Rural Hospital Leaders & Partners Awarded at HomeTown Health Fall Conference


HomeTown Health recognizes key leaders and partners in rural healthcare with annual awards at 24th annual fall conference event.

PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga., Oct. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — HomeTown Health, LLC held its 24th Annual Fall Conference at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, October 18-20, 2023. The annual event includes breakout sessions and presentations from industry experts, hospital leaders, established public figures and healthcare leaders on a local and state level. Additionally, it is a time where HomeTown Health recognizes rural hospital employees for their success at their facility during the previous year.

It is truly our pleasure to work alongside hospital leaders throughout the state that serve in rural facilities. It is an even greater pleasure to be able to recognize those leaders as they excel in their facilities which positively impact their communities each year.

HomeTown Health is a network of over 60 rural healthcare organizations throughout the southeast as well as business partner organizations with rural healthcare solutions. Annual awardees are selected from nominations secured throughout the network and then announced at the annual fall conference event.

“It is truly our pleasure to work alongside hospital leaders throughout the state that serve in rural facilities. It is an even greater pleasure to be able to recognize those leaders as they excel in their facilities which positively impact their communities each year,” says Kristy Thomson, COO of HomeTown Health.

Burke Health was chosen as the 2023 Hospital of the Year for providing exemplary commitment in rural hospital leadership by adopting “best practices” for rural hospital improvement, maintaining a commitment to staff education, advocating to state policymakers while emphasizing technological advances and showcasing a dedication to superior patient care.

Michael Purvis, CEO at Candler County Hospital, was recognized as the recipient of the 2023 Hospital Leader of the Year, recognized for exemplary leadership and dedication to patient care, employee excellence, innovation solutions and efforts.

Leif England, CFO of Jeff Davis Hospital, received the 2023 CFO of the Year award for outstanding leadership in hospital finance, including a demonstrated commitment to excellence in financial practices, best practices in strategic partnerships, and revenue cycle management.

Joan Hartley, Patient Financial Director at Dodge County Hospital, was announced as the 2023 Business Office Leader of the Year, “Chosen for outstanding leadership in sharing best practices in the business office and for your commitment to excellence, to employee education, business partner endorsement and revenue cycle improvement.”

John Roland, Chief Nursing Officer at Bleckley Memorial Hospital was recognized as the 2023 Nurse Executive of the Year, for providing exceptional leadership by adopting best practices for rural hospital improvement, for making a commitment to staff education and leadership development while emphasizing technological advances and superior patient care.

HealthTrust, a Platinum level business partner with HomeTown Health, was presented the “2023 Business Partners of the Year” award. “HealthTrust Performance Group provides valuable cost-saving solutions across a wide scope of services. Their company’s robust network brings savings into the HomeTown family and engages speakers and resources that enhance best practices. Through their vision and foresight to identify the universal deep system cost improvements, Healthtrust Performance Group maximized volume for cost control and quality for HomeTown Health member hospitals. A relationship with them brings benefits to hospitals that no one else delivers. . . some of the cost benefits of the largest health systems in the nation.,” shared Sherri Ackerman, Business Partner Director of HomeTown Health.

In addition to the awards presented, HomeTown Health recognized the graduates of its 2023 HomeTown Health Executive Leadership Development Program.

  • Amy Cook, Accountant, Bleckley Memorial Hospital
  • Marty Ray, CIO, Candler County Hospital
  • Latecia Pusha, Human Resources Manager, Effingham Health System
  • James Wright, Evans Memorial Hospital
  • Brenda McEachin, Director of Human Resources, Jeff Davis Hospital
  • Paula Wilcox, Compliance Officer, Jeff Davis Hospital
  • Amber Townsend, Admissions Coordinator, Miller County Hospital
  • Shakinah Freeman, Patient Access Supervisor, Miller County Hospital
  • Garrett Grimsley, Corporate Controller, Miller County Hospital
  • Hunter McCall, Director of Support Services, Optim Medical Center – Tatnall
  • Tiffany Jolly, Comptroller, Taylor Regional Hospital

The Executive Leadership Development Program counts more than 180 alumni since its inception and is designed to engage and empower current rural healthcare leaders to continue in healthcare leadership in rural healthcare facilities throughout Georgia.

About HomeTown Health:

HomeTown Health, LLC, celebrating its 24th anniversary this year, serves more than 60 hospitals throughout the Southeastern United States. HomeTown Health, LLC offers advocacy, education, business partner service indexing, industry conferences, and strategic support to its member hospitals as well as expansive grant-based resources through key partnerships with the Department of Public Health and Department of Community Health in many states. Learn more at and more about its online education at

Media Contact

Jimmy Lewis, HomeTown Health, 470-655-6950, [email protected],



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SOURCE HomeTown Health


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