INA's Recent Conference

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What a fantastic, fabulous INA fall conference we had at the end of September. It was great to officially welcome our new executive director, Regina K. Robuck. Our team leads Tamara Johns, Janet Buck, and Tonia Walston beautifully orchestrated the plans, and smoothly operationalized the hard work and efforts of our wonderful committee chair, Holly Carlson, and other committee members Robyn Beall and Glenna Tooman. It was an extremely energizing, uplifting and inspiring time with colleagues, students, and our esteemed Speakers Bureau. The focus, this year, for the conference was “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care”. However, many attendees left that day also feeling empowered to celebrate one another and to focus on self-care.

 Conference Highlights

Traci Hanlon from Create Healthcare Management was our keynote speaker and she opened the conference with exuberance to discuss “The Keys to Quality and Accountability”. A panel of Idaho state senators joined us for a Question & Answer session. Senator Lee Heider representing the Health and Welfare Committee), Senator Dean Mortimer (representing the Idaho Joint Finance and Appropriations, Education, and Judiciary and Rules committees), and Senator Russ Fulcher (representing the Education, State Affairs, and Energy committees) led a very engaging session that stimulated thinking about healthcare and state and national senate processes. Many important topics were openly discussed including: 

• the process of contacting a senate representative,

• healthcare reform and its impact on Idaho,

• the federal healthcare mandate,

• the Medicaid program expansion, and

• how nurses can better communicate, share our stories, and create persuasive influence in the legislature.

 Nurses Honored

A new tradition started at this fall conference was to help celebrate, recognize, and share exceptional care. Every year, a group of health care individuals or a single individual will be recognized and honored for a moment of greatness by the INA. This year, two extraordinary nurses, Lynn Holmes and Terry Gallaher, from St. Alphonsus Health System; were recognized for encompassing the strength, knowledge, and wisdom of our profession with loving kindness and compassion (for the full story please see the INA Website).

 Outstanding Speakers

Kimberly Irby joined us from the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care to share her deep understanding of transitional care and how to bridge gaps and reduce readmissions. Marty Downey PhD, RN, AHN-BC, HTPA, CNE from Boise State University demonstrated “Holistic Nurse Self-Care” and how to nurture the nurse. Marty led the group through relaxation and stress management techniques such as self-guided massage, energy balancing, Reiki healing, breathing techniques, meditation, affirmations, and using humor as a healing method. Diana Meyer from St. Luke’s Health System’s Center for Nursing Evidence Based Practice, Research, and Innovation concluded the conference with an inspiring presentation about innovation in healthcare entitled “Leadership: Creating a Climate for Innovation.” 

 A Call for Nursing Input

As is deeply true for me, I felt a connection and a passion for the challenges that face us today amongst our constituency. While networking at the conference, I heard a call for nursing leadership to represent those who have placed us in office. We would like to hear from you. What are your thoughts about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? What positive or negative impacts do your foresee for healthcare in our state and at the national level? Please send your views in writing to our executive director, Regina K. Robuck at or send them to me at Let us know what you think. Speak up and be heard!