There are countless remarkable aspects to growing up in a rural community, ranging from the tight-knit bonds within the community to the invaluable mentors. Childhood experiences are major predictors of future health, so how can we actively foster more positive childhood encounters in rural communities? Our next guest may just have the answer. This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we welcome back Dr. Elizabeth Crouch, Associate Professor of Health Services & Policy at Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina and Director of the Rural and Minority Health Research Center.
Elizabeth discusses her research into positive childhood experiences in rural and urban areas. She also discusses the intersection between childhood experiences and health policy, shedding light on the instrumental role policy can play in promoting the well-being of rural youth. To read about some of the great research Dr. Crouch and her team is doing visit this link: https://www.ruralhealthresearch.org/projects/929
“Rural communities have a lot of positive, wonderful things going on ...Let's focus on the positive and highlight things that are going really well”
-Dr. Elizabeth Crouch
Dr. Crouch is an associate professor in the Department of Health Services Policy and Management within the Arnold School of Public Health and Director of the Rural and Minority Health Research Center. Her work focuses on policy-related issues across the age spectrum in vulnerable populations at the beginning of life (children) and the end of life (elderly), particularly focusing on rural populations, with expertise in policy, claims-based analysis, and economics, with more than one hundred publications to date. Dr. Crouch serves as Rural Health Congress chair of the National Rural Health Association board of trustees and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Rural Health.
Rural health organizations provide a platform for rural health clinicians, leaders, and patients to learn from one another and advocate for rural health. State rural health organizations help connect communities across the state, and that could not be done without strong leadership. This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we welcome back Jacy Warrell, the CEO of Tennesse’s Rural Health Association. In our discussion with Jacy, she speaks to the amazing work the Rural Health Association of Tennesse is doing to support its members, including how they are working to alleviate healthcare workforce shortages. Jacy Highlights the importance of relationships and building a network in rural health, and how rural health organizations can help foster those relationships.
“Rural health associations are so important and help keep our interests in mind as the world is changing so that rural communities are not forgotten”
Jacy Warrell, MPA brings people and organizations together to improve health outcomes through policy and programs. She is a listener, strategic thinker, and achiever who maintains that community engagement, education, and pairing direct services with advocacy is the best way to affect positive change. Currently, Jacy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Health Association of Tennessee.
Advances in cardiovascular care have significantly improved the morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular disease in the U.S., however rural areas are still falling behind. Rural residents still have higher rates of heart disease, and risk of heart failure. Our guest this week on Rural Health Leadership Radio is no stranger to the inequities rural communities face when it comes to cardiovascular care and is working to ensure rural areas have access to the care they need. Mindy Cook is a National Senior Director, Rural Health Care Quality, Outcomes, Research, and analytics for the American Heart Association (AHA). In our discussion with Mindy, she shares how the AHA is working to make cardiovascular outcomes better in rural areas and the important role of collaboration in keeping rural areas equipped to handle cardiovascular emergencies. To learn more about how your organization could use support from the AHA visit one of these links:
“Where you live shouldn’t determine if you live. If you’re like me and live in a rural area, or that resonates with you, join our Rural Healthcare Outcome Accelerator Program so we can close those gaps in health outcomes between rural and urban America. “
American Heart Association Quality, Outcomes, Research, & Analytics Team. Mindy leads the Association’s Rural Health Care Outcomes Accelerator initiative to support evidence-based care in the rural setting through the optimization of outcomes for cardiovascular & stroke patients. Mindy holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and practiced clinically in the areas of critical care, cardiac catheterization, and cardiac network coordination for 12 years prior to joining the Association. During her 12-year tenure at the Association, she has led various statewide and regional initiatives to optimize quality and systems of care coordination that have yielded a lasting improvement in patient outcomes. She is passionate about the Rural Accelerator’s opportunity to expand this model to rural hospitals nationwide through participation in the Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke, CAD, and Heart Failure Programs, learning collaboratives, rural community network, and quality research publications. Mindy has a strong passion for rural health care fueled by growing up on a ranch in North Dakota where the nearest health care services were provided by a critical access hospital. She resides on a horse farm in rural Minnesota where in her free time, she enjoys performance horse competitions and trail riding.
