Exactly Can the Grant Funds be Used for?
  • Building Long-Term Grant Seeking Strategies 

Expert Panel of Presenters:

Terry Kokinda, USDA Rural Development

Betsy Norris, Ed.S., Bedford County Department of Education, Grants/Elearning Supervisor;

Deb Miller, Director of Grants Development, Roane State Community College, Harriman

Facilitator: C. Michael Lay, Education Sales Consultant, Techncology, Training - PCS; former Scott County Schools Director


 Affordable Care Update

 Learn the most current information regarding the Affordable Care Act as we begin the second enrollment process
 Presenter: Dranda Whaley, TN Primary Care Association



Information Regarding the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s new Programming: School Health Guidelines to  Promote Healthy Eating and PE/PA (CSPAP)

This session will present participants with information from the CDC’s new guidelines regarding Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in schools. The Tennessee Department of Health received a 5-year grant to address chronic disease issues in the state, and one component of the grant involves student health and schools.  All urban areas of Tennessee and 7 counties are benefiting from the programming put in place based on the grant.  The information presented will be especially beneficial to those counties. 
Provide an in-depth overview of the content within the CDC’s recommended programs
Demonstrate action planning for carrying out the proposed activities
Define CSPAP and gain knowledge on how to carry it out within the school
Audience: Any Conference Attendee is welcome, however, CSH Coordinators, School Nurses, and School Nutrition from the following counties are highly encouraged to attend:
o Davidson
o Hamilton
o Fentress
o Greene
o Grundy
o Hamilton
o Haywood
o Hickman
o Jackson - Madison
o Knox
o Scott 
o Shelby
o Sullivan
 Presenters: Mark Bloodworth, Ed.S. (ABD), TN Department of Education Office of Coordinated School Health, Nashville and Elizabeth Allen, MEd, RD, LDN, TN Department of Health, Division of Family Health & Wellness, Nashville 

Wednesday Opening Speaker


Some people have an enthusiasm for life, family and work. Others just go through the motions, dislike what they do, or constantly look for a new job or relationship. This presentation focuses on the importance of maintaining energy and purpose in one’s life and work, and suggests some ways to achieve and maintain a healthy productivity. Helps managers, sales people and employees to "keep the fires going." 



Thursday Morning Speaker 



 If that is the case, why are we not better at aging in Tennessee?  We have been doing it for years.  Our older  Tennesseans do not score well on overall health rankings, on senior hunger concerns, or on just overall  preparedness.  How do we use what we have already learned to improve the future for all of the rest of us who  are aging? 


 Jim Shulman is the Executive Director of the TN Commission on Aging & Disability. He will talk about the  differences between rural and urban aging.  



Friday Plenary Speaker  


Rik is one of the most requested comics on the 100% clean Laugh USA channel and other comedy channels on Sirius/XM. Check him out here.

Rik Roberts spent his youth in Kentucky. His interest in becoming the next Tom Brokaw - or perhaps host of Saturday Night Live - inspired him to chase after a college education. After earning a degree in communications from Bethany College, Rik worked for Simon & Schuster in Columbus, OH. He joined a nationally touring comedy troupe "Midwest Comedy Tool & Die [MCTD] in 1992. Shortly thereafter, he decided to jump head first into stand-up comedy. He now has over twenty years of headlining experience across the United States and abroad.      



Thank you to our 2014 supporters:


University of Tennessee Graduate Medical Education 


Opening Luncheon Sponsor

Tennessee Rural Partnership 



Amerigroup Real Solutions
East Tennessee State University College of Nursing and College of Nursing Practice Network
Tennessee Department of Education, Office of Coordinated School Health
Tennessee Department of Health
Vanderbilt University Medical Center



BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee 
Lincoln Memorial University - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine


South Central Telehealth Resource Center 



Air Evac Lifeteam
Concord Medical Group
Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians
Tennessee Hospital Association


Cherokee Health Systems Inc.



Aegis Sciences Corporation
Alzheimer's Tennessee
East Tennessee Children's Hospital
East Tennessee State University College of Medicine Library
East Tennessee State University Department of Family Medicine, Rural Programs
English Mountain Recovery
King University
MEDITECH (Medical Information Technology)
Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants
Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Tennessee Cancer Coalition
Tennessee Mental Health Consumers' Association
Tennessee Nurses Association
Tennessee Poison Center
Tennessee Regulatory Authority
Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network
Volunteer Behavioral Health
Well Child
Western Governors University Tennessee



TCSW - Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare
Tennessee Primary Care Association 


Bag Giveaway Sponsor 

Amerigroup Real Solutions