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NRHA Announces 2016 Leadership Elections Results

Press Release


Leadership for the National Rural Health Association is secure for 2016 and beyond, thanks to recent elections for its Board of Trustees and Rural Health Congress. 

NRHA’s elected leaders help ensure the organization remains true to its mission of improving health care for 62 million rural Americans. 

NRHA members chose David Schmitz, MD, as president-elect. Schmitz, Family Medicine Residency of Idaho chief rural officer and director for rural training tracks, will assume the duties of NRHA president in 2017. He continues to practice family medicine, including obstetrics, as a medical educator at several Idaho locations. 

“Being entrusted to serve the National Rural Health Association as a future president is a highlight of my career,” Schmitz says. “NRHA allows our voice to be louder and smarter. I am confident we can work together to benefit our members, our organization and most of all we can strive together for better rural health.”

Members selected Pat Schou to serve as NRHA’s board secretary in 2016 and 2017. Schou is executive director of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network. 

Elected in 2014, Lisa Kilawee will serve as president in 2016.  

The following NRHA members were elected by their peers to serve in leadership roles:

Board of Trustees Officers

  • President-elect: David Schmitz, MD, Boise, Idaho
  • Secretary:Pat Schou, Princeton, Ill.  

Constituency Group Chairs

  • Hospitals and Health Systems: Susan Starling, Irvine, Ky. 
  • Public Health: Alana Knudson, Bethesda, Md. 
  • Research and Education: John Gale, Portland, Maine 
  • Statewide Health Resources: Patricia Crawford, Lewisburg, W.Va.
  • Students: Julie Middleton, Seattle, Wash.    

Rural Health Congress Representatives Hospitals & Health Systems:

  • Steve Barnett, Sandusky, Mich.
  • Kiley Floyd, Osborne, Kan.
  • Jan Kemmerer, Beloit, Kan.
  • Jeremy Levin, Sauk City, Wis.
  • Jim Peterson, Arroyo Seco, N.M.
  • Pat Schou, Princeton, Ill.
  • Allen Van Driel, Smith Center, Kan.
  • Roger Wells, Saint Paul, Neb.
  • Holly Wolff, Waterloo, Iowa

Research & Education

  • David Gross, Morehead, K.Y.

Rural Health Clinic

  • John Everett, Snyder, Texas

Statewide Health Resources

  • Sally Buck, Duluth, Minn.
  • Brad Gibbens, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Sandra Pope, Charleston, W.Va.

NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and wellbeing of rural Americans and providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. NRHA’s membership is made up of more than 21,000 diverse individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.


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