Are you curious about what leadership solutions are available for rural healthcare leaders who are passionate about making a difference? This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we explore another rural-focused leadership program that’s working to improve health equity, NRHA’s Rural Health Fellows Program.
“It's very exciting things that our rural health fellows are going on to do, and ultimately what the program is trying to do which is to be more representative of what rural communities are really like and what they really need..”
NRHA's Rural Health Fellows program is a yearlong, intensive training program that develops leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America. Each year, NRHA selects 10 to 15 highly motivated individuals who have proven their dedication to improving the health of rural Americans through their educational or professional experience. The goal of the Fellows program is to educate and develop a network of diverse rural leaders that will step forward to serve in key positions in the association, affiliated advocacy groups, and local and state legislative bodies with health equity as the main focus.
For more information, go to https://www.ruralhealth.us/programs/rural-health-fellows
Public health has evolved greatly over time, particularly in rural healthcare over the past few years as the COVID-19 pandemic took place. This week, we’re having a conversation with Samantha Wells who tells us all about her experience with rural healthcare, public health in rural areas, the impact of the pandemic, and how she’s working to make a difference.
“You have way more power and influence than you feel. That’s what I want everybody to remember – just because you come from a small town or small rural area, it doesn’t mean you cannot make a difference.”
Samantha Wells is a 2nd year Doctor of Public Health (DrPH, Health Leadership) student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She currently serves as a Graduate Research Assistant for the Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Health Equity and HIV Elimination. She has previously served as the Program Manager for Health Help Mississippi, an initiative of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program. Ms. Wells graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Master of Public Health degree in 2017 and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree in 2015, both with a Health Policy/Administration concentration.
At USM, Samantha was recognized for her commitment to Public Health with the 2017 Alton B. Cobb Outstanding Master of Public Health Award. Samantha became Certified in Public Health (CPH) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners in 2019. Driven by her commitment to improving public health in rural, minority communities, Ms. Wells is passionate about her efforts with improving health equity and eliminating health disparities.
If you could hit the reset button on healthcare policy, what would you change? In this week's episode, Dr. Keith Mueller shares his thoughts on what he would improve given the chance to hit the policy reset button, particularly in rural healthcare.
“The pandemic taught us we need flexibility to move resources quickly to where they’re needed. We can’t do that if your payment system is based on volume of predefined services.”
~Dr. Keith Mueller
Keith J. Mueller, Ph.D., is Head of the Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, and Gerhard Hartman Professor in Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa. He is also the Director of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) and its Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, and Chair of the RUPRI Health Panel. Dr. Mueller currently serves on the Rural Health Advisory Committee in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has served as President of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.
He has also served on national advisory committees to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He has published more than 240 scholarly articles and policy papers, and received awards recognizing his research contributions from NRHA, RUPRI, and the University of Nebraska. In 2016, he received the University of Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence. His PhD is in Political Science from The University of Arizona, and he completed a Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Fellowship with Johns Hopkins University.
More and more women are taking on leadership roles in rural healthcare, and Samantha Louise is here to guide them on their journey! Having grown up in rural Minnesota, Samantha knew that there were others just like her in rural areas around the world who wanted to be and cultivate, leaders. Today, Samantha does just that! Founder of Samantha Louise Inc., Samantha guides women of all ages on their natural-born leadership journey.
“Women don’t have to be so hard. They don’t have to get so jaded and so tough. They can own the essence of womanhood and still be compassionate, still be powerful in that, still be a great leader.”
Samantha’s passion is women's empowerment and organizational cultural branding. Currently, she is a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College studying leadership and learning in organizations which complements her Master's degree in Educational Leadership specializing in organizational systems change. She holds a Diplomate and Instructorship in Biocognitive Science as well as a Diplomate in Biocognitive Organizational Science with a specialty in mission and vision development to inform experiential employee training, workplace wellbeing, and business innovation. With experience in curriculum design, Samantha ensures a humanistic approach to each framework she develops for personal and career development and vocational empowerment.