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



2018 Awards

Know someone deserving of an award for her/his work for rural Oklahoma?

Nominate her/him for an award by clicking here!!!*

The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Board of Directors will choose one recipient each for the following categories:

Rural Health Advocate of the Year: This recipient should be a tireless advocate for rural health issues. The nominee has repeatedly demonstrated his/her commitment to rural health through grassroots efforts or policy changes. The Rural Health Advocate of the Year inspires others to understand the significance rural health care plays for Oklahomans across the state by engaging (other) elected officials in discussions and promoting policies that support rural health care.

Rural Health Leader of the Year: This recipient should be an outstanding rural health leader who uses a comprehensive or unique approach to address a specific rural health issue; demonstrates an ability to guide others through complicated rural health issues to achieve a set goal, and/or creates a network or partnership with others to create programs or initiatives that benefit rural Oklahomans.

Rural Health Educator of the Year: This recipient has a proven record of educating rural health care students, current workforce, or community members, or who has developed a successful and unique education program for rural Oklahomans.

Rural Physician of the Year.

*Award Recipients are honored at an Awards Luncheon on May 22nd during the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference. Nominations are due by 5pm on April 13, 2018.









2018 Conference

Exhibitor/Sponsor Registration NOW OPEN

for the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference!*

Click HERE to register as an Exhibitor/Sponsor.

Check out the new options for the 2018 Oklahoma Rural Health Conference!

Plan now to exhibit at this exciting event on May 22 & 23, 2018 in Norman, OK. This conference brings together members of the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma and stakeholders of the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health. It is expected to attract more than 200 healthcare professionals. Space is limited so make your reservations early!

Attendee Registration NOW OPEN!!!

Click HERE to register as an attendee at the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference in Norman on May 22 & 23!*

Plan now to attend this exciting event! This conference brings together members of the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma, stakeholders of the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health and anyone who is interested in rural health issues. It is expected to attract more than 200 healthcare professionals from rural and underserved areas of the state.

Click Here to View the Draft Agenda!!!

Need help paying for a conference registration?  Click HERE to learn about the Michael Brown Memorial Scholarship.


2018 Oklahoma Rural Health Conference
May 22-23, 2018
Embassy Suites in Norman

 The Embassy Suites Norman Hotel & Conference Center will host the conference. Located off I-35 on the north side of Norman, the hotel offers easy access to a variety of dining and shopping destinations. We have reserved a block of rooms at a discounted rate for conference attendees, but the supply is limited. To reserve a room, please visit the hotel’s website or call 1-866-577-1273. Use the Group Code: RHA when booking a room for the attendee rate or RHG for the government rate (a government ID will be required upon check-in reservation site). You will have until May 1st to book rooms under the special group rate.


Also, join us for the

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


*All conference vendors and attendees, with the exception of those working for organizations which must pay conference fees by Purchase Orders, or those given express permission beforehand, must pay all conference registration and other associated fees prior to attending the conference. For those paying by Purchase Order or who have made previous arrangements, all invoices must be paid within 60 days after the conference ends.
All invoices will be sent to those with outstanding balances monthly by email prior to the conference (unless otherwise requested) and after the conference, will be mailed and emailed monthly until the balance is paid in full.
All organizations/individual with outstanding balances at 60 days after the conference has concluded jeopardize their attendance at subsequent conferences. No organization/individual with an outstanding balance from the previous year/s will be allowed to attend the current years’ conference unless the outstanding balance is paid in full.
All attendees/organizations registering in advance and are unable to make the conference, or provide a substitution for the conference, will be charged a cancellation fee not to exceed five percent (5%) of the conference fees associated with the registration as allowed by law.






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


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



Due April 30th

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 applicants to receive a full registration to the 2018 Rural Health Conference, May 22-23rd, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, OK.  This scholarship allows the recipient/s to attend the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference at no charge.  This scholarship does not pay room and board, travel, per diem, or other expenses.

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 30, 2018, at 5pm, CST.  Scholarship recipients will be notified by Friday, April 11, 2018.  The Michael Brown Memorial Scholarship is open to all Oklahoman’s who have an interest in rural and underserved health issues.