WRHA Awards
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2017 WRHA Awards Recipients
Left to Right: Beionka Moore, WRHA Executive Director; Dr. Yong Ki Shin; Eric Larson, Ph.D; Chief Gordon Pomeroy


Each year, the Washington Rural Health Association honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions in the field of rural health care.  As a leadership organization, we take great pride in recognizing the efforts of professionals and colleagues in our rural health family across the state.

We invite our members to consider nominating an individual or organization that has made a significant positive impact on rural health in Washington State for next year’s ceremony. Nominees do not have to be members of WRHA to be eligible for these awards. Nominations may be made by any member of WRHA.

An individual or organization may be nominated in one of the following categories:


This award honors the late Leah Layne, a long-time campaigner and activist on behalf of rural health.  This award is based on demonstrated leadership skills, someone who best exemplifies Leah’s spirit, vision, foresight and dedication in the field of rural health.


This award is based on the overall contributions a nominee has made to benefit rural health. This award is for nominees who have, over the course of their careers, made significant impacts in rural health across the state.


This award honors the late Dr. John Anderson, a dedicated physician and a leader in the development of a system to ensure that physicians and other health care have an opportunity to work in the rural communities of Washington State. This award is based on the demonstrated leadership skills and the dedication to provide quality healthcare services to rural communities.


This award seeks nominees who have made a special effort to cause and effect change in rural health policy, legislation, etc. to specifically benefit rural health outcomes. This category honors individuals who are legislators, trustees, community wellness activists, etc.


This award recognizes an outstanding youth 14-20 years of age from a rural community who has performed outstanding volunteer service for better health in his/her community or who is successfully pursuing health sciences educational opportunities.

Past WRHA Awards Recipients

Leah Layne Memorial Health Leadership Award

2015    Kris Sparks
2014    Paul Nurick
2013    Renee Jensen
2011    Tom Martin
2010    Vic Dirksen
2009    Evelyn Torkelson
2007    Raleigh Hayter
2006    Donna Karvia
2005    Thomas Boone, MD

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Health Award

2017    Chief Gordon Pomeroy
2016    Thomas Martin
2015    Robert Campbell, MHA
2014    Bruce Buckles
2013    Mike Bell, CPA
2012    Natalie Gonzalez
2011    Bettie Rundlett
2010    Camille Scott and Barbara Schlimmer
2009    John Coombs, MD and Kris Sparks
2008    David Weber, MD
2007    Jerry Lane
2006    Ruth Ballweg, MPA, PA-C
2005    Kathy Spoor, RN, BSN

The Dr. John Anderson Memorial Award for Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner (created in 2010)

2017    Dr. Yong Ki Shin and Dr. Clara Chon Shin
2016    Dr. William Hurley
2015    Mark Larson, MD; Edward Macke, MD and Robert St. Clair, MD

2014    Andy Castrodale, MD
2013    Shawn Andrews, MD
2012    Rob and Patty Slagle
2011    Patrick Ogilvie, MD
2010    Robert Watkins, MD and James Mowry, MD

The Mary Selecky Friend of Rural Health Award (renamed in 2013)

2017    Eric Larson, PhD
2016    Jeff Mero
2015    Brenda Suiter 
2014    Nancy Webster
2013    Roger Rosenblatt
2012    Katherine A. Sanders
2011    Helen Kuebel
2009    Senator Chris Marr
2005    Patricia Richardson

Future of Rural Health Award

2014    Maggie Douglas
2011    Sarah Olson
2007    Becky Bertram
2006    Ashley Jones
2005    Miguel Blancas

Special Recognition (President’s Award)

2013    Mary Selecky
2009    Community Health Education and Resources (CHER), a division of INHS
2008    Dave Berk
2007    Gordon McLean
2006    Senator Patty Murray

Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner Award

2010    Dr. John Anderson
2009    Samantha Ritchie, MD
2008    Pete Martin, PA-C & Fran Martin, RHN, PHN
2008    Walter Henze, MD
2007    Steve Bellinger, PA-C
2006    James Lamberton, MD
2005    Michael Luce, MD