Michelle Rathman, nationally known rural health and community engagement strategist, speaker, and writer, is the new host of Rural Matters, effective September 1, 2018. Her debut episode will release on September 10 and feature guest Alan Morgan, President of the National Rural Health Association.
Rathman replaces Mara Casey Tieken who has been a superb host and an invaluable contributor to Rural Matters, helping the program become the leading podcast in the country focused on expanding the dialogue among stakeholders in the areas of education, health and business in rural communities. Since launching in September 2017, the podcast has reached nearly 5,000 downloads, and has attracted national sponsors such as the American Association of School Administrators (The School Superintendents Association) and the National Rural Education Association, along with marketing partners that include the National Rural Education Association; Center for Rural Affairs; Ohio Small and Rural Collaborative; Foundation for Rural Service; NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association; Harvard Graduate School of Education Rural Educators Alliance; Community Hospital Corporation; and Journal of Research in Rural Education. Rural Matters is available on iTunes. Google Play, and Stitcher.
Michelle chats with Griselda Rendon, Latino Loan Specialist at the Center for Rural Affairs, and
Sandra Barrera, Extension Educator of Community Vitality, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about several key rural matters. The guests discuss the burgeoning entrepreneurship among the Latino community in Nebraska and how the two organizations have collaborated to provide a resource and financial assistance to 123 small businesses in the state, including bakeries and travel agencies. The key to entrepreneurial success, the guests note, is for the entrepreneurs to follow their passion. The program includes walking tours to see how the local businesses are actually operating. As 2019 approaches, the guests note, they want to continue the successful path they have established in 2018, and to work on child care situations.
In celebration of National Rural Health Day on November 15, Michelle chats with Karen Madden, Director of the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health, Center for Health Care Policy and Resource Development, New York State Department of Health, and Founder of National Rural Health Day; Teryl Eisinger, Executive Director of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health; and Dr. David Sabgir, Founder & CEO of Walk with a Doc. Eisinger notes that Natural Rural Health Day started about a decade ago as a way of garnering attention to the good work done by stakeholders in rural health and to the disparities that exist in rural communities. Eisinger discusses the value of the organic partnerships focusing on the needs of rural constituents, specifically citing the Community Star program, which this year has more than 100 nominations. Madden discusses the honor of winning the National Rural Health Association award and the significance of the slogan her organization coined —The Power of Rural. Sabgir talks about the importance of physical activity, including the recent study by the Cleveland Clinic, and why his program provides the follow-up needed to better ensure patients actually participate in physical activity. There are now 431 chapters of Walk with a Doc in the United States, he notes, deploying the one-hour walk with a care provider—resulting in demonstrable positive outcomes. Eisinger and Madden also provide specific examples of the interconnection between rural health activities, and rural schools and education, and business. This episode is sponsored by AASA, the School Superintendent’s Association, www.aasa.org
Michelle chats with Lee Horner, CEO of Synzi, a virtual care company founded earlier this year, which is dedicated to delivering high quality health care to rural communities through new technology. Synzi is focused on taking video technology to access remote health care staff and leveraging technology to provide care for patients who are at home to prevent hospital readmissions. The company’s technology prompts Smartphone users, including elderly patients, to click applicable links, simplifying their health care experience by eliminating the necessity of providing passwords. The technology also can be used for mental health consultation and medication management, according to Horner. Horner points out that Synzi’s technologies enable home health agencies in rural communities to provide patients with chronic diseases with care applications that can be used on a Smartphone is seeing a primary care physician or a visit to the emergency room is not possible or preferable. The company focuses on using technology to supplement the care given by rural hospital staff, finding ways to simplify and automate communication, including activities such as patient discharge. This episode was sponsored by AASA, the School Superintendent’s Association, www.aasa.org and Synzi, www.synzi.com.
In a podcast recorded at the 2018 Cerner Health Conference in Kansas City, Michelle talks with Mitchell Clark, Senior Vice President at Cerner, a global leader in the health information technology space, and the President of Cerner CommunityWorks, the company’s cloud-based IT platform that provides an integrated digital patient record; and Jeff Tindle, CEO of Carroll County (Missouri) Memorial Hospital. Tindle details some of the challenges facing rural hospitals, such as recruiting physicians and technology experts, impact of dollar decisions, reimbursement issues, and addressing the value-based care that’s the norm today. By managing chronic conditions facing many seniors on a proactive basis, Tindle hopes to cut costs and improve patient health. The hospital has seen a 300 percent increase in annual wellness visits and a boost in the number of patients under their chronic care management program from four to 50 per month. The hospital’s partnership with Cerner has enabled the hospital to use technology to improve their population health strategy and engage their patients in general. Clark notes that Cerner provides tools, including patient engagement portals and care management programs to assist hospitals nationwide. Tindle says that the community trusts the hospital more today and has confidence in the proactive patient engagement efforts, reducing emergency department visits. He also notes that the use of the electronic medical record is non-negotiable when it comes to recruiting physicians. Clark predicts that telemedicine and virtual health will become more common in rural health care. This episode was sponsored by AASA, the School Superintendents Association, www.AASA.org
Michelle chats with Brian Noyes, the founder and baker-in-chief of Red Truck Bakery, one of the most nationally acclaimed bakeries in the United States, about his journey from journalist to the Culinary Institute of America to his first sales vehicle (literally) — a red truck — to his two shops in rural Virginia to an incredible review in The New York Times, to his new book, The Red Truck Bakery Cookbook, published by Clarkson Potter/Penguin Random House. Find out how Tommy Hilfinger, tuna sandwiches, John Wayne, and President Obama and the text “POTUS says ‘yes’” all played a part in this amazing journey of a successful rural entrepreneur. Also find out why Noyes chose Marshall, VA, as his original location and what famous actor “cut the rope” at the opening ceremony three years ago. Finally, you want to hear how the bakery led to several new stores opening adjacent to his location, why a rising tide does indeed lift all boats, and why Red Truck’s coffee is a key element in its success. Noyes is extremely supportive of local businesses and establishing a collegial, collaborative relationship with others in the community. For more information on the cookbook and Red Truck Bakery, visit www.redtruckbakery.com.