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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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Jan 19, 2021

In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about some of the challenges rural Tennessee is facing and how rural health leaders there are dealing with those challenges. We’re also talking about building community and community relationships to create a culture of health and well-being in our conversation with Jacy Warrell, Executive Director of the Rural Health Association of Tennessee.

“Having moved around the way I did was a very eye-opening experience in regard to the disparities that exist between urban areas and rural areas”

~Jacy Warrell

Jacy Warrell helps bring people and organizations together to improve health outcomes through programs, policy, and collaborations. She is a listener, strategic thinker, and achiever who maintains that the best way to bring about positive change is through community engagement and pairing direct services with advocacy.

Currently, Jacy serves as the Executive Director of Rural Health Association of Tennessee a 501(c)3 non-profit established to improve the health of Tennesseans.

Jan 12, 2021

In this episode or Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re having a conversation with Melanie Richburg, CEO of Lynn County Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital in Tahoka, TX. Tahoka is about 30 miles south of Lubbock in the Texas Panhandle. Tahoka is primarily a farming community including wind farms.


“My definition of leadership is, ‘Did I HELP?’ Did I Heal? Did I Empower? Did I Listen? Did I Persevere? Did I HELP?”

~Melanie Richburg

Melanie grew up on a 180-acre cotton farm where she learned about hard work and perseverance, working her way through college through livestock farming. She and her twin sister would rise every morning at 5:00 am to feed the cattle and do it all over again at 5:00 pm. Raising cattle paid her tuition to get her BSN.

After earning her BSN, Melanie went back to school to earn an MSN and become a Nurse Practitioner, continuing her education to receive her Doctorate in Nursing.

Today she is the CEO of Lynn County Hospital where she started as a Nurse Practitioner working in one of the hospitals, a Rural Health Clinic that was barely making it. Today, both the clinic and the hospital have grown with her guidance, and simultaneously, Melanie has mentored many students looking for a career in rural health.

Melanie is a daughter and a sister along with one of her favorite roles, being an Aunt. And according to Melanie, being a Great-Aunt is even better than just being an Aunt.

Jan 5, 2021

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2021 with a conversation with Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association. Alan shares how the COVID-19 pandemic has made an impact on rural health, the good and the bad, and talks about the opportunities the new year presents.

“The pandemic really has been an accelerant for change.”

~Alan Morgan

Alan Morgan is recognized as among the top 100 most influential people in healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine. Alan serves as Chief Executive Officer for the National Rural Health Association.  He has more than 30 years experience in health policy at the state and federal level and is one of the nation’s leading experts on rural health policy.

Alan served as a contributing author for the publication, “Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care,” and for the publication, “Rural Populations and Health.”  In addition, his health policy articles have been published in: The American Journal of Clinical Medicine, The Journal of Rural Health, The Journal of Cardiovascular Management, The Journal of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, Cardiac Electrophysiology Review, and in Laboratory Medicine.  

Alan served as staff for former US Congressman Dick Nichols and former Kansas Governor Mike Hayden. Additionally, his past experience includes tenures as a health care lobbyist for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the Heart Rhythm Society, and for VHA Inc.

He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, and a master's degree in public administration from George Mason University. 

Dec 29, 2020

In this final episode of 2020, we are honored to have Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild as a guest. Dr. Connie shares her perspective on several timely leadership topics: the impact of history on the future, purposeful futures, systems thinking, and leadership of the future.

“My research on leaders repeatedly revealed one major finding; people are motivated by personal fulfillment and purpose.”

~Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D.

Dr. Connie Reimers-Hild, Wild Innovation’s Founder and Chief Futurist, is on a mission to help leaders and organizations intentionally create a more prosperous future in the exploding longevity economy, which is expected to be valued at $28.2 trillion by 2050.

Prior to launching Wild Innovation as a full-time venture, Dr. Connie worked at the University of Nebraska for twenty-five years. In her last position at the University, she served as the Executive Director (Interim) and Chief Futurist for the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska where she published an invited journal article, strategic foresight, leadership, and the future of rural healthcare staffing in the United States https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916469/, which was the first of its kind published in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA).  

