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.
Program implementation especially in rural health is tailored to meet community needs. However, supplying the funding for these programs can be a daunting task. Today we are talking with Heather Whetsell the Administrative Director in the Department of Population Science and Policy and Dr. Nicole Summer-Gabr the Director of Social Innovation and Assistant Professor at SIU School of Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy. They will discuss program implementation and the unique funding sources they were able to acquire from the community.
“So many people desire for their community to do better, but they might not necessarily know how to actually do that from start to finish.”
-Dr. Nicole Summers-Gabr
“I think in order to impact change, you really do have to work with the entire community as opposed to just one entity.”
Heather Whetsell is the Administrative Director of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Department of Population Science and Policy (PSP), a research and policy academic department dedicated to improving health outcomes in 66 counties, mostly rural regions in central and southern Illinois. Ms. Whetsell graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics. Ms. Whetsell is devoted to improving population health outcomes, is a 2021 National Rural Health Association Rural Health Fellow, serves on the NRHA Rural Health Congress and Health Equity Council, is Co-Chair of United Way of Central Illinois’ Education Vision Council, a member of the IL Critical Access Hospital Network Rural Health Fellowship Advisory Committee, and has presented PSP’s efforts at the state and national level at events including NRHA and American Public Health Association annual conferences.
Dr. Nicole Summers-Gabr is the Director of Social Innovation and an Assistant Professor in the Population Science and Policy Department at Southern Illinois School of Medicine. Summers-Gabr received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Saint Louis University. She is on the Board of Directors for The Knowledge Center at Chaddock. She recently served on a technical expert panel for SAMHSA. Her current work is divided between two tracks: mental health and hospitals’ community health needs assessments. Her passion has driven her to transform rural communities to use evidence-based solutions to propel youths’ lives in a positive direction. To support this work over the past four years, she obtained over $1.2 million in grants and contracts from places like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, and local rural hospitals.
In the past 30 years, the 340B program has become a vital cost-savings program for many rural healthcare centers. Now with contract manufacturers cutting ties, what are healthcare leaders expected to do? Today we are talking with Olivia Little, the 340B director at Johnson County Hospital in Tecumseh Nebraska. Olivia will discuss her role as the 340B director, and her hopes for overcoming the challenges following the 340B program.
“The scariest thing to me is that there is no rural health.”
Olivia holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration and B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science. Olivia started Johnson County Hospital’s 340B program in 2012 and is the 340B Director. She serves on several hospital committees. Olivia has spoken at several 340B conferences, sits on340B Health’s Pharmacy Services Committee, previously sat on Macro Helix’s Customer Advisory Board, and was named a 340B Health Champion All-Star in 2017, the 340B Health Champion MVP in 2018, the 340B Health Champion First Runner Up in 2019, the 340B Health Champion MVP in 2020, the 340B Health Champion Second Runner Up in 2021 and awarded the Nebraska and American Hospital Association 2022 Grassroots Award.
Rural healthcare centers have traditionally been the source of advocacy and education for their communities. This makes them primary sources for population health management. Today we are talking with Jennifer Barbour, the Director of Relations and a Community Champion. Jennifer will discuss the complex community she serves and why understanding your communities’ needs is essential.
“Listen to your community. Do what your community says. Learn from it and repeat”
Jennifer Barbour is the Director of Relations at Sparta Community Hospital in Sparta, Illinois, where she has spent the last three years serving as the Community Champion for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience in healthcare and social services marketing, public relations, and outreach. In addition to working with the community to help identify and address community health needs, Jennifer leads employee engagement and medical student recruitment efforts at Sparta Community Hospital.
Happy National Rural Health Day! Established in 2010 as an opportunity to celebrate the “power of rural,” today we are honoring the selfless spirit found in rural healthcare. In this episode, we are talking with Matt Bancroft, a Program Specialist at the National Rural Health Resource Center. Matt discusses health equity and his hopes for the future of rural health.
“I would say when it comes to rural healthcare or health equity the thing that you should take away is don't be scared and do your best”
Raised in Arkansas, Matt has a passion for working in rural communities. He brings over six years of healthcare experience with him and an abundance of communication knowledge. His career path has found him living in Washington, D.C., Tampa, and Abilene, Texas before returning home to Arkansas.
