Rodney Nelson won the 2016 Rural Hospital Leadership Award for bringing an obsolete facility into the 21st century, obtaining logistical support and co-creating a new hospital with Native Americans, the American Hospital Association (AHA) announced recently.
The AHA honored
Nelson at its 30th annual Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in
Phoenix in front of a crowd gathered from more than 250 rural facilities
and health care systems nationwide.
Nelson, who became
president and CEO of the struggling St. Ignace, Michigan-based Mackinac
Straits Health System in 1999, came up with innovative ways to
simultaneously save the local rural hospital and fulfill the needs of
Nelson’s story was unusual in that local
Chippewas, who were as dissatisfied with existing health facilities as
any residents, stepped up to donate a 16-acre land parcel to
build a new hospital. In doing so, the Sault Ste. Marie tribe made a
joint agreement with stakeholders to include a tribal health clinic
within the facility, the AHA said.
With a starter loan from the
federal government, plus private donations from the surrounding
community, a two-story, 82,000-square-foot hospital valued at $1.2
million opened its doors in 2010, with state-of-the-art labs, imaging
and care facilities.
“It took relationships with legislators in
Washington, D.C., and in Lansing, Michigan, and the tribe and community
and business leaders to bring this together,” Nelson said. “We try to
set an example here. It’s a passion to do the right thing.”
One man unites many hands to save rural health
Organizations in this Story
Want to get notified whenever we write about American Hospital Association ?
Next time we write about American Hospital Association, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.Sign-up for Alerts