Rural Health Care Leader Presented Calico Leadership Award

August 2020
National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center)

John Gale, Senior Research Associate and Director of Policy Engagement at the Maine Rural Health Research Center, and a Co-Principle Investigator of the Flex Monitoring Team, was awarded the Calico Leadership Award at the 2020 Flex Program Reverse Site Visit held virtually August 4-6, 2020. “I have worked with John for more than 20 years and throughout that time I have been struck by John’s ability to meld complex policy topics with his own pragmatic understanding of the realities faced by rural health care and social service providers. In addition to leading critically important rural health research studies, John continuously reaches out to rural communities and constituents to ensure that his policy and practice recommendations reflect the challenges faced by rural health organizations to deliver and report on quality health care” commented Erika Ziller, Director, Maine Rural Health Research Center.

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 20+ year career at the Maine Rural Health Research Center, Gale has built on his previous experience in health care organizations and focused his academic work on the operation and function of rural delivery and safety net systems of care and the role of key rural providers, including rural health clinics and critical access hospitals.

Gale’s work has impacted rural health across the globe. He has served as a lead consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to create a toolkit on rural substance use treatment, prevention, and recovery for policymakers in developing countries. Gale is the President-elect of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) and currently chairs their Rural Health Policy Congress. He also chairs the policy committee for the New England Rural Health Association. Gale is a member of the Technical Expert Panel for the National Quality Forum’s Measure Applications Partnerships (MAP) Rural Health Workgroup and the National Academy of Medicine’s Collaborative Working Group on Community Health Needs Assessments and Principles and Practice.

Terry Hill, Executive Director of Rural Health Innovations and Senior Advisor for Rural Health Leadership and Policy of The Center noted, “John Gale is a long-time champion of rural health and has authored an impressive body of rural health research on a variety of topics. He is a frequent speaker at national health conferences and is an accomplished long-distance swimmer. John’s work has made an important contribution to rural citizens across the country”.

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