2017 Conference

Conference Presentations 2017:

The Problem Is Poverty–Mosley
What Does Rural Healthcare Look Like Now-Loomis-Wagner-Bailly
Heartland Oklahoma A Coordinated Care Model in Rural Oklahoma-Halstead-Henderson-Lewis-Lopez
Shared Use and Places to Play for Increasing Physical Activity; Opportunities for Promoting Shared Use in both Urban and Rural Settings in OK-Call
Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment-Fritz
Going the Extra Mile to Reduce Oklahoma’s Leading Cause of Preventable Deat; Alliance Health Durant’s Tobacco Cessation Program-Finley-Hunter-Sampier-Crites-Baldridge Allen
The National Landscape of Rural Health-Slabach
Quality Payment Program Overview-Adedokun-Neal
The State Landscape of Rural Health–Cox-Kain
The State Landscape of Rural Health–Evans
Governor’s Health Workforce Subcommittee–Cox-Kain, Castleberry, and Dunham
Seeking Models for Sustaining Access to Health Care in Rural Communities-Fosmire


2018 Conference

 Call for Abstracts NOW OPEN

for the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference!

Click HERE to submit an abstract.

Presentation abstracts are being accepted for the 2018 Oklahoma Rural Health Conference. The purpose of this conference is to convene rural health administrators, providers, and advocates together to discuss various topics of importance to rural health in Oklahoma. Plenary and concurrent presenters will share viable solutions to help improve the delivery of, access to, and effectiveness of rural health, build collaborative relationships at the local, state, and federal levels, or suggest changes to the rural health delivery system. With dedicated concurrent sessions for the 2018 conference, there will be more opportunities to present than ever. Additionally, your presentation may be selected as a plenary session to the full conference. You will be contacted personally if your abstract is considered for a plenary session.

Please include a bio and photo for each speaker along with their contact information.

Abstracts must be completed and submitted by January 15, 2018.

If accepted, presenters must register for the conference. In addition, no honoraria or travel expense reimbursement will be provided for any presenter submitting through the “Call for Abstracts.”

If you have questions regarding the content of your abstract or the conference format, please email or call (580) 213-3177.


2018 Oklahoma Rural Health Conference

May 22-23, 2018

Embassy Suites in Norman


Also, join us for the

Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Annual Golf Tournament
May 21, 2018
Westwood Golf Course
Norman, OK





2016 Awards

2017 RHAO Awards Nominations are NOW OPEN!

Nominations are due Friday, April 7th by 5pm CST.

2017 Awards Nomination



Click to see the Award Winner Brochure Final.

All WinnersA few of this year’s winners pictured above are (left to right): Michelle Bero, RN, Diabetes Educator, Community Diabetes Education Outreach Program (CDEOP); Becky Zook, Program Coordinator, CDEOP; Mindy Snowden, Tri-CHIO Board member (Rural Health Program of the Year), and Dr. John M. Huser, III (Rural Provider of the Year).

Alison and JeffAllison Schultz (left) with Great Salt Plains Health Center accepts the Rural Administrator of the Year award for Tim Starkey from Jeff Hackler, RHAO President (right).  Mr. Starkey who was unable to attend the awards luncheon.




Know someone who is deserving of recognition for their work in rural health?  The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma will open applications for the 2017 Rural Health Awards in the fall/winter of 2016.  The award categories are:  Rural Physician of the Year, Rural Administrator of the Year, Rural Health Program of the Year, and Rural Legislative Excellence (one nominee is chosen from both the Senate and House of Representatives).


2015 Awards


Dr. Bierig award










Rural Physician of the YearDr. Kirt Bierig, D.O.

