LORHN Newsletter
June 2017
In This Issue                                                                               
  • 2017 Rural Health Symposium
  • 2017 Rural Health Champion Awards
  • Family Physicians and Telehealth Services
  • Spotlight on the Community: Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Florida
  • Rural Veterans 
  • Improving Dam Safety at Lake Okeechobee
  • Florida Health Conferences
  • Scholarship Opportunity for Western Glades County and Western Hendry County Students
  • Touchscreen Displays at LaBelle High School in Glades County
  • Community Meetings
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Health Spotlight, Stay Connected, Knowledge is Power
  • Webinars
  • LORHN Board of Directors

2017 Rural Health Symposium
"Visioning Rural Health Without Disparities"

Lake Okeechobee Rural Health Network, Inc. (LORHN) held their first Rural Health Symposium on Friday, March 31, 2017 at the Indian River State College Dixon-Hendry Campus, Okeechobee, Florida. This was the first large event of its kind for LORHN and proved to be a huge success with over 90 guests in attendance. LORHN would like to extend a sincere thank you to all those involved with making the 2017 Symposium a great success, including the following individuals:

Renay Rouse
Public Information Officer, FL DOH Martin County

Karen Minyard, PhD
Executive Director, Georgia Policy Health Center and PROF, Public Management and Policy Education,  Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, GSU

Stephen Freedman, PhD, FAAP, NASI
ADJ PROF of Health Policy and Pediatrics, Dept of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, USF

Kendra Siler, PhD
President Community Health IT, NASA Kennedy Space Center
President & CEO, Int'l ISAO Network            

Rep. Cary Pigman, MD
Representative, Dist 55 Florida House of Representatives
Physician, Emergency Medicine, Florida Hospital Heartland Division

Bill Auxier, PhD
President, Dynamic Leadership Academy, LLC
Vice President of Bus Dev, Oncology Services Int'l
ADJ ASST PROF, UMUC                        

Daphnie Francois
Diabetes Program Analyst, FL DOH

Desiree Jonas, MPH
Heart Disease Program Manager, FL DOH
Walter Niles, MA
Administrator, Closing the Gap, Office of Minority Heath and Healthy Equity, FL DOH

Melissa Jordan, MS, CPH
Interim Director, Public Health Research, Division of Community Health Promotion, FL DOH
Diane Calmus, JD
Government Affairs and Policy Manager, National Rural Health Association

Robert Rihn, LCSW
CEO of Tri County Human Services
Spotlight on the Community:
Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Florida
"The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) of Southwest Florida is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children and their families throughout Southwest Florida.
Our core programs include the Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, Grants to support children’s programs and Scholarships to deserving high school seniors."

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida
has four programs designed to help children in southwest Florida, two of which assist children in Glades and Hendry Counties. Scholarships are available for $1,000 for 13 deserving high school seniors in rural communities including Glades and Hendry counties. Also, matching grant opportunities (up to $10,000) exist to support various programs and organizations serving children in Glades and Hendry counties. Call Leanna Gonzalez at 239-437-0202 for more grant information.

Organizations interested in having a guest speaker from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida can make a request by filling out this online form


Florida Health Conferences

2017 36th Annual FACHC Conference
Jul 16 - 19, 2017
St. Petersburg, FL
Type: Conference/Meeting
Sponsoring organization: Florida Association of Community Health Centers
More Information

2017 Annual Florida Conference on Aging
Aug 28 - 30, 2017
Orlando, FL
Type: Conference/Meeting
Sponsoring organization: Florida Council on Aging
More Information

Community Meetings
Martin County InterAgency Coalition
2nd Wednesday of each month
8:30 am - 10:00 am

Children’s Services Council
101 SE Central Parkway,
Stuart, FL 34994 
Green building to the left of the Unity Church entrance. 

Indiantown InterAgency Coalition
2nd Thursday of each month
8:30 am

Seminole Inn, Indiantown, FL

Glades P.A.T.C.H.
3rd Tuesday of each month
9:00 am
Glades Initiative, Belle Glade

Funding Opportunities

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of SW Florida
RMHC of Southwest Florida utilizes matching funds to financially assist qualified children’s charities in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties. Call Leanna Gonzalez at 239-437-0202 for more information.  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration grant and award announcements.

Healthy Food Access Portal
Searchable database of funds, grants for healthy food access projects.

Posts funding opportunities by type, topic, and state.

Grants to improve and expand health care services for underserved people.

