On Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re having a conversation about rural and community health in West Virginia. We’re having that conversation with Dr. Quintin Brubaker, the resident physician in Family Medicine at West Virginia University.
“If we can just cooperate a little better, the stuff we need to provide good care to every American might already be available to us.”
~Dr. Quintin Brubaker
Quintin Brubaker grew up in Virginia, where he majored in History at the University of Virginia. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he worked as an EMT and raft guide while also completing pre-med courses. Dr. Brubaker participated in the Rural Track, Rural Health Interest Group, the Rural Education Alliance for Community Health, and the Family Medicine Rural Scholars Recruitment initiative while in medical school at West Virginia University.
“We could learn a lot from other healthcare systems to create our own solutions, drawing from a broader basket of ideas.”
~Dr. Quintin Brubaker
Dr. Brubaker received the NRHA Student Leadership Award in May, and continues to grow his knowledge in healthcare. After completing his residency, Dr. Brubaker plans to continue practicing in West Virginia, with support from the West Virginia Institute for Community and Rural Health.
We’re talking about the impact of rural community health centers in Florida with Andy Behrman, the President and CEO, and Ben Browning, Vice President, of the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.
“I know that we have a chance to make sure that at the end of the day, access to care in rural America is not going to go away.”
Andy Behrman has been in healthcare in Florida for 45 years, working in multiple areas within the industry. He was the first AHEC center director in the State of Florida before starting at the Florida Association of Community Health Centers. Ben Browning has been working with Andy for almost 10 years now, where they work together to expand community health centers and improve access for patients across Florida.
“The increased focus and the strengthened interest in rural communities excites me and I’m hoping it continues its push forward.”
Andy and Ben have recently been working to address issues stemming from the 340-B program. While the program provides opportunities to save money to reinvest into patients, many organizations have taken advantage of this program. Ben and Andy are both working to bring these issues to the forefront, working with legislators and the Agency for Health Care Administration to address these obstacles.
Rural Health Leadership Radio is having a conversation about rural broadband service and economic development. We’re having that conversation with Dr. Brian Whitacre, professor and extension economist in the Agricultural Economics Department at Oklahoma State University.
“I think it’s great to have that kind of a support system and I think there’s a lot of really good people working this area that are going to put a positive impact on rural in general.”
Dr. Whitacre helps rural areas identify what they can do to improve their economic situation, which often revolves around health. Dr. Whitacre works in the general area of rural economic development, while also teaching an undergraduate course on the topic and working with small communities across Oklahoma to help improve their quality of life.
“We want our rural facilities to have good broadband access available to them. So talk to local providers, talk to the local healthcare institutions about their connectivity needs and let’s find a way.”
The majority of Dr. Whitacre’s recent work and research has focused on broadband and healthcare connectivity gaps in hospital and private care practices in rural areas. He has also conducted studies on the relationship between housing values and broadband, and continues to explore the significance and uses for broadband in rural healthcare. A link to the article discussed in this episode can also be found here.
We’re having a conversation about the work being done at Stone Mountain Health Services, recognizes as an Outstanding Rural Health Organization by the NRHA. We’re having that conversation with Jim Werth, Director of the Black Lung Program at Stone Mountain Health Services.
“I understood the folks and appreciated the values and opportunities that rural life has.”
Jim Werth received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Auburn University, as well as his Master of Legal Studies from the University of Nebraska. He is currently the Behavioral Health and Wellness Service Director in addition to serving as the Director of the Black Lung Program at Stone Mountain Health Services.
“We need to look at our experiences and values as we continue to move forward, and not just focus on diseases of despair.”
Previously, Jim spent years doing health-related policy work in Oregon after moving on to become an assistant professor at the University of Akron. Jim then became the director of the PsyD program at Radford University, focusing on rural mental health. He would then come to his current position at Stone Mountain Health Services, where he works to provide training for those working on the frontlines. Jim is also becoming the CEO of another community health center in Virginia.