Mississippi Rural Health Association Recognizes Awardees at Annual Conference

The Mississippi Rural Health Association recognized significant individuals and hospitals for dedication to excellence during the Mississippi Rural Health Annual Conference held on November 17-18, 2022 in Jackson, MS. Held during Mississippi / National Rural Health Day, these awards are presented to symbolize and recognize the superior work performed by providers, administrators and facilities that makeup Mississippi rural health care system.

Awardees are as follows:

State Legislator of the Year: Sen. Ben Suber
Senator Suber, among many bills, sponsored the Rural Emergency Hospital bill that will allow hospitals to convert to a new model that emphases emergency care in rural communities.

National Legislator of the Year: US Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith
Senator Hyde-Smith has once again received this award from the association due to her continued support of national legislation supporting rural health practice, including hospital funding, telehealth, reducing administrative burden, and more.

Mary Ann Sones Distinguished Leadership Award: Paula Turner, MRHF
The Association’s top leadership award was presented to Paula Turner of North Mississippi Health Systems. Paula is a past president of the association and has been an active member for more than a decade. She has led substantial membership growth in the association and has been active in legislative support and advice to the association.

One Rural Award: Michael Nester
The One Rural Award is presented to Michael Nester, administrator of H.C. Watkins Hospital in Quitman, for his consistent work with the association as treasurer of the organization as well as having been very active in legislative advocacy, often traveling with the Association and MHA to Washington D.C. for legislative visits.

Hospital Quality Awards
Each year, the Chartis Group recognizes the top quartile of hospitals in the nation based on quality outcomes from CMS data. The following hospitals were recognized and awarded by the Association for this exceptional quality:

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Booneville
Baptist Memorial Hospital – Calhoun
Baptist Memorial Hospital – Leake
North Mississippi Medical Center – Eupora
North Mississippi Medical Center – Iuka
Baptist Memorial Hospital – Attala
Scott Regional Hospital
Neshoba County General Hospital
North Mississippi Medical Center – Pontotoc
HC Watkins Memorial Hospital
Laird Hospital
North Mississippi Medical Center – West Point

All award recipients received a recognition piece for their accomplishment. For questions or more information, please contact Ryan Kelly at 601-898-3001 or ryan.kelly@mississippirural.org.

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