The COVID pandemic brought an existential public health threat across the country by bringing significant challenges to the health care system and to the emergency departments serving as the frontline for the most vulnerable patient populations in the country. These communities are facing significant public health emergencies including substance use, behavioral health, influx of immigrants and refugee patient populations seeking shelter; in addition to the social determinants of health already plaguing them. 

Despite limited resources, these emergency departments met the challenge with grit, resilience, innovation, and human ingenuity to be able to deliver care and survive for these past three years.

The Leaders of Essential Emergency Departments conference aims to convene academic safety net emergency departments who met the public health crisis and learn from their extraordinary leadership experiences. These safety nets are part of essential health systems in urban settings that face unique challenges. The leaders attending this conference will define the characteristics of these essential emergency departments, the qualities that allowed them to face and survive COVID, share a set of best practices, and redefine a path towards a thriving future.  

Through a bold and ambitious agenda, the outcomes will focus on solutions, action, advocacy, and engagement that highlights how these ED are critical for healthier urban populations and add value to the communities they serve. 

Moving forward, we aspire to creating a group of thought leaders focused on the delivery of excellent emergency care, educating the future generation, advancing the science, engaging with the community, and advocating at the city, state, and national level. 

Questions? Contact our team at

Event Details

June 1-3, 2023

The Fairmont Copley Plaza / Boston Medical Center campus
Boston, MA

Who will be attending:
Physician leaders, ACNO/Nurse Managers, and Clinical Operations/Administrative Directors from around the country (Invite only)

Download our attendee logistics sheet for more information.

Thank you to a generous donor for covering the expenses of lodging, shuttles, and meals for our guests.


Schedule Overview

Thursday, June 1, 2023

  • Arrive Thursday June 1st
  • Cocktail reception

Friday, June 2, 2023

  • 8:00am – 9:00am    Breakfast
  • 9:00am – 9:30am    Kick-off and welcome remarks
    • Christian Arbelaez, MD, MPH, Chair of Emergency Medicine at BMC
    • Alastair Bell, MD, MBA, CEO of BMC Health System
    • Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, President & CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals
  • 9:30am – 10:00am    ED group introductions and pre-conference survey results
  • 10:00am – 10:45am    Speaker: John McDonough, DrPH, Professor of Health Policy, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • 10:45am – 11:00am    Break
  • 11:00am – 11:45am    Best practices presentations: Jacobi/UCSF/Ben Taub/NYU Belllevue/BMC
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm    Lunch & speaker: Purva Rawal, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer, CMS Innovation Center
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm    Keynote speaker: Senator Edward J. Markey, JD, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm    Work session #1: Facilitated by Louise Weed, MS
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm    Work session #2: Facilitated by Louise Weed, MS
  • 4:00pm – 4:15pm    Break
  • 4:15pm – 5:00pm    Speaker: Vikas Saini, MD, President Lown Institue
  • 6:00pm – 9:00pm    Dinner reception

Saturday, June 3, 2023

  • 8:00am – 8:30am    Breakfast and check out
  • 8:30am – 8:45am    Travel to BMC campus
  • 8:45am – 9:00am    Welcome & recap from Friday
  • 9:00am – 9:45am    Work session #3 (breakout by work groups)
  • 9:45am – 10:45am    Work session #4 (breakout by work groups)
  • 10:45am – 11:00am    Break
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm    Work session #5 (action Items & next steps)
  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm    Working lunch – group report out
  • 1:00pm – 1:30pm    Recap, next steps, closing remarks
  • 1:30pm – 2:00pm    Shuttles available to airport (Optional: tour of BMC ED)

Conference Sponsors

Boston Medical Center America's Essential Hospitals

Participating Hospitals

Boston Medical Center MetroHealth UCSF Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center UW Medicine Hennepin Healthcare BenTaub Hospital Jacobi NYC Parkland Hospital Jackson Memorial Hospital NYU Bellevue UMass Memorial Health Emory University School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine Denver Health NMU Health University of Alabama at Birmingham Medicine