2012 Archive

Laws Named Executive Director of RHIC

The Terre Haute based Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) has named Stephanie Laws, a long-time Union Hospital employee, as Executive Director.  She will oversee day-to-day operations of the collaborative, and will work to ensure that the education, health care, government and economic development partnership realizes its short and long term goals.

Launched in 2008, the mission of the RHIC is to improve and expand interprofessional education, training, and deployment of future health care providers, especially for those committed to serving rural populations.  It also seeks to boost the economy of west-central Indiana by developing health care related jobs, and to revitalize a Terre Haute neighborhood that lies between the campuses of Indiana State University and Union Hospital.

Stephanie Laws"We're extremely pleased to have the benefit of Stephanie's enthusiasm and dynamic leadership at the RHIC management level," said David Doerr, chair of the RHIC board of directors and President & CEO of Union Health System, Inc.  "She has been able to take her life experiences and successfully communicate the unique health care needs of rural America at the state and national level.  The board of directors of the RHIC looks forward to working with Stephanie."

Laws has been involved in rural health issues for more than ten years, both as a clinical provider and a coordinator of telemedicine services to west-central Indiana and east-central Illinois.  She is director of the Wabash Valley Rural Telehealth Network, a member of the American Telemedicine Association, Indiana FCC Telehealth Advisory Committee and the national and Indiana rural health associations.   She works extensively with colleagues to advance the use of telemedicine in rural communities to fill service gaps and improve the overall quality of health care services through technology.

Prior to being named the RHIC's executive director, she served as the manager of the Telehealth and Innovative Technologies Department at the Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health at Union Hospital.  In addition, she has worked for Union Hospital System, Inc. since 1998, working as a nursing care manager for multiple departments of Union Hospital Clinton.  She is past president of the West-Central Area Health Education Center.  She holds an associate degree in nursing from Indiana State University, a bachelor's degree from Indiana Wesleyan and is pursuing a master's degree in nursing administration from Indiana State University.

Partners in the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative are Union Hospital and its Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health, Indiana State University, Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute, Ivy Tech Community College-Wabash Valley, City of Terre Haute, Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation, Vermillion-Parke Community Health Center, Hamilton Center, Indiana Rural Health Association, and the Indiana Area Health Education Center.

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michelle-smith“Telemedicine has allowed our patients to receive the care they need right here in Sullivan, IN. In our current challenging economic times, the more dollars we are able to retain locally the better off our community will be.”

- Michelle Franklin, CEO
Sullivan County
Community Hospital