The nurse staffing shortage has left many hospitals nationwide struggling to fill staffing gaps. This absence of essential workers has left many rural hospitals in desperate need of nurses. Our next guest is looking towards the next generation of nurse leaders and prioritizing rural healthcare in the classroom.
This week, we are talking with Jaimee Gerrie, an Associate Professor of Nursing for Lake Superior State University School of Nursing. Jaimee will discuss how her program is merging leadership and Metaverse technology to not only get nurses in rural but keep them there.
“We're working hard so that we can offer nurses a greater opportunity to really grow, develop, and stay with the profession.”
Jaimee Gerrie is an Assistant Professor of Nursing for Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. With over 25 years of nursing experience, Jaimee brings a wealth of knowledge related to professional nursing practice in clinical nursing, nursing management and leadership, nursing education, and legal nurse consulting. Jaimee holds national certification from the Institute of Health Care Improvement as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety.
She completed a Certificate in Legal Nurse Consulting from Brighton College in 2017. She is a 2011 graduate of Walden University with a Master's in Nursing with a specialized focus on Nursing Management and Leadership. She earned her Baccalaureate in Nursing from Lake Superior State University in 1994. During this time, she has committed her practice to service in rural health.
The circumstances of the tragic incident in Uvalde, Texas was a heartbreaking experience for all those involved. While situations like this may be challenging to manage, they can also be used as learning opportunities to improve crisis preparedness processes. This week we are talking with Adam Apolinar, the Chief Executive Officer for Uvalde Memorial Hospital. Adam will discuss how his community rallied together to help support each other during that time and the lessons learned because of the incident.
“The lessons learned are things that you just don't count on and things you don't know.”
Adam Apolinar first received his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Incarnate Word University. He is also a graduate of the Baptist Memorial School of Nursing. Adam then returned back to school and received his master’s degree in Hospital Administration from Webster University. He has held many titles over the years such as Director of Surgical Services, Director of Cardiovascular Services, District Sales Manager, and Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operating Officer. Adam is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Uvalde Memorial Hospital.
Physician Associates have been utilized in rural healthcare for years because of their ability to provide a wide range of services to patients in areas where healthcare might be scarce. But what happens when their capabilities become limited due to policies and regulations? This week we are talking with Dr. Susanna Storeng, A Physician Associate who made the switch from Colorado to rural Michigan. Susanna will discuss the differences between Physician Associates and Nurse Practitioners and her efforts to advocate for professional autonomy in Colorado.
I've been trained, I've been vetted, and I've proven that I can provide these services. Not only in a high-quality way, but also in a safe way that is done with high patient satisfaction.
-Dr. Susanna Storeng
Susanna is a Physician Associate with a special interest and training in pediatrics, diabetes, and weight management. She has worked at the state and national levels to advocate for rural health access and quality. Her dedication to rural health earned her a Distinguished Fellow title with the American Academy of Physician Associates. She earned a Doctor of Medical Science degree with post-doctoral certification in Healthcare Administration
Patient safety and experience are crucial to a hospital’s success. Rural hospitals sometimes find it difficult to meaningfully track quality metrics. Caryn Bommersbach, Director of Quality Assurance & Medical Staff Compliance with CentraCare Health, works diligently to standardize the tracking process of these quality metrics through the use of a quality warehouse. In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, Caryn will discuss her organization’s transition to a virtual data warehouse and some lessons learned along the way.
“We wanted to support them so they knew they were not alone in their quest for quality.”
Caryn has been in the role of Director of Quality Assurance & Medical Staff Compliance since 2020 and with the CentraCare System for 21 years, starting first as the home care manager and then the quality risk manager for Redwood Area Hospital (CentraCare’s most southern Minnesota Critical Access Hospital). She leads multiple departments through understanding the role of Quality Assurance and Improvement as not only about meeting regulatory requirements but promoting patient safety and enhancing the patient experience.
