Call for Nominations 

Nominations are now open! Do you know an individual or organization who has exhibited above-and-beyond exemplary-initiative in the cause of rural health in Tennessee? Help us recognize them! 

As an association, whose mission is to provide a voice for rural healthcare, the Rural Health Association Tennessee is honored to offer this opportunity. We take great pride in recognizing those who continue to promote quality healthcare for those living in rural Tennessee.

Nominate someone!

Please take the time to nominate a friend, colleague, client, employee, business, event, or employer who deserves to be recognized! Consider nominating individuals or organizations whose accomplishments have yet to be publicly acknowledged.

Nomination Deadline: Midnight September 30th

Nomination Form

A Nomination Form should be completed for each submission and a letter describing the nominee’s contributions to rural health care and the significance of nominee’s work to rural health. A one-page biographical sketch should be included. Other pertinent information may be included, such as news articles, letters of support, or other brief documentation supportive of this nomination. 

Submit completed form and documentation (no later than Midnight September 30th) by mail or email to:

RHA of TN Awards Committee:

PO Box 656, Decaturville, TN 38329 


Questions? Please contact the RHA of TN office at 615-907-9707 or by email at

An independent Selection Committee will review nominations and determine the recipient(s) for each award by comparing your submission to the selection factors listed. All finalists will be invited to attend the Awards Luncheon that will be held November 15, 2018 at the Music Road Hotel & Resort in Pigeon Forge, TN, during the Annual Rural Health Conference. Any recipient(s) that are unable to attend will be presented their award at a later time.

The Awards

There are 8 Rural Health Awards that can be presented each year as a result of a nomination from the public. Each award has its own criteria, which can be found below.

Rural Health Professional of the Year

This award is bestowed upon an individual who has made an outstanding contribution of major significance to rural health and is a member of the Association. Consideration shall be given to all areas of rural health. Nomination information should indicate that the individual’s efforts have surpassed normal expectations and that efforts are exemplary of the dedication to the advancement of the health of the public.

Eloise Q. Hatmaker Distinguished Service

This award, renamed in honor of Eloise Q. Hatmaker, recognizes an individual who has contributed outstanding service to the Association and rural health over a period of years. Eloise Q. Hatmaker was instrumental in the establishment of the State Office of Rural Health. As its first director, Ms. Hatmaker worked toward alleviating health workforce shortages in rural areas and also helped establish the Rural Health Association of Tennessee.

Special Exemplary Project

This award recognizes an organization or group that has successfully developed a unique program or project that advances rural health.

Award of Merit

This award recognizes any individual, group of individuals, or agency, which made an outstanding contribution of major significance to the rural health movement. Nominees need not be association members. Factors taken into consideration include: broad benefits to health, innovative programs, unusual contributions or activities that provide outstanding benefit to the public’s health and are consistent with the goals and objectives of the Association. The nominating agency should not consider longevity, discipline, popularity, and service generally expected in one’s job. There will be no special consideration given to nominees who are anticipating retirement or have just retired.

Rural Health Practitioner of the Year

This award is given to a direct service provider honored for leadership in bringing health services to citizens of rural Tennessee. Factors considered: must be a provider (physician or mid-level provider); must provide outstanding care; must be involved in the community; and must be providing a lasting contribution to the rural health care system in Tennessee.

Al Grant Award

Al Grant has been an instrumental figure in the birth and growth of State Rural Health Associations across the nation. There are 36 state associations in total. He is truly a proponent of rural life and is the ideal embodiment of the citizen legislator, combining his public health knowledge with political savvy and persistence to better the State of Tennessee and its citizens. This award is bestowed upon an individual who has exhibited above-and-beyond exemplary-initiative in forwarding the cause of rural health in Tennessee over the person’s career. This recipient should display the ability to bring together multi-faceted individuals to the common good of the health of all rural citizens of Tennessee.

Jerry McEwen Hero Award

This award is given in memory and honor of Jerry McEwen, an individual who lost his life while attempting to prevent a mugging in a grocery store parking lot in Nashville, Tennessee in 2007. In 2004, Mr. McEwen volunteered to host and maintain the RHAT website gratis as a way of serving his community. Mr. McEwen, also a musician, having played in bands in the ‘60’s and an avid surfboarder was noted in his neighborhood as always ready to lend a hand whether it was for fixing computer glitches or car repair. This award will be given at the discretion of the awards committee to an individual in Rural Tennessee who has exhibited a similar heroic deed, going above and beyond. It may not be awarded yearly and the hero does not have to be deceased because of the deed.

Collaboration Award

This award recognizes an outstanding individual, organization, company, governmental unit or other entity that has worked jointly with others to develop a process to achieve a common goal toward the betterment of rural health. This awardee demonstrates a team spirit that has motivated others to work with a positive synergy to cross disciplines or regions. This positive attitude and spirit of cooperation has transcended boundaries to ensure progress toward meeting the needs of our rural health communities.

© 2020 Rural Health Association of Tennessee. All Rights Reserved

Rural Health Association of Tennessee is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.P.O. Box 656, 21 N. White Oak Street, Decaturville, TN 38329

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