JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The American Hospital Association, in partnership with the Missouri Hospital Association, has honored Tom Keller, President and CEO of Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains, Mo., with the Partnership for Action Grassroots Champion Award. As a Grassroots Champion, Keller was recognized for his exceptional leadership in connecting public policy to hospital and health systems’ work in the communities they serve.
“Your leadership and dedication to advancing the mission of America’s hospitals and health systems has made a difference for the patients and communities we serve,” said Rick Pollack, AHA President and CEO. “This special recognition acknowledges the hard work you have demonstrated as an advocate for advancing health in America.”
The Grassroots Champion Award was created to recognize hospital and health system leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect system’s vital role in the community, who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital or health system, and who tirelessly advocate for the hospital or health system and its patients.
“Tom diligently and passionately works on behalf of the staff in his organization and the region they serve,” said Jon D. Doolittle, MHA President and CEO. “As an advocate for a strong health care system in south central Missouri and beyond, he consistently identifies where the health care system isn’t delivering results to the benefit of patients and creates solutions to help hospitals serve — now and into the future.”
Keller has worked to shape awareness of challenges in rural health and for the sustainability of the Medicaid program. He helped illustrate gaps in pharmacy operations that can influence patient health and outcomes. Keller continued his efforts with improving rural residents’ access to telehealth in addition to working with local lawmakers to ensure that Ozarks Healthcare received funding for improvements and advancements to health equipment and resources for residents in and around Howell County.
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The American Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.
The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 140 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.