Caryn lives in Redwood Falls and is active in the rural community. She and her husband, Jeff, are parents to two sons: Eric, age 23, and Adam, age 21.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America and notoriously goes undiagnosed in rural settings. Our next guest is utilizing AI technology to help provide life-saving early detection efforts to rural communities. This week we are talking with Chuck Vivian, the Vice President of Sales with Caption Health a part of GE Healthcare. Chuck will discuss why he went into rural healthcare and the exciting advancements in AI he and his team are making to address heart failure. “I'm not naïve enough to think that we can make heart failure go away, but I'll be darned if we can't bend this curve with technology.”
“I'm not naïve enough to think that we can make heart failure go away, but I'll be darned if we can't bend this curve with technology.”
Chuck has had the privilege of building an extraordinary track record in senior commercial executive roles with U.S. Surgical and Computer Motion Surgical Robotics. As a consultant, Chuck leveraged his experience to serve the needs of companies such as St. Jude Medical, Zimmer, Boston Scientific, Otsuka America, Novo Nordisk, Rita Medical, Virtual Radiologic, and Abbott Vascular among others. While he was fortunate to work on critical projects for these great companies, he is grateful for the exponential growth that they provided him. Chuck could not have learned so much, from so many, without the unique and challenging engagements that he was entrusted to address.
If you are interested in learning more about Caption Health's AI technology, follow the link: Caption AI Product Demo | AI-Guided Ultrasound System - YouTube
Rural hospitals often face the delicate balance of providing various services and remaining financially viable. Through the power of rural collaboration and innovation, our next guest has been able to offer many uncommon services to their rural communities while thriving financially. This week we are talking with Rob Schmitt, the Chief Executive Officer of Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services. Rob will discuss the community he serves along with the success his organization has seen by investing in innovative services.
“We’ve made these investments on purpose, knowing that it’s what is in the best interest of our community.”
With over 35 years in healthcare leadership, Rob joined GAHHS as the Chief Financial Officer in 2002. Rob was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2007. He’s a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Rob received his Master in Business Administration from Webster University on their Fayetteville, Arkansas campus in 2001. Rob received his B.S. in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University in 1988. Rob is also a Certified Public Accountant. Rob serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Provider Trust, Illinois Compensation Trust, IPT Cayman Board, and the Illinois Rural Community Care Organization.
The use of telehealth services in rural America has become a popular practice since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what else can telehealth address in rural healthcare? Long before the pandemic, one cardiologist sought to see what impact telehealth could have on those suffering from undiagnosed cardiac illnesses in rural areas. This week we are talking with Dr. Ami Bhatt, the Chief Innovation Officer of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Bhatt will discuss the challenges of providing cardiac care in rural areas along with her pioneering efforts in Telehealth.
“We do thought leadership in getting people to understand that digital health is here, it is helpful and it's necessary.”
-Dr. Ami Bhatt
Ami B. Bhatt, MD, FACC, is the chief innovation officer (CIO) at the American College of Cardiology and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her interest in digital health strategy and the digital transformation of the cardiovascular field stems from the belief that state-of-the-art, personalized care can be delivered to individuals in the community, empowering patients and creating stronger clinician-patient partnerships for sustainable health outcomes. The ACC Innovation Program has a robust platform to transform digital patient care and advance technologies that are reshaping medicine.
Dr. Bhatt has 20 years of experience as a clinician, investigator, and educator with nearly 10 years of experience in telemedicine and digital health. She founded her first program in cardiovascular virtual care in 2013 and continues to work on creating culturally relevant personalized virtual cardiovascular care delivery models. Her research has centered on identifying and implementing solutions to overcoming access barriers to cardiovascular and telemedicine care.
A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Medicine, Bhatt completed her medicine and pediatrics residency at Harvard, her adult cardiology fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and her adult congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension fellowship at the Boston Children's Hospital. She was the inaugural Richard Liberthson Endowed Scholar in Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) at the Massachusetts General Hospital while Director of their ACHD program. She most recently served as the director of Outpatient and Telecardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Corrigan-Minehan Heart Center. Dr. Bhatt is now co-leading the inaugural year of the MGH Elevate Leadership Program aimed at transforming leaders for tomorrow’s healthcare challenges. As part of MGH Elevate, Dr. Bhatt is focused on fostering agility, communication, and creativity to develop the next generation of impactful leaders in medicine.
