On tap: annual Michigan Rural Health Conference

What's happening: The Michigan Center for Rural Health holds its annual conference April 27-28 at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant. The conference is aimed at those working in rural health, including rural health clinics and hospital settings. The conference is also open to stakeholders from local public health, community mental health, substance use disorder treatment centers, and organizations working to positively impact social drivers of health.

The conference presents an opportunity for rural health stakeholders to share and learn from each other. It also provides networking and collaboration opportunities and provides a forum to share current and relevant information with rural health stakeholders. 

What's on the agenda: The agenda is designed to amplify ideas and innovations in Michigan's rural health landscape. Planned topics include:
  • Rural Health Equity, Poverty, and Rural Resilience, with Michael Meit, MA, MPH, director, East Tennessee State University Center for Rural Health Research.
  • Opioid Settlement Funds: State and Local Perspectives, with Amy Dolinky, technical advisor Michigan Association of Counties, and Brandon Hool, state of Michigan.
  • A panel discussion, the State of Rural EMS Now and into the Future, with Laurie Thiel, vice president of Operations/Upcoming CEO, Mobile Medical Response, and Mel Oakly, EMS director, Castleton Maple Grove Nashville Ambulance.
Health professional award: The 2023 Rural Health Professional of the Year will be announced at the conference. The award is presented to an individual deserving of recognition for their efforts in rural health in Michigan. The award honors Loren O. Gettel.

The Michigan Center for Rural Health has hosted the Michigan Rural Health Conference since 1997. The nonprofit organization coordinates, plans, and advocates for improved health for Michigan's rural residents and communities.
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