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Brand awarded for rural health achievement

By Staff | Feb 26, 2010

Marcia Brand

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) has presented Shepherdstown area resident Dr. Marcia Brand, deputy administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), with a special lifetime Distinguished Service Award to honor her “lifetime of distinguished and dedicated service to improve the health of Rural Americans.”

“We are proud to honor Marcia Brand by recognizing her long history of federal service and accomplishments on behalf of rural America; her contributions to build a new federal acceptance of the rural/urban differential that exists in America; and a new federal direction that is at last facing that differential through resource allocation and partnership building with organizations like our own,” said Alison Hughes, FLEX director of the Arizona State Office of Rural Health Program and chair of the NOSORH Awards Committee.

Born into a large rural West Virginia family of eight siblings, Brand traveled a career a path that eventually found her administering major federal programs designed to enhance healthcare access for rural Americans. Her personal experiences “growing up rural” have deeply benefited rural health policy and administrative agendas in Washington.

The first-ever conversation between a U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and State Offices of Rural Health was facilitated by Brand. That event gave credence to many of the rural health issues Americans were facing and validated the work being done by NOSORH and the State Offices of Rural Health.

From 2001 to 2007, Brand served as director and associate administrator of HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP). In that position, Brand was responsible for health policy, research and grant activities that promote better health care services in rural America. Brand also helped create the Rural Assistance Center as well as the Frontier Extended Stay Clinic Model demonstration program that was undertaken by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Prior to joining ORHP, Brand led efforts to plan and implement the State Planning Grant Program, which helped states explore options in providing health care coverage for uninsured residents. She also coordinated HRSA’s efforts to implement the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and worked on the Secretary’s Initiative on Children’s Health and the President’s Interagency Task Force on Children’s Health Insurance Outreach, which aimed to increase enrollment in CHIP and Medicaid. Even in these roles, Brand worked tirelessly on behalf of the rural agenda.

Brand received her honor on January 25, 2010 during the annual National Rural Health Association Policy Institute in Washington, DC.