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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Conversation with Dr. Nicole Summers-Gabr and Heather Whetzel
Program implementation especially in rural health is tailored to meet community needs. However, supplying the funding for these programs can be a daunting task. Today we are talking with Heather Whetsell the Administrative Director in the Department of Population Science and Policy and Dr. Nicole Summer-Gabr the Director of Social Innovation and Assistant Professor at SIU School of Medicine Department of Population Science and Policy. They will discuss program implementation and the unique funding sources they were able to acquire from the community.
“So many people desire for their community to do better, but they might not necessarily know how to actually do that from start to finish.”
-Dr. Nicole Summers-Gabr
“I think in order to impact change, you really do have to work with the entire community as opposed to just one entity.”
Heather Whetsell is the Administrative Director of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Department of Population Science and Policy (PSP), a research and policy academic department dedicated to improving health outcomes in 66 counties, mostly rural regions in central and southern Illinois. Ms. Whetsell graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics. Ms. Whetsell is devoted to improving population health outcomes, is a 2021 National Rural Health Association Rural Health Fellow, serves on the NRHA Rural Health Congress and Health Equity Council, is Co-Chair of United Way of Central Illinois’ Education Vision Council, a member of the IL Critical Access Hospital Network Rural Health Fellowship Advisory Committee, and has presented PSP’s efforts at the state and national level at events including NRHA and American Public Health Association annual conferences.
Dr. Nicole Summers-Gabr is the Director of Social Innovation and an Assistant Professor in the Population Science and Policy Department at Southern Illinois School of Medicine. Summers-Gabr received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Saint Louis University. She is on the Board of Directors for The Knowledge Center at Chaddock. She recently served on a technical expert panel for SAMHSA. Her current work is divided between two tracks: mental health and hospitals’ community health needs assessments. Her passion has driven her to transform rural communities to use evidence-based solutions to propel youths’ lives in a positive direction. To support this work over the past four years, she obtained over $1.2 million in grants and contracts from places like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, and local rural hospitals.
A Conversation with Olivia Little
In the past 30 years, the 340B program has become a vital cost-savings program for many rural healthcare centers. Now with contract manufacturers cutting ties, what are healthcare leaders expected to do? Today we are talking with Olivia Little, the 340B director at Johnson County Hospital in Tecumseh Nebraska. Olivia will discuss her role as the 340B director, and her hopes for overcoming the challenges following the 340B program.
“The scariest thing to me is that there is no rural health.”
Olivia holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration and B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science. Olivia started Johnson County Hospital’s 340B program in 2012 and is the 340B Director. She serves on several hospital committees. Olivia has spoken at several 340B conferences, sits on340B Health’s Pharmacy Services Committee, previously sat on Macro Helix’s Customer Advisory Board, and was named a 340B Health Champion All-Star in 2017, the 340B Health Champion MVP in 2018, the 340B Health Champion First Runner Up in 2019, the 340B Health Champion MVP in 2020, the 340B Health Champion Second Runner Up in 2021 and awarded the Nebraska and American Hospital Association 2022 Grassroots Award.
A Conversation with Jennifer Barbour
Rural healthcare centers have traditionally been the source of advocacy and education for their communities. This makes them primary sources for population health management. Today we are talking with Jennifer Barbour, the Director of Relations and a Community Champion. Jennifer will discuss the complex community she serves and why understanding your communities’ needs is essential.
“Listen to your community. Do what your community says. Learn from it and repeat”
Jennifer Barbour is the Director of Relations at Sparta Community Hospital in Sparta, Illinois, where she has spent the last three years serving as the Community Champion for the Delta Region Community Health Systems Development Program. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience in healthcare and social services marketing, public relations, and outreach. In addition to working with the community to help identify and address community health needs, Jennifer leads employee engagement and medical student recruitment efforts at Sparta Community Hospital.
325: A Conversation with Matt Bancroft
Happy National Rural Health Day! Established in 2010 as an opportunity to celebrate the “power of rural,” today we are honoring the selfless spirit found in rural healthcare. In this episode, we are talking with Matt Bancroft, a Program Specialist at the National Rural Health Resource Center. Matt discusses health equity and his hopes for the future of rural health.
“I would say when it comes to rural healthcare or health equity the thing that you should take away is don't be scared and do your best”
Raised in Arkansas, Matt has a passion for working in rural communities. He brings over six years of healthcare experience with him and an abundance of communication knowledge. His career path has found him living in Washington, D.C., Tampa, and Abilene, Texas before returning home to Arkansas.
He obtained his Master’s in Health Communication from Boston University in December of 2021. As a Program Specialist, Matt provides technical assistance with the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC) to the state Flex Program grantees including resource creation, identification of best practices, conference planning, etc. He also provides technical assistance to the Small Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP).
