Idaho Rural Health Association honors DHW’s Mary Sheridan as an Idaho Rural Health Hero

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Mary Barinaga, MD, president of the Idaho Rural Health Association board, presents an Idaho  Rural Health Hero Award to Mary Sheridan, bureau chief of Rural Health and Primary Care in the Division of Public Health, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Mary Sheridan was one of eight Idaho healthcare professionals to receive an Idaho Rural Health Hero Award at the Idaho Rural Health Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Awards Reception on Nov. 7.

The awards are given a week before National Rural Health Day in Idaho (November 15th) to recognize rural health educators, community advocates, healthcare providers and program administrators who demonstrate outstanding service and dedication to rural communities.  Nominations described the many contributions of this year’s awardees as advocates, communicators, educators, collaborators and innovators.

Mary has been a key public figure in rural health policy and innovation since joining the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in 1995. She is a member of the Idaho Healthcare Coalition appointed by the Governor and winner of the 2017 National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health Award. She is passionate about understanding rural health issues and seeking resources to help address unmet needs.

As part of the Statewide Healthcare Innovation Plan (SHIP), she has been instrumental in designing and implementing the virtual patient-centered medical home by using telehealth, community health workers and community health EMS. These approaches help address the care gaps that exist in rural communities while helping ease the workforce shortage strain that is ever present in Idaho.

The Idaho Rural Health Association is a nonprofit membership organization that provides leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communication, education and collaboration.  As the recognized voice for rural health issues in Idaho, IRHA offers a forum for health professionals, community members and healthcare organizations to work together to identify and find solutions to rural health problems.

Read the stories of all the 2018 Idaho Rural Health Heroes at idahorha.org.

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