Now What? Rural Health in Aging Populations

Rural communities face some particular challenges in caring for the elderly. While general population in many areas is declining, the elderly population is increasing, and along with that the need for medical care, nursing, and assisted living facilities.  Rural Health in Aging Populations explores what some communities are doing to address these challenges, and what resources are available to residents and caregivers in rural areas.


 

Panel of Experts

 

Dr. Anna Fisher serves as the Hillcrest Health Services health, quality, and nursing services education expert. She is responsible for the implementation of educational and quality improvement programs following the identification of clinical needs, competency exams, and supporting the need for high quality of care for diverse business lines that include assisted living, memory support, adult day services, home health care, palliative, hospice, post-acute, and skilled nursing care. 

Dr. Fisher is also an adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at Bellevue University and teaches in the Masters-Health Administration Program. She was awarded the prestigious Maenner Award for Professorship of the Year in 2012.

Dr. Fisher is co-producer of the NET Television program series, Now What?, about elder care and dementia. The program series recently received a 2012 Bronze Award of Excellence from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association under the category of Service to Community.

Dr. Fisher is currently President of the Consortium of Dementia Alternatives and President of the Montessori International School of the Plains. She is a certified dementia practitioner, licensed nurse, and holds an undergraduate degree in human resources, graduate degree in business management, and a doctorate in health administration.

 

Senator Mike Gloor was elected to Nebraska’s legislature in 2008 and 2012. He currently serves as Chair of the Banking, and Commerce and Insurance Committee and is a member of the Health and Human Services Committee and the Legislature's Planning Committee.

Prior to joining the Legislature, Senator Gloor was the President and CEO of St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island. He served as chair of the Nebraska Hospital Association and as a member of the American Hospital Association’s Strategic Planning Committee. The advocacy involved in both of those positions set the stage for his decision to run for State Office.

 

Helen Crunk has 15 years nursing experience in long-term care settings. She is an Administrator of Hillcrest Mable Rose. Helen is a certified dementia practitioner and dementia care expert who is responsible for all team member education     regarding dementia care best practice standards.

Ms. Crunk received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration from Bellevue University. She has held    numerous board and committee positions that include: Chair of Nebraska Assisted Living Association;   Nebraska Health Care Association Executive Board Member; Nebraska Health Care Foundation Board Member; National Center for Assisted Living Board Member; National Center for Assisted Living Quality Committee Member; National Center for Assisted Living Policy and Finance Committee Member; National Center for Assisted Living State Leader; Secretary of Nebraska Health Care Foundation Board; and Bellevue Young Professional Group.

Ms. Crunk is a two-time recipient of the National Administrator of the Year awarded by National Center for Center for Assisted Living; 2010 Bellevue, NE Business Woman of the Year; and a 2011 recipient of the Midlands Business Journal 40 under 40 award.

 

Heath G. Boddy began leading the Nebraska Health Care Association in March 2010. Mr. Boddy, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management degree, previously led the Nebraska Nursing Facility Board of Directors and served as executive director of Gold Crest Retirement Center in Adams, NE. He has been a nursing home administrator since 1993.

As President and CEO of NHCA, Boddy leads the state’s nursing home, assisted living, licensed practical nurse, and hospice associations, as well as the Nebraska Health Care Foundation and the only known licensed and accredited private postsecondary college dedicated to the long-term care profession.

Mr. Boddy has served on Nebraska’s nursing home administrators’ licensing board, the Nebraska Rural Medicaid Long Term Care Reform Task Force, as a member of the American Health Care Association’s Future Leaders of America, as co-chair of the American Heart Association Heart Walk, and in other officer positions and committees for NHCA. He currently serves on the AHCA Not-for-Profit Council, AHCA Life Safety Committee, Continuum Employee Assistance Board of Directors, and CIMRO of Nebraska’s Board of Directors.

 

Jayne Prince began her postsecondary education at Northeastern Community College (NECC) in Norfolk, NE. While attending NECC, she received an Associate of Science degree in Business Management/Marketing in 2003 and an Associate of Arts degree in Behavior Science in 2005. In 2003, she completed a course of study at the Nebraska Justice Center in Lincoln, NE. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Science from Bellevue University in 2008.

Ms. Prince's professional work history began in 1987 at the Senior Center of Pierce, NE. She was the Manager of this Center for four years. For four years, she was the Ombudsman Advocate Coordinator for the Northeast Nebraska Area Agency on Aging. She was the Area Director of Northstar Sevices from 2005-2007. In 2008, she was the Program Coordinator of the Northern Nebraska Area Health Educator Center. Her current employment since 2008 has been the Administrator of The Willows Assisted Living Facility in Neligh, NE.

 

Dr. Jeff Harrison is a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He has served as the residency program director of the Nebraska Rural Training Tracks since 1998 and the University of Nebraska Program since 2004.  Each of these programs has successfully met their stated missions of training physicians for rural Nebraska.

Dr. Harrison serves as Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs in the College of Medicine with specific oversight of pre-admissions programs such as NUPATHS and RHOP.  He is a past President of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians as well as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.  He has been the co-editor of six medical textbooks focusing on primary care and medical education.  These books have a worldwide distribution with translations into Chinese, Portuguese, and Turkish.  In addition, he serves as an expert reviewer for the Journal of Family Practice.

 

Jan Nixon was born and raised in Chambers, Nebraska, and received college education in Texas.  She worked in the hospital setting as a nurse before entering the business field.  Has been the administrator of The Meadows since it opened in 1989 and is responsible for its operation of independent apartments and 42 licensed assisted living beds.  Jan has previously served as the President of the Nebraska Assisted Living Association, served on a national committee with the National Centers for Assisted Living, and was a question writer for the National Board of Examiners.

 


 

Future programs in the Now What? series: 

Types of Dementia-History, Diagnosis and Treatment Options