Rural Health Care Leader Presented Calico Leadership Award

July 2019
National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

John Barnas, Executive Director of the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH), a non-profit affiliate of Michigan State University, was awarded the Calico Leadership Award at the 2019 Flex Program Reverse Site Visit held July 10-11 in Washington, DC. “John is an exceptional mentor and leader. He has built an environment at MCRH which is supportive, motivating, purpose-driven, accountable, and fun!” commented Crystal Barter, Director of Performance Improvement, MCRH.

The Calico Leadership Award is presented annually by the Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), a program of the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center), to an outstanding rural health leader. The Calico Award was created in honor of long-time rural health leader, Dr. Forest Calico, for his life-long commitment to improving the quality of rural health. This year’s award was presented to John for his outstanding leadership. Over his 25-year career at the Michigan Center for Rural Health, Barnas has been a catalyst in advancing Michigan’s rural health care facilities, including a current focus on supporting rural participation in the Medicare Share Savings Accountable Care Organization Program and other alternative payment models in Michigan’s rural facilities.

John has given countless hours to advancing rural health by actively participating on various boards, councils, and committees. Currently John serves on the National Rural Health Association Government Affairs Committee and Rural Health Congress, a board member of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and the Small/Rural Hospital Council of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. Barnas is a past-chair of the TASC Advisory Committee.

Terry Hill, Executive Director of Rural Health Innovations and Senior Advisor for Rural Health Leadership and Policy of The Center noted, “John Barnas has been an important national rural health leader in America for the past twenty years. His innovation, hard work, and passionate dedication to improving the health of rural citizens in this country have made him a worthy recipient of this award”.

For more information or questions about the National Rural Health Resource Center, please contact Tracy Morton at (218) 216-7027 or