WRHA Rural Health Awards
Click Here for Nomination Form



2018 WRHA Rural Health Awards Recipients
Left to Right: Beionka Moore, WRHA Executive Director;
Tammy Arndt, Director of Telehealth Inland NW Health Services;
Susan Skillman, Deputy Director at CHWS at University of Washington;
Dr. Tobe Howard Harberd, Rural Physician in Chelan, WA;
Ron Wallin, Board Chair, WhidbeyHealth;
Kyrk Taylor, Masters Student, WSU

2018 WRHA Rural Health Awards Ceremony Video:  CLICK HERE

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. Award recipient is selected based on their creativity, selflessness, compassion and cooperative attitude in seeking ways to make lasting contributions to rural health care.


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 professionals have the opportunity to work in the rural communities of Washington State.  This award recognizes a direct service provider for leadership in bringing health services to rural populations.  Factors taken into consideration include involvement in rural the community and lasting contributions to the health care system.


This award recognizes an individual who has made a special effort to cause and effect change in rural health policy, legislation, rural communities, etc., to specifically benefit rural health outcomes. This category honors individuals who are legislators, trustees, community wellness activists, rural health care professionals, etc. Factors considered include coordination of services with other health care agencies to avoid duplication of services, networking and collaboration with other health care entities to achieve common goals, innovation in development and implementation.


This award recognizes extraordinary leadership activities demonstrated by a student in the field of rural health. Candidates nominated for this award will have displayed a vested interest in improving rural health care and demonstrated an ability to work towards this improvement. Efforts may include organizing and directing rural health activities or groups, significant achievements, unique approaches to identifying or meeting needs, and commitment of time/effort..

Past WRHA Rural Health Awards Recipients

Leah Layne Memorial Health Leadership Award

2018    Susan Skillman
2015    Kris Sparks
2014    Paul Nurick
2013    Renee Jensen
2011    Tom Martin
2010    Vic Dirksen

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Health Award

2018    Ron Wallin
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

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

2018    Dr. Tobe Howard Harberd
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)

2018    Tammy A. Arndt
2017    Eric Larson, PhD
2016    Jeff Mero
2015    Brenda Suiter 
2014    Nancy Webster
2013    Roger Rosenblatt
2012    Katherine A. Sanders
2011    Helen Kuebel

Future of Rural Health Award

2018    Kyrk Taylor
2014    Maggie Douglas
2011    Sarah Olson
2007    Becky Bertram
2006    Ashley Jones
2005    Miguel Blancas