RWHC Rural Health Ambassador Award

The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) recently bestowed their 2018 Rural Health Ambassador Award to Natasha Ward, Director of Community Health Improvement at Western Wisconsin Health.

The award recognizes health care employees at RWHC hospitals who have gone above the call of duty in promoting their respective organizations, while making significant contributions to rural health. Fourteen individuals from across the state received awards this year. Each recipient demonstrates a history of fostering positive communication and relations within the hospital’s respective service area by: serving on community boards/service organizations; taking advantage of volunteer or public speaking opportunities; and supporting community health activities beyond the scope of the hospital.

Natasha goes above and beyond, working diligently to bring wellness programs and opportunities to patients, local school districts, and businesses to make our community a healthier place to live, work, and play! She also manages the Integrative Health program at Western Wisconsin Health and takes special interest in helping others find whole wellness in mind, body, and spirit. As a leader on the Wellness Committee, she also spearheads many projects to encourage staff to be more active. Natasha works closely with schools throughout the surrounding communities to offer wellness programs for youth such as teen resiliency, after school programs, and behavioral health services on site at schools. She also coordinates health screenings and other wellness services at the medical center and directly at local businesses. Natasha is an active member of the Healthier Together Pierce & St. Croix Counties Coalition and is a driving force for local efforts regarding health priorities such as mental health, obesity, etc. The work done by Natasha reflects her passion and dedication to Western Wisconsin Health and the wellness of the surrounding communities.

Incorporated in 1979, RWHC receives national recognition as one of the country’s earliest and most successful models for networking among rural hospitals. RWHC serves as a catalyst for regional collaboration and as an influential and creative force on behalf of rural communi­ties and rural health.  Owned and operated by 40 acute, medical-surgical hospitals, RWHC offers its members a wide range of shared services that meet local community health needs, including: staffing, consulting, management, networking and education. Western Wisconsin Health is an active member of RWHC; their employees support the shared mission of “strengthening and sustaining rural health.”