Dr. Connie is a Certified Futurist, Professional Coach, and Gallup Strengths Coach with a doctorate in Human Sciences and Leadership Studies.  She loves firewalking, snow sledding, swimming with sharks, and spending time with her family.

Dec 22, 2020

In this special Christmas episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about Christmas Miracles with Dr. Mike Keegan who shares two Christmas Miracle stories.

“In my mind, it was miraculous that even after something so bad was happening, so many good things transpired thereafter.”

~James M. “Mike” Keegan, MD

James M. Keegan, MD, is a KMA principal partner and infectious disease specialist with more than 35 years of experience in the medical field as well as 20 years’ experience in Antibiotic Stewardship. 

Throughout his career of practicing medicine, Dr. Keegan has taken an active role in improving the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes by serving in numerous medical director and hospital executive leadership positions including Chief Medical Officer of a health system. 

Dr. Keegan has taken a special interest in solving the negative impact of the overreliance on broad-spectrum antibiotics and has designed and implemented numerous and successful antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) that have shown to decrease the incidence of drug-resistant bacteria.

Dec 15, 2020

As a student at the University of Oregon’s Business School, Orion Falvey decided to participate in the ‘social business challenge’ with other students. It started with meeting with a team of 5 or 6 students who collaboratively worked on creating a business model that solved a local problem while simultaneously delivering a positive benefit to society. Those brainstorming sessions provided the launchpad for Orchid Health.

“I spent close to two years researching and connecting with a wide range of healthcare stakeholders before we opened our first clinic.”

~Orion Falvey

A graduate of the University of Oregon Business School, Orion has served as a consultant for several local businesses, was named the 2013 Oregon Student Impact Entrepreneur of the Year, and was awarded as a Freeman Fellow while working for a community-based social enterprise in Cambodia. His passion for improving the healthcare system and for achieving health equity stems from his experiences growing up in rural Alaska and the opportunity for large-scale positive impact.

To learn more about Orchid Health, visit their website at http://orchidhealth.org/

In this week’s Leadership Nugget, I mention a writing by Robert Greenleaf, The Institution as Servant. You can find this work here

Dec 8, 2020

Farmers face many challenges today, dairy farmers in particular. As many of you know, I worked on a dairy farm in my youth, so this conversation with Dr. Amanda Stone truly struck a chord with me.

“Unless you really go to a farm and truly talk to that person and understand their situation, there’s really no way that you could understand them.”

~Amanda Stone, Ph.D.

Dr. Amanda Stone is an Assistant Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist at Mississippi State University.  She earned her B.S. in Animal Sciences from the University of Findlay (2009) and her M.S. (2013) and PhD (2016) from the University of Kentucky. 

She has co-authored 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 1 book chapter, and over 50 peer-reviewed abstracts and conference papers. She has received $3.9 million in grants since 2016, much of which is related to her work with farm stress and farmer mental health.

She works with a team at MSU focusing on farm stress and opioid misuse that has received funding from USDA NIFA and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. She is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor and works with AgriSafe as part of the Southern Farmers and Ranchers Stress Assistance Network. Her work on these teams revolves around her knowledge of the ag industry and experience with producer behavior and thinking.

Dr. Stone’s goal in all her Extension work is to improve the lives of the producers who feed, clothe, and care for each and every one of us each day.

She is a mom to two little boys and wife to a very patient husband.

Dec 1, 2020

Cara Veale became the CEO of the Indiana Rural Health Association earlier this year, right in the middle of a global pandemic, but I don’t think that has slowed her or the IRHA down one bit.

“Challenging would describe rural healthcare on any given day, let alone in the middle of a pandemic.”

~Cara Veale

Cara began her professional career as an Occupational Therapist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Indiana, in 2006. The following year, she moved to Daviess Community Hospital in Washington, Indiana, to work as an Occupational Therapist in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit.

Cara was promoted to the Director of Outpatient Rehabilitation Therapies in 2011, overseeing Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology, and Audiology services. In 2015, Cara transitioned to executive-level leadership as the organization’s first Chief Patient Experience Officer.

During the last three years at Daviess Community Hospital, Cara served as the Vice President of Provider Services providing administrative oversight for the medical practice division.

