Kevin Jacobson is the Rural Communities Program Manager at the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, within the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, where he manages various community outreach programs and hosts training and educational events for rural hospitals, clinics and EMS services.  Kevin also manages the Wisconsin Health Professions Loan Assistance Program, a health care provider recruitment and retention effort focusing on underserved rural and urban communities.  Kevin grew up in Madison, Wisconsin.  He received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and his Masters of Public Policy from the University of Southern California.  At the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center he was a program manager working with rural New York communities on environmental and infrastructure development projects.

  1. What inspires you and excites you most about working for a SORH?

Working for a SORH, you have a variety of responsibility.  You are not doing the same thing all the time.  Also, the people in the office and around the state are passionate and dedicated to improving health in their communities.  It feels good to provide resources to address this great need across the state.

  1. What is the biggest challenge facing SORH leaders today?

Having enough time is always a challenge and you always have to prioritize program activities and understand the many changes we are currently experiencing in healthcare.  We have already seen lots of changes with the ACA and we are going to see more changes next year with the Flex program that will have a big impact on SORH and rural communities.

  1. What is one characteristic that you believe every SORH leader should possess?

Creativity.  To be able to address the issues that come up on a day-to-day basis in new ways and recognize innovation, you need to be able to look at things creatively.  You also need to be open to new ideas and recognize that you don’t have to be THE leader but you can still be A leader.