Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health Receives National Award for Excellence

The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH)—a joint partnership between the federal government, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Penn State—has received the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health State Office of Rural Health Award of Excellence.

The award of excellence acknowledges outstanding contributions in the field of rural health, including broad benefits to rural health, innovative programs and activities that have advanced state offices of rural health.

PORH staff was presented the award at a virtual award ceremony on Sept. 30.

This recognition celebrated the long-term achievements of the seven-member staff at PORH. The staff members are well known for their passion and dedication to small rural hospitals and rural health systems across the commonwealth and throughout the country. They collaborate to develop new ways to implement programs and achieve success. In addition, the staff widely shares their expertise in agricultural health and safety, oral health, economic development, policy and global budgeting across the country with fellow state offices of rural health.

“The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health is one of the premier state offices of rural health in the country,” said Katherine Collison, bureau chief, Health Planning & Resources Management, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.

“It is such an honor for the staff to receive this award,” said Lisa Davis, director of PORH and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration at Penn State. “Our staff is deeply committed to their projects and to rural communities and are so richly deserving this recognition. In 2008, we were presented with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health Award of Merit. I’m so proud to work with a such a talented team that has been so richly recognized.

PORH is one of 50 state offices of rural health in the nation funded under a program administered by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is charged with being a source of coordination, technical assistance and networking; partnership development; and assisting in the recruitment and retention of health care providers.

PORH provides expertise in the areas of rural health, agricultural health and safety, community and economic development, oral health, and other issues impacting the health status of rural residents. PORH is administratively housed in the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State.