He obtained his Master’s in Health Communication from Boston University in December of 2021. As a Program Specialist, Matt provides technical assistance with the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) to the state Flex Program grantees including resource creation, identification of best practices, conference planning, etc. He also provides technical assistance to the Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP).
Don't forget to check out the Stepping Up: Health Equity in Rural Hospitals Podcast Series! Hear the stories and experiences of different rural health leaders leading their rural communities toward greater health equity.
This week, we’re celebrating Veteran’s Day and all those who have served! To honor our Veterans across the country, we’re having a conversation with commander (CDR) Jeanette Arencibia, a Plans, Operations, and Medical Intelligence officer for the Marine Corps Forces Reserve Command and the Marine Corps Forces Southern Command. Today CDR Arencibia will discuss her definition of leadership and the dynamic relationship that exists between the military and rural healthcare.
“I really look forward to a time when I can dedicate myself to what's going on in the civilian sector and utilizing some of my military experience to practice that in our own country”
-CDR Janette Arencibia
CDR Arencibia is an accomplished Plans, Operations, and Medical Intelligence (POMI) officer. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, she graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1995 with a Bachelor's degree in Health Science Education and a Master’s in Public Administration–Public Health as a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow Awardee in 1996. Upon a direct commission to Lieutenant Junior Grade in 2003, CDR Arencibia earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Navy War College and is a graduate of the Marine Corps University. CDR Arencibia is as well a graduate of the Global Health Strategies for Security program at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland.
Commander Arencibia’s initial assignment at the Naval School of Health Sciences(NSHS)was as Officer in Charge of Healthcare Facilities. Upon transfer, she completed her first of several Individual Augmentee tours in support of the Oregon Army National Guard 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Operation Enduring Freedom and was assigned Chief, Joint Visitor’s Bureau (JVB) for Task Force Phoenix V-Afghanistan. She served as Officer in Charge of the first Female Afghan National Army Security Unit. In September 2006, she reported to NRD New England and then to the National Naval Medical Center as Department Head for Contingency Operations. CDR Arencibia assumed lead medical planning roles in support of Operation Unified Response (USNS COMFORT) and Continuing Promise 2010 (USS IWOJIMA).
She was selected as a Plans, Operations, and Medical Intelligence Officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Joint Staff Surgeon Internship program at the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. During her Joint Staff tenure, she completed Verification, Validation, and Accreditation of the Joint Medical Planning Tool, now a required casualty estimation tool per the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan. CDR Arencibia was subsequently assigned as the Lead Medical Planner for NORAD/NORTHCOM followed by her assignment to Marine Forces Central Command whereby she instituted Global Health Engagements resulting in noted capability improvements to international bilateral agreements between the United States and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Follow-on assignments include U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) and USNS COMFORT GlobalHealth Advisor in response to the 2019 Venezuelan Crisis.
As Deputy Medical Director and interim Medical Director, she completed her assignment at Naval Amphibious Force, TF 51/5thMarine Expeditionary Brigade, Crisis Response having instituted the R2LMERSS Playbook for continuity of operations during COVID-19. A Joint Qualified Officer, CDR Arencibia is recently returned as Deputy Surgeon, United Forces South Korea.
Commander Janette Arencibia’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Navy-Marine Commendation Medal (two awards) along with various individual and unit decorations.
Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, seek to offer quality care to patients while keeping healthcare costs low. What does this model look like for rural hospitals? Today we are talking with Michelle Franklin the CEO of Sullivan County Community Hospital in Sullivan, Indiana. Michelle will discuss her organization's move into an ACO network and how it has reshaped her thoughts toward the community she serves.
“I'm most optimistic about the role that rural healthcare should always be playing towards health care in America.”
Michelle Franklin is the CEO of Sullivan County Community Hospital, a critical access hospital in rural central southwestern Indiana. Michelle has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare field. As a Registered Nurse, her clinical experience has included medical-surgical nursing, nursing management, staff education and development, home health care, and hospice management.
In addition to these roles, Michelle has had the honor of serving in senior leadership positions at her hospital in both the Chief Nursing and Chief Executive Officer roles; careers that have spanned over 20 years.
Michelle is married with two teenage children and two fur babies. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking, state-side, and international travel.
Healthcare centers, both rural and urban, have benefited from financial relief efforts given out during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now with the state of emergency being lifted but the effects still lingering, what can rural facilities count on? Today we are talking with Alexa McKinley, Government Affairs & Policy Coordinator for the National Rural Health Association. Alexia will be discussing the Rural Emergency Hospital model and how it can be a beneficial tool for rural health providers.
