The 2018 NOSORH Rural Health Data Institute (RHDI) wrapped up on February 20, 2019 with great reviews from SORH and non-SORH alike. Nearly half of the participants represented a SORH, while others worked in academic institutions, hospital networks and community coalitions working on population health initiatives.

The participants gave the Institute high marks with a majoring of “excellent” or “great” ratings and willingness to recommend the Institute to others.  Some students remarked:

  • I would recommend the course to anyone. It was very useful and the resources were very relevant.
  • I appreciated the insights on using Excel to its greatest extent. The communication design and data cleaning/management presentations were stellar!
  • The information was presented in a very user friendly format.

Congratulations to the 2018 Data Institute Graduates!

Fourteen students from across the country completed all the requirements of the Institute to earn a Certificate of Completion.

  • Alyssa Padilla (AZ) – Arizona SORH
  • Courtney Shaler (NY) – AHI/ARHN Rural Health Network
  • Danita Crear (AL) – Alabama Department of Public Health
  • Feliciana Turner (WY) – Wyoming SORH
  • Holli Childs (UT) – Utah SORH
  • Karen Nichols (SC) – Upper Midlands Rural Health Network
  • Kay Balcer – Balcer Consulting and Prevention Services
  • Lashae Nall (KY) – Kentucky Health Center Network
  • Mari Tucker (KS) – Washburn University of Topeka School of Nursing
  • Marie Wawrzyniak (NH) – New Hampshire SORH
  • McKenna Christman (PA) – Tioga County Partnership for Community Health
  • Nicole Ten Napel (KS) – Kansas SORH
  • Sonia Lopez (NM) – New Mexico Office of Oral Health
  • Stacy Kelley (PA) – Tioga County Partnership for Community Health

Examples of final projects from this and previous RHDI graduating classes can be found on the NOSORH website at

“We’re proud of the Data Institute and all of the projects the students shared.  We know that the participants are learning to use data in a way that is meaningful to their organizations.” said Chris Salyers, NOSORH Educational and Services Director.

NOSORH would like to thank all of our partners who helped make the institute a success. We particularly appreciate our excellent presenters and technical experts Penny Black (WI SORH), Lara Brooks (OK SORH), and Bryna Koch (AZ SORH) for ensuring engaging and informative sessions.

The RHDI is an 8-session online course, over approximately 16 weeks, with live and recorded learning sessions. Each session of the institute builds the basic necessary skills to identify, collect, analyze and communicate data in an effective way – known as the data use process. This institute is open to SORH and their rural health partners, including clinical partners interested in expanding population health analytics in their practice. Be on the lookout for registration to the 2019 Rural Health Data Institute that will be even more focused on the needs of future rural leaders.

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