This week on Rural Health Leadership Radio we are talking building a network of rural hospitals and the power of collaboration along with the challenges of rural hospital CEO turnover. We are having that conversation with Mellie Bridewell, CEO of the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership.
“Oftentimes people don’t recognize how hard a rural hospital CEO job is because you kind of have to be a jack of all trades. You don’t have all the levels of leadership so sometimes, you’re it!”
Ms. Mellie Bridewell currently works for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) as a Regional Director of the Office of Strategic Management and serves as the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership’s Chief Executive Officer. Mellie has eighteen years of experience in community and organizational networking, grant writing, and program development and implementation.
Mellie created the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership organization in 2008, which began with five critical access hospitals and has grown to fourteen-member hospitals across the south Arkansas region. Mellie has obtained over $15.2 million dollars in grant funds for Arkansas Rural Health Partnership to implement healthcare provide training opportunities, healthcare workforce initiatives, chronic disease programs, behavioral and mental health services, and access to care throughout the Arkansas Delta.
Mellie currently serves on the National Rural Health Association Congress and graduated last year from the NRHA Rural Fellows program. She also serves on the board of the National Cooperative of Health Networks Association. In 2016, Mellie was acknowledged as a Federal Office of Rural Health’s Rural Health Champion, and this year was awarded the Healthcare Heroes Innovation Award by Arkansas Business magazine.
Under Mellie’s leadership, ARHP has been recognized nationally as a Rural Health Community Champion for Collaborative Partnerships by the Federal Office of Rural Health and as Outstanding Network of the Year by the National Cooperative of Health Networks Association.