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PMH VP Elected to Lead State Association

PMH VP Elected to Lead State Association

Congratulations are in order for Portia Brown, vice president of Page Memorial Hospital, who is the newly-installed president of the Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA). The non-profit association advocates for improved health care on behalf of the 2.5 million Virginians living in rural areas throughout the Commonwealth.

Chief among the VRHA’s mission is to work with elected officials on local, state and national levels to help them better understand the unique challenges rural healthcare providers face and affect policies that result in a better healthcare system, including increased access to services. The VRHA also serves to educate rural healthcare providers on crucial developments in the industry and acquaint providers with tools and other resources to help them better serve their communities.

During her two-year term Portia has plans to continue developing the Rural Health Voice, a monthly podcast that was introduced last year. She hopes to focus attention on topics that are important to rural health providers in the state, including advances in telehealth as well as the opioid crisis and substance abuse disorders.

In addition to being a member of the VRHA, Portia was also one of just 17 healthcare executives in the country selected as a 2018 Fellow of the National Rural Health Association. During this one-year term, Portia worked closely with her colleagues to examine and write a policy brief on the Medicaid work requirement. She will travel to the nation’s capital next month where she will present the findings at the Rural Health Policy Institute.

Having served as the association’s secretary last year, Portia says she is honored to have been elected as the VRHA’s newest president. “We have been fortunate to have some extremely capable people serve in this role previously, so I know I have some very big shoes to fill!” she offers. “I’m looking forward to learning from this experience and hopefully be able to make a positive impact for the people living in the rural communities served by Valley Health.”