The significance of pharmacists is growing in rural regions where healthcare provider accessibility is declining. Fortunately, initiatives such as the Rural GME Center aim to expand opportunities for rural residency training programs. Our guest this week is Emily Hawes, a practicing rural pharmacist, Associate Professor in the UNC Department of Family Medicine, and Associate Professor of Clinical Education in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Additionally, she serves as the Deputy Director of the Rural Residency and Teaching Health Center Planning & Development. During our discussion with Emily, we explore the evolving role of pharmacy in rural communities. She also provides valuable insights on how rural areas can collaborate to establish rural graduate medical education programs. More information about this can be found at RuralGME.org.
“Rural GME increases access to care, it enhances clinical services and it brings the needed workforce to rural areas”
Dr. Hawes is an Associate Professor in the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where she is a leader in rural practice innovation and rural education. She has a broad background in medical and pharmacy student and resident education, including residency program leadership. She serves as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in a family medicine clinic in rural western North Carolina. As Deputy Director of the Rural Residency Planning and Development and Teaching Health Center Planning and Development – Technical Assistance Centers, she has helped create the infrastructure to provide technical assistance to over 150 developing medical and dental residencies across multiple specialties in rural and underserved communities.
You may not notice that there is a large presence of incarcerated settings in rural America. Nearly 40% of state prisons are in rural areas. People who are incarcerated have unique healthcare needs, facing higher rates of mental illness, substance abuse, and chronic illness than the general population. This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio Charles Mathias, Professor and Director of Innovation & Impact Organization at UT Health San Antonio, discusses how rural communities play a role in providing healthcare to incarcerated persons. In our conversation with Charles, we talk about the challenges of healthcare for incarcerated persons and what the future might look like.
“Incarceration is not intended to be a healthcare setting, but they really are the biggest one in many communities when it comes to mental health”
Dr. Mathias is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. His research focuses on improving health outcomes stemming from behavioral health risk and its interaction with community systems. His policy work applies a Culture of Health Framework in promoting solutions for population well-being through cross-sector collaboration. He is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship, Dr. Mathias guides RTTC activities related to strategic communication and health policy.
There is something special about the sense of community and family in rural communities. These values also extend into rural hospitals, which play an increasingly important role in rural America. Our next guest, Ben Davis, values the environment and family feel of rural hospitals. Ben is the President & CEO of Glencoe Regional Health Services. In our conversation with Ben, we discussed the importance of investing in your community and how he has prioritized being the employer and provider of choice in Glencoe.
“Do the right thing for the right reason at the right time based on the values that you hold and that your organizations hold and invest in people.”
Ben brings over 15 years of healthcare experience to the role. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of Osceola Regional Health Center for 6 years and is currently the President and CEO of Glencoe Regional Health Services. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Radiologic Sciences from North Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls. Ben earned the Rural Hospital CEO Certification through the National Rural Health Association Center for Rural Leadership and recently received the Iowa Hospital Association Young Executive Award in 2022, as well as the Inspiring CEO Pinnacle Award from the HealthCare Service Excellence Conference in 2021.
There is no shortage of challenges facing the future of rural health. However, it is important to recognize these as opportunities for emerging leaders in the field. This week we are having a conversation with an aspiring leader; Jenah McCarty is a graduate student at the University of Iowa, and our newest intern with Rural Health Leadership Radio. In this episode, we discuss how growing up rural impacts your perspective of healthcare, and Jenah shares some of her personal experiences. We also look into the future of rural health leadership, and how Jenah is working to get young people excited about rural health.
“I hope to get young people excited about rural health, or how they can impact it in the career path they are in”
Jenah McCarty is a Master of Public Health and Master of Health administration at the University of Iowa, and an intern with Rural Health Leadership Radio. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Iowa in Public Health and Human Relations. Jenah grew up in rural Iowa, which sparked her passion for rural health. She played a role in starting a student organization, the Student Association for Rural Health, at the University of Iowa to further the reach of rural health among her peers. Jenah has worked in a variety of settings including local public health, graduate medical education, and community hospitals. She is spending her summer in Northern Utah as a graduate administrative intern with Intermountain Health.