2016 Awards

Al Grant Award - Dennis Wolford

Mr. Wolford has always supported ongoing professional education for the hospital staff. Even in financially lean times money was made available to keep the staff current with the standards of practice and certifications for their respective fields. Mr. Wolford felt it was important that he set the example concerning professional improvement. In August of 1988 he completed the requirements to obtain his board certification as a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Mr. Wolford also became a member of the Tennessee Hospital Association. He has lent his support to the various programs of THA and has served as a member of the THA Council on Clinical and Professional Practices. In conjunction with his work with THA, Mr. Wolford has met with various political groups and individuals to voice the concerns and/or support of particular piece of legislation that could impact small hospitals statewide. As a result of Mr. Wolford's political involvement, several of our elected officials have visited MCGH. Mr. Wolford succeeded in putting a face on small rural hospitals for those who cast the votes that can help or hurt at the local level.

Collaboration Award - TN's CSH Initiative, TN Department of Education

Coordinated School Health (CSH) is a collaborative approach to learning and health. Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is a more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and also their families and the community. To have the most positive impact on the health outcomes of young people, government agencies, community organizations, schools, and other community members must work together through a collaborative and comprehensive approach.

The CSH model serves as a strategy for shaping the future health, education and social well-being of students and ultimately the communities in which they live (Stolz, Coburn & Knickelbein, 2009). A coordinated program promotes students’ optimal learning ability. Its success depends on the effective integration of these components and the subsequent academic success of children.

Rural Health Practitioner of the Year - Dr. Charles Alderson

This year’s recipient is no stranger to rural healthcare. He has served over 40 years in his beloved county. Many who talk about the hospital say he is the hospital. Here are some of the kind words they have to sasy about him. He is a special person to many in the county. This one thankful person, who had been in a terrible accident, was told the next morning that God and Dr. Alderson saved his life the night before. Later when I returned to the hospital to thank him, I found him making his rounds and he told me “that I had tried to sprout wings three times on us that night, I better not hear of you being in another stupid situation again or I’ll jerk you out myself (he takes his work seriously).” Another supporter states that her relationship with Dr. Alderson spans over 40 years. “He was first her family physician and surgeon when he arrived in Decatur County in 1970. Later after graduating nursing school, I returned to Decatur County and worked beside Dr. Alderson for 20 years. But this says it best of this rural healthcare doctor, “No doubt he could have practiced anywhere, but he chose instead to move to rural West Tennessee and serve Decatur and adjoining counties. For more than 40 years he has worked tirelessly to deliver quality healthcare to our area. The impact of his contribution is immeasurable.

Award of Merit - Cheryl Wooten

The person who submitted this individual for the Award of Merit made these comments “She will never buy a yacht but she will continue to pay it forward and make a difference in the lives of those that work to improve themselves and contribute to the medical field. As a teacher of HOSA, you would expect that she works to insure her students became doctors, nurses, or others who work tirelessly in the field of medicine. But additionally, I know she does so much more than is expected in her job. And she has worked to raise well over $150,000 to help rural students experience and to learn, which keeps them involved and interested in the field of medicine.

Just some of the accomplishments of this recipient: In the community, outside of her responsibilities as the Health Science/HOSA instructor, she has taught the American Heart Association approved CPR and other first aid classes to former students and others who need to certification. She provides refresher information and tutoring for students enrolled in health-related programs in college and technology centers. She worked to put together a program to teach all the bus drivers and about 40 of the teachers and coaches how to respond and then to properly apply CPR to any emergency situation. Our recipient has been the sponsor of an Eating Disorders program, was available during the Dover Halloween Festival for emergencies, above and beyond her job as HOSA instructor she has been the advisor to over 11 state officers, advisor to a national officer, served as TN HOSA Management team and 3 years on the National HOSA Board of Directors.

Legislator of the Year - Matthew Hill

State Representative Matthew Hill of Jonesborough has been a strong advocate of improved healthcare in Tennessee during his tenure at the Tennessee General Assembly. For many years Representative Hill has advocated for the expansion of scope of services for dental hygienists in Tennessee. This expansion would lead to more dental services being offered in Tennessee, particularly in rural Tennessee where there is a shortage of dentists. This past year, Representative Hill sponsored House Bill 976 that authorizes the expansion of Teledentistry in Tennessee. This bill was one of RHAT’s legislative priority bills. This bill was approved by the General Assembly and is now Public Chapter 918. Representative Matthew Hill is from Jonesborough, TN. He was elected to represent the 7th House District in 2004. He is currently a member of the House Health Committee and the House Finance Ways and Means Committee. Representative Hill is married and lives in Jonesborough. When he is not in Nashville working as a legislator, he works as a broadcaster in his community.Representative Matthews has worked very hard to support funding for the Department of Health and Tenncare. He has a passion for improving his community and the lives of all Tennesseans.

Presidential Awards -Bill Jolley & Walter Fletcher

President Randall Kirby had Sandy Hayes, RHAT ED, to present the 2016 presidential awards to Bill Jolley and Walter Fletcher. These awards go to individuals who have assisted th president and the Association significantly through out the past year. Bill Jolley provided immeasurable support and guidance as the past president and Walter Fletcher, as a long standing board member, offered his knowledge of operations and encouragement to Randall throughout the year.

Outgoing Board Members -Deb Murph Jill Beason

RHAT also recognized its outgoing Board Members Deb Murph and Jill Beason. These ladies have worked tirelessly for many years in support of the rural health of Tennesseans and the Rural Health Association as well.

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