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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: 2020
May 26, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we’re talking about pharmacists and their role in delivering healthcare in rural America. Did you know that most individuals in the US have a pharmacist within 5 miles of them? That is often not the case with a physician or a hospital.

“A pharmacist is actually the most accessible member of the healthcare team that is in a given community.”

~Tom Kraus

Tom Kraus is Vice President for Government Relations at ASHP. He is a graduate of University of Michigan (BS Biology), Georgetown University Law Center (Doctor Of Law), and The Johns Hopkins University (MHS, Health Policy).

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s nearly 55,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For more than 75 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. To learn more visit www.ashp.org.

May 19, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we're talking about vision care in rural America. The Niswonger College of Optometry at one of the nation’s oldest universities, Tusculum University, is totally focused on vision care in rural America

“That is robbing these people of their vision faster than should ever be conceivable in America.”

~Dr. Andrew Buzzelli

Dr. Andrew Buzzelli is the Executive Vice President for Tusculum University, College of Health Sciences, and the Founding Dean for Niswonger College of Optometry. Dr. Buzzelli received his doctorate in optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. He holds a Master of Science degree in child development and visual perception from the State University of New York. He has practiced in the private health care sector as a specialist in dysfunctions of binocular vision and visual information processing disorders.

A noted international lecturer, Dr. Buzzelli served as a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the medical protocols currently utilized on the International Space Station. The author of more than 25 articles in both optometric and military publications and a recognized expert in the field of chemical and biological weapons, Dr. Buzzelli authored the first-ever ophthalmic textbook series for the treatment and management of injuries resultant from terrorist attack.

A retired colonel in the United States Air Force, Buzzelli has held command positions as the chief of optometry for the 105th Military Airlift Wing and commander of the 105th Medical Group. He served as the assistant to the command surgeon for Air Force Material Command and was selected as the Chief Advisor to the Air Force Surgeon General of the Air National Guard.

Recognized as an authority in the field of binocular vision and visual perception, Dr. Buzzelli has taught programs in the diagnosis and treatment of acquired brain injury, pediatric optometry, and binocular vision, as well as child abuse and intimate partner violence. He is one of 36 optometrists in the world recognized as a diplomat in binocular vision and perception for the American Academy of Optometry.

Dr. Buzzelli has already led the efforts to begin several new programs including the Niswonger College of Optometry, He has and will continue to administer the preparation of materials and documentation required for accreditation and will ensure that the academic and patient care missions of the College are accomplished. He does this all while providing leadership for recruiting and retaining highly qualified faculty, staff, and students.

May 12, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we're talking about behavioral health and addiction treatment services at a rural hospital in Louisiana. More specifically, this is a conversation about how a hospital added in-patient withdrawal management services for drug and alcohol abuse and related issues. It is a stabilization program that is a voluntary program.

“They need compassion and care and they’re very thankful that somebody isn’t judging them.”

~Jackie Reviel

Jackie Reviel has over 25 years in healthcare experience, starting her career in healthcare in 1990 in Canada where she obtained her Diploma in Nursing. She continues to have a passion for serving patients in local rural communities and has worked in many areas in nursing. Jackie has always been challenged by taking on different leadership roles including Director of Maternal Child Services, VP of Patient Care, CNO, and her current role as CEO of Allen Parish Hospital. Jackie has continued her education and obtained her BSN and MSN in Healthcare Systems Administration. She is a Rotary member and on the boards of the Rural Hospital Coalition and WorkForce Commission Board.

May 5, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we're talking about several of the challenges rural health leaders face with Naomi Sweeney from the State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Arkansas Department of Health. Her state office has recently received approval to sponsor 10 Critical Access Hospital CEOs in attending the National Rural Health Association Rural Hospital CEO Training Program. Their vision is to these 10 CEOs return and share what they have learned with other rural hospital CEOs across the state. The expectation is that there will be a lot of good measurable data on the improvement at participant facilities once they implement the lessons learned. They see a tremendous value in this program and look forward to seeing how it affects rural health across the state.

