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Rural health policy forum meets on campus April 28

Participants in the rural health policy forum are (l. to r.) Amy Elizando, vice president, Program Services Administration; Alan Morgan, CEO, National Rural Health Association; Mary J.C. Hendrix, Shepherd president; Marcia Brand, chair, Shepherd University Board of Governors; Tom Morris, associate administrator and director, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy; Scott Beard, associate provost, Shepherd University.

Shepherd University hosted a seminar on rural health policy featuring three of the nation’s leaders in rural health on Friday, April 28. The forum was titled “Training a New Generation to Ensure Affordable, Quality Rural Healthcare,” and included an announcement of two new internships at the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) or Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), funded by Dr. Marcia K. Brand, chair of Shepherd’s Board of Governors.

The seminar addressed how to ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare for rural residents, how to select Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement approaches that help rural healthcare facilities keep their doors open, and how to attract healthcare providers to rural communities. The internships are designed to help teams of Shepherd University students and their faculty mentors learn about rural health policy.

Speakers included Tom Morris, associate administrator and director of FORHP, who will discuss current issues in rural health policy from the federal perspective; Alan Morgan, chief executive officer of NRHA, discussing current rural health issues from an advocacy perspective; and Dr. Brand, senior advisor to the Dentaquest Foundation, and executive director of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health, who will give a brief overview and history of rural health policy.