Hodshire Receives Top Honor from the National Rural Health Association
HILLSDALE, Mich.—The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) announced this month that Hillsdale Hospital President and CEO Jeremiah “JJ” Hodshire has been named the 2022 recipient of the Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rural Health.
“As president and CEO of Hillsdale Hospital, Hodshire is passionate about creating long-term sustainability for rural hospitals. During the pandemic, he served as an advocate, started a podcast, and created partnerships to help vaccinate rural areas for COVID-19, demonstrating strong leadership, determination, and vision,” according to a press release from NRHA.
The Louis Gorin award recognizes individuals who have shown creativity, unselfishness, compassion and a cooperative attitude in seeking ways to make lasting contributions to rural health care beyond the local community, including having a demonstrated effect on rural health at state and national levels.
“JJ is the Energizer Bunny of hospital CEOs,” board chairman Greg Bailey said. “I have no idea how he keeps going, and going, and going.”
Since taking the helm as president and CEO in June 2020, Hodshire has used his voice to champion the needs of rural hospitals, while leading Hillsdale Hospital in the implementation of a growth strategy despite the challenging rural health environment.
“JJ has a grand vision of what our small, rural community hospital can and should be, and he won’t let any obstacle stand in his way,” Bailey said. “We are very fortunate to have him at the helm.”
Throughout the pandemic, he was frequently in touch with federal legislators, often via text message, to communicate rural health concerns in real time. When Michigan prohibited elective surgeries, Hodshire penned an open letter to the governor, advocating for rural hospitals desperate to reopen those services. When COVID-19 vaccines were made available, he partnered with local higher education to quickly vaccinate the community, encouraging other rural hospitals to do the same.
“JJ is one of our nation’s leading advocates for moving rural healthcare forward,” Congressman Tim Walberg said. “His leadership during the pandemic was outstanding, and I know he’s going to keep it up.”
Even as the pandemic continued, Hodshire worked to build financial sustainability through growth, expanding or launching multiple services, including hyperbaric medicine, inpatient pulmonology, neurosurgery, urology and more. He co-hosts Rural Health Rising, a weekly podcast with a growing national audience that breaks down the healthcare triumphs, challenges and opportunities facing rural America. Launched in late 2020, the podcast is now a member of the Health Podcast Network.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition from NRHA,” Hodshire said. “Roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population live in rural communities, yet more than 130 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. The fight to sustain rural healthcare in America must continue, and I am grateful for NRHA, my fellow rural hospital leaders and others that are in this fight with me. Together we can ensure that access to high-quality care is a reality for all rural Americans.”
Hodshire will formally accept the award at NRHA’s Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, next month.