Cara received her Bachelor’s in Psychology, Master’s in Occupational Therapy, and Doctorate in Health Sciences from the University of Indianapolis and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Nov 24, 2020

Ferry County Public Hospital only had a few days cash on hand were on a list of ‘likely to close’ rural hospitals. And having cash on hand wasn’t the only issue. In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking with Aaron Edwards, CEO of Ferry County Public Hospital as he shares his hospital’s story.

“We were on the Flex Monitoring Program of the University of North Carolina’s list of likely to close facilities.”

~Aaron Edwards

Aaron Edwards became the CEO of Ferry County Health in June of 2016 while working on his MHPA from Washington State University, graduating in the spring of 2017.    Internships at Cancer Care Northwest, Lincoln County Hospital District #3, and working for his predecessor at Ferry County Health led him into his current role.  Aaron is currently a participant in the NRHA Rural Hospital CEO Certification Program October 2020 Cohort. Prior to working in hospitals and clinics, Aaron was a successful sales representative at various pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

At home, Aaron takes orders from his two-year-old daughter, wife, black lab, and min pin dachshund mix.

Nov 17, 2020

Welcome to this special episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio in celebration of National Rural Health Day. The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, otherwise known as NOSORH, sets aside the third Thursday of every November to celebrate National Rural Health Day. This year’s celebration will take place on Thursday, November the 19th. While National Rural Health Day is a special day, Rural Health Leadership Radio tries to make every day a National Rural Health Day by living our mission to improve the world by engaging rural health leaders in conversations, learning, and research.

In celebration of National Rural Health Day, we’re having a conversation with Jillian Bohl, a pre-med student at Fort Hayes State University. Jillian is the very first recipient of the Juanita and Earl Bartholomew Scholarship. Rural Health Leadership Radio created the Juanita and Earl Bartholomew Scholarship to help a recent high school graduate who wants to work in rural health to help pay for their education.

“I want to move back to my hometown because when I decide to have a family someday, I want to know that my family is in a safe environment, where everyone knows everyone.”

~Jillian Bohl

Jillian Bohl is currently a freshman at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. She is the oldest of four children and her family lives on a farm in Phillips County, Kansas. Jillian is very involved in her hometown and hopes to return to the area after she completes medical school. Jillian has been involved in many activities including Girl Scouts, 4-H, tennis, dance, and leading a walking trail committee. Her goal is to become a Family Physician and work in the rural area where she grew up. She is very determined to accomplish this goal.

During our conversation, Jillian mentioned a couple of organizations. Here are their website links.
Trail in a Box: https://www.kansastrailscouncil.org/about/trail-in-a-box/

Nex-Generation: https://www.nex-generation.org/

Nov 10, 2020

In this special Veteran’s Day episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we're talking with Kate Hill, RN. Kate is a US Army Veteran and Bronze Star Recipient, awarded in recognition of meritorious service in a combat zone while serving in Viet Nam. You may know her as Vice President of Clinical Services with The Compliance Team.

Here is what Kate had to say about receiving the Bronze Star:

“I was humbled beyond belief… I was overwhelmed because there were so many more deserving, particularly men, who served in the jungles in great peril… And so frankly, I was shocked… It reads meritorious service in a combat zone, and that it was. I spent many nights in a bunker…”

~Kate Hill, RN

Kate Hill, RN, grew up outside of Philadelphia and is a graduate of Einstein Medical Center School of Nursing. As an Army Nurse, Kate served in Viet Nam where she was awarded the Bronze Star. Kate has worked with orthopedic patients in several capacities including nearly 3 decades with Biomet in various capacities.

Kate joined The Compliance Team in early 2012 to direct TCT’s rural health clinic accreditation program and has fallen in love with Rural. As VP of Clinical Services, she has spearheaded the TCT Rural Health Clinic Accreditation program combining her clinical expertise, business acumen and passion for delivery of the best care possible to every patient. 

She presently serves on the Board of the National Association of Rural Health Clinics. She feels fortunate to have been able to speak at numerous state and national meetings about RHC compliance countrywide which gave her the opportunity to learn firsthand the diverse regional issues clinics are facing.

Kate also works with clinics in TCT’s PCMH program and is seeing that a PCMH accreditation is being increasingly rewarded by payers.