In the world of rural health, where resources are scarce, emergency preparedness is not just important; it's essential. Join us on this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio as we dive into how the leaders of Ochiltree General Hospital in Perryton, Texas, faced a catastrophic tornado head-on. Our guests, Kelly Judice (CEO), Debbie Beck (CFO), and Jyme Kinnard (CNO) of Ochiltree General Hospital, share their firsthand experience and insights into managing a rural health crisis. In this episode, we explore the details of Ochiltree General Hospital’s response to the devastating tornado. Kelly, Debbie, and Jyme recount the lessons they learned, and the resilience displayed by their small hospital during this crisis. This episode highlights a great story of the importance of leadership and collaboration in Rural health.
“It was like living a nightmare, but witnessing a miracle all at the same time.”
Kelly began working as a staff nurse at Ochiltree General Hospital (OGH) in January 2001. She worked in clinical nursing at the hospital for 15 years before becoming the CNO and COO of the hospital. Kelly is now the interim CEO and has been since October 2022. She has an associate Degree in Nursing as a Registered Nurse and BSM. Kelly is also currently enrolled at Texas Tech obtaining her Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and will graduate this December. She is also a proud wife and mother of three children, one son-in-law and three grandkids.
Debbie was born and raised in Perryton, Texas, and began working at OGH in high school. She has been the director of both the Business Office and Human Resources for OGH. She became the CFO in October 2020. Debbie has an Associate in Science degree, BBA in Finance, and is currently working on her MBA in Healthcare Management. She also has a wonderful husband and three very busy kids in junior high and high school.
Jyme was born in Borger, Texas, and raised in Fritch, Texas. After moving several times with her husband as a store director at United Supermarket, they made Perryton our home in 2010. She worked the night shift here at OGH for several years, managed the rural health clinic for six years, then accepted the ACNO/TNC position in January 2019, and ultimately became the CNO in March 2021. Jyme’s husband left his store management position of 20 years last year, and they now own a restaurant in town, Daddy’s Dogs, and more. They have three beautiful children, Courtney, 30; who works at Daddy’s Dogs; Aaron, 28; who works for Xcel Energy and Callan, 24, who is an RN and mommy. A wonderful son-in-law Logan, 25, is a lineman with North Plains Electric, and the most perfect grandson, Ryne, who is 17 months old.
We love sharing stories of successful hospitals, leaders, and programs on rural health leadership radio. This week we have the pleasure of talking with two rural health leaders of the 2023 National Rural Health Association’s Outstanding Rural Health Organization, Memorial Hospital in Carthage Illinois. Ada Bair, CEO, and Raigan Brown, CNO join us this week to discuss how they built such a strong rural hospital. They highlight the importance of community connection and moving healthcare beyond the four walls of the hospital. Raigan and Ada also share with us some of the great things happening at Memorial Hospital, a teaching kitchen to expanding behavioral health services and so much more.
“We know how to innovate and collaborate and I think that is what truly is going to contribute to the viability of rural health.”
Raigan Brown MHA, RN was born and raised in Carthage, IL. She has been with Memorial Hospital in Carthage for 11 years and has grown through the ranks starting as a staff ED nurse, moving to leadership in Rural Health Clinics, then to a department manager, and now the Chief Nursing Officer. Raigan has recently completed the NRHA CEO Certification program and her aspirations are to continue to learn and be involved in rural healthcare administration. Raigan is actively involved in many of Memorial’s strategic plans and projects. Raigan also has an active community involvement with the Hancock County EMS, Carthage Park District, The Crossing Church, and Hancock County Addiction Coalition just to name a few.
Ada Bair started her career in nursing and with great mentors over the years obtained her BSN and MHA. Having worked in the clinical arena for many years she transitioned to operations serving as a COO in 2 organizations prior to becoming a CEO for her current organization. After 20 years serving the community it certainly is home. Community outreach and support are key to rural leadership and as such volunteers with state professional organizations as well as several local organizations and boards. An outreach passion is the nonprofit she organized 10 years ago, Food For Thoughts Hancock County where meal bags go home on Friday for children who have food insecurity – serving over 250 children in 6 school districts with an all-volunteer team.
Running a rural hospital requires a lot of time, commitment, and knowledge. It is essential that rural health leaders have a platform to learn and share their success stories. This week we welcome back Brock Slabach, Chief Operating Officer of the National Rural Health Association, to discuss how the NRHA is supporting rural hospitals and those who lead them. Brock discusses a variety of programs that support rural hospital executives, boards, and legislators.
We also talk about an upcoming event to connect with rural health leaders- the Critical Access Hospital Conference in Kansas City, MO. Register with the link below for early bird pricing by September 7th! Link for CAH conference registration
“We don't do nearly enough of recognizing the great work that hospitals are doing in rural areas. And this conference is a way for us to show a showcase some of that stunning work that's going on out in, in rural parts of our country.”
