Favorite thing about working at a SORH: Opportunities abound. Being a member of a SORH is all about making connections and reducing duplication of efforts. I love being able to connect people with resources and other groups that will further their work. I also love being able to really listen to people’s needs and show them that they are being heard with results from those conversations.
What I’m working on right now: Financial indicator data visualizations over time and a claims denials analytics project final analysis.
People would be surprised if they knew: I’ve had three careers before coming to work for a SORH (personal trainer, nutrition and physical activity research, and teaching middle school health). Each have contributed some significant learnings that help me in my current role.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? At the moment, learn to sew. I’m realizing as I watch communities come together to protect themselves and others against COVID that some basic sewing skills would be really helpful.
What’s your hidden talent? I can sing with my mouth closed.
Where is your favorite place in the world? The woods or the beach. The quiet and stillness provides amazing rejuvenation.
My Top 3 Goals for 2020:
1. Adjust to the new normal
2. See #1
3. Excel in the new normal
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: Working with farmers
What I’m working on right now: Writing up Worker Protection Standard trainings for our Amish and Old Order Mennonite farmers
Last place I traveled to: The Crystal Coast of North Carolina
What I’m currently reading: Cave of Bones, by Anne Hillerman (a Navajo police mystery)
What was your first job? Hospital security
Where is your favorite place in the world? The Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico
What led you to a career in rural health? I was a Penn State farm safety extension educator prior to this position.
The SORH work that I am most proud of: Our compliance assistance
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: Networking with all of the Region B folks
The SORH work that I am most proud of: Reaching over 30,000 NC residents with the state telepsychiatry program
What I’m working on right now: COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition (to coordinate NC’s response and collaboration)
3 great things about rural health in North Carolina: 1) Tammy Norville (lives in NC!) 2) Great funding for NC ORH 3) Mountains, beaches & lots in between
Last place I traveled to: Cancun, Mexico
My top 3 goals for 2020: 1) Win a national pickleball tournament 2)Take time to re-energize myself 3) Make time for my family
What I’m currently reading: The New Yorker
If I weren’t doing this, I would be…teaching or coaching (high school kids)
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Speak French
What advice do you have for new NOSORH members? Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, what can you teach me?” Also, don’t get overloaded!
What does the Power of Rural mean to you? It means forgetting about differences and getting things done by working together.
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: The people
What led you to a career in rural health?: I started in the office as the administrative assistant and after 6 months I was offered a job as the SORH Coordinator. I developed a passion for rural over the years of meeting people that work in rural and seeing underserved rural areas.
The SORH work that I am most proud of: Our first Mississippi Rural Health Day in the SORH helped people know we are here and learn about our office resources.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I would love to learn to ski (I hate the cold weather, but I love winter clothes!)
Favorite quote: “There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.” W.E.B. Du Bois
Last place I traveled to: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
People would be surprised if they knew: I have a seventeen-year-old son.
What advice do you have for new NOSORH members?: Take advantage of all available resources.
What I’m currently reading: The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You – Lydia Fenet
Best advice I ever received: Trust your work.
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: My favorite thing about working at a SORH is the strong spirit of camaraderie with my internal and external partners! I know that at any given time, I can reach out to my friends in other states for their advice or guidance. It really is like a little family.
Best advice I ever received: Be kind…not only to others but also to yourself.
What I’m working on right now: In addition to the normal SORH activities, I am busy working on a population health initiative related to cultural competency and Public Health Reaccreditation.
My favorite quote: My favorite quote is by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Last place I traveled to: In October, we cruised to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos. I have always loved to travel. My favorite places so far include Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, the Philippines, and Spain.
Who inspires me? My dad has always been such an inspiration to me. He came from a very poor family of 8 in West Virginia. He instilled in me the value of a wonderful education, hard work and determination. My rural roots run deep.
If I weren’t doing this, I would be…traveling and writing a blog. Maybe one day…
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: I love working with our rural members and our staff. I love the challenge of offering so many different resources from quality, education, grant assistance, resources, EMS, workforce and policy. When we are able to help one person I know we are helping many in the community. No other job is more rewarding than to help someone.
Best advice I ever received: The best advice I ever received was you can only control what you say and do. This advice has served me well over the years to not become too frustrated when things don’t go according to plan. For example, I have been working with rural hospitals to report quality data since 2006 and we still don’t have them all, but we continue to work with them and I believe we’ll get them all reporting!
What I’m currently reading: The Library of Light and Shadow – I love to switch off reading from a personal book to a work-related book. Next on my list is Good Leaders Ask Great Questions.
People would be surprised if they knew: that I’ve been to Disney World/Land over 50 times…I’ve lost count. By the way, I’ve never lived in California or Florida. This all started when I was a kid and we’d go several times a year because my parents loved it and that tradition carried on to me and now to my daughter. We love the haunted mansion ride, Space Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, and even Small World. In fact, we are going to Disney World this year; we have to check out the new Star Wars park.
