Healthcare centers, both rural and urban, have benefited from financial relief efforts given out during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now with the state of emergency being lifted but the effects still lingering, what can rural facilities count on? Today we are talking with Alexa McKinley, Government Affairs & Policy Coordinator for the National Rural Health Association. Alexia will be discussing the Rural Emergency Hospital model and how it can be a beneficial tool for rural health providers.
“…I’m excited to see what innovations and policies will come out of this administration, the next administration, and the 118th Congress.”
- Alexa McKinley
Alexa earned a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. During law school, she interned with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, a Pittsburgh-based corporation, and served clients at the Pitt Environmental Law Clinic. Previously, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Michigan State University where she interned with the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education and served as a fellow at MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.
Public health may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about rural healthcare. However public health officials have worked alongside rural health professionals to engage rural communities for years. Today we are talking with Gina Gulley, Health Program Specialist for the Arkansas Office of Rural Health, and Primary Care within the Arkansas Department of Health. Gina will discuss her transition into public health and how her work impacts rural hospitals.
“Allow yourself to be uncomfortable because that uncomfortable place is where growth happens.”
Gina Gulley is a Malvern, Arkansas native who currently works as a rural health program coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care. In this role, she is responsible for the overall direction of three federal rural health grants that are used to serve Arkansas’ small rural hospitals.
Before entering the public health field, Gina was a middle school science teacher who empowered children, exposing them to STEM and healthcare careers. She obtained her Master of Public Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Arkansas State University. Because of her commitment to public health, she is always looking for opportunities to expand her knowledge. She is passionate about strengthening rural health infrastructure and improving patient care in Arkansas.
In our first episode with Dr. Emma Watson, the 2021–22 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Executive Medical Director of NHS Education for Scotland, we talked about the research she started on the challenges faced in rural Scotland and Rural America. This week, Emma is back to tell us about the results of her research into why effective leadership is so important.
“Be super proud of being a rural leader, or rural healthcare provider, or a rural community member because it’s an amazingly special thing to be.”
-Dr. Emma Watson
Professor Emma Watson MSc, FRCPath, FRCPEdis a 20/22UK Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Practice. A Consultant Medical Microbiologist by background and a senior clinical systems leader in Scotland, she is an expert in quality improvement and in medical education, and workforce planning.
Emma is now the Executive Medical Director of NHS Education for Scotland, the organization charged with commissioning and delivering undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Scotland. Prior to her fellowship Emma was Deputy Medical Director at NHS Highland and held the clinical leadership for4 acute hospitals (3 of which are small rural hospitals) she was also a senior medical adviser in the Scottish Government. In both these roles, her focus was on developing innovative approaches to ensuring equitable access to high-quality healthcare services with a sustainable health and care workforce, particularly in remote and rural areas.
Emma has led a number of major change programs including the development of Scotland’s first graduate-entry medical school. Emma previously held a post in the Scottish Government as Clinical Lead for the Scottish Patient Safety Program during which time she ensured quality improvement methodology translated from the development of health policy and strategy through to implementation across the entirety of the Scottish healthcare system. Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a patient safety program on a whole system basis at a national level. As Director of Medical Education in NHS Highland, she focused on delivering high-quality medical education as a tool to increase recruitment and attract young doctors to the region and ensuring there is now an established program to encourage young people from the area to go to medical school. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the clinical response in her region and ensured there was a whole system approach to manage the impact of the virus.
Organizational culture is vital to the well-being of not only the organization but the community as well. Today we are talking with Dr. Bill Auxier, President, and CEO of the Dynamic Leadership Academy and Executive Director of Rural Health Leadership Radio. Bill will discuss organizational culture and the necessity for leadership to value their cultural identity.
“By improving the culture of your organization, you can improve the culture of your community as well.”
- Dr. Bill Auxier
Bill Auxier, Ph.D. is the Program Director of NRHA’s Rural Hospital Certification Programs and an expert in rural health leadership development. Dr. Auxier has worked with rural health leaders across the country to improve their organizations through more effective leadership, cultural transformation, and strategic plan development. Bill is President, and CEO of the Dynamic Leadership Academy™ and the Center for Rural Health Leadership, and Executive Director of Rural Health Leadership Radio™, a 501(c)3 non-profit that produces the podcast Rural Health Leadership Radio.
Bill started his career in healthcare as a nurse’s aide at Hamilton Memorial Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital, in his boyhood hometown, McLeansboro, Illinois. From there, he worked his way up to become the CEO of a surgical device manufacturer with global distribution. He is an Affiliate Member of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and recipient of the 2019 National Rural Health Association President’s Award.