ATA18: 7 Sessions I Can’t Wait to Attend

March 1, 2018 BY Sharon Soliday, CCC-SLP

Einstein says,

Many people think that the progress of the human race is based on experiences of an empirical, critical nature, but I say that true knowledge is to be had only through a philosophy of deduction. For it is intuition that improves the world, not just following the trodden path of thought. Intuition makes us look at unrelated facts and then think about them until they can all be brought under one law. To look for related facts means holding onto what one has instead of searching for new facts.

As an entrepreneur, I have a crush on Einstein. He’s my go-to poet because he gets me. Or at least gets my gut, the power of what I feel and simply ‘know’ to be true.

I attend most professional development conferences as Speech-Language Pathologist questing for professional development hours. It’s the privilege, the responsibility and the beast of a demand that goes with a professional degree.

But I’m attending American Telemed Association conference wearing the Einstein-loving/ Entrepreneur/CEO hat.

Because in 2018, I know what the world of speech therapy is going to look like in 2030. (Helpful, given my company is going to dominate the national landscape of private online therapy at that time.)


Sure, there’s no yellow-brick road to skip leisurely down on my way to the future. But that’s when the woman in a love affair with her poet Einstein confidently goes where the powers of the current converge to understand the scattered pieces of 2018.

And those priceless pieces will all be housed at the American Telemedicine Association’s 2018 Annual Conference and Expo. It’s been a year and a half since my last ATA event and looking at the program, it’s clear the neonate field of telemedicine is continuing to explode. The diversity of offerings and big picture problem-solving is bringing together over a thousand people with a whole bunch of different kinds of initials behind their names.

4 Tracks of Experience

  • Direct to Consumer Strategies
  • Clinical Services
  • Operations and Implementation
  • Value (Business Strategy and Financial Management)

… meet countless threads of expertise

  • Rural Health Efforts
  • Behavioral Health Experts
  • Military Specialists
  • Technology Experts
  • Fortune 500 Companies with Skin in the Game
  • Smaller Companies betting big on the future
  • Medical Directors
  • Medical Nurses, Doctors, Specialists
  • Business Operation Folks

And questions I heard at the last ATA Symposium still likely swirling:

  • How are you doing this?
  • What’s successful for you?
  • How are you paying for that?
  • How can this best address vulnerable populations?
  • Is Artificial Intelligence the future?
  • Will technology keep up with our ideas?
  • Will our ideas keep up with where technology could take us?
  • Want to grab a cup of coffee, I want to learn more . . .

I’ll be soaking up knowledge like sunshine. Short-lecture sessions, roundtables, poster sessions, longer talks, and, much to my own excitement (& “I wish my state conference did that!”) will be 9 minute Ted-talk like sessions in which experts from everywhere will be jumping up to share specific keynotes  about what’s happening in their program, field, discipline, research, or vision.

Here are the sessions I’m most excited about:

1. Hospital to Home: How Telehealth Can Answer the Call. This has speech, OT, and PT written all over it . . . even if they don’t know it.

Using Telehealth to Reduce Vulnerability of Complex Patients from Hospital to Home. A particularly vulnerable period in a medically complex patient’s health journey is the transition from hospital to home. Presented by John Chuo, MD, MS, IA, April Willard, MSN, CRNP, NNP-BC, & Kathleen Webster, MD MBA

2. Speech, PT, and OT are part of this transition. What’s it going to look like elsewhere or later for us?

A Closer Look at Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Telepresence. Explore how technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and telepresence (TPr) are being applied to medicine, psychiatry and social neuroscience. Presented by Donald Hilty, MD, Marlene Maheu, Ph.D., Richard Pantera, MD, & Karan Randhawa, MBBS

3. Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living. i.e., Long-term Care. This is the scene of rehab specialists! Can’t wait to learn what they suggest here. Stay tuned.

Telehealth Strategies for Growing Your LTPAC Business. Although regulatory and reimbursement limitations have made implementing telehealth difficult in long-term/post- acute (LTPAC) settings, avenues for success exist. Presented by Alan Scott, BSN, Kelly Spiers, Sherrie Peterson, MBA

4. Hard to imagine being excited to hear a lawyer or two, but I am. They even promise a checklist! Ask me! I’m happy to share it.

Identifying Legal Issues With Telehealth Arrangements. Discover how to analyze your telehealth arrangement for legal issues through an expert panel’s case study of a mobile stroke unit. Presented by Cybil Roehrenbeck, JD, Terrence Lewis, JD, Kristin Schleiter, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

5. I know what service will look like but the regulatory field is like quicksand!

What Will the Telemedicine Regulatory World Look Like in 2020?  In a high-paced five (5) minute session participants will receive a brief glance into the future of the telehealth regulatory world and how upcoming regulatory changes will impact future planning of expansion of new and existing telehealth programs. Presented by Terrence Lewis, JD

6. Prenatal/Neonatal care relies on quality healthcare but feeding skills follow close behind. I look forward to their insights. But come on, they call it TeleStork! Awesome.

TeleStork: Delivering Telemedicine to Labor and Delivery Units. The Telestork program assists bedside team in earlier recognition of labor distress and alarming fetal trends thus allowing rapid intervention for improved birth outcomes. Presented by Toni Wood, MSN, RN, Mary Kay Ford, RNC-OB, BSN, Robin Winebar, MSN, RN, CNL, Jennifer Ducoing, RNC-OB, Karin Lookingbill, RNC-OB, BSN, Erin Moran, RN, Amanda Hedrick, BSN, RN.

7. Truth to Power, our veterans deserve access and consistent high-quality care. I have loved ones in this situation. You bet I’ll be checking out how our services could be expanded in the military model.

Making the (Business) Case: How to Address Shortfalls in the Military Health Care System. Explore using business case analysis to address specialist shortages in the military health system, where such shortfalls can adversely affect not only costs but also military readiness. Presented by Joseph Wood, MD, PhD and Daniel Yourk, MAJ, AN, MSN, MHA, FACHE

Can’t wait to bring all of this knowledge, insight, and excitement back to my group here at Hello!