Hospital CEO Named 'Rural Health Fellow' for 2015

Humboldt General Hospital’s administrator has been chosen to help articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America’s healthcare.

Jim Parrish has been accepted in the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Rural Health Fellows Program for 2015.

Parrish applied to take part in the year-long, intensive program and came through a crowded field to land a spot among a dozen individuals who all share a mutual concern for the future of rural healthcare.

During his skill-building year, Parrish and the other Rural Health Fellows will participate in three advanced leadership training seminars, attend several of NRHA's educational conferences, take part in monthly conference calls on rural health leadership, policy and strategic planning, and participate in a guided group project that will involve Fellows in the process of rural health policy analysis on a national level.

Not only do the Fellows gain valuable insights and build critical skills in personal, team, and organizational leadership, health policy analysis and advocacy, but they are also exposed to premier faculty and seasoned practitioners who provide executive coaching and structured team assignments.

A final graduation ceremony for this year’s Fellows will take place in February 2016 in Washington DC.

Parrish said the program is very rigorous, but also very motivating.

“The members of our group are dedicated to improving the health of rural Americans,” said Parrish, “and we are finding that our passion can impact rural health policy at the local, state and national levels.”

Parrish continued, “As we grow our leadership skills and advocacy competence, that naturally translates into action and results on rural health policy issues—and that is a very motivating outcome.”

The program, in its ninth year, has steadily gained recognition across the United States. Before being chosen, reviewers look at applicants’ overall purpose for applying, educational background, capacity for becoming an active NRHA participant and understanding of rural health care issues.

After this initial review, the reviewers then focus their selections on geographic and professional diversity.

Once accepted into the “class,” participants like Parrish must commit to improve the health of all rural Americans and populations through appropriate and equitable health care services.

“That was an easy commitment for me,” said Parrish, “because Humboldt General Hospital is already committed to the health of our local community.”

“Still,” he added, “we always strive to improve, and I have been grateful for this program and the training I have received to help continue to move our rural health policies and programs forward.”