Kate lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband and near her three granddaughters.

Nov 3, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc across the country and around the world. Dr. Brady Beecham provides a unique perspective to the current state of affairs due to the many hats she wears. One hat is that of a practicing family physician at Lexington Regional Health Center in Lexington, Nebraska. Another hat is that of the Chief Medical Officer of the Board of Health in Lexington.

“Leadership is trying to help anticipate problems and help the whole group navigate around them.”

~Brady Beecham, M.D.

Dr. Beecham is a family medicine physician, a public health advocate, and a mother to two young kids. She has lived around the world and speaks three languages but finds living in a rural Nebraska just right.  As a family doctor, she takes pride in providing the best possible care to her patients, including a busy OB practice. In addition to her primary job functions, she serves as the chief medical officer for the local health department, which this year means helping to strategize a COVID-19 plan. She has been recognized as the minority health provider of the year in Nebraska for her commitment to serving patients in this diverse rural community.

Oct 27, 2020

Antibiotic stewardship is a critical component of creating value in concert with quality care. Two of the country’s leading experts on this topic are Randee Mason and Dr. Mike Keegan. Dr. Keegan has been a guest on Rural Health Leadership Radio previously; that conversation is the second most listened to episode in the program’s history.

“You don’t have to be titled the leader to lead through creating value.”

~Mike Keegan, M.D.

Randee Mason, RN, BSN, CPHQ, is a KMA principal partner and innovative healthcare leader dedicated to driving change by creating value across the healthcare industry.  As a certified healthcare professional with a strong Lean methodology approach, Randee can lead organizations through quality and patient safety improvements at all levels.

Her vast experience in healthcare includes leading a 30-hospital Antibiotic Stewardship collaborative as well as a statewide hospital quality benchmarking initiative. In addition, Randee has been instrumental in the development of high standards of practice, evaluating patient care for effectiveness, and implementing cutting edge changes to organizations in the most cost-efficient manner possible utilizing Lean methodologies.

Randee excels in large strategic projects requiring tight project management to meet impactful goals. Randee is certified in Quality, Epidemiology, Infection Control, and Antimicrobial Stewardship and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from South Dakota State University. 

James M. Keegan, MD, is a KMA principal partner and infectious disease specialist with more than 35 years of experience in the medical field as well as 20 years’ experience in Antibiotic Stewardship.  Throughout his career of practicing medicine, Dr. Keegan has taken an active role in improving the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes by serving in numerous medical director and hospital executive leadership positions including Chief Medical Officer of a health system. 

Dr. Keegan has taken special interest in solving the negative impact of the overreliance on broad-spectrum antibiotics and has designed and implemented numerous and successful antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) that have shown to decrease the incidence of drug-resistant bacteria.

You can learn more about Randee and Mike’s work by visiting their website at www.keeganmasonllc.com.

Oct 20, 2020

Greg Puckett is a member of the Mercer County Commission in Princeton, WV, and known for local advocacy in everything from addressing the opioid addiction crisis to making the environment cleaner. He is also executive director of the nonprofit organization, Community Connections, Inc., also in Princeton, and was awarded the Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health Care by the National Rural Health Association in May of this year.

“It’s pretty difficult to look at how you impact health in a given culture.”

~Greg Puckett

Greg wears a lot of hats working in rural health. He grew up in Southern West Virginia and has been an advocate for others his entire life. He comes from a family of hard-working educators. His mom was a teacher and a principal while his dad was a truck and UPS driver. Greg gives his mom credit for his knowledge and credits his dad for his work ethic.

Oct 13, 2020

Anna Marie Anna, RN, BSN, MHA, NE-BC, was appointed the CEO of Tyrone Hospital in July of this year, after having served as the Interim CEO since April 2019. Under her leadership, Tyrone Hospital joined The Pennsylvania Rural Health Model, an innovative payment model that transitions rural hospitals to global budget payments and allows them time to transform care to better meet the health needs of the community.

“The participation in the Pennsylvania Rural Health Model for us has been very beneficial to our survival.”

~Anna Marie Anna, CEO

Anna has served in an executive leadership role since joining Tyrone in 2016. She first served as Chief Nursing Officer. Later she was promoted to the position of Acting CEO.

