Marshall Health Network leaders present at rural health conference

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Photo courtesy of the American Hospital Association

Three Marshall Health Network leaders presented at the 37th Annual American Hospital Association (AHA) Rural Health Care Leadership Conference Feb. 11-14, in Orlando, Florida.

Presenting as part of a panel entitled “Planning and Developing Rural Graduate Medical Education” were Kevin Yingling, RPh, MD, FACP, CEO of Marshall Health Network; Paulette Wehner, MD, Marshall Health cardiologist and professor at the Marshall University Joan C, Edwards School of Medicine (JCESOM), and vice dean for graduate medical education and designated institutional official (DIO) for the JCESOM/Marshall Community Health Consortium; and Jodi Cisco-Goff, MD, FACS, Marshall Health surgeon, associate professor at the JCESOM and associate program director of the Rural Surgery Residency Program for the JCESOM in conjunction with Logan Regional Medical Center in Logan, West Virginia.

Also serving on the panel were David Brash, CEO, Logan Regional Medical Center, and Michael Canady, MD, FACS, CEO, Holzer Health System.

The presentation explored strategies to develop and cultivate relationships among sponsoring institutions, rural hospitals and hospital networks to develop a rural Graduate Medical Education (GME) program. The panelists shared how rural GME programs can lead to better patient care and help address workforce shortage concerns.

The 2024 AHA Rural Health Leadership Conference gathered more than 1,000 rural health leaders committed to advancing rural health and providing quality care for patients and communities.

“Establishing accredited rural residency training programs has a positive impact on the health system, the community, and patient care for years to come,” Dr. Wehner said. “We were honored to be invited to the national stage, not really to celebrate our success, but to share some wisdom from our journey and emphasize the value of collaboration. We also were able to tell those in attendance that yes, residency training can be done well in a rural hospital and is very rewarding. Thank you to the Health Resources and Services Administration for their support and belief in our team.”

In addition to the Rural Surgery Residency Program, the nation’s first separately accredited rural surgery residency program, the Marshall Community Health Consortium, comprised of the JCESOM, Marshall Health, Cabell Huntington Hospital and Valley Health Systems, has two other programs in development. The rural residency programs in internal medicine, in conjunction with Holzer Health System in Gallipolis, Ohio, and psychiatry, in conjunction with Rivers Health in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, are on track to welcome their first residents in July 2026.

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