Nephrology services can be hard to come by in rural areas, despite the great need for them. However, through the innovative use of telehealth, our next guest has been able to keep nephrology local for many rural communities. This week we are talking with Ron Kubit, the Chief Executive Officer of TeleNeph. Ron will discuss the benefits of keeping care local along with some of the success TeleNeph has experienced.
“Let’s stop people from getting to end-stage renal disease and get people healthy –
people get healthy when they get care at home.”
Ron serves as Chief Executive Officer for TeleNeph and has a long-standing legacy of creating innovative healthcare solutions in the U.S. and Canada. Under his leadership, he and his team developed Tele-radiology, over four disease/wellness management solutions, ER-pen based solutions, ICU applications, and pharmacogenomics decision support applications.
An entrepreneur and businessman, Ron was involved in a startup that created a fully automated digital assistant for healthcare documentation. He held executive leadership positions with other healthcare organizations, serving as CEO of MedTech Global (New Zealand/Australia) and Consova Corporations. Ron has also lived in Europe, Asia, and Australia, working for multinational companies such as Optum, EY, and EDS.
To learn more about TeleNeph LLC. visit their website: Keeping Care Local - Teleneph (telenephllc.com)
Hospital boards work behind the scenes to help drive the organization forward. But what does it take to make it on a board? This week we are talking with Tracy Warner, the Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Board Business, LLC. Tracy will discuss what it takes to make it on a hospital board along with the characteristics of a good leader.
“Many people that serve on those boards are doing that because they want to see that organization continue to not only survive, but to thrive.”
Tracy Warner is an experienced healthcare executive and governance subject matter expert with knowledge gained from over 30 years in association and hospital leadership roles. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Board Business LLC, a consulting firm that guides rural hospital Board leadership to create efficient and effective governance processes resulting in more time for focused strategy discussions and optimal decision-making to impact organizational sustainability.
In the last 20 years, she’s participated in over 1000 hospital board meetings. Tracy has been on a board, reported to a board, and supported multiple boards. She learned about non-profit governance from the ground up and has seen and experienced practices that work well and some inefficient and unproductive processes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had drastic effects on the healthcare world including staffing, medical mistrust, and patient care. This era also introduced a less recognizable clinical issue known as medical misinformation. This week we are talking with Wendy Welch, the Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Graduate Medical Education Consortium. Wendy will discuss her new book, Masks, Misinformation, and Making Do: Appalachian Health-Care Workers and the COVID-19 Pandemic, and how healthcare leaders can address misinformation and mistrust in their communities.
“The time to combat misinformation is when it doesn't matter. The time to build alliances and trust is before you need them.”
In addition to directing the Graduate Medical Education Consortium of SWVA, Welch is the author of six books about Appalachia, including culture, healthcare, and education. She blogs at wendy-welch.com and is a passionate advocate for helping people understand Appalachia’s nuances and hidden depths.
If you are interested in learning more about Wendy's book Masks, Misinformation, & Making Do follow this link: Masks, Misinformation, and Making Do: Appalachian Health-Care Workers and the COVID-19 Pandemic · Ohio University Press / Swallow Press (ohioswallow.com)
Recruitment in rural healthcare has always been challenging, made even more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. But what happens when the focus is moved to developing and retaining the talent that is already in-house? This week we are talking with Kim Bourne, the Chief Executive Officer at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. Kim will discuss her transition into rural health and how she was able to decrease employee turnover by almost half within a year.
“The focus really has to be on retention and servant leadership.”
Kim Bourne has been in leadership positions with Memorial Health for over 30 years. Starting with clinical nutrition and food service roles, Kim has also had opportunities to lead in patient transport and entrance attendants, patient safety, and regulatory compliance prior to her current role as hospital Chief Executive Officer at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
Kim has been trained as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt within her organization. She recently completed a several-phase project to replace an aging hospital with a newly constructed facility. She is married with 3 adult children and one grandchild.
In rural communities keeping care local can be a challenge. Many rural hospitals have begun to contemplate integrating into larger health systems to address this longstanding battle. This week we are talking with Bernie Jore, the Chief Operating Officer for Corewell Health Pennock & Zeeland. Bernie will discuss the impact integration has had on his organization and how they could keep care local for the community.