Mrs. Anna provided executive leadership for Tyrone Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the safety of patients, staff and the community while continuing to provide the highest quality of patient care.  She continues to facilitate planning for potential future needs associated with the ongoing pandemic.

Mrs. Anna’s professional experience includes over twenty-six years in executive and management roles in the healthcare industry.  Prior to joining TRHN, she held leadership positions at Conemaugh Health System, Clearfield Hospital and Golden Living Center.

Mrs. Anna has a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Ohio University. She is also a Board Certified Nursing Executive and recently completed the NRHA Rural Hospital CEO Certification Program.

Oct 6, 2020

Jason Bleak grew up in a small frontier community in Nevada and finds comfort and enjoyment in practicing his profession as the CEO of a frontier hospital in Battle Mountain, Nevada. 

“Sometimes you have to wear a tutu.”

~Jason Bleak, CEO

Jason loves his profession working in healthcare; however, his highest priority and true love is being a husband and father to a wonderful wife and 5 kids that bring him much joy.  They have been very supportive throughout his career. 

With a bachelor’s degree in Sports Injury Management from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas and an MBA with an emphasis in Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix, Jason has been able to find success in a variety of healthcare settings throughout his 18-year career.  Jason’s career began when he received his Long-term Care Administrator’s License and worked as an LTC Administrator in several western and midwestern states.  For the past 15 years, Jason has worked as the Chief Executive Officer in two different frontier critical access hospitals in Nevada: Grover C. Dils Medical Center & Battle Mountain General Hospital. 

During his years of healthcare administration, Jason has pursued and acquired his Fellow status with the American College of Healthcare Executives.  Jason has had great pleasure working in two great critical access hospitals that provide a full range of services.  The services include primary care in rural health clinics, long-term care services, emergency medical services, and critical access hospital services.  His preference is to work in small rural communities where he can see and feel the benefits of high-quality healthcare.

Sep 29, 2020

Ochiltree General Hospital is a critical access 25-bed hospital that does a little bit of everything. Ochiltree takes care of med-surg patients, surgical patients, provide OB services, ER services, and other outpatient services. They also have an assisted living center as part of their hospital district. The county has a population of about 9,000 people. The closest tertiary care facility is about a two-hour drive. The hospital is about 7 miles from the Oklahoma border and about 45 miles from the border with Kansas.

“We deliver about 130 babies every year.”

~Kelly Judice

Kelly Judice is a Registered Nurse at a Critical Access Hospital in the Texas Panhandle. She has been with Ochiltree General Hospital for 20 years, starting as an LPN, continuing her education to become an RN. Kelly worked as a floor nurse for 14 years before she took a management position as a trauma coordinator. Two years ago, she became the Chief Nursing Officer.

Kelly has a passion to help others and loves taking care of people. She has always taken care of family and friends, sitting with her grandparents, doing whatever needed to be done. Kelly has always known that she wanted to do something that helped others.

Sep 22, 2020

National Prostate Health Month (NPHM), also known as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, is observed every September in North America by health experts, health advocates, and individuals concerned with men's prostate health and prostate cancer. In recognition of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we’re having a conversation with Bob Parker, a semi-retired architect and practicing artist who was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer 16 years ago.

“Many men do not like to talk about health.”

~Bob Parker

Bob Parker is a semi-retired architect and a practicing artist who has practiced for nearly 6 decades and lived in the rural town of Taos, New Mexico for the past 23 years. He is active in cultural affairs and has served on a number of boards (museums and arts organizations) and is an active member of ZERO, The End of Prostate Cancer.

He serves as MENtor through ZERO for a number of newly diagnosed men with prostate cancer and has also served as a panel member of the Prostate Cancer Research Panel for Congressionally funded research through the Federal Government. He remains active in his community, hikes in the nearby mountains of Taos, and has a large community of friends and colleagues. His prostate cancer story began in 2004 when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and he has had numerous treatment protocols.

To learn more about Zero – The End of Prostate Cancer and their MENtoring program visit www.zerocancer.org.

