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GAHHS, Rob Schmitt receive NCRHP's "Rural Health Hero" Award


Rob Schmitt, CEO, Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services and Robin Rose, CNO, accepted the National Center for Rural Health Professions’ “Rural Health Hero” award during ceremonies held at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford. He was joined by David Hagan, MD, who won the RMED “Distinguished Service” award.

“We were honored to have received this recognition as it goes along with our vision of being the model of excellence for rural healthcare,” said Schmitt during the event held on National Rural Health Day. “We’re a longtime supporter of RMED and have hired a couple physician graduates from this very school. We also have a great relationship with the Illinois AHEC (Area Health Education Center) and have hired an RPHARM graduate.

“The RNURSE project was just announced, and I will be happy to participate in that program as well,” he continued. “They (NCRHP) provide a wonderful service that has been of substantial benefit to our hospital. We greatly appreciate this honor.”

The purpose of the National Center for Rural Health Professions is to meet the healthcare needs of rural Illinois residents through collaborative projects involving multiple health professions while also emphasizing recruitment, retention, and healthcare delivery initiatives that will positively impact the health and well-being of both rural residents and their communities.

The RHP curriculum focuses on developing the inter-professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of rural health professionals. RMED students and rural pharmacy students attend RHP classes together. The Rural Pharmacy Education Program (RPHARM) seeks to prepare pharmacy students from the state of Illinois who will, after graduation, locate and practice in a rural community.

Speakers included UICOM-R Regional Dean Alex Stagnaro, Md; NCRHP Associate Dean Michael Glasser, PhD, Tiana McCall, Constituent Advocate for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos; and NCRHP Assistant Director of Recruiting Mark Meurer.

Pictured are Darrin Ray (front left to right), MD; Benjamin Brewer, MD; Rob Schmitt, CEO, GAHHS; and David J. Hagan, MD. In the second row are (left to right) John Plescia, MD; Michael Glasser, PhD, Associate Dean, NCHRP; Kevin Askew, Clinical Pharmacist, GAHHS; and Robin Rose, COO and CNO, GAHHS. In the back row (left to right) are Carrie Hermanson, Director of Engagement for UI College of Medicine at Rockford; Jenna Veter, Health Profession Educator, Native American Pipeline Program at NCRHP; Hana Hinkle, Associate Director of Rural Workforce and Center Development at NCRHP; and Inis Bardella, MD, Head of Department of Family and Community Medicine at UI College of Medicine at Rockford.