ETSU faculty and students attend NRHA Rural Health Conference​​|

Last week, faculty, staff and students from East Tennessee State University’s College of Health Sciences participated in the nation’s largest gathering of rural health professionals in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The 45th Annual Rural Health Conference, sponsored by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), was held in Albuquerque May 10-13 in person and virtually, with more than 80 sessions designed to help improve rural health standards.

“The National Rural Health Association is the premier organization for bringing together leading researchers, practitioners and other experts in rural health,” said Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean of ETSU’s School of Public Health. “ETSU’s outstanding performance at this conference, and the remarkable diversity of subject areas covered by ETSU faculty, is a powerful reminder of the university’s national leadership in rural health.”

Topics presented by ETSU faculty include:

  • “Rural and Racial Disparities in Mental Health Stigma” and “Telehealth Services During COVID-19: A Rural/Urban Analysis” by Kate Beatty, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Health Services Administration and Policy, School of Public Health;
  • “Intersections of Rural Opioid Abuse and Trauma 2,” by Michael Meit, Co-Director of the ETSU Center for Rural Health Research and Associate Director of the ETSU/NORC Rural Health Equity Research Center (RHERC), and Dr. Megan Quinn, Associate Research Fellow, School of Public Health Biostatistics Professor in the Department of Science and Epidemiology, Director of Research, ETSU Strong BRAIN Institute;
  • “Understanding and Evaluating Rural Restoration Ecosystems” by Meit and ETSU Executive Vice Provost, Dr. Robert Pack, Director of the ETSU Addiction Science Center (ASC) and Director of the ETSU/NORC RHERC;
  • “Proliferation of SBIRT (Screening Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment) in Rural and Urban Health Care Settings”, Dr Angela Hagaman, Director of Operations, ASC;
  • “CDC’s COVID-19 Health Equity Grants: The Role of the National Office of Rural Health,” by Meit;
  • “Inpatient Treatment Costs Associated with Substance Use Disorders,” by Dr. Craig Holden, NORC Senior Research Scientist and ETSU/NORC RHERC Member;
  • “Fundamental Investments in Healthcare Transformation in Rural Areas,” by Casey Balio, PhD, Research Assistant Professor at ETSU’s Center for Rural Health Research (CRHR) and ETSU/NORC RHERC member, and co-authored by CRHR Graduate Assistant Nicole Galler; and
  • “A Retrospective Exploration of Rural Mother-Infant Differences,” by Dr. Melissa White, Investigator, Center for Applied Research and Evaluation in Women’s Health, ETSU, and former graduate assistant at CRHR.

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In addition, three dual MD and MPH students presented posters: Jennifer Davis and Ryan King’s “Awareness and Impact of COVID-19 in Rural Appalachian Communities,” and “Medical Care for Black Adults” Health Awareness and Experience”. In Appalachia”, Nneka Nwosisi.

Recent Quillen School of Medicine graduate Dr. Rebecca Delgado received the NRHA/John Snow Inc. Student Leadership Award.

NORC Senior Scientist Dr. Craig Mueller, also a member of the ETSU/NORC RHERC, received the NRHA Rural Health Researcher of the Year Award.

Also in attendance were Rural Health Conference Student Representative Allen Archer and Student Constituency Vice President Alex Crockett and public health graduate student Nicole Galler. Galler and Justin Kearley, CRHR graduate assistant and student representative at the Rural Health Conference.

Other ETSU personnel in attendance were Rural and Community Programs (RCP) Administrator Skylar Moore; RCP Underserved Medical Coordinator Morgan Murray; and RCP Executive Assistant Valerie Suiter. Dr. Amanda Stoltz and Dr. Ivy A. Click, associate dean for student affairs and associate dean of programs at Quillen School of Medicine, respectively, participated in the Rural Medical Education Conference, which was held the day before the entire Rural Health Conference.

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