This week we’re having a conversation with Allan Jenkins, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Professor Jenkins was born and raised in Blackwell Oklahoma, a small town 60 miles south of Wichita Kansas. He received a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma in 1976, then spent the next five years working in local government at the city and county level. Dr. Jenkins received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 1987. Since 1987, he has been on the economics faculty at the University of Nebraska Kearney.
“Leadership is a bundle of characteristics that include vision, charisma, honesty, communication skills, persistence and resilience.”
Professor Jenkins areas of interest include rural healthcare, local economic development, and Platte River issues. Dr. Jenkins and a colleague have completed Tax Increment Financing reports for more than a $1.4 billion in investments, and wrote major economic impact reports regarding the Medicaid expansion issue for South Dakota and Nebraska. In 2016, he received the President's Award from the Nebraska Rural Health Association for contributions to the field.
This week we’re having a conversation with Steve Tenhouse, CEO of Kirby Medical Center, a 16-bed independent not-for-profit critical access hospital located in Central Illinois. Prior to assuming the CEO role in 2004, Steve served as the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Kirby Medical Center was recognized by the National Rural Health Association as a 2017 Top 20 Critical Access Hospital Best Practice in Patient Satisfaction recipient.
“We have a saying that our culture doesn’t
hang on the walls, it walks the halls.”
Steve has worked in healthcare all his professional career and earned his Bachelors in Business in Accounting from Western Illinois University and his Masters in Health Administration from Ohio University. Steve is a certified public accountant and is a Fellow with both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
This week we celebrate National Rural Health Day by having a conversation with the person who invented it! Karen Madden is the Director of the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health (ORH) within the New York State Department of Health.
“National Rural Health Day began as a way to recognize and celebrate individuals and teams who give their best selves in the name of rural health. We wanted to focus on all of the very good things about rural communities on National Rural Health Day and all of that turned into the Power of Rural Movement because it’s not really about just one day.”
Karen currently serves on the Board of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. She also has also served on the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services and the National Rural Health Association Board of Trustees. Karen is a proud alumnus of the State University of New York and holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Oswego State.
This week we honor our veterans who have served our country, for which we are very thankful. We are fortunate to have two veterans as our guests today, Dale Gibbs and Dr. Tom Klobucar.
Dale Gibbs is an Army veteran who was wounded in Vietnam. His initial contact with the VA System after discharge was less than ideal, but he is now very proud of the care the VA provides. He is the Chairman of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee. He is also a current member of the National Rural Health Association Rural Health Congress and Rural Veterans Task Force.
Dale retired from a healthcare system in Nebraska and Iowa as the Director of Rural Health Services, where he worked to strengthen both owned and independent rural hospitals and providers. His background also includes long-time work in telemedicine services to rural populations, in order to expand access to care. Dale has served on various state and local boards, all related to improving access to quality healthcare.
A retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant, Dr. Thomas F. Klobucar spent his military career first as a Cryptologic Russian Linguist and then as an Arms Control Inspector/Interpreter working on execution of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987 and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) of 1990.
Tom was named Deputy Director of ORH in 2012 and Acting Director in 2016. His current work is focused on increasing access to health care for rural Veterans, providing opportunities for the delivery of virtual health care services into rural Veterans' homes, the expansion of health care provider virtual consultation services in underserved rural areas, and creating strong partnerships with local, state and national organizations to better serve Veterans, their families and the communities where they live. Dr. Klobucar oversees the day-to-day operations of ORH and the management of a broad portfolio, including rural health-focused studies and program assessments. He has overseen the transformation of the ORH electronic reporting system and directed the adoption of innovative and improved processes.
Under his leadership, ORH staff maintains relationships with local, state and federal entities with the goal of creating synergistic programs to enhance access to care and services for rural Veterans and their families. Tom came to VHA in 2010 as a Telehealth Research Associate in the Veterans Rural Health Resource Center, Iowa City, Iowa. Before that, he worked in commercial research and academe, holding faculty appointments at The University of Iowa College of Public Health and The Iowa State University Department of Political Science.