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.