Okeene Municipal Hospital, Okeene


Farrell award 1











Rural Health Administrator

Darin Farrell, CEO, Arbuckle Memorial Hospital

Sulphur, OK


Office of Rural Health award 4







Rural Health Program of the Year

Oklahoma Office of Rural Health


RepInmanAward 1











Rural Legislative Excellence

Representative Scott Inman, District 94

Oklahoma County


Rural Legislative Excellence

Senate: Sen. Susan Paddack, Ada, District 13

Garvin, Hughes, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, and Seminole Counties



2015 Conference

2015 Presentations

Asmussen–Gossett–Pasternik-Ikard–A Targeted Infant Mortality Rate Reduction Program for the SoonerCare Population
Brock Slabach–National Rural Health Landscape
CAPT Martha Culver–A Method to Improve Population Health

Castleberry–State Health Workforce Action Plan and OSIM, Transforming Health Care Delivery
Davis-Arthur-Shaffer-Schott–Does Your Hospital Need a Turnaround Plan
Davis-Arthur-Shaffer-Schott–Presentation Handout
Dill-Shaffer–Oklahoma Turning Point Partnerships for Health Improvement
Dr Kenneth Copeland –Physician’s Perspective on Telemedicine’s Impact on Rural Health Care and Patients
Dr William Paiva–Rural Health Innovation
Dr William Pettit–Changes in Residency Programs
Dr. Manzer–The Game is Played Away from the Ball
Jenkins-Hukill-Pricer–Growing Your Community Health Improvement Organization
Jim Bishop–State Programs that Provide Scholarships and Other Financial Incentives
Jones–Transforming Health Care
Kelsey-Scheideman-Miller–Telemedicine Policy & Reimbursement Update
Lufkin–Physician’s Perspective on Telemedicine’s Impact on Rural Health Care
Lynne White–Oklahoma Legislative Update
Owens–Pasternik-Ikard–Oklahoma’s Safety Net Providers and Collaborative Opportunities to Improve Access to Care
Ralph Llewellyn–Operational Efficiency Impact on Reimbursement
Rick Wagner–Rural Health Success Factors
Schott–Does Your Hospital Need a Turnaround Plan
Welch–Handout–Summary Cost Report
Welch–Medicare Cost Reimbursement Analysis


2014 Conference

2014 Presentations

Brock Slabach Rural Health Landscape, click here
Center Overview April 2014, click here
Cheryl St Clair Economic Impact of a Typical Rural Nursing Home, click here
Cheryl St Clair EMS Systems Budgeting for Rural EMS, click here
Donna Jennings Oklahoma Highlights 2014 Medicare OPPS Final Rule, click here
Donna Jennings State Telemedicine Gaps Analysis, click here
Donna Jennings Swing Bed Fact Sheet, click here
Dr. Curry and Dr. Kerth Bridging the Gap Hospital to Home, click here
Dr. Dentino and Claire Nichols Improving Senior Health Care through Telemedicine, click here
Dr. Lindsay Transitional Care  Understanding Quality, click here
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Barta Customer Service PRIDE, click here
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Barta PRIDE  EMPLOYEE HANDOUT, click here
Dr. Yeaman Coodinating Care in Oklahoma, click here
Jan Slater Game Changers, click here
Monica Ronne and Mindy Snowden Increasing Access to Healthcare, click here
Nat Crawford Influential Leadership, click here
Oklahoma PP Telemedicine Programming Final, click here
Pam Davis Medicare Updates Handout, click here
Pam Davis Medicare Updates presentation, click here
Patrice Greenawalt From Small Test of Change to Big Results, click here
Robert Lane and Carol Smith A Data Driven Approach to Coordinated Rural Health, click here
Toni Hart CHIO Handouts, click here


See what the attendees said about the 2013 Rural Health Conference:

“Great venue. Great food. Solid messages.”

“Some really excellent info disseminated during the plenaries & breakouts.”

“This was an interesting and informative conference that I would recommend.”

“It is the best rural health conference in Oklahoma.”

“…it is a conference put on by rural Oklahomans for rural Oklahomans.”

“If someone wants to make connections with provider groups, this would be a good venue to do it.”

“I am extremely critical of conferences, having organized a few myself, but I was so pleased with this event & look forward to the next. Great Job to the organizers & RHA[O]!”




