The Indiana Rural Health Association has created a business partner network. Executive Director Don Kelso says the effort is designed to connect rural hospitals with companies and consultants that provide management and operational guidance.

February 25, 2014

News Release

Terre Haute, Ind. — More than one million Hoosiers in rural and small towns depend on the sustained delivery of quality healthcare where they live. To support this critical statewide need, the Indiana Rural Health Association has created the IRHA Business Partner Network to help hospitals and clinics consistently deliver high-quality services to patients and families, according to Don Kelso, IRHA executive director.

Kelso also noted many small towns and rural hospitals make “irreplaceable contributions to their local economy, adding jobs and attracting high-quality professionals to their respective regions and rural area.” The IRHA Business Partner Network can help hospitals maintain this “often-overlooked and critical level of community support and engagement.”

Continuing, Kelso explained: “Smaller hospitals and clinics in rural areas and small towns must effectively deal with rising healthcare costs, detailed training and compliance challenges, regulatory changes, shifts in federal reimbursement, and a whole host of complex issues on a daily basis.”

Accordingly, said Kelso, “We have identified and vetted a number of companies, consultants and firms who have the professional capacity to help Indiana hospitals and healthcare groups to meet these challenges, and have brought them on board in the new IRHA Business Partner Network.”

Partners featured in the IRHA network offer free management and operational advice through blogs and white papers on the Business Partner Network at The partners are grouped by tiers, from Premier to Associate, and are available to provide services to area hospitals and clinics.

“These high-performing BPN partners represent IRHA-qualified businesses and consultants who are at the top of their profession,” said Kelso.

“IRHA Business Partners are carefully selected for their capacity to be of real service,” said Deena Dodd, who administers the Business Partner Network for IRHA. “We review their demonstrated expertise and their commitment to growing and supporting rural Indiana and healthcare operations in smaller Hoosier cities before we pick them for the Business Partner Network.”

Current Premier Partners include Barnes & Thornburg for legal services; OPYS Physician Services for professional services outsourcing to emergency rooms and an array of licensed physician services; Gregory & Appel for insurance (including compliance for health care reform issues); The MEK Group for marketing, advertising, interactive and PR; Adkisson Search Consultants for nationwide recruiting of physicians and medical professionals; CliftonLarsonAllen, an accounting and capital management firm serving a wide range of organizations that include hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, physicians and medical practices; and the Indiana Fiber Network for data transport and optic-fiber services; Affiliates include Katz Brunner Healthcare (KBH), a managed care consulting and data analysis firm, and Select Partners include the South Bend Medical Foundation, whose more than 800 employees operate a professional laboratory and blood banking services for hospitals and medical groups through the Midwest.

About the Indiana Rural Health Association

The Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA) was organized in 1997 and is a nonprofit organization working to enhance the health and well-being of rural populations in Indiana through leadership, education, advocacy, collaboration and resource development. The strength of the organization is through the present diverse membership and the founding organizers who are committed to impacting the health of citizens through the identification of rural health issues and through advocacy roles in both the public and private sectors. IRHA membership is made up of more than 2,400 diverse individuals and organizations, making it the largest rural health association in the nation. IRHA is a nationally recognized leader in the promotion of high quality rural health care. For more information, please visit For more information about the IHRA Business Partner Network, please visit

Source: Indiana Rural Health Association

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