“You cannot make a difference from an office chair alone, let people see your face.”

~Naomi Sweeney

Naomi Sweeney is the State Office of Rural Health Coordinator for the state of Arkansas. She is housed within the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Arkansas Department of Health. Naomi is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas. She has a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and she has over 14 years’ experience in public health-related fields. When Naomi began her work at the Arkansas Office of Rural Health and Primary Care in November of 2018, she was responsible for recruitment and retention of medical professionals in rural and underserved areas of Arkansas through programs such as Nurse Corps, various National Health Service Corps programs, and the J1 Visa program. Naomi has an excellent track record in the field of public health, with plenty of public speaking experience, a heart for community service, and a desire to improve the health of rural Arkansans.

Apr 28, 2020

Rural health leaders are always talking about the challenge of recruiting providers. That is why we are talking with Jordan White, an undergraduate medical student at Mississippi State, and a participant in the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program this week on Rural Health Leadership Radio.

“Are you doing what you want to do? Are you doing what God wants you to do? Have you even asked?”

~Jordan White (quoting her Pastor)

Jordan is a pre-med junior at Mississippi State, having transferred from EMCC Scooba last semester. She was raised in the small town of De Kalb, MS. Her grandmother, mother, brother, sister, and a few aunts are all nurses, so she grew up hearing about the medical field. They talked about working with great doctors and not so great doctors. Jordan’s mission is to return to De Kalb and be the kind of doctor her family would enjoy working with and being seen by.

Apr 21, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is making on rural healthcare. We are having that conversation with Broch Slabach, Senior VP of Member Services at the NRHA.

“From that day forward, the end of the world changed as we know it”

~Brock Slabach

With over 28 years of experience in the administration of rural hospitals, Brock is definitely an expert and experienced rural health leader. From 1987 through 2007, he was the administrator of the Field Memorial Community Hospital in Centreville, MS. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and his Master of Public Health in Health Administration from the University of Oklahoma.

Apr 14, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about recruiting providers and other professional staff to rural America. We are having that conversation with Alicia Calloway, Chief Operating Officer at OPYS Physician Services.

“It can be tough to know who you can trust in any industry, but knowing who you can trust in rural healthcare is vital”

~Alicia Calloway

Alicia Calloway was born and raised in Tennessee. She started in healthcare shortly after high school and began to develop a passion for rural healthcare in underserved communities. She began working with a staffing and management group that specialized in providing service to rural areas and worked her way up into a leadership position. Now working for a different group with the same focus, her passion to help rural hospitals succeed under what are seen as insurmountable odds has only grown.

“There is a true need for rural hospitals to find a way through the difficult times at hand. To be able to continue to offer the healthcare that the people in these communities so desperately need. I want to be part of that solution.”

~Alicia Calloway

Alicia can be reached at: acalloway@opys.com

You can learn more about OPYS Physician Services by visiting opys.com.

Apr 9, 2020

“COVID-19 is not just an urban problem but something that is a risk for all of us.”

-Dr. Jay Butler
Deputy Director for Infectious Disease
CDC

If you have a question or best practice to share, please reach out to the CDC at ruralhealth@cdc.gov.

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world as we know it.  I hope you, your family, your hospital, clinic, and community, are all doing as well as possible considering the new normal we now are living in.

 

Apr 7, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re having a conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic with Patty Harper and Taylor Cottano. Patty shares some of the top operational best practices for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and Taylor shares some of the top clinical best practices.

“This pandemic is ever changing”

Taylor Cottano

Patty Harper is CEO of InQuiseek, LLC, a business and healthcare consulting company based in Louisiana. She has over 21 years of healthcare experience in the areas of healthcare finance & reimbursement, health information management, compliance, and practice management. She began her healthcare career as a hospital controller and reimbursement analyst. Patty holds a B.S. in Health Information Administration (cum laude) from Louisiana Tech University. She is credentialed through AHIMA as a RHIA, CHTS-IM, and CHTS-PW. Patty successfully completed AHIMA’s ICD-10 Academy and has been recognized as an ICD-10 Trainer. She is also Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC®) thorough the Compliance Certification Board. Patty is a frequent speaker and contributor for national, state and regional and rural healthcare associations on these and other reimbursement-related topics. She has held memberships regional, state and national organizations throughout her healthcare career including NARHC, NRHA, AHIMA, MGMA, and HFMA. Patty currently serves on the Board of NARHC and LRHA.