“…I’m excited to see what innovations and policies will come out of this administration, the next administration, and the 118th Congress.”
- Alexa McKinley
Alexa earned a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. During law school, she interned with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, a Pittsburgh-based corporation, and served clients at the Pitt Environmental Law Clinic. Previously, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Michigan State University where she interned with the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education and served as a fellow at MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.
Public health may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about rural healthcare. However public health officials have worked alongside rural health professionals to engage rural communities for years. Today we are talking with Gina Gulley, Health Program Specialist for the Arkansas Office of Rural Health, and Primary Care within the Arkansas Department of Health. Gina will discuss her transition into public health and how her work impacts rural hospitals.
“Allow yourself to be uncomfortable because that uncomfortable place is where growth happens.”
Gina Gulley is a Malvern, Arkansas native who currently works as a rural health program coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. In this role, she is responsible for the overall direction of three federal rural health grants that are used to serve Arkansas’ small rural hospitals.
Before entering the public health field, Gina was a middle school science teacher who empowered children, exposing them to STEM and healthcare careers. She obtained her Master of Public Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Arkansas State University. Because of her commitment to public health, she is always looking for opportunities to expand her knowledge. She is passionate about strengthening rural health infrastructure and improving patient care in Arkansas.
In our first episode with Dr. Emma Watson, the 2021–22 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Executive Medical Director of NHS Education for Scotland, we talked about the research she started on the challenges faced in rural Scotland and Rural America. This week, Emma is back to tell us about the results of her research into why effective leadership is so important.
“Be super proud of being a rural leader, or rural healthcare provider, or a rural community member because it’s an amazingly special thing to be.”
-Dr. Emma Watson
Professor Emma Watson MSc, FRCPath, FRCPEdis a 20/22UK Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Practice. A Consultant Medical Microbiologist by background and a senior clinical systems leader in Scotland, she is an expert in quality improvement and in medical education, and workforce planning.
Emma is now the Executive Medical Director of NHS Education for Scotland, the organization charged with commissioning and delivering undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Scotland. Prior to her fellowship Emma was Deputy Medical Director at NHS Highland and held the clinical leadership for4 acute hospitals (3 of which are small rural hospitals) she was also a senior medical adviser in the Scottish Government. In both these roles, her focus was on developing innovative approaches to ensuring equitable access to high-quality healthcare services with a sustainable health and care workforce, particularly in remote and rural areas.
Emma has led a number of major change programs including the development of Scotland’s first graduate-entry medical school. Emma previously held a post in the Scottish Government as Clinical Lead for the Scottish Patient Safety Program during which time she ensured quality improvement methodology translated from the development of health policy and strategy through to implementation across the entirety of the Scottish healthcare system. Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a patient safety program on a whole system basis at a national level. As Director of Medical Education in NHS Highland, she focused on delivering high-quality medical education as a tool to increase recruitment and attract young doctors to the region and ensuring there is now an established program to encourage young people from the area to go to medical school. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the clinical response in her region and ensured there was a whole system approach to manage the impact of the virus.
Organizational culture is vital to the well-being of not only the organization but the community as well. Today we are talking with Dr. Bill Auxier, President, and CEO of the Dynamic Leadership Academy and Executive Director of Rural Health Leadership Radio. Bill will discuss organizational culture and the necessity for leadership to value their cultural identity.
“By improving the culture of your organization, you can improve the culture of your community as well.”
- Dr. Bill Auxier
Bill Auxier, Ph.D. is the Program Director of NRHA’s Rural Hospital Certification Programs and an expert in rural health leadership development. Dr. Auxier has worked with rural health leaders across the country to improve their organizations through more effective leadership, cultural transformation, and strategic plan development. Bill is President, and CEO of the Dynamic Leadership Academy™ and the Center for Rural Health Leadership, and Executive Director of Rural Health Leadership Radio™, a 501(c)3 non-profit that produces the podcast Rural Health Leadership Radio.
Bill started his career in healthcare as a nurse’s aide at Hamilton Memorial Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital, in his boyhood hometown, McLeansboro, Illinois. From there, he worked his way up to become the CEO of a surgical device manufacturer with global distribution. He is an Affiliate Member of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and recipient of the 2019 National Rural Health Association President’s Award.