Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health Presents 2011 State Rural Health Awards
A community health advocate, a Critical Access Hospital administrator, two rural family physicians and a farm rescue training program were the recipients of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health’s (PORH’s) 2011 Pennsylvania Rural Health Awards. The award winners were honored at a luncheon ceremony during The Power of Rural: Celebrating Rural Health in Pennsylvania conference held to commemorate the first National Rural Health Day celebration on November 17, 2011.
- The PAgricultural Rescue Training Program, a program offered through the Penn State Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, received the 2011 Rural Health Program of the Year Award. PAgricultural Rescue, developed by Penn State Senior Extension Associate Davis Hill, brings more than 500 Pennsylvania firefighters and emergency personnel together each year for training sessions designed to lessen the extent of injuries sustained in farm accidents. The program teaches trauma care and rescue procedures for unusual circumstances, such as accidents involving heavy farm machinery or entrapments in confined spaces. The program has been credited six times in the past two years for providing significantly positive outcomes in farming accidents.
- Joanne Cochran, president and CEO of the Keystone Health community health center in Chambersburg (Franklin County), received the 2011 State Rural Health Leader of the Year Award. The award recognizes an outstanding leader who has organized, led, developed or expanded an exemplary multi-dimensional state rural health program or initiative that benefits rural Pennsylvanians. Cochran co-founded Keystone Health in 1986 to provide health care to migrant farm workers in Franklin County. The community health center has grown exponentially under her leadership and now offers quality medical, dental and behavioral healthcare services to nearly 40,000 patients throughout the Commonwealth.
- Russell Miller, MD, a family physician practicing in Patton (Cambria County), received the 2011 Rural Health Hero of the Year Award. The award recognizes an outstanding rural health leader who demonstrates a personal and professional commitment to the rural health needs of his or her community; works with other relevant community organizations/leaders; and goes above and beyond the call of duty to address those needs. In addition to running a busy practice in a small rural community, Miller finds time to make regular house calls to elderly and hospice patients. Miller hosts a community-based training site for medical students and encourages students to practice in rural communities. He also serves as a clinical director for the Southcentral Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center and is a board member for the DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness at Saint Francis University.
- John Pagana, MD, a family physician practicing in Sunbury (Northumberland County), received the 2011 Community Rural Health Leader of the Year Award. The award recognizes an outstanding leader who has organized, led, developed or expanded an exemplary multi-dimensional rural community health program or initiative. Pagana, affectionately known as “Dr. John,” has provided quality care to uninsured, low-income residents for years – first in his practice, and then by working tirelessly to establish and serving as the volunteer medical director for “A Quality Community Clinic, Inc.” The community clinic, staffed by paid staff and volunteers who passionately share Pagana’s vision, now provides health care in a four-county region to individuals with no other health care options.
- Staci Covey, RN, MS, NE-BC, president of Troy Community Hospital (Bradford County), received the 2011 Louis A. Ditzel Jr. Award for Quality Improvement in Rural Health. The award is presented annually to an individual whose contributions and visionary leadership significantly improved the health of rural Pennsylvanians and strengthened the quality of the health care systems that serve them. Covey was recognized for her long term commitment to consistent quality improvement at Troy Community Hospital. Covey has established herself as one of Pennsylvania’s Critical Access Hospital leaders by supporting and participating in the statewide Performance Improvement Consortium; she has made significant national rural health contributions through her volunteer leadership roles and advocacy efforts.
Editors: For additional information, please contact PORH Outreach Coordinator Terri Klinefelter at (814) 863-8214 or firstname.lastname@example.org