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There's something special that happens at Heartland™

There's something special that happens at Heartland™

HeartlandWATERLOO, Iowa – Come to this year’s VGM Heartland Conference for the education, stay for that “whole Iowa experience,” says Jill Blaser. 

This year’s event – totally in-person – takes place June 13-15 at the newly renovated Waterloo Convention Center at Sullivan Brothers Plaza in downtown Waterloo. 

“We’re excited about getting the community back together – there’s something special that happens at Heartland,” said Blaser, chair of the conference and design and development manager for VGM Education. “The education is probably the best I’ve seen in my time at VGM. It is jam packed, with great speakers and new things.” 

Data, mindfulness and special sauce 

This year’s sessions cover nine tracks and run the spectrum from data (“Utilizing Data to Ensure Fair Treatment From Payers and Referral Sources”) to mental wellness (“Mindfulness, Mindlessness and Mental Health”), says Blaser. 

“Mental health has become so important in our space, with the pandemic especially being in health care,” she said. “It’s not just about business anymore.” 

This year’s event also includes a few sessions on Monday morning, including “A Guide for People Leaders: Navigating and Optimizing the Employee Experience the VGM Way.” 

“Everybody’s always wondering: What’s our special sauce at VGM,” said Blaser. “That session (shows) how we do it at VGM. No matter what size company you are, there is something everybody can take from that session.” 

Milk a cow, pet a kangaroo 

As always, the Heartland Conference features plenty of social time, including its famous Hog Roast and fireworks on Monday night. But before that, on Monday afternoon, activities also include golf, an afternoon at the VGM Farm and, new this year, a tour at Hansen Dairy Farm, one of the area’s largest dairy farms, says Blaser. 

“Attendees can milk a cow, make butter or pet kangaroos,” she said. “It’s a given that the social events are going to be great. The social events are also about growing your network of people and knowing them on a different a level. That always happens at Heartland.”


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