Sandusky, Mich. – McKenzie Health System (MHS) is pleased to announce Steve Barnett, President and CEO, has received the Loren O. Gettel Award for Outstanding Leadership and Commitment to the health of Michigan’s rural residents.
The award was established by Loren O. Gettel, a third-generation farmer dedicated to healthcare in the Thumb of Michigan and local hospitals’ ability to recruit and retain quality physicians. Gettel was equally troubled by the limited access that Pigeon and other rural Michigan communities had to medical services. He partnered with Michigan State University as a donor in hopes of developing programs that might heighten medical exposure to rural health settings. It is in this spirit that the Loren O. Gettel Award is given.
Photo: Steve Barnett, DHA, MS, CRNA
“It is an honor to be recognized for helping our local communities receive first-rate healthcare close to home,” said Barnett, who has worked at MHS for 7 years.
During the ceremony, Barnett was recognized for his commitment to the region and noted as one of the founders of the Thumb Rural Health Network, which started in 2002 to address the healthcare needs of the residents in Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties. The nonprofit organization now has grown to more than a dozen service providers focused on rural healthcare.
“Steve was also a leader in establishing specialty care to patients through telemedicine,” said John Barnas, Executive Director of the Michigan Center for Rural Health and presenter of the award on April 30th. “Also, by aligning with the Stroke on Call Network of the Ascension Neuroscience Center of Excellence, McKenzie delivers high-quality, immediate access to stroke care, which leads to improved patient outcomes.”
“Steve has a keen interest in his employees, maintaining an open-door policy where employees can walk into his office and share their thoughts,” said Roger Loding, Chairman of the United Healthcare Partners Board of Directors, of which McKenzie Health System is an affiliate.
“I encourage communication and transparency with all my staff and business associates to help improve our work experience and – at the end of the day or shift – provide better patient care when they are with us,” said Barnett.
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