Patty can be reached at pharper@inquiseek.com.

Taylor Cottano is the Founder and CEO of Southern EVALS and has worked in the healthcare field as a Registered Nurse for over 5 years. Through his time working in different healthcare organizations around the Nation, he has been able to see the evolution of healthcare from a regulatory aspect and help organizations come into and stay in compliance. As the regulatory bodies continue to add requirements and tweak programs some things stay the same. Patients continue to seek quality healthcare that is easy to access at a valuable cost.

Taylor can be reached at tcottano@sevals.net

 

Mar 31, 2020

This week we have a special episode on Rural Health Leadership Radio. Rural Health Leadership Radio recorded the CDC call titled “Update for Rural Partners, Stakeholders, and Communities on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease Response.”

“We’re in the midst of a global pandemic of a disease, COVID-19, caused by a newly recognized virus.”

-Dr. Jay Butler
Deputy Director for Infectious Disease, CDC

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world as we know it. I hope you and your family, your hospital, clinic, and community, are all doing as well as possible considering the new normal we now are living in.

Mar 24, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we’re talking about movement as medicine. We’re having that conversation with Dr. Anthony Fleg, Director of Running Medicine.

“Movement is something we as leaders, as health professionals, need to remember is one of our simplest outlets that life gives us.”

~Anthony Fleg

Dr. Fleg is a family physician who thinks of his work of healing as “occasionally done with a stethoscope, more often done in communities…done with youth and elders, done through art, language, culture, and love, and through listening more than through talking.” Through NHI, Dr. Fleg created the Running Medicine (www.runningmedicine.org) program in 2016, a unique approach to mind, body, and spiritual wellness through walking and running. 

“Leadership is more about empowering people around you to see the best in themselves and to see their own ability to lead, to heal, and do for themselves.”

~Anthony Fleg

Dr. Fleg is also a co-founder of the Native Health Initiative (www.lovingservice.us), a partnership to address health inequities through loving service.  He is also a faculty member at the University of New Mexico in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and in the College of Population Health. Dr. Fleg considers himself a love activist, grounded in a deep belief that love can serve as a vehicle toward equity, justice and social transformation. For more information about Dr. Fleg’s work, see the links below!

Mar 17, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about rural health centers and their workforces. We’re having that conversation with Darcy Shargo, CEO of Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA).

“I think we’re in a time in the evolution of healthcare delivery and certainly in the rural context that we can’t really stand still anymore and that we’ve got to move.”

~Darcy Shargo

Darcy grew up in rural northern Minnesota in a small farming community. Her personal experiences drove her to work that invests in understanding and alleviating some of the social risk factors that are barriers to better health. Darcy feels that rural areas have the opportunity to test change and commandeer their future.

“Having a focus on healthcare particularly through a rural lens is important because we have the opportunity to scale up changes and try new things.”

~Darcy Shargo

Darcy is the CEO of MPCA, a membership organization for the state’s federally qualified health centers (FQHC). These delivery sites exist across both rural and urban centers in Maine and constitute the state’s largest primary care network. The community health centers serve people from all walks of life, regardless of their ability to pay, acting as a true safety net.

Mar 10, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about rural medical education. We’re having that conversation with Dr. Richard Terry, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).

“The problem in rural areas is simply access to care. There are not enough doctors choosing to practice in rural areas.”

~Dr. Richard Terry

Dr. Terry graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1988. He completed his residency at the University of Rochester in Family Medicine in 1991, the first osteopathic physician ever admitted to the program. Dr. Terry also has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Terry currently serves as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the LECOM and as Chief Academic Officer at Lake Erie Consortium for Osteopathic Medicine Training (LECOMT).

