Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) Chief Executive Officer Cathy Homkey has been appointed by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health’s (ORH) New York State Rural Health Council. The ORH, a New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) office, focuses on issues that affect access to health care in rural regions. The Council advises DOH on rural health policy. Her term will run through June 30, 2015.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected for this immensely important role, joining a strong partnership of health providers, consumer advocates and many other rural health stakeholders,” said Homkey. “The ORH coordinates statewide policy, administers state and federal programs, disseminates information, provides technical assistance, and cultivates important partnerships, and I am thrilled AHI has a seat at the Council table, working with so many others to build healthy communities.”
Homkey went on to explain that ORH and Council partners include the NYS Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, NYS Association for Rural Health, Healthcare Association of NYS, Iroquois Health Association, NYS AHEC, Medical Society of the State of NY, NYS Nurses Association, the Nurse Practitioner Association of NYS, Community Health Association of NYS, and the NYS Association of County Health Officials.
The Office of Rural Health strives to improve access to quality health care services by implementing state and federal programs, conducting planning activities, and coordinating policy. State-funded rural programs include Rural Health Network Development and Rural Health Care Access Development. Thirty-five rural networks and 47 rural hospitals are funded through these programs. In addition to state-funded programs, a key component of rural health programming is the Rural Hospital Flexibility Programs. These programs allow ORH to work with New York’s 13 critical access hospitals.