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ICAHN Honors Inaugural Class of Rural Health Fellows
May 10, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, IL - The inaugural class of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) Rural Health Fellowship graduated 14 new Fellows on May 5 during ceremonies held at O’Shea University, Springfield.

Joe Whitson, Medical Arts Practice Manager, at Hopedale Medical Complex (HMC) was among those honored.  Mr. Whitson started his role at HMC in August of 2020.  He oversees office staff in Hopedale, Manito, Delavan, Mackinaw, Tremont and Atlanta.

The eight-month ICAHN Rural Health Fellowship was designed for up-and-coming small, rural, and critical access hospital leaders. The experience covers four main pillars of thought: rural health, leadership, operations, and finance. Fellows participated in online learning, a service project, and a book club with the goal of developing confident leaders equipped with the skills needed to lead in a rural community.

Joe Whitson’s service project centered around a cross department mentorship program, with the collaborative goal of aiding the employees’ abilities to better work together, communicate more effectively, and fully understand the roles of other departments within the hospital. Joe was mentored by Kathy Hull, CEO, Illini Community Hospital, Pittsfield, IL.

“Acquiring the knowledge and expertise needed to successfully take an idea and grow it into a project that will benefit rural healthcare is an important skill that the 2020-2021 ICAHN Fellows have gained,” said Kathy Fauble, ICAHN Professional Education Services Director. “The projects have been ambitious, impressive, and of great merit to their respective hospitals. Between the participants and the mentors, we have a roomful of lifelong learners with very bright futures.”

ICAHN will begin accepting applications for the 2021-2022 Rural Health Fellowship program in late summer.