All Federal Grants Search
Government grants by key word, funding opportunity number, category, and agency.

Stay Connected


Follow us on Twitter at:



Educational Webinars Through the National Rural Health Association:

6 Critical Components to Maximizing Your Supply Chain Savings
Date: Tuesday, June 6
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT
Cost: Free
Target Audience: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Supply Chain.

From Turnover to Engagement for Healthcare Executives: What Makes Sense and What Returns Value
Date: Wednesday, June 7
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT
Cost: Free
Target Audience: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Nursing, Human Resources or staff tasked with hiring/growing/retaining staff.

Aquatic Therapy Applications for Critical Access Hospitals
Date: Wednesday, June 21
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT
Cost: Free
Target Audience: Directors of Rehabilitation, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Hospital Administrators, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Revenue Cycle Managers.

Operationalizing Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC)
Date: Thursday, June 22
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT
Cost: Free
Target Audience: Chief Financial Officer, Finance Directors, Administrators, Revenue Cycle Directors, Reimbursement Directors, Hospital Practice Managers, Business Office Managers, Billers, Coders.

Cyber Insurance: Tangible Risks and Virtual Coverage
Date: Tuesday, June 27
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM CDT
Cost: Free
Target Audience: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Finance Directors, Administrators, Risk Manager, Medical Group Manager.

2017 Rural Health Champion Awards

A key event at this years Rural Health Symposium was the recognition of several local health professionals who go above and beyond in their everyday work. LORHN recognzied four inividuals in the health field as "Rural Health Champions".
           Award Recipients

Daniel B. Kairys, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Staff Elect and Chief of Surgery at Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade, Florida. 

Marybeth Pena, RN, BSN, CDE
Nurse program specialist with the Martin County Department of Health. 

Milagros Ruiz, RDH
Dental Hygienist with the Martin County Department of Health, School based oral health program.

Margaret Sowell, RN
Hospice Case Manager with Hospice of Okeechobee, working throughout Okeechobee County. 

Family Physicians and Telehealth Services

According to a 2016 study, family physicians use of telehealth services is limited, as described on the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine website. Family physicians have a considerable interest in, but limited use of, telehealth services. It is suggested that some of the barriers could be addressed by including telehealth training in medical residency programs, increasing awareness of governmental and private-pay reimbursement for telehealth services, and developing new ways to reimburse telehealth services. According to the study, family physicians in rural communities were more likely to use telehealth services than physicians in urban settings. 

Rural Veterans

     According to the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs:  "A quarter of all Veterans in the United States, 5.2 million, returned from active military careers to reside in rural communities."  Rural Veterans Demographics
     "The Office of Rural Health (ORH) is working to see that America’s Veterans thrive in rural communities by establishing and expanding enterprise-wide initiatives, as well as cultivating partnerships at the federal, state and local level."  Office of Rural Health Programs.

Improving Dam Safety at Lake Okeechobee

To reduce the risk of dike failure, the Army Corps of Engineers continues efforts to rehabilitate the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The $800 million dollar construction could be completed by 2025. 

Scholarship Opportunity for Western Hendry County and Western Glades County Students

Isabella Curtis
Scholarship Fund

Students who wish to attend Florida SouthWestern State College, and who reside in western Hendry County or western Glades County may be eligible to apply to for the Isabella Curtis Scholarship fund. Click here for more information. 
Touchscreen Displays Now Being Used at LaBelle High School in Glades County. 

Suncoast Credit Union has helped fund new touchscreen displays in classrooms at LaBelle High School in Glades County. The screens provide high quality images to allow video clips, websites, and other information to be brighter and more engaging. 

Health Spotlight

Enroll America
Get Covered America

Resources and information
about  health insurance options.

Digital Interest Card

Free or low-cost health insurance
for children who qualify
up to age 19

click to apply!

Knowledge is Power

Education & Training Center

Web-based education 


StellarEd Solutions

Suwannee River AHEC
Online professional education.
CE/CME credits available

click to view

Board Of Directors


Jacqueline Lobban-Marsan, MPA

Vice Chair
Michael Gervasi, MD

R. D. Williams

Ellen Geake

Past Chair
Traci Owens

Sandra Chamblee
Tiffany Collins, MSA
Darcy Davis, CPA, MSM
Gregory J. Finer
Karlette Peck
Joseph Pepe, Ed.D
Diane L. Walker

Executive Director
Andrea Stephenson-Royster, MBA, MHS