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Julie Casper receives ICAHN’s “Special Partner Award” for service

 Julie Casper receives ICAHN's "Special Partner Award" for serviceJulie Casper, Center for Rural Health, Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield, IL, was granted the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network’s highest award for leadership and ongoing service commitment to rural healthcare during ceremonies held at ICAHN’s Annual Conference on October 29-30 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign, IL. Ms. Casper, who received ICAHN’s “Special Partner Award,” serves the Center as its State Office of Rural Health Project Director, among other titles since coming to IDPH in 1996.

“Julie wears many hats, the Primary Care Office Director, Project Director of the State Office of Rural Health, Project Director for the HRSA SHIP Program, Project Director for Flex, and Project Director for the State Loan Repayment Program,” said Pat Schou, ICAHN Executive Director.  “She is the central point person for the federal and state rural health grant programs and a valued resource on rural health programs’ eligibility.”

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the primary federal agency for improving access to healthcare services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. The Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) helps rural hospitals of 49 beds or less in meeting value-based payment and care goals for their respective organizations. The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) program allows small hospitals to be certified as critical access hospitals and offers grants to states to help implement initiatives to strengthen the rural healthcare infrastructure.

“Most significantly to our organization is her support for the development and growth of ICAHN and its member hospitals and their communities for the past 15 years,” Schou added. “Her mantra is being the very best, which she accomplishes daily. We are very proud to award her with this honor.”

Celebrating 15 years of service in 2018, ICAHN is a network of 57 small, rural hospitals dedicated to strengthening the operations of its member hospitals through collaboration. The organization, located in Princeton, IL, is composed of Illinois hospitals who have earned critical access hospital designation by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is recognized nationally for its work with rural healthcare, administering several state, federal, and private healthcare programs.