Stepping Up: Health Equity in Rural Hospitals Podcast Series

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Series Audience:

Critical access hospital leadership/decision-makers, state Flex coordinators, future coordinators, Health Equity professionals

Series Description:

This four-part podcast series brings together a variety of voices to elaborate on the steps rural hospitals can take to implement sustainable health equity programs and efforts. 

Series Objectives:

  1. Understand the importance of and learn tips for establishing an internal diversity, equity, and inclusion culture.
  2. Identify and cultivate diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders within the organization and community.
  3. Understand the importance of data for identifying and addressing disparities and hear best practices for collecting and using information.
  4. Recall and utilize examples of successful efforts and appropriate data in rural community health equity programs and initiatives.

Podcast #1: Walking the Equity Walk

Featuring Benjamin D. Anderson, MBA, MHCDS, Vice President, Rural Health and Hospitals,
Colorado Hospital Association and Dr. Jennifer Bacani-McKenney, Kansas Health Foundation Board and FP physician at Fredonia Regional Hospital and President of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians

Guests will share the importance of internal diversity, equity, and inclusion adoption. Practical steps are discussed on how leadership can and should establish a diverse and inclusive culture.

Podcast #2: Community Equity Champions

Featuring Selena McCord MPH, Community Program Manager, National Rural Health Resource Center and Jennifer Barbour, Director of Relations, Sparta Community Hospital

Understand the importance and role of health equity champions within the community. Guests will guide listeners through the process of identifying, recruiting, and training rural health equity champions within their organizations and the community. 

Podcast #3: It All Starts with Data

Featuring Sarah Brinkman, Program Manager, Stratis Health and Shena Popat, Senior Research Scientist, Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at NORC at the University of Chicago 

Data are a cornerstone for efforts to identify and address disparities and advance health equity. Guests provide insight into how a facility can adequately assess the needs of their rural community and translate that data into health equity programs and initiatives.

Podcast #4: The Way Forward

Featuring Dr. Heidi Helgeson MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Rio Grande Hospital and Andrew Thomas, Baylor University '23, health equity intern at Rio Grande Hospital

Guests will share stories of success and struggle with health equity programs and initiatives in rural communities. Specific steps will be shared on moving forward with the culture, champions, and data a facility has built. By listening to this episode, the audience will hear specific challenges and solutions to implementing health equity programs and initiatives in rural communities.

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,560,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.