“What excites me the most is the ability to train medical students with an orientation towards rural family medicine, rural primary care, and rural specialty care from the get-go.”

~Dr. Richard Terry

Dr. Terry has over two decades of experience in both graduate and undergraduate medical education. He has been instrumental in developing a regional campus model for LECOM as well as developing numerous graduate medical education programs in multiple specialties and undergraduate opportunities for osteopathic students. Previously, he served as the Assistant Dean of Regional Clinical Education at LECOM where he built numerous rural clinical rotation sites and graduate medical opportunities in primary care.

Mar 3, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we’re talking about holistic care in rural health clinics. We’re having that conversation with Brenda Jacobs, CEO of Daughters of Charity Services in Arkansas.

“The engagement with patients is important to us. The engagement with community is important to us and that’s our link to survival, I do believe.”

~ Brenda Jacobs

Brenda Jacobs was born and raised in Arkansas and has always been concerned with healthcare. Her academic career always led her back to nursing, and she became a doctorally-prepared nurse practitioner. Brenda is currently working in a clinical practice, as well as being the CEO.

“We’re committed to our community. We’re committed to taking a holistic approach to our patients, and we’re concerned about every bit of them.”

~ Brenda Jacobs

Daughters of Charity, where Brenda is CEO, was started by a group of nuns many years ago in Gould, Arkansas. Not only do they provide medical and dental services, but they also offer services based on the community’s social determinants of health and needs. The organization’s mission is to provide holistic care through their certified rural health clinics, to serve their community.

Feb 25, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about hospital rehabilitation services. We’re having that conversation with Deborah Lakin, Vice President of Hospital Contracts at Alliance Physical Therapy Partners. 

“Healthcare is moving toward prevention and wellness, which I think is fantastic.”

~Deborah Lakin

Deborah started her career as an Occupational Therapist in the VA system. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA from Webster University, St. Louis. Soon after she moved to Florida, where she worked in one of their largest hospitals, quickly moving from working on the floor, to her educational role in the rehabilitation department, and finally achieving her leadership role. 

“You really have to listen to your folks and get involved and hear them out.”

~Deborah Lakin

Her experiences in hospitals and with compassionate therapists jumpstarted her interest in healthcare, as well as her desire to help others. She has over 17 years of hospital rehabilitation leadership experience at various hospitals across the country, including critical access hospitals. Deborah has demonstrated success managing both rehabilitation and ancillary services. To contact Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, use the information below:

Deborah’s Email: Deborah.lakin@allianceptp.com

Alliance Physical Therapy Partner’s Website: www.allianceptp.com

Feb 18, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about investing in pulmonary rehabilitation at critical access hospitals. We’re having that conversation with Dr. Steve Barnett, CEO of McKenzie Health System in Sandusky, Michigan.

“We have an obligation to try and manage this population and do a better job than we’ve historically done.”

~Dr. Steve Barnett

Dr. Barnett has served as hospital Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officers for the past 18 years, currently serving as the President and CEO of McKenzie Health System. He began his healthcare career as a Respiratory Therapist, attending Oakland University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. Dr. Barnett would go on to receive his Master’s degree in Nursing from Southern Connecticut State University as well as his Doctorate in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University.

“Improving the health of your community often requires investment in services that may not have a significant payback financially, but the payback in terms of the health of the individuals that benefit from those services is enormous.”

~Dr. Steve Barnett

Dr. Barnett is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services and serves as a member of the National Rural Health Resource Center’s Technical Assistance and Services Center Advisory Committee. He also serves on numerous healthcare-related boards and is an Assistant Professor of Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine.

Feb 11, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation. We’re having that conversation with Tracy Conroy, CEO, Valerie Roark, Director of Cardiopulmonary Services, and Connie Wilson, Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation Nurse at Daviess Community Hospital.

“Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from seeking the care and the treatment and talking to your physician about what you can do to improve your lifestyle.”

~Tracy Conroy

Tracy Conroy has over 25 years of leadership experience in both acute and long-term care, population health management, outpatient clinics, and regional partnerships. She is very knowledgeable about patient experience, revenue growth, patient quality and safety, physician recruitment, and capital construction. Tracy is also an active member of the Indiana Rural Health Association, Rotary Club of Washington, IN., American Red Cross, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation.  Tracy is passionate about expanding access to care for all residents and collaborating with the community to promote positive health outcomes. 

“Having programs like Pulmonary Rehab is what gives me hope because I know that the patients that come into pulmonary rehab and that really embrace what we teach in there, that it’s life-changing for them.”

~Connie Wilson

Connie Wilson MSN, RN, CCRP, CCEP, Certificate in Pulmonary Rehabilitation currently serves as the Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehabilitation nurse at Daviess Community Hospital. She has been a nurse for 34 years, with 28 years in Cardiac Rehabilitation and 25 years in Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Connie is an active member of the Indiana Society of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, being on the board of directors and serving as President in 2007 and 2018.

“There’s hope on the horizon that people will live a better quality of life as they progress through the phases of COPD.”

~Valerie Roark

Valerie Roark is a Registered Respiratory Therapist working with Daviess Community Hospital in Washington, IN for the past 30 years as the Director of the Cardiopulmonary Department, EEG's, Sleep Diagnostics and Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. She feels she has positively impacted the Daviess Community Hospital and the community it serves by raising the level of professionalism within the departments she provides oversight by recruiting and hiring highly-skilled, passionate, caring professionals whether it be respiratory therapists, registered nurses or in our most recent hire of exercise physiologists for our cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs.

Feb 4, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about coding and billing for COPD services. We’re having that conversation with Lindsay Corcoran, Senior Consultant at Stroudwater Associates, and Laurie Daigle, Senior Consultant at Stroudwater Revenue Cycle Solutions.

“Anything that encourages people to be more aware of their health and provide support for people to take responsibility can have an enormous benefit.”

~Laurie Daigle

Laurie is a certified professional coder with over 18 years of experience in medical insurance claim processions, medical billing software training, auditing, and healthcare financial management. She has years of experience as a manager for a national commercial payer, and has extensive knowledge in Healthcare Management, from physician group practices to large academic institutions. She has been instrumental in the creation of Revenue Integrity resources to unify coding, billing, and compliance initiatives to increase physician and departmental productivity, to improve business office efficiency and accuracy.

“COPD, respiratory diseases and pulmonary rehabilitation is getting so much attention right now with a focus specifically to support rural communities and their needs.”

~Lindsay Corcoran

Lindsay has been a consultant at Stroudwater for almost six years, mainly consulting in the rural healthcare landscape to support rural hospitals and medical practices in financial, operational and quality improvement. Prior to consulting, she was a Practice Administrator for outpatient physical therapy clinics in southern Maine. Lindsay has a passion for improving and sustaining rural health care services because of their foundational importance in rural communities.

Jan 28, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we’re talking about respiratory and cardiac care. We’re having that conversation with Michelle Collins, Registered Respiratory Therapist at Lincoln Health, Franklin Memorial Hospital, and Central Maine Medical Center.

“I have hope because there has been so much work that has been done over the last couple of years that is still very exciting.”

~Michelle Collins

Michelle has worked in various aspects of healthcare from administrative to clinical for 30 years, with sixteen of those years being spent specializing in cardiac and respiratory care. She has been able to work with a large pulmonary practice and currently works at a critical access hospital, a rural trauma and cardiac center. Michelle also provides teaching and training in cardiac and pulmonary care throughout the state at businesses, hospitals, nursing facilities, educational institutions, and at health fairs for employees, patients, and aspiring and active clinical staff.

“Asking the right questions before we set patients up with medications and treatment plans for respiratory is huge.”