“If you have a great team, there’s not a whole lot you can’t accomplish in rural healthcare. We can keep healthcare local. We just have to work at it.”
Bernie Jore is the Chief Operating Officer of Spectrum Health Pennock a critical access hospital in Southwest Michigan. Prior to coming to Pennock, he worked 28 years for Ascension Health in Saginaw Michigan serving in many different leadership roles. The positions he held there included, Vice President of Business Development and Joint Ventures, Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Nursing, Manager of Human Resources, and associate health and wellness, Manager of Nursing and nursing supervisor for off shifts.
Before health care, Bernie was in the Army where he served in the first Gulf War and was assigned to a Saudi Air Force hospital and then as an NCO in an infantry unit as an aid evac medic. Life with his family includes a wife of 25 years, a 15-year-old son, 14-year-old and 12-year-old daughters who believe they run the place but in truth, their house is ruled by a 12-pound tyrant of a dog.
Many rural hospitals are facing struggles when it comes to maintaining their independence and financial stability. How did this pharmacist-turned-administrator manage to become one of the top revenues generating critical access hospitals and maintain their independent status? Find out this week when we talk to Chris Laman, the Vice President of Strategy with Columbia Memorial Hospital. Chris will discuss the rural collaborative advantage and how his organization increased its total operating revenue.
“It's a real focus on strategic growth, and not just growing to grow but growing service lines, one that can generate revenue that has some profitability, but also that the community needs.”
Over the last 16 years at Columbia Memorial, a CAH in Oregon, Chris has served many roles. Starting as a staff pharmacist and working his way to VP of Strategy. Over this time, he has led several major projects including the construction of a new cancer center and leading the county vaccination program during COVID. Chris has just completed the NHRA Rural Hospital CEO Certification Program. He is a very passionate leader committed to meeting the unique needs of this rural community.
Remain independent or integrate with a large system? This has been a hot topic in rural healthcare, especially when considering its impact on reimbursement, organizational culture, community engagement, and more. This week we are talking with Jose Alba, the President for CentraCare–long prairie in central Minnesota. Jose will discuss the care structure his facility is transitioning to and share his perspective on hospital systems.
“We've really worked together to try to not only leverage the resources of our large healthcare system but how do we do things right in rural health and partner and work together and collaborate and innovate.”
Jose has more than nine years of healthcare leadership experience. He has spent his whole career in rural care delivery and for the past six months, he has been the President of CentraCare Long Prairie. He has also held leadership roles with Astera Health, Sanford Health, and Catholic Health Initiatives.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead and earned his healthcare MBA from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND. He currently holds Fellow status through the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves on the boards of two local non-profits. Jose is also certified as a rural hospital CEO through the National Rural Health Association.
Jose and his family currently reside in Wadena with his wife Katie (10 years), Kids (Mia 6, Andre 4, Sofia 4 months), and his mom. He enjoys being competitive when he can and traveling with his friends and family. Originally from the Staples-Motley area, he considers central Minnesota home.
In rural communities, there are often barriers that can stymie the collaboration between healthcare stakeholders in enhancing healthcare for rural Americans. Our next guest seeks to break down those barriers by integrating clinical care and public health. This week we welcome back Dr. Phil Polakoff, the Chief Executive Officer for A Healthier WE. Dr. Polakoff will be discussing the work he was done through A Healthier WE to create healthier rural communities.
“Step up, be committed, do something with your passion and purpose, and make sure that your words are put to action and become reality for a better rural America.”
-Dr. Phil Polakoff
Phil Polakoff, M.D., M.P.H., M.Env.Sc. is the Founder and CEO of A Healthier We. He is a consulting professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and an affiliated scholar at Stanford University Bill Lane Center for the American West.
He has been in the healthcare industry for forty-five years. He has a wide range of experience in clinical services, product innovation, network development, care management, organizational and business enhancement, policy formulation, communications, and financing.
In his first years of practice, he was short-listed as US Surgeon General. He has experience working with various industries as well which includes being a Senior Managing Director for publicly traded consulting firms, and an advisor to numerous payers, providers, investors, employers, labor organizations and public entities. He was the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Total Health Advocacy Partners (Thap!).
