ARHA Welcomes Two New Board Members

The Alabama Rural Health Association is pleased to welcome two new board members who were inducted at the 2023 Annual Conference in Hoover last month.  These two board members are Dawna Nelson, Ph.D., and Melanie Baucom, DNP, CRNP.

Dawna Nelson is an alumna of and current faculty member at Alabama State University. She is a research fellow for the Alabama Commission of Higher Education (ACHE) focused on rural healthcare workforce development. She facilitated our Rural Road show in Montgomery this past year. She brings lived experience as a member of the Black community as well as her professional experience working alongside historically marginalized communities to address health equity, which aligns with ARHA’s commitment to reduce healthcare disparities in our rural communities.

Melanie Baucom, DNP, CRNP is a family nurse practitioner who has provided primary care to rural and medically underserved patients for over ten years. She is a faculty member and leads an initiative at the UAB School of Nursing mentoring nurse practitioner students dedicated to working in rural communities, which has graduated over 100 primary care nurse practitioners prepared to provide care to rural communities across the state. She is interested in serving on the board of directors for the ARHA in order to foster partnerships and assist the organization in meeting its mission of advocating for rural health issues in Alabama.These two members replaced expired terms of longstanding board members and volunteers Amelia de los Reyes of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and Susan Campbell of Rush Health Systems in Livingston.

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