Saluting Healthcare Heroes on National Rural Health Day—and Every Day

Nov. 17, 2021


By Mike Milligan, president, Legato Healthcare Marketing

I’ve always had great respect and gratitude for healthcare workers, particularly rural hospitals and their staffs. It’s one of the reasons I started Legato Healthcare Marketing over a decade ago. On a personal level, I have gained an even deeper appreciation of critical access hospitals (CAHs) since moving to a small town – population: 3,800 – in northern Wisconsin.

I was reminded of this when I had to be rushed to the ER last month. Struggling to breathe, I couldn’t have been more grateful to have access to care just minutes from home. While the ER team was treating me, I heard other patients being wheeled in and out of the ER. It reminded me that even in the face of COVID-19 spikes and surges, patients with other medical conditions also need the attention of the same doctors, nurses, technicians, and other staff who devote themselves to caring for their communities.   

In honor of National Rural Health Day, I’d like to turn the focus of this blog to the healthcare professionals who, even in the face of a pandemic, never falter.

Following are some of the many faces that exemplify the meaning behind this special day of recognition. Their words speak volumes about the person behind the professional and the reasons they not only show up, but step up, to provide their patients and communities with exceptional, compassionate care.

On behalf of everyone at Legato Healthcare Marketing: Thank you to our clients, their staffs and to all rural healthcare workers, not only for what you do, but for your genuine concern for your patients and their families. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Paulette-1 Molly Skomer-1 Doc Matthew Felber2 Tasha Jennings-1
Paulette Jurina
Rochelle Community Hospital
Molly Skomer
Syracuse Area Hospital
Dr. Matt Felber
Family Medicine Physician
Pender Community Hospital
Tasha Jennings
DNP, Nurse Practitioner
Osceola Regional Health Center

“Things can be overwhelming.
A well-informed patient is a happy patient. A smile and a kind word can make a real difference; I want them to feel
comfortable right away."

“My goal was always to practice in a small town where I could get to know my patients well. Small towns have always had my heart!"

“In this profession, we have to constantly keep up with things and are always learning. Things we knew to be true five years ago may be outdated or wrong now. It’s all part of taking care of patients. The day you don’t learn anything is the day you need to quit.” 

“One of the benefits of receiving care in a small community like Sibley is the ability to form strong relationships with our patients to get to know them as individuals. We can create a level of comfort with them that helps us provide the care they need."

Heidi-1 Janis Astle-2 Darla Roder-1 Ben Robertson-1
Heidi Artisensi
Chemotherapy Registered Nurse
Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital
Janis Astle
Manager of Emergency Services
Rochelle Community Hospital
Darla Roder
Chief Operating Officer
Cavalier County Memorial Hospital
Dr. Ben Robertson
Orthopedic Physician
Tri-County Health Care

Heidi says she was “motivated by her father’s cancer diagnosis. I know how empathy can impact patient outcome.”

Her dedication to providing compassionate care and a strong devotion to her community inspire her to be her best every day.

“I’m very proud of our staff at Rochelle. Little Emergency Departments see the same things as the big Emergency Departments do. We just don’t see them as often. Rochelle may be small, but our staff has to know how to do all of the things they do in big emergency departments.."

“We did a lot of prep work to be as ready as possible for COVID-19 and to make sure we were able to accept a big flow of patients. Fortunately, we didn’t get that until later in the fall, so we were even more prepared then."

“I want people to know that we have processes in place to keep them safe. We care about them and their health, and we’re well prepared for patients to come in and get the care they need.”

"We offer patients the flexibility, consistency and professional care they need without the burden of long-distance travel. I really enjoy the team atmosphere here. At a time when many larger health care hospitals are becoming very corporate and distant, Tri-County Health Care works as a team and puts the patient first. It is a privilege to be able to work in this type of health care environment."