Dr. Polakoff holds degrees in Medicine/Healthcare Policy Study from Oxford University, an M.P.H in Epidemiology from UC Berkeley, a Medical Degree from Wayne State University, an M.S. in Environmental Sciences from The State University of New Jersey, and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
He has published five books, over two hundred articles, and has written a weekly nationally syndicated health column.
Rural hospitals have traditionally had less access to independent system review solutions than their urban counterparts. Dr. Pahuja and his team are changing that by offering affordable clinical advisory services geared toward rural hospitals. Our guests for this episode are Dr. Deepak Pahuja, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. John Hall, Chief Regulatory Officer, at Aerolib Healthcare Solutions. They will discuss the future trends of rural healthcare and how the community can positively impact the viability of a hospital.
“The survivability of rural hospitals depends upon the survivability of their communities.”
-Dr. John Hall
“It's a combination of what your community needs, what your system can afford, the quality of the service being provided, and the back end.”
-Dr. Deepak Pahuja
In addition to being the Chief Regulatory Officer at Aerolib, Dr. Hall joined the Executive Team at Knox Community Hospital as the Chief Medical Officer in September 2021. Before joining Knox Community Hospital, Dr. Hall served in a wide range of hospital and university executive physician roles as well as general counsel for a compliance firm, Chief Clinical Officer for a nationally recognized compliance and revenue cycle firm, and CEO of a state medical board. In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hall oversees the activities of the medical staff office, anesthesia services, and hospitalist services.
Dr. Hall received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, business degrees from Texas Tech University and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and a law degree from Concord Law School. He is certified in anesthesiology, pediatric anesthesiology, legal medicine, and medical management. He is a member of the American College of Legal Medicine, the American Health Law Association, and the California Bar.
Dr. Deepak Pahuja is the Chief Medical Officer of Aerolib Healthcare Solutions LLC. He is Board certified in Internal Medicine and has a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst-Isenberg School of Management. Dr. Pahuja specializes in innovations in healthcare and serves as the Founder of the Empowering Physician Advisor Show https://physicianonline.org.
Dr. Pahuja is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Society of Hospital Medicine.
His company Aerolib Healthcare Solutions is a Physician owned physician-led consulting firm providing Physician Advisor Gap Coverage for hospitals, Clinical and Regulatory Education for providers, Healthcare Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence for healthcare organizations.
To learn more about Aerolib Healthcare Solutions visit their website: Aerolib Healthcare Solutions – Home
Traveling outside of their community is necessary for many rural residents to receive appropriate healthcare. Our next guest was able to find innovative ways to connect with the community and expand services right in his own backyard. This week we are talking with Scott Blixt, the Chief Nursing Officer for Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital. Scott will discuss the community he serves and how he expanded the service line at his hospital through rural collaboration.
“I think if we work together, we will all make healthcare successful, but it's going to take all of us, not just one.”
Scott started his career in healthcare in the US Navy as a Corpsman. After 5 years of service, he attended Northern Michigan University to obtain his BSN while working at Marquette General Hospital. After 17 years of working in various locations within MGH, Scott began working for Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (FQHC). The mission was to increase access to healthcare for the underprivileged. During this time, he completed his MHA degree from Walden University. Shortly after completing his degree, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital reached out to see if he would be interested in the Chief Nursing Officer position. Scott has now been with SCMH for 5 years and loves rural healthcare. Recently he completed the NRHA’s CEO Certification Program to increase his knowledge and hone his skills in Rural Healthcare.
Recruitment and retention have been notorious sore spots for rural hospitals, particularly through the pandemic. But what innovative solutions are available to combat this problem? This week we are talking with Laura Pemble, a Master of Health Administration candidate at University of South Florida and the Resident for the Center for Rural Health Leadership. Laura will discuss new research on staff retention and the benefits of executive coaching.
“The thing I'm most excited about is innovation and efforts on what we're going to do to improve recruiting and retention.”
Laura Pemble is currently pursuing her master’s in health administration at the University of South Florida. She has been working with the Center for Rural Health Leadership as a resident since May 2022. She also works for the ACHE WFC as a Programs intern. Following her graduation, she hopes to remain in the Tampa Bay Area and grow her career in healthcare management continuing to learn along the way.