Brock joined NRHA in 2008. He is NRHA's Chief Operating Officer. He was a rural hospital administrator for more than 21 years and has served on the board of the National Rural Health Association and the regional policy board of the American Hospital Association. Brock specializes in rural health system development that encompasses population health and the varied payment programs moving rural providers into value-based purchasing models.
Brock is a member of the National Quality Forum’s Measures Application Partnership (MAP) Rural Health Workgroup and serves on the Board of Directors of Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). Brock is the 2015 recipient of the Calico Quality Leadership Award of the National Rural Health Resource Center, received the American Society of Healthcare Pharmacists (ASHP) Board of Directors’ Award of Honor for 2018, and the NRHA’s President’s Award in 2023. Brock earned a master of public health degree in health administration from the University of Oklahoma and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
The prevalence of mental illness is on the rise across the U.S., but the mental healthcare needs of rural residents often are not met. Our next guest on Rural Health Leadership Radio, Dr. Carrie Cadwell, discusses how community mental health centers and crisis stabilization units can provide better mental health access to rural residents. Dr. Cadwell is a psychologist and President/CEO of 4C Health, in our conversation she shares why she was drawn to behavioral health from her experiences growing up. We also discuss how 4C Health is combatting fatigue in a healthcare workforce we know is facing burnout at levels we have never seen before.
“Community mental health centers in every state are set up really to be that safety net for mental health and behavioral health.”
-Dr. Carrie Cadwell
Dr. Carrie Cadwell has been the CEO/President of 4C Health since 2017. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of Indiana. Dr. Cadwell has dedicated her almost 20-year career to rural North Central Indiana communities and in particular serving the behavioral health and substance use recovery needs of those with significant socio-economic disadvantage.
Community Health Workers are crucial to improving public health, especially in rural areas where health services are limited. Rural Community Health Workers improve health outcomes by acting as a connector between health services and patients. This week we learn more about the important role of CHWs in rural areas from Claire Hughes, a doctoral student and Outreach Coordinator at Community Health & Emergency Services (CHESI) in Cairo, IL. In our conversation with Claire, we delve into how research supports the role of CHWs and discuss current obstacles encountered by this workforce. We also explore how CHWs can impact the future of rural health equity.
“CHWs are a flexible workforce, and they can reach populations that licensed professionals, researchers and policymakers just will not be able to.”
Claire Hughes is the Outreach Coordinator at Community Health & Emergency Services (CHESI) in Cairo, IL. She has been working in outreach and family advocacy in Southern Illinois for almost 10 years and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Population Health at SIU Carbondale. Claire is an active advocate for the inclusion of peer-support interventions in rural healthcare. Her doctoral research focuses on the development of the community health worker workforce in rural healthcare systems.
This week, we are celebrating the 7th anniversary of Rural Health Leadership Radio! Listen in to hear from Bill and Sydney discuss the wonderful journey of how this podcast started, and how it has created a community for rural health leaders worldwide. Bill and Sydney also countdown our top 10 most listened episodes. We are lucky to have built a community with our guests and listeners of Rural Health Leadership Radio over the last 7 years. Thank you for joining our journey to improve the world by engaging rural health leaders in conversations, learning, and research!
“We’re trying to make people feel connected, not isolated, by sharing best practices, success stories, what’s working, what’s not working in rural health. “
-Dr. Bill Auxier
Dr. Bill Auxier founded Rural Health Leadership Radio 7 years ago with the mission of impacting rural healthcare at a very fundamental level. Rural Health Leadership Radio provides a forum for conversations, learning, and research, to assist rural health leaders in becoming more effective leaders. We provide a space for rural health leaders to discuss and share what ideas are working, what are not, lessons learned, success stories, strategies, things to avoid, and anything else relating to rural health leadership.
The perspectives of young leaders in rural health are incredibly valuable, and this week we are joined by our very own, Jaquesha Jefferson. Jaquesha is an intern with the Center for Rural Health Leadership and a Master of Public Health student at Florida State University. In our conversation, Jaquesha shares her perspective on rural health from growing up in a small Florida town, and what she has learned from her experiences working in rural health. She highlights the importance of understanding different cultural backgrounds as they relate to healthcare, and we discuss the incredible bonds created among rural health leaders.
