SSMH Dental Named Outstanding Rural Health Program

SSMH Dental Named Outstanding Rural Health Program

Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital (SSMH) Dental Department has been named the “2014 Outstanding Rural Health Program” by the Alaska Rural Health Conference (ARHC).

“The Rural Health Awards are a tradition during the ARHC, providing the opportunity to recognize outstanding members of our communities as well as organizations and programs that have made a significant impact in the delivery of healthcare,” remarked Katy Branch from the ARHC. The award will be presented today, April 22, at this year’s ARHC reception which will take place at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel.

“This recognition helps demonstrate our commitment to the highest level of care for our community. We hope that this honor will instill a sense of pride in our community as we continually strive to promote oral health and reduce the burden of oral disease among the Inupiat people of the North Slope,” says Dr. Kimlea Medlin, SSMH Dental Director.

The ARHC hands out five rural health awards biennially, including the Phil Nice Award for Outstanding Achievement; Rural Health Quality Award; Outstanding Rural Health Organization; Outstanding Rural Health Program; and Outstanding Community Contribution.

The “Outstanding Rural Health Program” award recognizes a community, regional or statewide program involving one or more health professionals or entities that promotes or facilitates the development of rural health delivery systems. Factors considered include coordination of services, networking and collaboration, innovation in development and implementation, and lasting impact of program on populations served.

All award determinations are based on the merits of nominees, relevance to established criteria in their respective category and demonstrated benefit to rural areas served. Winners are determined by the Executive Committee of the ARHC Steering Committee, a committee composed of health care professionals representing some of Alaska’s largest health care organizations.

“This award is well-deserved by our staff – the SSMH Dental Program has created a culture of excellence, and has set the bar for community outreach and regional collaboration,” says Jeff Prater, SSMH Hospital Administrator.

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