MPHA Fall Conference 2015
The Best Western GranTree Inn played host to the annual MPHA Fall Conference on October 13-14. This year's theme was "Strengthening Communities, Promoting
Health. The 2-day conference featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions, vendors, and 125 registered participants.
Matt Kelley, MPH, Health Officer for Gallatin County, opened the conference with a welcome and provided an overview of the lessons learned from the accreditation process the Gallatin City-County Health Department experienced. Gallatin City-County Health Department was one of three local health departments that recently received national public health accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).
Among the many informative and engaging breakout sessions and vendors was the annual silent auction. The items are donated by conference participants from all regions of the state to raise scholarship money to help students attend the conference. Last year's silent auction raised enough money for ten nursing students to attend the 2015 conference. This year's silent auction raised $737.00, which will cover the registration fees for nursing students community health students, and MPH students.
The conference offered attendees a wide variety of information from collaboration and leadership to childhood trauma and accreditation. Although a majority of conference- goers say they primarily come for the networking opportunities, some of them attend for the continuing education, the diversity of presentations, and breakout sessions.
Comments extracted from the conference evaluations regarding specific aspects of the conference revealed that most people use this conference to improve their professional skills. Others plan to use their knowledge to work toward public health accreditation.
Evaluation is an important process to improve the management and effectiveness of the conference. Conference planners review all comments and ratings and utilize this important information to guide the 2016 training. Currents items in review include the networking break, format of breakout sessions, facility expectations, technology needs and food. The conference attendees reported that the timing of the Conference should be in the later months of the calendar year. Conference planners will be taking all of this feedback into consideration when planning next year’s conference, which is scheduled for September 27-28, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza in Billings, MT. We hope to see you there!