“Individuals in rural communities really stick together and want to help, It's not a mindset of I want to be the best, but how can we all be the best. “
Jaquesha Jefferson is a 21-year-old native of Tallahassee, FL. Miss Jefferson graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences on a Pre-Clinical Track from UCF in August 2022. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health degree at Florida State University with a concentration in health policy and is interested in understanding what changes can be implemented at the governmental level to eliminate health disparities faced by individuals residing in rural communities. Jaquesha previously worked for the Florida Department of Health as the FLEX Grant Coordinator, where she was able to implement a Rural Emergency Hospital education curriculum and oversee other various projects to support the health and success of rural counties in the State. Currently, she works remotely as a Data Analyst for CommHIT, a501 (c)(6) located at the Kennedy Space Center. Miss Jefferson has a true passion for serving others, and expanding access to care for all individuals, ensuring that the quality of life is great for all by the elimination of health disparities.
The significance of pharmacists is growing in rural regions where healthcare provider accessibility is declining. Fortunately, initiatives such as the Rural GME Center aim to expand opportunities for rural residency training programs. Our guest this week is Emily Hawes, a practicing rural pharmacist, Associate Professor in the UNC Department of Family Medicine, and Associate Professor of Clinical Education in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Additionally, she serves as the Deputy Director of the Rural Residency and Teaching Health Center Planning & Development. During our discussion with Emily, we explore the evolving role of pharmacy in rural communities. She also provides valuable insights on how rural areas can collaborate to establish rural graduate medical education programs. More information about this can be found at RuralGME.org.
“Rural GME increases access to care, it enhances clinical services and it brings the needed workforce to rural areas”
Dr. Hawes is an Associate Professor in the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where she is a leader in rural practice innovation and rural education. She has a broad background in medical and pharmacy student and resident education, including residency program leadership. She serves as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in a family medicine clinic in rural western North Carolina. As Deputy Director of the Rural Residency Planning and Development and Teaching Health Center Planning and Development – Technical Assistance Centers, she has helped create the infrastructure to provide technical assistance to over 150 developing medical and dental residencies across multiple specialties in rural and underserved communities.
You may not notice that there is a large presence of incarcerated settings in rural America. Nearly 40% of state prisons are in rural areas. People who are incarcerated have unique healthcare needs, facing higher rates of mental illness, substance abuse, and chronic illness than the general population. This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio Charles Mathias, Professor and Director of Innovation & Impact Organization at UT Health San Antonio, discusses how rural communities play a role in providing healthcare to incarcerated persons. In our conversation with Charles, we talk about the challenges of healthcare for incarcerated persons and what the future might look like.
“Incarceration is not intended to be a healthcare setting, but they really are the biggest one in many communities when it comes to mental health”
Dr. Mathias is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. His research focuses on improving health outcomes stemming from behavioral health risk and its interaction with community systems. His policy work applies a Culture of Health Framework in promoting solutions for population well-being through cross-sector collaboration. He is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship, Dr. Mathias guides RTTC activities related to strategic communication and health policy.
There is something special about the sense of community and family in rural communities. These values also extend into rural hospitals, which play an increasingly important role in rural America. Our next guest, Ben Davis, values the environment and family feel of rural hospitals. Ben is the President & CEO of Glencoe Regional Health Services. In our conversation with Ben, we discussed the importance of investing in your community and how he has prioritized being the employer and provider of choice in Glencoe.
“Do the right thing for the right reason at the right time based on the values that you hold and that your organizations hold and invest in people.”
Ben brings over 15 years of healthcare experience to the role. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of Osceola Regional Health Center for 6 years and is currently the President and CEO of Glencoe Regional Health Services. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Radiologic Sciences from North Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls. Ben earned the Rural Hospital CEO Certification through the National Rural Health Association Center for Rural Leadership and recently received the Iowa Hospital Association Young Executive Award in 2022, as well as the Inspiring CEO Pinnacle Award from the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference in 2021.
There is no shortage of challenges facing the future of rural health. However, it is important to recognize these as opportunities for emerging leaders in the field. This week we are having a conversation with an aspiring leader; Jenah McCarty is a graduate student at the University of Iowa, and our newest intern with Rural Health Leadership Radio. In this episode, we discuss how growing up rural impacts your perspective of healthcare, and Jenah shares some of her personal experiences. We also look into the future of rural health leadership, and how Jenah is working to get young people excited about rural health.
“I hope to get young people excited about rural health, or how they can impact it in the career path they are in”
Jenah McCarty is a Master of Public Health and Master of Health administration at the University of Iowa, and an intern with Rural Health Leadership Radio. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Iowa in Public Health and Human Relations. Jenah grew up in rural Iowa, which sparked her passion for rural health. She played a role in starting a student organization, the Student Association for Rural Health, at the University of Iowa to further the reach of rural health among her peers. Jenah has worked in a variety of settings including local public health, graduate medical education, and community hospitals. She is spending her summer in Northern Utah as a graduate administrative intern with Intermountain Health.
