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Michigan Rural Health Conference


The Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH) has hosted the Michigan Rural Health Conference since 1997. The conference is of interest to a broad range of rural stakeholder and aims to provide engaging education on relevant topics for rural health providers. The conference is targeted towards those working in rural health, including rural health clinics and hospital settings. In addition, stakeholders from local public health, community mental health, substance use disorder treatment centers, and organizations working to positively impact social drivers of health are targeted.

Continuing education certificates are provided for social work, and community health workers. 

The objectives of this conference include:

1. Provide an opportunity for rural health stakeholders to share and learn from each other.

2. Provide a networking and collaboration opportunity for rural health stakeholders.

3. Provide current and relevant information to rural health stakeholders


 MCRH Logo in front of a lavender field



Hotel Block Information

Visit the Soaring Eagle website to make your hotel reservation until April 7th. 

Room Block Code: MCRH042523

Please use the drop down menu and select "GROUP" code

Guestroom Rates (subject to availability)

  • First Class Room: $125

Rates are applicable from Tuesday April 25th, through Friday April 28th.

Check-In: after 4:00pm

Check-out: 11:00am

Soaring Eagle

photos of past winners of the rural health professional of the year award and text describing the award

2023 Rural Health Professional of the Year

This award is presented to an individual deserving of recognition for their efforts in rural health in Michigan in honor of Loren O. Gettel.

Though many are worthy, MCRH will announce the winner at our Michigan Rural Health Conference, on April 27th, 2023 at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort. 

The deadline to nominate is April 6, 2023, at 11:45 pm


Nomination Form

Rural Health Professionals of Years Past

In Honor of Loren O. Gettel

Previous Award Winners:

2022 Emily Bergquist, MDHHS Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness & Sam Watson, Michigan Health & Hospital Association & Julie Novak, Michigan State Medical Society & Philip Bergquist, Michigan Primary Care Association & Keisha Sexton, Michigan Rural Health Clinic Network & Kris Nicholoff, Michigan Osteopathic Association & Norm Hess, Michigan Association of Local Public Health

2021- No Award

2020 Duke Anderson, President, CEO, Hillsdale Community Health Center

2019 Mark Hamed, MD, MBA, MPH, Medical Director of McKenzie Health System’s ED/Hospitalist program, Medical Director for Public Health in Sanilac, Tuscola, Huron and Lapeer counties

2018 Andrea Wendling, M.D., Director of Rural Community Health, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University

2017 John Barnas, Executive Director, Michigan Center for Rural Health

2016 Brian Brasser, President, Spectrum Health United and Kelsey Hospitals.

2015 Steve Barnett, President & CEO, McKenzie Health System

2014 Donna Kubic, Managing Director, Beaver Island Rural Health Clinic

2013 Colleen Johnson, Practice Administrator, Lakeshore Medical Centers

Full List of Winners