Hickory  – The 10th Annual Lenoir-Rhyne Symposium on the Future of Healthcare will take place on March 27, 2024, under the theme “Are You Hearing Me?” Bringing together patients, community health workers, hospital administrators and healthcare providers, the symposium will explore the critical role of clear and open communication to drive positive outcomes.

“The pandemic completely changed our approach to communication in healthcare,” said symposium coordinator Devin Osborne ’24, MPH ’25. “Virtual communication has become mainstream. There’s also a renewed emphasis on clear and open conversation between patients and providers – and more open lines of communication among providers.”

Hosted in coordination with the Northwest Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the symposium will include three components. In the first, patients will offer their perspectives and experience. In the second, community health workers will share their experiences working with advocacy and public health messaging. In the third, hospital administrators and communications directors will offer their perspectives.

Community health speakers will include Honey Y. Estrada ’11, MPH ’16, president of the North Carolina Community Health Worker Association, Ashlyn Wadsworth, health education coordinator for Gaston County, and Miranda Smith ’20, MPH ’22, public health education supervisor for Burke County.

Representing healthcare systems will be Matt Webber, chief marketing and communications officer for Catawba Valley Health System and Patrick Brown, executive director of the North Carolina Public Health Collaboration.

The symposium will take place in Belk Centrum on the Hickory campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University, on March 27, from 8:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Registration is open through March 26 at northwestahec.wakehealth.edu/courses-and-events/72978/. The registration fee is $100.