Don't forget to check out the Stepping Up: Health Equity in Rural Hospitals Podcast Series! Hear the stories and experiences of different rural health leaders leading their rural communities toward greater health equity.
A Conversation with CDR Janette Arencibia
This week, we’re celebrating Veteran’s Day and all those who have served! To honor our Veterans across the country, we’re having a conversation with commander (CDR) Jeanette Arencibia, a Plans, Operations, and Medical Intelligence officer for the Marine Corps Forces Reserve Command and the Marine Corps Forces Southern Command. Today CDR Arencibia will discuss her definition of leadership and the dynamic relationship that exists between the military and rural healthcare.
“I really look forward to a time when I can dedicate myself to what's going on in the civilian sector and utilizing some of my military experience to practice that in our own country”
-CDR Janette Arencibia
CDR Arencibia is an accomplished Plans, Operations, and Medical Intelligence (POMI) officer. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, she graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1995 with a Bachelor's degree in Health Science Education and a Master’s in Public Administration–Public Health as a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow Awardee in 1996. Upon a direct commission to Lieutenant Junior Grade in 2003, CDR Arencibia earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Navy War College and is a graduate of the Marine Corps University. CDR Arencibia is as well a graduate of the Global Health Strategies for Security program at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland.
Commander Arencibia’s initial assignment at the Naval School of Health Sciences(NSHS)was as Officer in Charge of Healthcare Facilities. Upon transfer, she completed her first of several Individual Augmentee tours in support of the Oregon Army National Guard 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Operation Enduring Freedom and was assigned Chief, Joint Visitor’s Bureau (JVB) for Task Force Phoenix V-Afghanistan. She served as Officer in Charge of the first Female Afghan National Army Security Unit. In September 2006, she reported to NRD New England and then to the National Naval Medical Center as Department Head for Contingency Operations. CDR Arencibia assumed lead medical planning roles in support of Operation Unified Response (USNS COMFORT) and Continuing Promise 2010 (USS IWOJIMA).
She was selected as a Plans, Operations, and Medical Intelligence Officer to the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Joint Staff Surgeon Internship program at the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. During her Joint Staff tenure, she completed Verification, Validation, and Accreditation of the Joint Medical Planning Tool, now a required casualty estimation tool per the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan. CDR Arencibia was subsequently assigned as the Lead Medical Planner for NORAD/NORTHCOM followed by her assignment to Marine Forces Central Command whereby she instituted Global Health Engagements resulting in noted capability improvements to international bilateral agreements between the United States and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Follow-on assignments include U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) and USNS COMFORT GlobalHealth Advisor in response to the 2019 Venezuelan Crisis.
As Deputy Medical Director and interim Medical Director, she completed her assignment at Naval Amphibious Force, TF 51/5thMarine Expeditionary Brigade, Crisis Response having instituted the R2LMERSS Playbook for continuity of operations during COVID-19. A Joint Qualified Officer, CDR Arencibia is recently returned as Deputy Surgeon, United Forces South Korea.
Commander Janette Arencibia’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Navy-Marine Commendation Medal (two awards) along with various individual and unit decorations.
A Conversation with Michelle Franklin
Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, seek to offer quality care to patients while keeping healthcare costs low. What does this model look like for rural hospitals? Today we are talking with Michelle Franklin the CEO of Sullivan County Community Hospital in Sullivan, Indiana. Michelle will discuss her organization's move into an ACO network and how it has reshaped her thoughts toward the community she serves.
“I'm most optimistic about the role that rural healthcare should always be playing towards health care in America.”
Michelle Franklin is the CEO of Sullivan County Community Hospital, a critical access hospital in rural central southwestern Indiana. Michelle has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare field. As a Registered Nurse, her clinical experience has included medical-surgical nursing, nursing management, staff education and development, home health care, and hospice management.
In addition to these roles, Michelle has had the honor of serving in senior leadership positions at her hospital in both the Chief Nursing and Chief Executive Officer roles; careers that have spanned over 20 years.
Michelle is married with two teenage children and two fur babies. Her hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking, state-side, and international travel.
A must listen for Rural Health Leaders!
I have been listening to RHR for a while now because I met Bill and Sydney during some training. Hate to admit it but at 62 years old I’m still learning and pretty much everything RHR does is hugely educational and it always hits the mark.
Doesn’t matter of you are new to Healthcare Leadership in Rural America or an old hand - there is something in it for you!
Thank you guys for all you do!
What an amazing resource for rural healthcare leadership!
I love the variety of perspectives Bill brings to his podcast. Leadership can take many forms and you can hear them all on this podcast series. The tips embedded in each session are valuable as well, there is so much to learn! Thank you for this amazing and free resource.
Learn about todays leaders today
Bill does a excellent job in talking with current Healthcare leaders about issues we are facing today as an industry. The podcast allows you to get to know the individual and learn from their unique experiences in healthcare. I have yet to be disappointed by the guests as I always learn something new.