~Michelle Collins

In her spare time, Michelle enjoys volunteering for many organizations. She is the President of the Maine Society for Respiratory Care, a Member of the American Association for Respiratory Care Political Action Contact Team, a Member of the Maine Health Allies, The COPD and Alpha 1 Advocacy Captain and Ambassador of Maine, a Harmonicas 4 Health Instructor, teaching Better Breathers Group, participant in the COPD National Action Plan Task Force and a Rural Health Advisory Team.

Jan 21, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we’re talking about community-based pulmonary rehabilitation. We’re having the conversation with Dr. Dan Doyle, Senior Physician in Family Medicine at New River Health Association, Physician and Consultant at Cabin Creek Health Center, and Medical Director at New River Breathing Center, a Black Lung Clinic.

Dr. Doyle grew up in Northern Indiana and attended the University of Notre Dame as a Liberal Arts major. After deciding to go to medical school in 1968, he went to Harvard Medical School, took two years off in the middle to work as a community organizer and health educator in an inner-city neighborhood of Boston, and finished medical school in 1974. In October of 1977, Dr. Doyle came to New River Health and has been there for 39 years!

“Q”

~Dr. Dan Doyle

Dr. Doyle has also worked as the Medical Director of the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary Rehabilitation project of West Virginia since 2013, a collaborative effort of Cabin Creek Health System FQHC, New River Health Association FQHC, Southern West Virginia Health System FQHC, West Caldwell County FQHC in North Carolina, Boone Memorial Hospital, and Jackson General Hospital. Through this collaboration, community-based pulmonary rehabilitation services have been offered and provided.

Jan 14, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we’re talking about COPD prevalence and policy in rural areas. We’re having that conversation with Paul Moore, Senior Health Policy Advisor at the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

"This right here is an opportunity to both bend that healthcare cost curve and while we’re doing that, improve the health and reduce the burden on millions of folks suffering or soon to suffer with COPD."

~Paul Moore

Paul brings a lifetime of experience related to rural healthcare from both his family heritage and more than forty years in community and hospital pharmacy. His experience reaches beyond pharmacy as he has also been the CEO of a County Healthcare Authority, consisting of one of the nation’s earliest Critical Access Hospitals, EMS, a physician clinic and a Home Health Agency.

"I’m optimistic that in a payment environment where providers are incentivized to provide what will make the most difference, we’ll see more investment, improving prevention and treatments."

~Paul Moore

Paul is also a Past President of the National Rural Health Association and currently serves as the Executive Secretary for the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services. He has seen the progression of COPD first-hand and as a pharmacist for over 30 years and hopes to garner national attention for the disease.

Jan 7, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we’re talking about COPD advocacy and activism. We’re having that conversation with Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, President of the Dorney-Koppel Foundation.

“Anyone who breathes actually can get COPD because we have this very large number, 25% of people who have never smoked a cigarette.”

~Grace Anne Dorney Koppel

Grace Anne is an educator, a behavioral scientist, and an attorney. She was diagnosed with very severe COPD in 2001 which led her on the path to COPD patient advocacy and activism. Since 2006, she has devoted her training, knowledge and professional life to achieving better outcomes and quality of life for the 30 million Americans and hundreds of million worldwide who have COPD. Grace Anne is a graduate of Fordham University (BA), Stanford University (MA), and Georgetown University School of Law (JD). She has also been awarded a PhD honoris causa from Fordham University, one of her alma maters.

“What gives me hope is that it’s treatable. We don’t have the cure today, but we do have treatments and one day, I do believe we will have a cure if enough of us speak out loudly.”

~Grace Anne Dorney Koppel

Grace Anne has been President of the Dorney-Koppel Foundation since 1999.One of the missions of the Dorney-Koppel Foundation is to provide start-up funding and strategic guidance for pulmonary rehabilitation centers in areas of high COPD prevalence, primarily in rural America, that have no access to pulmonary rehabilitation. Twelve Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinics are now in operation in Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana and Maryland. Grace Anne also currently serves on the National Institute of Health’s NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute) Advisory Council.

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