Greetings and Happy 2015,

What an honor that my first duty as NOSORH president is a Happy New Year message to you! I thought about using the opportunity to share my new year’s resolution, since you could hold me accountable and I would achieve amazing success. Right? No way… Although, Idaho SORH staff will tell you that my approach is from an opportunity perspective. I never initially say “no” to an idea or suggestion since it could lead to a great opportunity. Innovation, growth, new resources, and partnerships often start with a single idea or conversation. Even though the end result could be, “no thanks”, a willingness to listen, learn, and explore leads to new connections and opportunities to keep rural health at the forefront.

Idaho was recently awarded a four-year statewide healthcare innovation grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and our SORH has a vital presence at the table. Our goals are aligned with the Triple Aim and we will establish “virtual” patient centered medical homes in rural areas to improve access, quality, and population health. Idaho’s effort is well-aligned with our thought provoking discussion at the annual 2014 SORH/NOSORH meeting on topics such as epigenetics, population health, and social determinants of health. To further this dialogue, the NOSORH Educational Exchange committee, co-chaired by Scott Ekblad and Natalie Claiborne, will focus on innovation and other forward-thinking initiatives to help us look ahead at potential SORH opportunities.

I hope you will join me in thanking Alisa Druzba, 2014 President, for her outstanding service to NOSORH. Alisa will continue to serve as past-president and we very much appreciate her continued service. I hope you will also take a moment to thank NOSORH staff and NOSORH volunteers, including regional representatives, committee chairs, and other board members, for their service.

I’m sure 2015 will be as fast-paced as 2014, so hold on tight and don’t forget to say, “yes” (at least tentatively so), to the next idea that comes your way.


Mary Sheridan


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