Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences honored three rural hospitals and two rural Oklahoma doctors on Thursday during a National Rural Health Day celebration hosted by the OSU Center for Rural Health.
William Paiva, Ph.D., executive director of OSU Center for Health Systems Innovation, presented the Patterson Foundation Outstanding Rural Physician Partner Award to Tracy Sanford, D.O., and Tim Sanford, D.O. Both physicians are graduates of OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and practice primary care medicine in Okmulgee. Second-year OSU medical student Mitchell Sanford accepted the award on behalf of his parents.
Corie Kaiser, director of the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health, announced three rural Oklahoma hospitals will receive certificates honoring them for reporting outpatient measures to the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project. The voluntary project is aimed at improving quality of care at small, rural Critical Access Hospitals.
The three institutions that were honored include St. John Sapulpa Hospital, AllianceHealth in Madill and Arbuckle Memorial Hospital in Sulphur.
Chad Landgraf, geographic information systems specialist at the OSU Center for Rural Health, presented a proclamation from Gov. Mary Fallin designating Tuesday as Rural Health Day in Oklahoma.
“Health outcomes in rural areas are particularly challenging due to a lack of access to primary health care and a shortage of physicians,” Landgraf said. “Our mission is to assist with training and recruiting physicians so we can improve the lives of people who live in rural Oklahoma.”
National Rural Health Day aligns with the OSU Center for Rural Health’s efforts to recruit, educate and train physicians who will practice in rural communities, advocate for rural health programs and conduct research to ensure rural Oklahoma has access to quality, affordable health care.
The annual event is planned to increase awareness of the millions of Americans who live in small towns and rural areas with limited access to medical care. It is sponsored by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.