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University Park, Pa. – Community volunteer Ann Mumper received the 2016 Rural Health Hero of the Year Award, which was presented by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) at a Nov. 14 ceremony at Punxsutawney Area Hospital in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  The award was presented during Rural Health Week in Pennsylvania, Nov. 14-18, by Lisa Davis, director of PORH and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State.  The week encompasses Nov. 17, which is National Rural Health Day, established in 2011 by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.

The Rural Health Hero of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding leader in the area of rural health who demonstrates a personal and professional commitment to the rural health needs of a community.

The nomination, submitted by Ben Hughes, vice president of professional and corporate services at Punxsutawney Area Hospital, recognized Mumper for her dedication to the Flight Packs for Patients Project.  The Flight Packs for Patients Project provides handmade cloth bags filled with snacks, cash, crossword puzzles, maps and directions, tissues, pens and paper, and additional supplies for patients and families who are life-flighted from rural Punxsutawney Area Hospital to tertiary care hospitals in Pittsburgh.  This care package provides essential items that might be needed quickly when unexpectedly traveling to a new area during a very stressful time.

Mumper spearheaded this project with input and assistance from families and clinicians while utilizing Punxsutawney Presbyterian Church resources for the benefit of the Punxsutawney Area Hospital community.

PORH was established in 1991 to enhance the health status of rural Pennsylvanians and strengthen the delivery and quality of care in the communities in which they live.  Each year, the organization presents awards to recognize rural health programs and individuals who have made substantial contributions to rural health in Pennsylvania.  To learn more about the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, visit porh.psu.edu.

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Editors:  For additional information, please contact Terri Klinefelter, Outreach Coordinator, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, at 814-863-8214 or tjc136@psu.edu.