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Photo: (first frame) Kathy Trace, R.N., director of Community Health Programs, (second from left) receives the 2007 Distinguished Rural Health Administrator Award from Susan Isaac; (second frame) Jane Hamel-Lambert, M.B.A., Ph.D., OU-COM director of interdisciplinary mental health education, Department of Family Medicine, and president of Interprofessional Partners for Appalachian Children (IPAC) and John Borchard, R.N., chairman of the IPAC board of directors, holding the 2007 Distinguished Rural Health Program Award. 

Kathy Trace and the Interprofessional Partners for Appalachian Children honored by the Ohio Department of Health

by Kevin Sanders
Sept. 26, 2007

The Ohio Department of Health recently honored Kathy Trace, R.N., director of OU-COM’s Community Health Programs, and Interprofessional Partners for Appalachian Children (IPAC) with its 2007 Distinguished Rural Health Awards. The awards are presented annually by ODH. This year’s awards were made at the RHIOhio: Bridging the Digital Divide in Rural Ohio conference, held at Ohio University Sept. 17 and 18 in Athens. 

“Addressing disparities in health care is one of my priorities,” said ODH Director Alvin D. Jackson, M.D., who was one of the featured speakers at the conference. “These honorees were chosen because of their passionate efforts to address such disparities. I hope others will follow the examples they set.”

Trace, the recipient of the Distinguished Rural Health Administrator Award, was honored for demonstrating “effectiveness in program implementation, skills as a leader in the rural health community and lasting contribution to the rural health care delivery system,” said Heather Reed, Rural Health Section Administrator of the Primary Care and Rural Health Program at ODH.

Under Trace’s leadership, the program established a free medical clinic in Athens, Meigs and Washington counties. The clinic provides free health care services, including exams, treatment and referrals for the uninsured. Trace has led Community Health Programs since 2002, during which time the program has been recognized as an “Ohio Hero” by Ohio magazine.

“I am much honored to have received this award. But the award reflects the hard work of the college and the people at Community Health Programs. They make it all possible,” said Trace.

“I love working with people who love to help people.”

“Kathy is a champion of community health and education services,” said Reed.

IPAC, recipient of Distinguished Rural Health Program, was honored for being ODH’s program of the year, which is selected for its “innovation and effectiveness of programmatic efforts, its lasting impact on the rural community and its emphasis on coordination and collaboration within the community as a way to strengthen the program’s long-term sustainability and success in serving its clients,” said Reed. IPAC is headed by Jane Hamel-Lambert, M.B.A., Ph.D., Department of Family Medicine at OU-COM and IPAC president and John Borchard, R.N., Southern Consortium for Children and the chairman of IPAC’s board of directors, who received the award. IPAC, a network of professionals and consumers based in Southeastern Ohio, provides increased access to quality mental health services for young children in the Appalachian region and addresses the critical and complex challenges impacting the health and mental health of children and families.

“We were really honored to receive the award and the recognition from the state. More importantly, it recognizes the value of bringing together the university and community-based agencies dedicated to effecting change,” said Hamel-Lambert.

“It’s the combined efforts of those involved that make this program work.”

IPAC received one of only five grants this year from the Office of Rural Health Policy at Health Resources and Services Administration through its Rural Network Development Grant Program.

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