Hospital CEO turnover has long been tracked by the American College of Healthcare Executives. But what about rural hospital-specific CEO turnover. This week we are talking with Raven Muse, a Master of Health Administration Student and intern for Rural Health Leadership Radio. Raven will discuss her research on rural hospital CEO turnover and the implications of this data.
“The need to have rural health-specific CEO turnover data is really important because of the implications it has on the community.”
Raven Muse is currently a candidate for the Master of Health Administration degree at the University of South Florida. She completed her undergraduate degree at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee Florida. While still being a new careerist, Raven has already developed a desire to better understand the avenue of rural healthcare and its leadership.
She has experience in monitoring and observing rural healthcare leaders through her internship involvement with The Villages Regional Hospital. Exposure to this kind of health system along with her upbringing in the small rural city of Wildwood, Florida gave Raven the ambition to pursue further knowledge in all things rural healthcare-related. Moving forward, she hopes to be a vital part of the upstart of additional rural healthcare centers within Florida.
Gaps in collaboration exist between healthcare organizations and the communities they serve. How do we bridge that gap? With a Community Champion! This week we are talking with Selena McCord, the Community Program Manager for the National Rural Health Resource Center. Selena will be discussing how she incorporated community champions into rural communities through the delta program and how other leaders can implement similar programs.
“You may not have a community champion that's funded, but I can guarantee that there is somebody or someone in your community that's already doing a lot of the work of a community champion.”
Selena McCord joined the National Rural Health Resource Center in June 2018. As a Community Program Manager with the Center’s Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program, Selena is responsible for providing leadership and directing community care coordination program goals. This involves managing the delivery of technical assistance (TA) services to support participating healthcare organizations (HCOs) and their communities in adopting best practices to improve health outcomes.
One critical TA service encompasses the identification, onboarding, and training of the facilities’ Community Champion. The Champion is trained to serve as a community liaison and is essential to the foundation of care coordination planning and capacity building to sustain post-project gains.
Prior to joining The Center, Selena worked with local and nationally recognized organizations to identify and address the needs of underserved and disaster-affected populations, to develop and implement training curricula and professional development workshops, and to recruit over 200 health workers from the Northern Gulf Coast region to serve as program participants.
Selena has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama with a concentration in Healthcare Management.
Selena enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.
A rural hospital’s closure dramatically affects the overall health of the community it serves. Our next guest has first-hand experience with how detrimental these closures are, and a strong ambition to keep rural hospitals open. This week we are talking with Kyle Kopec, the Chief Medical Compliance Officer for Braden Health. Kyle will discuss his work to restore rural hospitals and the lessons learned along the way.
“The fewer hospitals that closed, the more likely we are going to be able to help preserve the system and then build it into something that we would be proud of for future generations.”
Kyle Kopec has established himself as a healthcare innovator. Currently, the Chief Medical Compliance Officer and Vice President of Government Affairs for Braden Health, his prior experience includes an internship through the White House Internship Program in addition to holding a Branch Chief position in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He worked through college at Braden Health clinic in Ave Maria, Florida, and became a protégé of Dr. Beau Braden, the company founder.
The Pennsylvania Rural Health Model was created as an innovative structure to improve outcomes and maintain access to healthcare for rural residents in Pennsylvania. This model is supported by the Rural Health Redesign Center which seeks to support the expansion of this vision to other areas in rural America. This week we are talking with Janice Walters, the Chief Operating Officer for the Rural Health Redesign Center. Janice will discuss the impact of the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model and how the dedicated work from her, and her team have led to continued growth within the Rural Health Redesign Center.
“I always say to my team, our job is not to tell a hospital that is what they should do but help facilitate it.”
Janice has been leading rural health transformation efforts at the Rural Health Redesign Center since May of 2020. She has been leading the efforts of the PA Rural Health Models since 2018. In this role, she is responsible for its overall implementation including recruitment of stakeholders, methodology development, transformation planning, and oversight of technical partners. Janice is now serving as a project officer to the Rural Emergency Hospital Technical Assistance work awarded to the Rural Health Redesign Center.