Last place I traveled to: France to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was amazing!!! We made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and that’s no small feat since I’m afraid of heights. We stood in buildings built in 40 AD and drank the best wine I’ve ever tasted.
Who inspires you? Michelle Obama inspires me. Through hard work and dedication and commitment to family and self, she has achieved so many things in life. I try every day to have
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: The SORH “family”. NOSORH does an excellent job in building a community among the SORHs. I feel very grateful to have developed deep professional and personal relationships with many SORH personnel across the nation over the last ten years.
What I’m working on right now: Launching the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program – Implementation funding. MCRH facilitated forming the Northern MI Opioid Response Consortium, covering 16 rural counties, under the RCORP-Planning funding and are now able to move the work forward with the implementation funding!
Best advice I ever received: “Good for her! Not for me.” Very helpful as a fairly new mom navigating everything you are “supposed” to be doing.
“Be part of the solution. Don’t sit around being negative and pointing out obstacles.”
“Surround yourself with good people.”
Oh, and “Enjoy the WOW that is happening now.” That last one is from my three year old’s favorite show, Daniel Tiger.
What I’m currently reading: I just finished “Love Thy Neighbor” and “In Shock” – Both excellent books focused on aspects of healthcare. I am excited to dive into “Save Me the Plums” which is Ruth Reichl’s (former food magazine editor) memoir.
3 great things about rural health in Michigan: 1) The MICAH QN. This impressive group of quality leaders take pride in improving not only their organization, but work together to lift all CAHs in Michigan. 2) The collaborative nature among organizations and stakeholders focused on improving the health of rural MI residents and teams. 3) My colleagues. The MCRH team is strong in their commitment to assisting rural communities on everything rural health. I’m so proud to work with each and every one of them.
Last place I traveled to: The beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. If you haven’t been, it is worth a trip. I was reminded how accessible it was to see truly beautiful scenery, and how much of it there is in Michigan!
Who inspires you? At this phase in life, I’m really inspired by strong women who are making it work (whatever that means for them). This includes the likes of women like RBG, but also the women in my life who are navigating their own journeys and figuring out what happiness means for them. There are quite a few NOSORH women on that list!
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: My SORH team! We are all very passionate about our work and collaborate frequently to design projects that will increase access to health care and improve the quality of life in rural Georgia.
What I’m working on right now: The two most time consuming projects I’m currently working on are the Mobile Healthcare Access and Integration Pilot Study and the Rural Hospital Stabilization Grant Program.
If I weren’t doing this, I would be…managing a wildlife rehab center!
Best advice I ever received: Life is all about routine maintenance. Learn to enjoy the maintenance…it will improve your outlook on everything!
What I’m currently reading: Sacred Duty by Tom Cotton
People would be surprised if they knew: I can’t whistle! I just simply cannot do it, no matter how hard I try!
Who inspires you? My father has been my greatest inspiration my entire life. He passed away last year, but continues to influence my decisions every day.
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: My favorite thing about working at a SORH is the statewide impact we can have and the many amazing people we get to work with throughout Utah.
What I’m working on right now: New interactive maps and public data sets to add to the Data Portal on our new website, as well as SHIP consortium projects, a strategic plan document and balanced scorecard measures, hiring new staff and putting on our 8th annual Rural Hospital Administrators Summit.
If I weren’t doing this, I would be…kayaking with my wife and kids or out doing landscape photography.
3 great things about rural health in my state: (1) Amazing people who care deeply about the work that they do (2) No hospital closures and few hospitals in financial distress (3) The Rural 9 network of independent rural hospitals that is having great success!
What I’m currently reading: Good to Great by Jim Collins
Last place I traveled to: Lake Powell, Utah
Favorite quote: “There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”
Favorite thing about working at a SORH: The people I get to work with every day.
What I’m working on right now: We are currently working on regionalizing our hospitals and restructuring TX SORH to leverage those regions/networks to implement our projects/technical assistance/outreach.
Best advice I ever received: You don’t have to know everything.
If I weren’t doing this, I would be…remodeling/flipping houses.
3 great things about rural health in my state: The people, the places, and the fact we are Texas! Yeehaw!
What I’m currently reading: I was going to read Teryl’s autobiography, but Graham gave me the CliffsNotes.
Last place I traveled to: Costa Rica
Who inspires you? People who are caring and understanding.
What’s your secret talent? According to a quiz I just took online, my secret talent is dancing. “Inaccurate” does not even begin to describe the results of that quiz.
People would be surprised if they knew: According to 23andMe, I have more Neanderthal DNA than 99% of their customers (maybe this won’t be a surprise to some).