If you are a veteran, thank you for your service! In recognition of all veterans, Rural Health Leadership Radio is proud to publish this special episode to honor all veterans this Veterans Day Nearly a quarter of all U.S. veterans choose to live in rural areas upon their return from active military service. Rural communities offer strong community support and close-knit relationships, enhancing the appeal of rural living for veterans. On the other hand, veterans contribute valuable leadership skills and core values to these rural areas. In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we are celebrating veterans and the great ways they contribute to rural communities. We are joined by three veterans and rural health leaders:
- Athena Minor, CNO/CCO of Ohio County Healthcare in Hartford, Kentucky.
- Hannah Zaun, CNO of Dakota Regional Medical Center in Cooperstown, North Dakota.
- Kenda Clopton, CNO of Ozarks Community Hospital in Gravette, Arkansas.
We welcome these three healthcare and military heroes to celebrate Veterans Day with us on Rural Health Leadership Radio!
“Veterans are all over the place using those things we learned from being in the military in our daily lives. We are in your local hospital, and ready to serve you in a new and different way now”
Athena Minor, hailing from Ohio County, Kentucky, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1985 and completed specialized Leadership Training with honors. She transitioned to a nursing career, earning her nursing degree from Owensboro Community College and a master’s in Executive Leadership from Walden University. Currently pursuing a doctorate in Executive Leadership, Athena boasts diverse nursing experience, from neonatal and critical care to emergency and cardiac care in rural and urban settings. She’s dedicated to managing chronic healthcare populations and led initiatives against infant mortality and childhood obesity in the Green River District during her five-year tenure in public health leadership. Athena serves as Chief Nursing and Clinical Officer at Ohio County HealthCare, actively participating in advisory committees, the Green River District Executive Board of Health, and healthcare panel discussions.
Kenda Clopton, RN, BSN is the Chief Nursing Officer of Ozarks Community Hospital. She has been married to her husband Marty for 32 years and they have three grown sons that are her absolute pride and joy. She graduated from Cox College of Nursing in Springfield, MO in 1998 with her ASN and returned to obtain her BSN in 2017. Currently, Kenda is taking graduate courses to obtain a Masters in Community-Based Health from Oklahoma City University. The calling to be a nurse and desire to help people needing care came early in life for her. She joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 1989 and proudly served as a surgical technologist (91D) until 1997. Her husband, oldest son, youngest brother, and brother-in-law are all veterans or still serving in the military today.
Hannah Zaun is the Chief Nursing Officer for Dakota Regional Medical Center and Griggs County Care Center in Cooperstown North Dakota. Originally from Texas and a veteran of the United States Air Force, she has chosen to put all of her experience and efforts into making nursing and healthcare a better experience for all involved. She is a graduate of Mayville State University with a Bachelors in Nursing and plans on continuing into a Masters in Nursing. An ER nurse by trade, Hannah has a passion for emergency medicine, for creating safe spaces for nurses to work, mental health, policy change, and increasing resources and services in rural healthcare.