Connect. Inspire. Lead.
The nation’s only essential conference

June 22-24


Call For Abstracts

Applications are now closed.

America’s Essential Hospitals will host its annual conference, VITAL2022, June 22 to 24, 2022, at the Westin Boston Waterfront, in Boston. This conference will feature sessions selected from abstract submissions and presentations by invited speakers. Staff and member volunteers on the association’s education committee will develop a final conference program that aligns with the association’s strategic plan.

Who Attends VITAL

The audience for VITAL2022 includes senior staff leaders within our member hospitals and others who serve marginalized populations, train future health care leaders, provide comprehensive coordinated care and lifesaving services, and advance public health. Participants will learn from experts and peers, gain insight on tools and practices to ensure success in all aspects of their organization, and enjoy social and networking events. Participants will leave the conference invigorated, inspired, and equipped with practical tools to use in their hospitals and communities.

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, October 12, 2021: Call for abstracts application period opens.
  • Friday, November 19, 2021, 5 pm ET: Abstract submission deadline.
  • Friday, February 11, 2022: Applicants will be notified whether their submission has been accepted or declined.

Rules and Restrictions

All employees of full hospital members of America’s Essential Hospitals are eligible to submit an abstract. Associate and affiliate members, consultants, industry suppliers, and nonmembers may submit an abstract only when jointly submitted with a full member of America’s Essential Hospitals.

Abstracts that market or promote a product or service will not be considered.

Registration and Travel

Speakers accepted for sessions developed from abstract submissions will receive a discount on the conference registration fee. Speakers are responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses.

Selection Criteria

Abstracts will be reviewed and selected based on:

  • relevance to the current health care environment and essential hospitals;
  • focus on essential hospital services or marginalized populations;
  • emphasis on equity in health and health care;
  • ability to be replicated or sustained in other hospitals; and
  • clarity and quality of written abstract.

Note: Conformity with all these criteria is desired but not required.



Sample Submissions

View sample submissions from previous years.


Submission Form Summary

This document summarizes the online submission form for reference and planning purposes only. Please complete the online form to submit your entry.


Session Types

The conference will feature four types of sessions, outlined below, in a variety of formats. For all sessions, we strongly encourage active engagement of the audience and an emphasis on key takeaways and tools that attendees can apply to their work after the conference. Reviewers reserve the right to combine proposals, request modifications to the session type, or otherwise shape the content to deliver the best programming possible.

75-Minute Breakout

This traditional format typically features two presenters and a Q&A period. These sessions are ideal for complex topics that compare and contrast different experiences.

60-Minute Critical Conversation

Designed to spark conversation among participants, these sessions typically have shorter formal presentations and longer open discussion among participants. We suggest one to two speakers for this type of session and encourage 30 minutes of prepared material followed by 30 minutes for Q&A.

30 Minute Mini-Session

These highly focused sessions are case studies on one topic or one experience and typically feature only one presenter but may have two. We encourage only 15–20 minutes of prepared material and 10–15 minutes for Q&A.

Poster Presentation

Posters typically focus on research projects, operational issues, or other evidence-based practice initiatives. They should have clearly measurable outcomes and sound methodology. Proposals accepted for the poster session must identify one author to attend the conference to answer questions about their project during a designated poster session.

Session Tracks

Abstracts must fit into one of four tracks. If an abstract can fit into multiple tracks, select the track with which the abstract most closely aligns. The education committee will consider how an abstract fits within the tracks and reserves the right to move an abstract to a track other than the one for which it was originally submitted.


Abstracts should target the hard and soft skills necessary to lead complex and evolving hospitals and health systems dedicated to serving their communities. Abstracts also may focus on lessons learned from leadership experiences and the importance of strategic partnerships, combating structural racism, culture change, enhancing and maintaining a highly skilled workforce, reducing employee burnout, recruiting and retaining staff aligned with organizational mission, and climate resilience.


Abstracts should focus on solutions to current public policy and financial issues important to essential hospitals and maximizing resources in an essential hospital. If possible, abstracts also should include innovations in payer relationships, such as those with private payers and Medicare Advantage. Past topics have included Medicaid supplemental payments, waiver initiatives, telehealth policy, graduate medical education, and state-level 340B Drug Pricing Program policies.


Abstracts should showcase new and promising programs that demonstrate groundbreaking initiatives in caring for low-income and other marginalized populations and ensuring equitable access to high-value, patient-centered care. Abstracts also may focus on innovative programs that integrate clinical practice into the health system’s overarching mission and goals; quality improvement; managing operations during a pandemic or other public health threat; and delivering comprehensive, coordinated care across ambulatory networks to bring services to patients where they live and work.


Population health is the proactive, prevention-based approach of addressing social, economic, political, and environmental factors that impact communities and affect the health outcomes of individuals. Abstracts should offer expertise on improving health outcomes for a population by engaging internal and external stakeholders to serve community needs. Abstracts may focus on leveraging policies and procedures at the hospital, local, state, and federal levels to support community well-being; innovative financing models; cross-sector partnerships; and aligning community benefit investment with population health efforts (e.g., the intersection of essential hospitals and community, including but not limited to public health departments, community organizations, health centers, and faith-based entities). Programs and practices that address social determinants of health and ultimately aim to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care are encouraged.

General Tips and Resources

We recognize methodology and data can vary greatly depending on the type of session and track; whenever possible, please identify the initiative’s evidence-based outcomes. If an abstract focuses on a new initiative that does not yet have outcomes, be sure to indicate the evaluation plan with its measures, expected results, and goals. Please also read the session type descriptions carefully to ensure the content correlates with the type of session you have selected.