Interactions between healthcare, law, and policy, and public health can have huge impacts on the rural health landscape. Craig Wilson, Director of Health Policy at the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI), tackles this complicated subject in this week’s episode!
“If we can’t improve the health of the lives in our most rural parts of the state, then we can’t do it for those in the urban parts either.”
Craig Wilson is the Director of Health Policy at the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI). He leads efforts to achieve ACHI’s access and quality goals and provides analysis of laws and policies that impact health and health care in Arkansas. His focus is on developing and sustaining initiatives to provide Arkansans with improved access to quality health care by eliminating financial, geographic, cultural, and language barriers.
Craig is a graduate of Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. He is an attorney licensed to practice in Arkansas, having earned his Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law and a master of public administration from Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in Atlanta, Georgia.
Physician leaders play an important role in the sustainability of rural healthcare. This week, we’re having a conversation with Dr. Bensson Samuel, who tells us about his experiences as an intensive care physician in rural Michigan.
“The interesting fact about rural health is that small contributions that are made by each individual in that community leads to a bigger impact.”
~Dr. Bensson Samuel
Dr. Samuel is currently based out of Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, and is currently practicing at MyMichigan Medical Center Sault. He is a graduate of the National Rural Health Association’s CFO and CEO programs. He also completed the University of Oxford Executive Leadership Program and holds a Doctor of Business Administration from the Swiss School of Business and Research with a focus on Situational Leadership and its efficacy on achieving organizational goals.
His other qualifications include board certifications in Internal medicine, UCNS Neuro-critical care, Certified Health Care Financial Professional from HFMA, and Board Certified in Public Health from the National Board of Public Health Examiners.
He spends his free time with his family and four kids. His other passions include economics and human rights.
The financial environment in healthcare is constantly changing and can have even more fluctuation in rural healthcare. This week we’re having a conversation with Patrick Ritter about the financial side of rural healthcare, now and in the future.
"I do think it’s exciting about how the smaller facilities can tailor and move quickly into the needs that they see in the community to provide healthcare."
Patrick Ritter became the Chief Financial Officer in December 2019. He has over 20 years in healthcare and leadership experience working in several organizations within the Snoqualmie Valley. He joined the District on September 1, 2004, as Clinic Billing Manager and became Revenue Cycle Director in May 2014.
He has a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management from the University of Washington and an MBA in Healthcare Management from Western Governors University. Patrick resides in North Bend with his wife Tricia and two daughters and enjoys serving in mission work in Honduras, traveling, and spending time with his family. For more than 10 years, he served as a board member for Summit Classical Christian School, Fall City, Wash.
Transitioning to a new facility AND into a new position can be an overwhelming change, particularly in rural healthcare while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, we’re having a conversation with Jennifer Reed, CEO of Ferry County Health, who tells us about how she made those switches and how it’s going!
“We don’t have to do it all. We can be a part of it and be a part of the solution and I see that a lot. So that’s really exciting about rural healthcare.”
Jennifer is the CEO of Ferry County Public Hospital, a small critical access hospital in North Central Washington state. She came to Ferry County to work as the CFO/COO in January of 2022 from a large critical access hospital in the Western part of Washington State where she was the Director of Finance for almost 10 years. She has been in the accounting field for over twenty years, specializing mainly in non-profit entities from very small to very large organizations.
Jennifer came to healthcare finance 10 years ago finding, what she believes, is the perfect niche and industry for her. She holds a Master’s degree in Accounting, and a certification as a rural CFO from the National Rural Health Association sits on the board of the WA/AK chapter of HFMA and enjoys membership in ACHE. She enjoys the creative challenge of finance in the rural hospital and making that work within the framework of critical access reimbursement and our local government. Jennifer brings her experience in rural community development, budgeting, strategic and organizational planning, reporting, and contract compliance to her position.
Last week on Rural Health Leadership Radio, we started discussing leadership solutions available specifically for rural health leaders. We continue that conversation this week by investigating NRHA’s Rural Health Congress, which advocates for rural healthcare at the national level.
“Every rural community is so different and the more we can increase that understanding of all those distinct features in small towns in rural America, the better we can provide a exchange and distribution of ideas that's going to inform health care providers, provide research and look at methods that are going to improve rural health.”
~Dr. Bill Auxier
The Rural Health Congress is the policy-making body of the National Rural Health Association. Elected representatives from each of the association's constituency groups, State Association Council, State Office Council, issue groups and officers serve on the Congress. This gives broad grassroots representation that reflects the concerns of NRHA's membership. The Rural Health Congress determines the association's positions on public policy through a series of policy briefs and issue papers.
To learn more, visit their website: https://www.ruralhealth.us/advocate/rural-health-congress