The 2022 Oklahoma Rural Health Conference will be October 25th & 26th at the Edmond Conference Center!
Michael W. Brown Scholarship
Applications are now open for the Michael W. Brown Scholarship.
Mr. Brown served on the Board of the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma. A fund was established in his memory, which helps rural health advocates that would not have been able to due to budget issues attend the Oklahoma Rural Health Conference.
To apply, click the button below by Wednesday, September 12th at 5pm with a paragraph about you, your current employment position, and why you are applying for the Michael W. Brown Scholarship.
RHAO Annual Awards
Know someone or an organization deserving of an award for the work he/she/they does/do? Nominate them by clicking the "Nominate" button below. The nomination deadline is Friday, September 23rd at 5pm. The award recipients will be chosen by the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma's Board of Directors. The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma will host an awards lunch on Tuesday, October 25th honoring recipients in 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/Practitioner of the Year: This recipient is a physician/practitioner who goes above and beyond for patients. The nominee serves a rural community and understands the unique complexities of the environment, working tirelessly to address the needs of the patients and communities served.
(NEW!) Rural Health Hero: This is a new award category recognizing the tireless efforts made by a healthcare professional during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nominee is a healthcare worker of any level in a rural setting who exceeds the job expectations in an effort to care for the population served.
Submit an Abstract.
The call for abstracts has closed for 2022. Please check back for next year.
Rural Health Advocate of the Year:
The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma recognized Lucy Muller for her work in rural health. Lucy Muller received “Rural Health Advocate of the Year” at the Awards Luncheon during the 2021 Oklahoma Rural Health Conference in Edmond, Okla.
Muller is currently the Executive Director of Human Resources, Education, and Volunteer Services at McAlester Regional Health Center. She has been in the healthcare field for 14 years. She received a Master of Science in Human Resources in 2016. Muller currently serves on the Southern Workforce Board of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Project Woman McAlester Pink Ribbon Committee, McAlester Kiamichi Technology Center Foundation Board, and Leadership McAlester Committee.
Rural Health Leader of the Year:
The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma recognized Kevin Evans for his work in rural medicine. Mr. Evans received “Rural Health Leader of the Year” at the Awards Luncheon during the 2021 Rural Health Conference in Edmond, Okla.
Kevin Evans is Executive Director of Western Plains Youth and Family Services, (WPYFS) Woodward, where he has served thousands of young people with behavioral and mental health problems and their families in NW Oklahoma and the Panhandle for the past 29 years.
Corie Kaiser, Director of the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health and the President of the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma presented Evans with the award. Kaiser, quoting the nomination for the award, submitted by Dr. Tom M. Lucas, said, “Mr. Evans’ passion for children in need and his leadership has led to WPYFS becoming the primary mental health service provider in the region.”
Rural Health Educator of the Year:
The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma recognized Michele Horn recognized for her work in rural health education. Ms. Horn received “Rural Health Educator of the Year” at the Awards Luncheon during the 2021 Rural Health Conference in Edmond, Okla.
Michele Horn has been a Registered Nurse for 32 years. She graduated from Tulsa Community College with an Associate in Applied Science, Nursing Degree and later obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Governor’s University.
She has worked at Northeastern Health System for 23 years spending time in ICU and Emergency Department. Horn is currently serving as a Clinical Educator and the Northeast Area Health Education (NeAHEC) Director.
Rural Physician of the Year
The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma recognized Dr. Matthew Cameron Rumsey for his work in rural medicine. Dr. Rumsey received “Rural Health Physician of the Year” at the Awards Luncheon during the 2021 Rural Health Conference in Edmond, Okla.
Dr. Rumsey was born and raised in Pawhuska and has served among the Pawhuska Hospital board members since the June of 2016. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and went on to pursue a medical degree at the University of South Dakota Medical School. He completed his residency in Columbia, Missouri. At present, he is serving as the Medical Director at the Indian Health service in Pawhuska and Medical Director of the Cohesive management team. Dr. Rumsey sites being able to work with an educated, highly dedicated and caring team as an inspiration to be part of the governing board. According to his bio, he hopes to continue working intensely with the other members to expand healthcare provided by the facility and improve quality of care.
Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award of 2021:
The Rural Health Association of Oklahoma recognized Shelly Dunham for her work in rural Oklahoma. Ms. Dunham received the “Rural Health Lifetime Achievement” award at the Awards Luncheon during the 2021 Rural Health Conference in Edmond, Okla.
According to her bio, Dunham has dedicated all of her adult life to some form of caring for and/or directing healthcare in the community. Dunham felt her background in nursing strengthened her ability to manage the everyday operations of the Okeene Municipal Hospital as the CEO. She was employed for 39 years with the Okeene Municipal Hospital.
Prior to being promoted to CEO, Dunham served as Administrator of Schallmo Assisted Living and Okeene Hospital Annex which was formerly a long term care facility, both of these facilities were managed by the Okeene Hospital. She also served as Surgery Supervisor in the hospital for three years. Dunham’s administrative career began at Baptist Medical Center in 1976 as Central Services Assistant Manager.
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