Hilda R. Heady Earns Leadership Award

National Rural Health Group Honors Work

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Hilda R. Heady of West Virginia University received the 2006 President's Award from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) at the group’s Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada last week. Heady, who was president of the group in 2005, led the Association to an almost 50 percent increase in membership and eliminated its deficit, building cash reserves and guiding the purchase of the NRHA's first building. 

Heady is the associate vice president for rural health at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, WVU; executive director of the West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships; and program director of the West Virginia Area Health Education Center

"The challenges of leadership are many but this leader had the resolve, the tenacity and the foresight to shape NRHA for the future; to move us to a position of strength and to accomplish things others had failed to do" said Bill Sexton, president, National Rural Health Association.

"The new found strength of the Association could not have been possible without the strong leadership of this years President's Award winner. Like a shepherd tending her flock, she herded this remarkable organization to new heights. She leaves a legacy of success and achievement that we mortals struggle to follow."

The NRHA is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 10,000 members that provides leadership on rural health issues. The Association's mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of rural Americans and to provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. The NRHA membership is made up of a diverse collection of individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.

"This is an award that is truly well deserved,” said Robert M. D’Alessandri, M.D., vice president for health sciences at WVU. “Hilda Heady's decades of work have resulted in real health benefits for people in communities all over West Virginia -- and all over the country. Many WVU graduates are at work today providing health care in rural West Virginia, thanks to her efforts."

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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