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Rural Health Leadership Radio™

Over the last ten years, over 100 rural hospitals have closed their doors. Roughly one in three rural hospitals have been identified as “at risk.” If there was ever a need for strong leadership, that time is now. RHLR’s mission is to provide a forum to have conversations with rural health leaders to discuss and share ideas about what is working, what is not working, lessons learned, success stories, strategies, things to avoid and anything else you want to talk and hear about. RHLR provides a voice for rural health. The only investment is your time, and our goal is to make sure you receive a huge return on your investment. For more information, visit www.rhlradio.com or e-mail bill@billauxier.com.
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Now displaying: March, 2019
Mar 26, 2019

This is a conversation about public health, HIV, immunization and billing with Phil Talley, Program Coordinator, and Jeffrey Erdman, Assistant Director for Programs and Compliance, both with the Illinois Public Health Association. 

“We know that definitely in rural areas and in particular in the southern part of the United States, HIV cases are more heavily concentrated than we see throughout the rest of the nation.”  

Philip Talley is a licensed insurance professional with more than 25 year of experience in various aspects of health insurance. He joined the Illinois Public Health Association in 2014 to help manage the Immunization Billing Project which has been featured on the CDC’s website as a “Billing Project Success Story”.  Mr. Talley is now focused on the IPHA’s HIV Third-Party Billing Project, assisting local public health departments and community-based organizations with building their capacity to bill third-party payers for HIV testing and other HIV prevention services.  

“Having an efficient successful billing system will also enable providers to expand and diversify their scope of services and be able to provide more valuable services, and reach perhaps communities that they’re not currently serving.” 

Jeffery M. Erdman, a nationally recognized HIV prevention specialist, evaluator, and behavioral researcher, currently serves as the Assistant Director for Programs and Compliance for the Illinois Public Health Association.  Mr. Erdman and colleagues have developed and implemented a nationally honored group HIV prevention intervention for young African-American men who have sex with men, “Very Informed Brothers Engaged for Survival (VIBES),” which has been presented at numerous conferences, including the 2005 United States Conference on AIDS in Philadelphia and the 2007 United States Conference on AIDS in Palm Springs, CA.   

Mr. Erdman and colleagues have also conducted research into the use of new technologies and HIV/STD prevention among adolescents. This work has been presented at numerous conferences, including the 2011 United States Conference on AIDS in Chicago.  Currently, Mr. Erdman and colleagues are engaged in work to implement third-party billing for HIV and immunization services among local health departments and other healthcare providers.   

In addition to these accomplishments, Mr. Erdman has been honored with awards from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the American Association for World Health, and the Society of Professional Journalists, and he has been published in various journals and periodicals for work he completed as a research specialist at IDPH, Northwestern University and the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital. 

To contact Phil or Jeff, please send an email to insurancebilling@ipha.com.  You can also check out their website they mentioned:  www.ipha.com 

Mar 19, 2019

We are talking about staffing a Critical Access Hospital with Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners.  We’re having that conversation with Mark Zellmer, Ph.D., PA.-C, who has been a PA since 1983 graduating from the University Iowa PA Program.

“Having physicians is important and wonderful and necessary in rural communities, but there may need to be more than just physicians.”

Mark became a PA after serving as a volunteer EMT while teaching high school chemistry and biology in a rural Iowa community that previously had no ambulance service.  Mark subsequently becoming a paramedic.

Mark’s PA career has included practice in an Iowa county without a hospital or a stoplight, and in Minnesota in both primary care in Red Wing and later, a tertiary care practice at Mayo Clinic, Rochester.

As a PA educator, Mark was the founding director of rural oriented PA programs at the University of South Dakota and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Health, Epidemiology emphasis.

His current practice is as the lead hospitalist and an emergency room provider at a rural, Critical Access Hospital, Gundersen Tri-County, in Whitehall, WI.

Mar 12, 2019

We are talking about several different aspects of rural healthcare with Farrell Turner, President of the Alabama Rural Health Association.  Farrell had the experience of a lifetime when he attended the State of the Union Address this year while he was in Washington, DC, at the NRHA Policy Institute meeting.   

 “There needs to be a sense of urgency because we can’t just sit back on our thumbs to make incremental changes.” 

 Farrell began his career with St. Luke’s Episcopal and Texas Children’s Hospitals in Houston.  After that, he was CFO at South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel, Mississippi and has served as interim CEO and CFO in a number of small rural hospitals in the South. He most recently served as CEO of Community Hospital Corp’s Jellico Community Hospital in Tennessee and Interim CEO of Medical Center Barbour in Eufaula, Alabama for Alliant Healthcare Management. He is a subject matter expert in Rural Health Clinics, especially provider-based RHCs. 

He was educated in Alabama public schools, received a Bachelor’s degree at University of Alabama College of Commerce and Business Administration in Accounting and Health Care Management, and a Master’s in Finance at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He is a CPA, a certified coder, and a Fellow with HFMA. He is President of the Alabama Rural Health Association and has been chapter President of the Anniston- Gadsden and Oxford Chapters of the American Academy of Professional Coders. 

He enjoys hunting and has taken up running. He completed his first half-marathon on his 60th birthday and did it again on his next birthday. He lives in rural Cleburne County with his wife Beverly. 

During our conversation, Farrell talks about an excellent tool for rural health leaders, the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps.  Hopefully you will find this a useful tool as well. 

Mar 5, 2019

We are talking about the relationship of healthcare and agriculture with a special focus on mental health with today’s guest, Charlotte Halverson. Charlotte serves as the Clinical Director for AgriSafe.  

“Suicide is about the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and that’s just tragic.” 

Prior to this role, she worked for several years in hospital acute care settings and community education.  During those years, Charlotte developed and managed a Rural Outreach Health service and a Parish Health Ministry department serving nine counties in northeast Iowa.   

“Our rural counties consistently appear to have higher suicide rates than metropolitan areas.” 

A charter graduate of the University of Iowa agricultural occupational medicine course, she served as the agricultural occupational health services manager for the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. Her primary role with AgriSafe involves development and dissemination of educational programs for health care professionals, agricultural businesses, and educators. 

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