Rural healthcare has become a hub for innovation, and this week we engage in a conversation about, yet another way rural health is taking the lead with telementoring. Our next guest on Rural Health Leadership Radio is Dr. Wari Allison, a physician-scientist and director of the National Rural Telementoring Training Center. Wari shares her insights on leadership and the power of collaboration. In our conversation, we discuss the importance of addressing health disparities in rural America and how telementoring can help bridge the gap.
“Telementoring can be there to educate and skill build and it's fairly easy to access because all you need is telecommunications.”
-Dr. Wari Allison
Dr. Wari Allison directs the federally funded National Rural Telementoring Training Center and is VP of Health Policy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center Fort Worth and Executive Director of their Center for Health Policy. She is board certified in internal medicine and Infectious disease and holds a PhD in Public Health and Community Medicine. Dr. Allison is elected to fellowship of both the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Disease Society of America and is passionate about combating health inequities.
Growing up in a rural community increases the chances of entering rural practice, but rural residencies have an even more significant impact. Our next guest, Dr. Randy Longenecker, a senior advisor and consultant at the RTT Collaborative, discusses his passion for rural healthcare and the importance of upbringing and training location on physicians' likelihood to practice in rural areas. Dr. Longenecker emphasizes the need to increase residency training in rural areas to address the shortage of healthcare professionals. In our conversation, we discussed how expanding rural education opportunities can help improve access to healthcare in rural communities.
“Train for Rural in Rural”
Randall Longenecker, MD is a family physician who has dedicated his career to caring for rural communities and growing a community of practice in rural health professions education and training. He practiced comprehensive family medicine in Logan County, OH, for 30 years including maternity care, and 15 years as Program Director of a rural training track program in family medicine. In the past 20 years, he has designed and established more than a dozen programs in undergraduate and graduate medical education and in continuing professional development. He has consulted in the design and implementation of many others.
He is now Assistant Dean Emeritus for Rural and Underserved Programs and Professor of Family Medicine at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Athens, Ohio, where he initiated the Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways program among other programs in preparing students and residents for work in rural and urban underserved communities. In retirement, he and his wife moved to Bridgewater, Virginia. Having founded the organization in 2012 and served as executive director for 10 years, he is now Senior Advisor and Consultant for The RTT Collaborative, a national non-profit board-directed cooperative of rural programs devoted to sustaining health professions education in rural places, providing technical assistance to developing and existing programs and pursuing research in rural health professions education and training.
Rural hospitals constantly face the difficult task of staying financially stable while offering a wide range of services. Our next guest comes from a finance background and never imagined working in healthcare. Luke Senden witnessed the impact of rural hospitals on saving lives and supporting communities, leading him to his current role as CEO of Johnson County Health Center in Buffalo, Wyoming. In our conversation with Luke, we discuss the crucial role of relationships and continuous learning in rural healthcare.
“In critical access hospitals, you have to wear a lot of hats and you have to be a learner.”
Luke has been the Chief Executive Officer of Johnson County Healthcare Center in Buffalo Wyoming since 2021. Luke’s journey in healthcare began as CFO for two health systems before making the switch to the CEO role, where he witnessed firsthand the unique challenges faced by rural hospitals. Luke has a passion for seeing rural healthcare succeed in an ever-changing healthcare landscape.
Research has shown that a key indicator of whether a physician works in a rural healthcare setting is the location of their residency. While these opportunities can be scarce in rural facilities, one physician is working to expand physician residency opportunities in rural areas. This week we’re talking to Dr. Jack Michel, Strategic Advisor at RuralGME.
“We want to expand these opportunities because it’s such an incredible opportunity for people to be able to work on their skills, while not incurring huge debt and serving the public.”
-Dr. Jack Michel
Dr. Jack Michel is a physician specializing in Internal Medicine. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Miami in 1984, earning Summa Cum Laude. He received his Medical Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1989 and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 1993. He served as Chief Medical Resident at the VA Medical Center for the University of Miami in 1994.
His determination in having a successful impact on the community led him to acquire Larkin Community Hospital in 1998. In 2011, Larkin Community Hospital instituted its first Graduate Medical Education programs and has now grown to offer residencies in 30 different specialties and is the sixth largest Statutory Teaching Hospital in Florida (by the number of physicians in training) and the fourth largest by specialties in supply/demand deficit in Florida.
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.