Sep 15, 2020

National Prostate Health Month (NPHM), also known as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, is observed every September in North America by health experts, health advocates, and individuals concerned with men's prostate health and prostate cancer. In recognition of National Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month, we’re having a conversation with Jamie Bearse, CEO & President, of Zero-The End of Prostate Cancer, the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, improves the lives of men and families, and inspires action.

“Prostate cancer actually kills more than 30,000 guys every year. This year, the projection is 33,000.”

~Jamie Bearse

Jamie Bearse has spent almost two decades in the fight against prostate cancer. At ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, the nation’s leading nonprofit in the fight against a disease that impacts 1 in 9 men, he started the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk and endurance team program in 2008. Then, in 2013, he founded ZERO’s co-pay support program. During his tenure at ZERO, the organization has raised over $100M for the cause, recruited celebrity spokesmen including Rudy Giuliani and Ken Griffey, Sr. to educate men and their families, and won six national public relations awards for raising awareness.

To learn more about Zero – The End of Prostate Cancer visit www.zerocancer.org.

Sep 8, 2020

Portia Brown is the Vice President of Page Memorial Hospital of Valley Health and a passionate rural health leader. We’re having a conversation with Portia today, who participated in a meeting in the West Wind of the White House a few weeks ago with members of the current administration. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Portia to meet in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to have a conversation with administration leaders talking about rural health.

“I accepted the White House invite at around 12:30 pm on Monday and found myself in the West Wing of the White House on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.”

~Portia Brown

Portia Brown is the Vice President at Valley Health Page Memorial Hospital located in Luray, Virginia. She has 37 years of healthcare experience to include 32 years in leadership positions working in large and small hospitals, a 1000 bed Veterans Administration hospital, academic facility, and Martin Marietta contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy. She provides administrative oversight to hospital and clinic operations at Page Memorial Hospital as well as oversight for the Southern Region Valley Health hospitals including Shenandoah Memorial and Warren Memorial Hospitals’ quality, performance improvement, safety, risk management, patient experience, regulatory compliance, and infection prevention programs.

Portia has a passion for patient safety, risk reduction, performance improvement, patient experience and providing an environment where staff and physicians have a great place to work and patients to receive high quality compassionate care. Portia received undergraduate degrees in laboratory technology and medical technology from Auburn University and a Master of Science in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia. Portia is a certified professional in healthcare quality (CPHQ), patient safety (CPPS), and healthcare risk management (CPHRM) as well as Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). Currently, Portia serves as acting president of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Rural Healthcare Association and is a National Rural Health Association Fellow.

Sep 1, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we are talking the top priorities of a new rural hospital CEO in the Northwest part of the country in the state of Washington. We are having that conversation with Heidi Anderson, CEO, Forks Community Hospital in Forks, WA.

“I love taking care of my community.”

~Heidi Anderson

Heidi Anderson was born and raised in the community, has been married for 30 years, and has one grown son. She started her career in healthcare at FCH in 1991 as a NAC, then obtained her LPN in 1993, until 2003 when she obtained her RN. She has worked in many areas before deciding to go into Nursing Administration in 2006.

She obtained her BSN from WSU in 2011 and is currently obtaining her MBA with an emphasis in Rural Healthcare from The College of St. Scholastica. Heidi is the CEO of Forks Community Hospital and serves a population of 10k, which includes the surrounding small communities.

Aug 25, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we are talking building a network of rural hospitals and the power of collaboration along with the challenges of rural hospital CEO turnover. We are having that conversation with Mellie Bridewell, CEO of the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership.

“Oftentimes people don’t recognize how hard a rural hospital CEO job is because you kind of have to be a jack of all trades. You don’t have all the levels of leadership so sometimes, you’re it!”

~Mellie Bridewell

Ms. Mellie Bridewell currently works for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) as a Regional Director of the Office of Strategic Management and serves as the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership’s Chief Executive Officer. Mellie has eighteen years of experience in community and organizational networking, grant writing, and program development and implementation.

Mellie created the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership organization in 2008, which began with five critical access hospitals and has grown to fourteen-member hospitals across the south Arkansas region. Mellie has obtained over $15.2 million dollars in grant funds for Arkansas Rural Health Partnership to implement healthcare provide training opportunities, healthcare workforce initiatives, chronic disease programs, behavioral and mental health services, and access to care throughout the Arkansas Delta.

