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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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Now displaying: 2021
Feb 23, 2021

In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about the ‘Transcultural Care Project,’ a program created to serve the well-being of diverse cultural groups in rural Oregon. Candy Canga-Picar and her team at St. Charles Madras Hospital have had great success implementing this program and collaborating with members of the community.

“The Transcultural Care Project is an evidence-based intervention that really promotes respect for our diverse cultural minority groups.”

~Candy Canga-Picar

Candy Canga Picar is a dynamic, compassionate and collaborative nursing leader in pursuit of continued excellence. She is currently the Chief Nursing Officer at St. Charles Madras Hospital. Candy enjoys collaborating with the physicians, operational leaders, and other stakeholders to provide excellent and evidence-based patient care. She represents diversity in leadership.

Candy attained her BSN degree in Cebu, Philippines. She immigrated to the US in 1991. Since then, she has worked as a staff nurse in various healthcare settings all the way up to an executive role for over 10 years. She earned her Master’s in Business Administration degree through the University of Phoenix and Doctor of Nursing Practice through Capella University. She also has board certifications in ANCC’s Nurse Executive Advanced specialty and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Candy was declared “Winner of the California Nurseweek Nursing Excellence Award for Leadership” in 2009. Recently in 2019, she received the Transformational Pioneer Award in Nursing Leadership given by the Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders (NWONL). She is a frequent speaker on nursing, patient satisfaction, employee engagement, and leadership throughout healthcare organizations and at national conferences.

Lastly, Candy is passionate about transcultural care, diversity, inclusion, and equity. The transcultural care project in Madras has attracted the attention of the Oregon Medical Board and considered it as an “inspiring model of care.” It is Candy’s desire to spread the transcultural care project to all other healthcare systems providing care to a diverse population.

Feb 16, 2021

In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about the ‘Grow Program,’ a new program that is trauma-focused on children who are involved in a foster care system. Nikki King and her behavior health and addiction services team found that in treating substance abuse patients, they were actually treating trauma, realizing that the vast majority of patients they were treating had adverse childhood events scores of over 8, more than double the high-risk scores.

“They are just very little kids who are experiencing significant trauma mostly due to the unchecked substance abuse”

~Nikki King

Nikki has been the Manager of Behavioral Health and Addictions Services at a rural Critical Access Hospital since September 2017. During that time, they doubled their number of providers and dramatically increased services across 4 locations in an extreme shortage area.

In addition to her management role, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Rural Health Association where she is working to design and implement a leadership Fellows program for young professionals interesting in pursuing healthcare. Furthermore, she serves as the Chair of the Membership Committee and the Behavioral Health Task Force.

Nikki worked in policy development as a member of the National Rural Health Association where she served on the Policy Congress and completed the Policy Fellowship in 2017. She co-authored policies on Medically Assisted Treatment for SUD, Congregational Health, Expansion of Practice for PAs, and Redesigning Reimbursements for Rural EMS.

Prior to her current roles, she worked as a Clinical Data Analyst focusing primarily on predictive analytics for high-risk ACO patients. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Healthcare Administration.

Feb 9, 2021

In this week's episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re having a conversation with Kyle Kellum, CEO of Cherry County Hospital, about what it takes to be a successful CEO and how “creating a psychologically safe environment" can allow individuals to become the best version of themselves.

“Even when the pandemic is over, they’re going to continue to face the challenges of healthcare”

~ Kyle Kellum

Kyle Kellum is the CEO at Cherry County Hospital and Clinic (CCH) in Valentine, Nebraska. CCH is a 21 bed, independent critical access hospital. Kyle has earned his Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Des Moines University and is a graduate of the first NRHA Rural Hospital CEO Certification Program February 2020 Cohort.

Kyle and his wife are celebrating 19 years of marriage, and together they have two wonderful kids. As a family, they enjoy all things sports and the outdoors.

Feb 2, 2021

In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about how being self-aware and responding to failure can allow us to become successful leaders with Johnny Stephenson, Director of the Office of Strategic Analysis and Communication at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Resilience starts with, are we able to look at ourselves and honestly gauge what have we done well and what have we not done so well.”

~Johnny Stephenson

Johnny F. Stephenson Jr. is director of the Office of Strategic Analysis & Communications at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He also leads an organization providing strategic planning, objective analysis, and comprehensive communications to support the policy, program, and budget decisions for Marshall. In April 2015, Stephenson was appointed to the Senior Executive Service, the personnel system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies.

He was deputy director of OSAC from 2008 to 2015. In 2008, he was manager of Marshall's Performance and Capabilities Management Office in OSAC, where he led his team in analyzing Marshall's capabilities and performance in the execution of its missions. From 2002 to 2007, he served at NASA Headquarters in Washington, as chief architect and implementation lead for One NASA, and then the director of organizational readiness for the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation. Stephenson began his career at NASA in 1986 when he joined the student co-op program, as a systems engineer in Marshall's Engineering Directorate where he served in several managerial capacities until 2002.

Stephenson earned a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1987 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has received numerous awards throughout his NASA career including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award bestowed by the Agency, NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award. He is a contributing author of the book "Organization at the Limit: Lessons from the Columbia Disaster," which extracts lessons from the space shuttle Columbia accident for application in high-risk organizations.

He and his wife, Sonja, live in Moulton and have two children.

Jan 27, 2021

In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about careers in rural healthcare and the advantages of working in small-town hospitals in our conversation with Stacey Gabriel, CEO of Hocking Community Hospital.

“Once you have the opportunity to show someone what it’s like to work in rural health care, and that passion of giving back to your community, that helps them understand”

~Stacey Gabriel

Stacey has been with Hocking Valley Community Hospital since January 1995 and was appointed CEO in June 2018. She started her career at HVCH working as an LPN in the Skilled Nursing Facility. Throughout her career, she worked in various clinical settings including Med-Surg, Special Care Unit, Surgery, and the Emergency Department.

In 1999 she transitioned into a Nursing Supervisor role, and in 2004 became Director of the Emergency Department, Urgent Care, and Emergency Preparedness where she served for eleven years. Prior to becoming CEO, she served as Chief Nursing Officer for almost three years. In addition to healthcare at Hocking Valley Community Hospital, she worked as a flight nurse with Air Evac Lifeteam and still currently works as an EMT-Basic with Hocking County EMS.

She earned her Associates's Degree in Nursing at Hocking College in 1995, a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Ohio University in 2007, and a Masters Healthcare Administration and Masters Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2016.

She lives in Logan, Ohio with her husband, Josh, and four children, Madison, Carter, Mollie, and Carson.

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. 

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