Podcast #1: Walking the Equity Walk

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This is the first podcast in our Stepping Up: Health Equity in Rural Hospitals Podcast Series. 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 Guests


Ben Anderson

Benjamin D. Anderson, MBA, MHCDS, Vice President, Rural Health and Hospitals, Colorado Hospital Association

Benjamin Anderson is Vice President for Rural Health and Hospitals at the Colorado Hospital Association, where he provides leadership and direction in the development and execution of the Association's rural strategies, advocates on behalf of rural hospitals and health systems and works to develop strategic partnerships with organizations that affect the health of rural Americans.

Prior to joining CHA, Benjamin served as CEO of Kearny County Hospital a comprehensive rural health care delivery complex in Lakin, Kan. that serves patients of 30 nationalities within a 180-mile radius. Anderson is a recognized leader in transforming rural health care through a mission-driven approach to recruiting physicians to underserved areas, tying together domestic and international service. Kearny County Hospital is now at the forefront of innovations in health care delivery to improve care to underserved U.S. populations and his work was recently recognized on CBS Sunday Morning, and in POLITICO and Sports Illustrated.

Anderson was named to Becker's Hospital Review's Rising Star list of health care leaders under 40 and one of Modern Healthcare's 2014 Up and Comers. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English (2004) and a Master of Business Administration (2007) from Drury University in Springfield, Mo. and a Master of Health Care Delivery Science degree from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.


Jennifer Bacani-McKenney

Dr. Jennifer Bacani-McKenney, Family Physician, County Health Officer, Associate Dean for Rural Medical Education at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Fredonia Family Care or University of Kansas School of Medicine

Jennifer Bacani McKenney, MD, is a family physician in her hometown of Fredonia, Kansas, a community of approximately 2,500 people. She helped establish the Fredonia Area Community Foundation and Cultivate Fredonia, a community-wide growth initiative, and she serves on the board of directors for both.  McKenney was named the 2021 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year by the National Rural Health Association.  She serves as the Wilson County health officer and is a member of the USD 484 school board. She is the Associate Dean of the Office of Rural Medical Education at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is the President of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians and serves on the board of directors for the Kansas Health Foundation whose focus is health equity.


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