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Michigan Center for Rural Health Staff

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John Barnas

Executive Director

I provide resources and structure to MCRH staff so they can do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

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Crystal Barter

Director of Programs & Services

I provide guidance and oversight to MCRH programming, including identifying strategic ways to expand resources into rural MI. I strive to lead impactful programming, and support the MCRH staff in our overall goal of improving the health of rural Michiganders.

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Renee Calkins

Rural Education Manager

I coordinate professional development webinars for various health care providers in rural Michigan via the Grand Rounds Program and the Project ECHO program. I also serve as a main point of contact for MCRH Conferences, including the MI CAH Conference, The MI Rural Health Conference, and the MI Rural Opioid Summit bringing relevant and up-to-date content to Rural MI stakeholders. In addition, I work closely with MDHHS to facilitate the CDC COVID Health Disparities Project in 23 Rural Local Public Health Departments, with a focus on building capacity by increasing community health workers in rural MI.

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Lauren Eshelby

Administrative Assistant

I support MCRH staff with technical assistance, educational resources, account management & conference planning.


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Joyce Fetrow

NMORC Project Director

I and the Northern MI Opioid Response Consortium (NMORC) team collaborate with a wide variety of rural providers to reduce substance use disorders. We aim to improve the quality of life in northern Michigan for community members, friends, families, and co-workers.

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Patrick Fox

EMS Programs Manager

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Gennie Groover

NMORC Project Associate

I am a resource for the Northern MI Opioid Response Consortium (NMORC) membership. I focus on providing mental health first aid education, advocacy and other education/programming related to substance use disorder in our 25-county region, with a goal to reduce substance use disorders in Northern Michigan.

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Aleah Huse

Rural Health Projects Assistant

I support various grant programing through resource development, technical assistance, and project planning.

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Jeanne Marriott

NMORC Project Associate

I am a resource for Substance and Opioid Use Disorder services in northern Lower Michigan with the goal to find synergy, promote symmetry and share best practices in prevention, treatment, recovery support services and workforce efforts to create a stronger organizational safety net and promote healthier lifestyles in the Tip of the Mitt.

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Pierse Meyers

Administrative Assistant

I support MCRH staff with technical assistance, educational resources, account management & conference planning.

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Laura Mispelon

Social Drivers of Health Manager

I strive to promote frameworks and programs that address the social drivers of health, to improve the health and well-being of rural residents. I value an upstream approach to health and wellness, supporting population health initiatives, guiding collaboration efforts, and advancing health equity for rural communities.

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Jeff Nagy

Quality Improvement Advisor

I provide our rural hospitals with resources and technical assistance, in operations, finance, and quality improvement projects.

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Jill Oesterle

Director of Provider Solutions

I provide technical assistance with critical aspects of daily operations and management of a certified Rural Health Clinics and lead several quality improvement programs aimed at improving outcomes for patients, and their families.

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Paige Recker

Access to Rural Care Manager

I provide assistance in the areas of workforce development, telehealth, and behavioral health. I guide college students in the areas of federal and state loan repayment programs. I strive to bring awareness about working in rural to students and health professionals. I build connections with organizations to expand upon telehealth and behavioral health resources for rural Michigan residents.

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Amanda Saint Martin

Hospital Programs Manager

I provide the facilitation of quality improvement initiatives within MI Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs). Through collaboration with the MI CAH Quality Network, I am dedicated to driving positive change by identifying areas for enhancement, sharing best practices, and implementing strategies that elevate the standard of care. I serve as a resource for the emerging Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) model. As a liaison for this provider type, I am committed to supporting REHs in navigating regulatory requirements. My role also extends to the integration of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) in three Independent Critical Access Hospitals, enabling these hospitals to harness the benefits of RPM, leading to improved patient outcomes, and enhanced medical services.


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Douglas Siwek

Communication and Special Programs Manager

I collaborate with my teammates to tell the story of rural health in Michigan through various channels. I craft the words that uplift and elevate the efforts of MCRH to continue to coordinate, support, and advocate for our rural health stakeholders and communities.

Jim  Yates

Jim Yates

IREACH Project Director

I provide benefit and resource information to Veterans, their families, and their caregivers in an effort to connect them with the benefits they’ve earned, and deserve, which can improve their quality of life. I also provide Veteran resource information to health care providers so they can help make connections, and better serve their Veteran patients.