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27th annual michigan rural health conference

27th Annual Michigan Rural Health Conference

The Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) has hosted the Michigan Rural Health Conference since 1997. The conference is of interest to a broad range of rural stakeholders and aims to provide engaging education on relevant topics for rural health providers. The conference is targeted towards those working in rural health, including rural health clinics and hospital settings. In addition, the conference also targets individuals and organizations from local public health, community mental health, substance use disorder treatment centers, and those working to positively impact social drivers of health.

Continuing education certificates are provided for social work, and community health workers.

The objectives of this conference include:

1. Provide an opportunity for rural health stakeholders to share and learn from each other.

2. Provide a networking and collaboration opportunity for rural health stakeholders.

3. Provide current and relevant information to rural health stakeholders

Hotel Block Information

The MCRH room block is now available through Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort website. Additional information is attached below:

  • Phone: (877) 232-4532
  • Address: 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd. Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
  • Group Code:  MCRH042323
    • Room Block available from Wednesday to Friday, April 24-26.

Exhibitor/Partnership Information

The Michigan Rural Health Conference provides the single most targeted opportunity to reach the Michigan rural health community with your organization’s message, products, services, and educational outreach efforts. We expect a diverse audience to discuss relevant issues, network, and disseminate information.

2023 Rural Health Professional of the Year Winner

MCRH was honored to present the 2023 Rural Health Professional of the Year award to Mariah Hesse, CNO, of
Sparrow Clinton Hospital.

The award has been presented since 1994 to individuals deserving of recognition for their efforts in carrying out exemplary work in promoting health in rural areas, showing excellent leadership in the improvement of healthcare services to the rural areas of Michigan, and making worthy contributions to the improvement of health for the people in
rural Michigan.

Congratulations, Mariah! Your passion and tireless dedication to improving rural health in Michigan are an inspiration!

Rural Health Professionals of Years Past

In Honor of Loren O. Gettel

Previous Award Winners:

2023 Mariah Hesse, CNO of Sparrow Clinton Hospital

2022 Emily Bergquist, MDHHS Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness & Sam Watson, Michigan Health & Hospital Association & Julie Novak, Michigan State Medical Society & Philip Bergquist, Michigan Primary Care Association & Keisha Sexton, Michigan Rural Health Clinic Network & Kris Nicholoff, Michigan Osteopathic Association & Norm Hess, Michigan Association of Local Public Health

2021- No Award

2020 Duke Anderson, President, CEO, Hillsdale Community Health Center

2019 Mark Hamed, MD, MBA, MPH, Medical Director of McKenzie Health System’s ED/Hospitalist program, Medical Director for Public Health in Sanilac, Tuscola, Huron and Lapeer counties

2018 Andrea Wendling, M.D., Director of Rural Community Health, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University

2017 John Barnas, Executive Director, Michigan Center for Rural Health

2016 Brian Brasser, President, Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals.

2015 Steve Barnett, President & CEO, McKenzie Health System

2014 Donna Kubic, Managing Director, Beaver Island Rural Health Clinic

2013 Colleen Johnson, Practice Administrator, Lakeshore Medical Centers


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Apr 24 - 26 2024


All Day

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Mount Pleasant, MI


Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH)
Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH)

Established in 1991, the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) is one of only three non-profit State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) in the country. As Michigan’s SORH, MCRH plays a key role in rural health care by assisting in the creation and implementation of partnerships among organizations, health departments, hospitals, government and academia.