UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health Receives 2016 MediStar Award

Fran Feltner, director of the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health, recently received the A. O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education on behalf of the center during the 2016 MediStar Awards presented Oct. 25 in Louisville.

Since 2007, IGE Media, publisher of Medical News, has recognized excellence in the business of health care at the exclusive MediStar Awards, which honors seven health care professionals for their achievements in advocacy, innovation, education, leadership, aging care, as well as announces the physician and nurse of the year.

The A. O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education is presented to an organization that takes creative approaches to developing and implementing programs, which enhance the level of knowledge, education and career opportunity in healthcare.

The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) was established by state legislation in 1990 to address health disparities in rural Kentucky, including a chronic shortage of health professionals and residents’ poor health status. For more than two decades, the Center has partnered with communities, providers, students and individuals to provide health professions education, health policy research, health care service and community engagement toward reaching this mission.

To date, more than 800 students have graduated with health professions degrees offered at the Center, including:
- East Kentucky Family Medicine Residency
- Master of Social Work
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Bachelor of Health Sciences with a Major in Medical Laboratory Science
- Bachelor of Arts in Social Work

The Center’s academic offerings are focused on curbing health professions shortages within rural Kentucky and have had a profound and positive impact on the region’s health care community with approximately 80 percent of the graduates working in rural communities.

Other 2016 award winners were: Physician of the Year Award – Dr. LaTonia Sweet, Bluegrass.org; Hospice of the Bluegrass Aging Care Award – Dr. Bill Bryant, Owensboro Health;
Nurse of the Year Award - Sandy Mathis, Hospice of the Bluegrass; Hall Render Leadership in Healthcare Award - Susan Starling, Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital; The Kentucky Life Sciences Council Healthcare Innovation Award - Karen Lower, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky; and Seven Counties Services Healthcare Advocacy Award - Mark Bolton, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.

Media Contact: Kristi Lopez, kristi.lopez@uky.edu