Mellie currently serves on the National Rural Health Association Congress and graduated last year from the NRHA Rural Fellows program. She also serves on the board of the National Cooperative of Health Networks Association. In 2016, Mellie was acknowledged as a Federal Office of Rural Health’s Rural Health Champion, and this year was awarded the Healthcare Heroes Innovation Award by Arkansas Business magazine. Under Mellie’s leadership, ARHP has been recognized nationally as a Rural Health Community Champion for Collaborative Partnerships by the Federal Office of Rural Health and as Outstanding Network of the Year by the National Cooperative of Health Networks Association.

Aug 18, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we are talking about population health and community wellness with two rural health leaders in upstate New York. Our guests are Victoria Reid, Executive Director of the Rural Health Network at Ellenville Regional Rural Health Network within Ellenville Regional Hospital, and Steven Kelley, President & CEO of Ellenville Regional Hospital.

“It’s not always one size fits all when it comes to technology.”

~Victoria Reid

Victoria Reid joined the Ellenville Regional Hospital team in 2018 as the Executive Director of the Rural Health Network. Ms. Reid earned a Master’s degree in Social Work with a Concentration in Community Organization and Policy Development from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelors in Sociology from Moravian University. With extensive experience in health promotion and education, population health, assessing health disparities, innovative planning activities, and clinical quality improvement and reporting, Ms. Reid is responsible for leading the Population Health Department, overseeing collaborative community health programming.

Ms. Reid is a licensed Social Worker, and is a certified Screening, Brief Intervention. Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Trainer, Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer, and a Naloxone Train the Trainer.

“All of these program’s goals is to help people make better decisions about their health.”

~Steven Kelley

Steven L. Kelley, FACHE, has been the President & CEO of Ellenville Regional Hospital since 2003. He has a diverse background in computer, research, and healthcare industries.

Under Mr. Kelley’s leadership, Ellenville Regional Hospital has been recognized with many National and Regional awards for patient safety and medication safety. Ellenville Regional Hospital has been recognized by the National Rural Health Association as one of the top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the Country for Quality and has been a leader in New York State in the areas of Quality Management and Rural Health. Ellenville Regional Hospital presented 1t 19 different conferences between 2018 and 2019 and recognized in leadership in many different areas.

Mr. Kelley holds an MBA in Health Systems Management. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, which denotes national Board Certification in Healthcare Management.

Aug 11, 2020

When he became CEO of the hospital, it was broke, out of money, operating on a line of credit. Today, Scott County Hospital has a new building and is thriving. How did he do it? Listen to the conversation with Mark Burnett, CEO and President of Scott County Hospital.

“The best practice you can try to develop in your facility is the culture.”

-Mark Burnett

Mark Burnett is the CEO and President of Scott County Hospital in Scott City Kansas, a position he has held for 15 years. He has many passions in life including old cars, flying, his wife, and primarily his role in rural healthcare, which he considers ‘his calling’. His goal in life has been to advance availability to care in rural environments, and building upon his clinical background managing Imaging Departments, he believes he has succeeded! Success in growing outpatient specialty practices led to the construction of an entirely new hospital, designed to promote marketability to potential patients and recruitment efforts to grow staff as well.

He believes in always seeking to meet the needs of his employees, financially, culturally, and with work life balance. He seeks to advance telemedicine and behavioral health, and after 40 years in healthcare has no intention of slowing down. He believes that a vision for the future only comes to pass if you push the boundaries of the present.

Aug 4, 2020

This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we are celebrating our 4th anniversary of being on the air.

“Our mission is to improve the world by engaging rural health leaders in conversations, learning and research.”

~Bill Auxier, Ph.D.

To celebrate our 4th anniversary, this special edition of Rural Health Leadership radio will share its “Top 10 List,” the 10 most listened to episodes since the program first launched on August 2, 2016.

We also have several BIG THANK YOUS for our donors who have helped underwrite the cost of production, the board members who donate their time, our guests, especially our guests in the very beginning, and most of all, you, our listeners.
Happy 4th Birthday Rural Health Leadership Radio!

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