The Awards Committee, co-chaired by Cathleen McElligott (MA) and Margaret Brockman (NE), is now accepting nominations for the 2017 NOSORH Awards! These awards are a special way to celebrate and recognize the hard work and leadership of individuals and organizations dedicated to rural health. Awards will be presented during a ceremony at the NOSORH Annual Meeting on September 6.

Click here to submit a nomination!
(Nominations will be accepted until Friday, August 4 at 5:00 pm EDT)

Award Descriptions

Awards Requiring NOSORH Membership

NOSORH SORH Award of Excellence
This award is to be presented to a State Office of Rural Health that has made an outstanding contribution in the field of rural health. The committee should consider broad benefits to rural health, innovative programs, unusual contributions, or activities that have advanced state offices of rural health.

NOSORH Distinguished Service Award
This award is bestowed on an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to NOSORH, is a member of the organization, and is actively involved in a State Office of Rural Health.

The James D. Bernstein Mentoring Award
This award honors an experienced, long-time rural health individual leader who is a member of NOSORH, is actively involved in a State Office of Rural Health, has sincere interest in emerging leaders’ professional growth, and has played a key role in developing future leaders within the national rural health movement.

Emerging Leader Award
This award is presented to an individual SORH staff member who has demonstrated new leadership, initiative, involvement and commitment to the mission of NOSORH or State Offices of Rural Health. This individual may be a new staff member or an existing staff member who has newly demonstrated exemplary communication, passion, or understanding of an issue to enhance education, advocacy or partnerships to improve rural health.

Awards Which Do Not Require NOSORH Membership

NOSORH Legislator of the Year Award   This award recognizes an outstanding individual federal legislator for her/his work and support of rural health initiatives that address national rural health care needs. Individuals who meet the following criteria should be considered: Introduced or supported an existing piece of significant legislation that addresses an identified rural  health need or issue; made a special effort to effect change in rural health policy and/or legislation that benefits  rural health outcomes; OR demonstrated leadership that benefits rural communities in America.

NOSORH Values Recognition Award
This award recognizes any individual or group, including SORH leaders or others, who have demonstrated commitment to NOSORH’s values including: health equity for rural Americans, collaboration, trust in SORH capacity to make a difference, inclusiveness and accountability. Recipients of this award will have applied forward thinking and led efforts to envision and implement rural reforms including initiatives in telehealth, population health, quality improvement, alternative payment methodologies, policy and program changes, research or other areas which inform the work of SORH to improve rural health.

The Distinguished Andrew W. Nichols Rural Health Advocate Award
This award recognizes an individual who is a member of NOSORH, the National Rural Health Association, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, and/or another national organization, and who has made significant contribution to rural, frontier or border health, has demonstrated deep commitment to social justice and improvement for the health of underserved populations.

Click here to see past award winners

If you are interested in joining the Awards Committee, please contact Ashley Muninger at

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