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Rural Health Leadership Radio™

Over the last ten years, over 100 rural hospitals have closed their doors. Roughly one in three rural hospitals have been identified as “at risk.” If there was ever a need for strong leadership, that time is now. RHLR’s mission is to provide a forum to have conversations with rural health leaders to discuss and share ideas about what is working, what is not working, lessons learned, success stories, strategies, things to avoid and anything else you want to talk and hear about. RHLR provides a voice for rural health. The only investment is your time, and our goal is to make sure you receive a huge return on your investment. For more information, visit www.rhlradio.com or e-mail bill@billauxier.com.
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Feb 8, 2022

Nurse practitioners can truly make a difference in rural healthcare. When working in rural, you are often on your own, and you never know what healthcare challenges you may face from one day to the next. That is why this conversation today is so important because today we are talking with two nurse leaders who are doing something about helping nurse practitioners grow in confidence to be prepared for whatever walks through their doors.

"We want to make sure they are well prepared for anything that comes into the office."

~Dr. Anne Hirsch

Dr. Anne Hirsch, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UW School of Nursing, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing and is the UW Premera RNHI Project Director. 

A native of Anacortes, WA, Dr. Hirsch is passionate about the health of rural and underserved communities and is dedicated to promoting equitable access to primary care in rural counties of Washington state. Clinically, Dr. Hirsch provides care to homeless families and teens as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has led statewide innovative programs to improve education access through online programs, co-chaired a design team to formulate a master plan for nursing education in Washington, co-chaired a sub-committee of the Washington Nursing Action Coalition to enact these recommendations, and was recently appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the coordinating committee to establish core performance measures for healthcare (the only educator or nurse practitioner appointed to this key policy-setting committee).

Through academic leadership roles, she has helped establish a Ph.D. program at Washington State University (WSU) and two Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs at WSU and Seattle University. Dr. Hirsch has successfully brought the WSU and Seattle University Colleges of Nursing and the UW School of Nursing through Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation reviews, and currently co-chairs the CCNE Accreditation Review Committee. Dr. Hirsch is a Fellow in the Academy of Nurse Practitioners and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Heather Novak, Medical Education Program Director, is a Nurse Practitioner at Valley View Health Center and in charge of the Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program, New Provider onboarding and orientation, and provides family practice services for all ages.

Heather is originally from Virginia Beach, VA. She then traveled the world as a military spouse and saw the global impacts of different types of healthcare systems and the lack of access to care.

As a WA rural healthcare provider in Lewis, Pacific and Thurston counties, Heather sees the difficulty her patients have in accessing specialty care due to distance and cost.  Throughout her career in the medical field, she has worked to precept new employees and successfully integrate team philosophies into practice to improve overall outcomes. Heather is a member of AANP, ARNPs United of Washington, NW-Cape, and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

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