Prior to leading rural health transformation in Pennsylvania, she spent twelve years in healthcare leadership positions primarily in rural Pennsylvania. Her experience includes financial oversight of the rural health system’s business activities as well as its population health activities. Prior to healthcare, her experience includes the communication industry as well as manufacturing. Her formal education includes an MS in Healthcare Administration and two undergraduate degrees.
Rural health clinics and critical access hospitals seek to provide care for those living in underserved areas. With the increase in public health concerns, sometimes these organizations require help to meet their community’s needs. This week we welcome back Kate Hill, the Vice President of the Clinical Division with the Compliance Team. Kate will update us on her work with rural health clinics and critical access hospitals along with how the Compliance Team continues to help these organizations navigate their changing environment.
“We put a certification together to verify and validate the good work that our critical access hospitals do in swing beds in their hospital”
Kate Hill, RN, is a graduate of Albert Einstein Medical Center School of Nursing in Philadelphia, PA. As an Army Nurse, Kate served in Viet Nam (27th Surgical Hospital in Chu Lai) where she was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service. Kate has worked with orthopedic patients in several capacities including Head Nurse of Orthopedics in Newark, NJ., followed by Biomet working in various capacities.
Kate joined The Compliance Team (TCT) in early 2012 to direct TCT’s rural health clinic accreditation program and has fallen in love with Rural. As VP of Clinical Services, she has spearheaded the TCT Rural Health Clinic Accreditation program combining her clinical expertise, business acumen, and passion for delivery of the best care possible to every patient. She presently serves on the Board of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics. Kate also works with clinics in TCT’s PCMH program and is ensuring that a PCMH accreditation is being increasingly rewarded by payers.
The disease of addiction and the devastation of homelessness have disproportionately affected vulnerable populations for many years, not excluding rural communities. However, with the help of a “Recovery Ecosystem” and dedicated advocates, things are changing! This week we're talking to Dr. Ernie Fletcher, Founder of the Fletcher Group. Dr. Fletcher will be discussing what a “Recovery Ecosystem” is and how rural communities can use it to their advantage.
“Communities have to realize that they can build recovery housing and recovery support services and it actually will improve public safety”.
-Dr. Ernie Fletcher
Fighter pilot, board-certified physician, statesman, and healthcare visionary, Ernie Fletcher was elected in 1998 to the first of three consecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives. In 2003 he was elected the 60th Governor of Kentucky. As Founder of the Fletcher Group, Ernie continues a legacy of innovative public service that promises to extend the company's unique model of "Recovery Ecosystems" to states across the country.
Oral health has become an increasingly relevant topic in whole-body health care. While oral healthcare services can often be difficult to obtain in rural communities, one CEO is taking innovative steps to overcome that barrier. Today we are talking with Dr. Lesley Ogden a physician and CEO of Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital and Pacific Communities Hospital in Lincoln City, Oregon. Dr. Ogden will discuss her successes in implementing oral care into emergency medicine and her desires for the future of rural healthcare.
“They can also teach us, especially on the inpatient side, how to better take care of oral health.”
-Dr. Lesley Ogden
Dr. Lesley Ogden serves as Chief Executive Officer for the two Samaritan critical access hospitals in Lincoln County, located on the central Oregon coast. Before taking this top position, she served as Chief Operations Officer at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City and as interim CEO at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. Also, she worked clinically as an emergency and urgent care physician. Dr. Ogden is residency-trained and board certified in emergency medicine and has more than 10 years of clinical and leadership experience. She received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed her emergency medicine residency at Oregon Health and Science University.
In addition, Dr. Ogden received a master’s degree in business administration from The Citadel and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Troy State University. A native of Florida, Dr. Ogden has made the rural Oregon coastal community her home since 2006. She is an active Rotarian in Lincoln City and served as club president from 2016-2017. She is also on the board of directors of the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County and the Oregon Coast Community College Foundation. Under Dr. Ogden’s leadership, both hospitals were entirely transformed recently, with a new hospital building in Lincoln City, new and renovated buildings, and a hospital campus in Newport. Both hospitals are part of Samaritan Health Services, a not-for-profit network of hospitals, clinics, and health services caring for more than 250,000 residents in the mid-Willamette Valley and central Oregon Coast.