2013 Awards


2013 Award Winners

Award Winners

 The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma honored ten Oklahomans, including two state legislators, for their outstanding dedication, leadership and service in rural health.


Outstanding Rural Physician
Tom Conklin, D.O.
Stigler, OK

Outstanding Rural Physician
Mike Woods, M.D.
Ramona, OK

Rural Administrator of the Year
David Keith
McAlester, OK

Rural Program of the Year
Oklahoma Hospital Association

Legislative Excellence in Rural Health
Senator Tom Ivester
District 26

Legislative Excellence in Rural Health
Lisa Johnson-Billy
District 42

President’s Award for Lifetime Service to Rural Oklahoma
Kenneth E. Whinery, M.D.
Sayre, OK



2012 Awards


The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma honored ten Oklahomans, including four state legislators, for their outstanding dedication, leadership and service in rural health.

Pictured:  Al Allee,  Darrel Morris,  Dr. Suthers, Becky Peal-Sconce, Sen. Dorman, Corie Kaiser, Lora Brooks, Rep. Mike Jackson, Cheryl St. Claire, Sen. Halligan

2011 Awards:
Rural Physician of the Year
Neal Suthers, MD ~ Buffalo, OK

Rural Administrator of the Year
Darrel Morris ~ Drumright, OK

Rural Program of the Year
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the
Oklahoma Office of Rural Health at Oklahoma State University (accepted by Corie Kaiser, Lora Brooks and Cheryl St. Claire)

President’s Special Award for Service to Rural Oklahoma:
Al Allee, Administrator ~ Frederick, OK
Becky Peal-Sconce, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services

For Legislative Excellence in Rural Health:
Senator Charles Laster,  District 17
Senator Jim Halligan, District 21
Representative Mike Jackson, District 40
Representative Joe Dorman, District 65


2013 Conference


2013 Award Press Release, click here


2013 Photo Gallery, click on an image to see larger.

2013 Presentations

Barr — Medicare Shared Savings.pdf

Chipman — Tobacco Cessation.pdf

Cohea — Moore Medical Center 2013.pdf

Cordry — Rural Mental Health.pdf

Dentino & Dowers-Nichols — Improving Rural Senior Health.pdf

Ehrhardt & Randazzo — Public Health Innovation.pdf

Fritz — RHC Social Work Practice in Primary Care.pdf

Heater — OHCA Board Pres_LP (final).pdf

Jelinek — Clinical Quality Measures.pdf

Kaiser & Walton — CAH Performance.pdf

Keilers — CEO Turnover.pdf

Milligan — Taking Down Goliath.pdf

Mongold — Meaningful Use Outcome.pdf

Pace — Rural Health Network.pdf

Umadjela — Childhood Overweight & Obesity.pdf

Welch — Model for Eyecare.pdf

Woods — OK Alzheimer’s Association.pdf


Michael Brown Memorial Scholarship

brown_michael_1090001510_220142   Due April 28th

Michael Brown worked for the Oklahoma State Department of health and served on the board of the  Rural Health Association of Oklahoma for most of RHAO’s existence.   When Michael lost his struggle with cancer, an appropriate memorial was sought.  His family felt recognizing Michael’s tireless support and advocacy of rural health providers and their issues would be well represented through a scholarship fund.  The scholarship would be used to help people attend the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference in which he always found great value.

The Michael Brown Memorial Scholarship exists to help rural health advocates attend the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference they would not have been able to attend due to budget issues.   The RHAO Board will select three applicants to receive a full registration to the 2016 Rural Health Conference, May 25-26th, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, OK.

To apply, submit an email two to three paragraphs in length on what attending the conference would mean to you and your agency and what budgetary constraints have kept you from registering thus far.  Deadline for submitting the emails to is Friday, April 28, 2017, at 5pm, CST.  Scholarships will be awarded Friday, May 6, 2016.  The Michael Brown Memorial Scholarship is open to all Oklahoman’s who have an interest in rural and underserved health issues.