Advances in cardiovascular care have significantly improved the morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular disease in the U.S., however rural areas are still falling behind. Rural residents still have higher rates of heart disease, and risk of heart failure. Our guest this week on Rural Health Leadership Radio is no stranger to the inequities rural communities face when it comes to cardiovascular care and is working to ensure rural areas have access to the care they need. Mindy Cook is a National Senior Director, Rural Health Care Quality, Outcomes, Research, and analytics for the American Heart Association (AHA). In our discussion with Mindy, she shares how the AHA is working to make cardiovascular outcomes better in rural areas and the important role of collaboration in keeping rural areas equipped to handle cardiovascular emergencies. To learn more about how your organization could use support from the AHA visit one of these links:
“Where you live shouldn’t determine if you live. If you’re like me and live in a rural area, or that resonates with you, join our Rural Healthcare Outcome Accelerator Program so we can close those gaps in health outcomes between rural and urban America. “
American Heart Association Quality, Outcomes, Research, & Analytics Team. Mindy leads the Association’s Rural Health Care Outcomes Accelerator initiative to support evidence-based care in the rural setting through the optimization of outcomes for cardiovascular & stroke patients. Mindy holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and practiced clinically in the areas of critical care, cardiac catheterization, and cardiac network coordination for 12 years prior to joining the Association. During her 12-year tenure at the Association, she has led various statewide and regional initiatives to optimize quality and systems of care coordination that have yielded a lasting improvement in patient outcomes. She is passionate about the Rural Accelerator’s opportunity to expand this model to rural hospitals nationwide through participation in the Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Stroke, CAD, and Heart Failure Programs, learning collaboratives, rural community network, and quality research publications. Mindy has a strong passion for rural health care fueled by growing up on a ranch in North Dakota where the nearest health care services were provided by a critical access hospital. She resides on a horse farm in rural Minnesota where in her free time, she enjoys performance horse competitions and trail riding.
In the world of rural health, where resources are scarce, emergency preparedness is not just important; it's essential. Join us on this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio as we dive into how the leaders of Ochiltree General Hospital in Perryton, Texas, faced a catastrophic tornado head-on. Our guests, Kelly Judice (CEO), Debbie Beck (CFO), and Jyme Kinnard (CNO) of Ochiltree General Hospital, share their firsthand experience and insights into managing a rural health crisis. In this episode, we explore the details of Ochiltree General Hospital’s response to the devastating tornado. Kelly, Debbie, and Jyme recount the lessons they learned, and the resilience displayed by their small hospital during this crisis. This episode highlights a great story of the importance of leadership and collaboration in Rural health.
“It was like living a nightmare, but witnessing a miracle all at the same time.”
Kelly began working as a staff nurse at Ochiltree General Hospital (OGH) in January 2001. She worked in clinical nursing at the hospital for 15 years before becoming the CNO and COO of the hospital. Kelly is now the interim CEO and has been since October 2022. She has an associate Degree in Nursing as a Registered Nurse and BSM. Kelly is also currently enrolled at Texas Tech obtaining her Master of Science in Healthcare Administration and will graduate this December. She is also a proud wife and mother of three children, one son-in-law and three grandkids.
Debbie was born and raised in Perryton, Texas, and began working at OGH in high school. She has been the director of both the Business Office and Human Resources for OGH. She became the CFO in October 2020. Debbie has an Associate in Science degree, BBA in Finance, and is currently working on her MBA in Healthcare Management. She also has a wonderful husband and three very busy kids in junior high and high school.
Jyme was born in Borger, Texas, and raised in Fritch, Texas. After moving several times with her husband as a store director at United Supermarket, they made Perryton our home in 2010. She worked the night shift here at OGH for several years, managed the rural health clinic for six years, then accepted the ACNO/TNC position in January 2019, and ultimately became the CNO in March 2021. Jyme’s husband left his store management position of 20 years last year, and they now own a restaurant in town, Daddy’s Dogs, and more. They have three beautiful children, Courtney, 30; who works at Daddy’s Dogs; Aaron, 28; who works for Xcel Energy and Callan, 24, who is an RN and mommy. A wonderful son-in-law Logan, 25, is a lineman with North Plains Electric, and the most perfect grandson, Ryne, who is 17 months old.
We love sharing stories of successful hospitals, leaders, and programs on rural health leadership radio. This week we have the pleasure of talking with two rural health leaders of the 2023 National Rural Health Association’s Outstanding Rural Health Organization, Memorial Hospital in Carthage Illinois. Ada Bair, CEO, and Raigan Brown, CNO join us this week to discuss how they built such a strong rural hospital. They highlight the importance of community connection and moving healthcare beyond the four walls of the hospital. Raigan and Ada also share with us some of the great things happening at Memorial Hospital, a teaching kitchen to expanding behavioral health services and so much more.
“We know how to innovate and collaborate and I think that is what truly is going to contribute to the viability of rural health.”
Raigan Brown MHA, RN was born and raised in Carthage, IL. She has been with Memorial Hospital in Carthage for 11 years and has grown through the ranks starting as a staff ED nurse, moving to leadership in Rural Health Clinics, then to a department manager, and now the Chief Nursing Officer. Raigan has recently completed the NRHA CEO Certification program and her aspirations are to continue to learn and be involved in rural healthcare administration. Raigan is actively involved in many of Memorial’s strategic plans and projects. Raigan also has an active community involvement with the Hancock County EMS, Carthage Park District, The Crossing Church, and Hancock County Addiction Coalition just to name a few.
Ada Bair started her career in nursing and with great mentors over the years obtained her BSN and MHA. Having worked in the clinical arena for many years she transitioned to operations serving as a COO in 2 organizations prior to becoming a CEO for her current organization. After 20 years serving the community it certainly is home. Community outreach and support are key to rural leadership and as such volunteers with state professional organizations as well as several local organizations and boards. An outreach passion is the nonprofit she organized 10 years ago, Food For Thoughts Hancock County where meal bags go home on Friday for children who have food insecurity – serving over 250 children in 6 school districts with an all-volunteer team.