2015 Rural Health Champions Named

In recognition of National Rural Health Day, November 19, AHI’s Adirondack Rural Health Network (ARHN) partnered with Rural Health Networks across Northern New York to name rural health champions.

“These champions personify this year’s theme, Celebrate the Power of Rural,” said Courtney Shaler Smith, ARHN Manager. “Our region is rich with individuals who exemplify the selfless, community-minded ‘can do’ spirit that prevails in rural America. We all benefit by the exceptional care delivery inspired by these leaders.”

Leadership Champion, Chandler M. Ralph, is president and CEO of Adirondack Health and an AHI Board member. Jeannie Cross, chair of the Adirondack Health Board of Trustees stated, “Ms. Chandler M. Ralph has made a significant contribution to rural health…her vision and leadership have provided a health care organization that is well positioned to meet the current and future needs of the residents and visitors of the region.”

Josy Delaney, a Community Wellness Specialist at Alice Hyde Medical Center was named Community Wellness Champion. Nominator Erin Streiff, supervisor, Family Health Services, Franklin County Public Health stated, “Josy’s most significant contribution, above and beyond improving the health of the community through evidence-based interventions, has been her beautiful attitude, enthusiasm, and knack for generating cohesion and getting her fellow Public Health Professionals ‘fired up’ to make positive changes!”

The Rural Health EMS Champion award went to a team, the Southern Washington/Northeastern Rensselaer County Mobile Integrated Health Care (MIHC) Committee. “The MIHC committee promotes collaborations, partnerships and regional planning to identify unmet health care needs and to enhance current resources or bring new resources to address identified unmet health care needs in the rural communities they serve,” said Patty Hunt, director, Washington County Public Health.

MIHC members include:

  • Cambridge Valley Rescue Squad

Mark Spiezio, Jeannette Carman, Adrienne Hamilton, Dr. Paul Vinsel, Sarah Maher, Jeanine Hasenkopf, Wendy Ford, Alicia Tilton, Jennifer Gebo

  • Easton-Greenwich Rescue Squad

Frank Brownell, Dr. Robert Desidario

  • Fort Hudson Health System

Christa Berthiaume

  • Glens Falls Hospital Family Health Centers and Medical Director

Dr. Matthew Pender, Tracy Lawrence, Christine Centofranchi

  • Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad

Gill Hall, Ronald Sampath, Deb Lohnes

  • Salem Rescue Squad

Vicky Beebe Campbell, Dr. Robert Desidario

  • Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

Karen Hewson

  • Washington County Public Health

Kathy Jo Mcintyre

  • Community Members

Laurie Speanburg, Betsy Shiland

Created by NOSORH, National Rural Health Day is a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of Rural Health Networks, NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing the unique challenges faced by the residents of rural America.

For more information, contact Courtney Shaler Smith, [email protected].

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