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Rita Plourde recognized as a “Community Star”.

Nov 21, 2019 10:34AM ● By Editor
Sawtooth Mountain Clinic CEO Kate Surbaugh (left) with Rita Plourde, retired CEO - Boreal file photo

From Sawtooth Mountain Clinic - November 21, 2019

On the third Thursday of November every year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the member organization for each of the 50 State Offices of Rural Health (SORH), leads National Rural Health Day (NRHD), an annual day of recognition, shining a light on those who serve the vital health needs of the estimated 57 million people living in rural America.  

SORHs, including Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary care, provide support to rural hospitals, clinics, and first responders in several ways including technical assistance, funding that supports workforce development, population health management, quality improvement initiatives, and more.

In 2015, NOSORH invited its members to nominate hospital and emergency first responder teams, community health, and volunteer service heroes on the front lines of rural health who were making a positive impact on rural lives. Soon after the stories started coming, the book of Community Stars has been published on NRHD.   

Rita Plourde, recently retired from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, was nominated and her story was selected to appear in the 2019 edition that will be available on the website, the official hub for NRHD and the Power of Rural movement, beginning November 21, 2019. For the first time since its inception, a limited number of Community Star books will also be available for purchase.

Kate Surbaugh, current CEO of Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, states “Rita’s time as CEO of Sawtooth Mountain Clinic was one of incredible growth. She worked tirelessly to bring health care services to our rural area and we are so grateful for her years of effort.”

Rural communities, health organizations, schools are all invited to participate in NRHD.  Free tools, ideas and details about NRHD events occurring across the United States are also available on

Erin Watson
[email protected] 
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