CommWell Health was honored May 11TH in San Diego, California during the National Rural Health Association’s 40th Annual Rural Health Conference for innovation and service excellence in rural health care. The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is a national nonprofit membership organization with more than 21,000 members, including critical access hospitals, rural health centers and community health centers. CommWell Health received a record three awards from the National Rural Health Association, including the Outstanding Rural Health Organization, Outstanding Rural Health Program, and Outstanding Educator Award. CommWell Health is the only Community Health Center in the nation to receive the Outstanding Rural Health Organization award.
“We’re especially proud of this year’s winners,” says Alan Morgan, National Rural Health Association CEO. “They have each already made tremendous strides to advance rural health care, and we’re confident they will continue to help improve the lives of rural Americans.” CommWell Health was honored as this year’s Outstanding Rural Health Organization. The Outstanding Rural Health Organization Award recognizes an organization that has improved access to health services and information for rural people through innovative, comprehensive approaches. Factors considered include outreach, preventive health and education, quality and efficiency of care, and strong community support and involvement.
CommWell Health’s North Carolina – Rurally Engaging and Assisting Clients who are HIV positive and Homeless (NCREACH) program was named NRHA’s Outstanding Rural Health Program. NC-REACH is an innovative medical home model which focuses on HIV-positive homeless or unstably housed individuals diagnosed with a mental health or substance abuse disorder, helping to provide HIV primary care, behavioral health, housing and care coordination services. The award recognizes a community, regional or statewide program involving one or more health professionals or entities that promotes or facilitates the development of innovative rural health delivery systems. Janet Stroughton, VP of Behavioral Health services states “The ability to provide integrated primary care and behavioral health services in one location is integral to providing care in our rural areas. This enables patients to access needed care resulting in positive health outcomes for patients to live longer and healthier”.
Lisa McKeithan, MS, Principal Investigator of CommWell Health’s NC-REACH program received the Outstanding Educator Award. The Outstanding Educator Award recognizes that health services and curriculum development specific to rural health needs has the potential to make long-lasting contributions. The National Rural Health Association recognizes health education’s ability to inspire the work of others, to encourage, assist, enhance, expand and improve rural health. It’s a great honor and privilege to receive the NRHA Educator Award. “My life is rooted in public service and dedicated to improving the lives and outcomes of rural communities. Additionally, I am truly grateful to be part of the NC REACH team working at CWH, such an outstanding organization” states Lisa McKeithan.
I have been in health care for 30 plus years. Working for CommWell Health the last 6 years have been amazing. I have been able to experience first hand a cultural change that deeply impacts the excellent quality of care for our patients. I am very proud to be a part of this team.