Rural Health Leadership Radio™

Over the last ten years, over 100 rural hospitals have closed their doors. Roughly one in three rural hospitals have been identified as “at risk.” If there was ever a need for strong leadership, that time is now. RHLR’s mission is to provide a forum to have conversations with rural health leaders to discuss and share ideas about what is working, what is not working, lessons learned, success stories, strategies, things to avoid and anything else you want to talk and hear about. RHLR provides a voice for rural health. The only investment is your time, and our goal is to make sure you receive a huge return on your investment. For more information, visit or e-mail
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Rural Health Leadership Radio™



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Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 25, 2017

Andy Fosmire serves as the Vice President for Rural Health for the Oklahoma Hospital Association. He has worked through cuts in the state of Oklahoma, as it was not an extension state with the Affordable Care Act, and discusses difficulties that they’ve had as a result.

“I look at leadership as being a person that is skilled at getting a team of people to move in the same direction and accomplish a mission, a vision as a group, not necessarily being out in front of that group, but working together with a team, and trying to accomplish the mission of the entity.”

Healthcare was a natural fit for Andy, and he earned a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Prior to working for the Oklahoma Hospital Association, Andy was Executive Director for Rural Health Projects, a nonprofit, and was also a Managing Director for the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma.

Jul 18, 2017

This week’s episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio is a special episode celebrating the program’s one-year anniversary. In this special episode, guest host Elise Auxier interviews the creator and regular host of Rural Health Leadership Radio, Dr. Bill Auxier. Bill shares his definition of leadership, how Rural Health Leadership Radio began, and lessons he has learned as a leader.

Coming from humble beginnings in Southern Illinois, Bill’s first job in healthcare was that of a nurse’s aide at a small rural hospital, Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro, IL. From there he has had a successful career on the industry side of healthcare, working his way up to become the CEO of a surgical device company with a global presence. In addition to the real-life experience in healthcare leadership, Bill also continued his education, receiving a bachelor’s degree in business, a master’s degree in communication, and a doctorate in leadership. Bill likes to combine what he learned about leadership in the real world with what he learned about leadership in the academic world.

Rural Health leadership continues to grow. From a beginning one year ago of 24 downloads (download equals listener) in the month of July, Rural Health Leadership Radio has now surpassed 7,000 downloads, and this growth has been without promotion. While most listeners are in the United States, Rural Health Leadership Radio also has listeners in 22 other countries. Those countries include:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Ukraine
  • China
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Brazil
  • Russian Federation
  • Germany
  • French Polynesia
  • Philippines
  • France
  • Israel
  • India
  • Norway
  • Lithuania
  • Granada
  • Sweden
  • Cambodia
  • Mexico
  • Greece

Thank you to all of Rural Health Leadership Radio guests, past and future, and all Rural Health Leadership Radio listeners!

Jul 11, 2017

Bill Finerfrock is one of the co-founders of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC), and currently serves as the Executive Director. He also serves as the President of Capital Associates, a bipartisan government relations firm that specializes in health policy.

The NARHC has helped healthcare providers navigate Medicare and billing, among many other things, allowing them to help more people. They advocated for one PA in Michigan, who was having trouble gaining rural certification for his clinic, and as a result, started a conversation among government officials about empowering healthcare providers who are providing greater access to care by going into communities where others won’t to provide care.

“It’s not a national thing. It’s not a huge thing. But to look and know that one community was able to have healthcare because we’re able to intercede and help folks out. I think it was really kind of a neat experience.”

Bill became familiar with rural health while working with the American Academy of Physician Assistants in the late 1980s. Several PAs working in rural health would contact Bill with issues they were facing, and Bill realized how difficult it was to get information and answers. He worked closely with PA Ron Nelson, who was Chairman of the Government Relations Committee for the American Academy of Physician Assistants at the time, and together they formed the NARHC to address this issue.

Jul 4, 2017

The 2017 Minnesota Rural Health Conference, Shaping Sustainable Solutions, was held June 19 and 20, at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center in Duluth, MN.  The annual event was hosted by the National Rural Health Resource Center, the Minnesota Rural Health Association and the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.  The conference objectives was to share and discuss innovative local and state solutions to challenges while encouraging informed and visionary collaborations for the future.  

The conference provided the opportunity to:

  • Discover approaches to improve and integrate mental health access in rural communities
  • Provide timely information on making value real for rural
  • Learn about supporting rural populations with best practices from around the state
  • Share community-based solutions to address health disparities and inequities
  • Develop and access a network of colleagues, students and partners to support the rural workforce

Keynote speakers included:

Arne Vainio, MD
Family Physician, Min No Aya Win Human Services Center

Edward Ehlinger, MD, MSPH
Minnesota Commissioner of Health

Alana d. Knudson, PhD, EdM
Program Area Director and Co-Director of the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis

Brock Slabach
Senior Vice-President for Member Services, National Rural Health Association