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Butler Health System recognized by the Rural Health Information Hub

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Butler Health System (BHS) was recently recognized by the Rural Health Information Hub, an online communication regarding important rural issues, for work successfully demonstrated on a grant received from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP). This outreach program grant, also called the Regional Alliance Chronic Disease Coordination and Management (RACDCM) Program follows patients as they transition through various stages of care during their recovery of chronic diseases. The program also focuses on connecting patients to community resources that continue to aid in the management of their specified chronic disease.

“We’re hoping to enable patients to improve their self-care, get to their physician appointments, have healthy food, and be able to really utilize the resources to help better manage their own care as a chronic disease patient and improve their outcomes,” says Cindy Esser, BSN, MHA, MBA, Director of Emerging Technologies at Butler Health System. Cindy Esser submitted a grant proposal to the Rural Health Care Outreach Program in early 2018.

The patients enrolled in the program are provided access to a number of resources that includes, life style coaches, social workers, and other appropriate support groups to aid in the successful management and treatment of chronic diseases. Most patients enrolled are over the age of 45 and have at ease two chronic diseases. BHS offers a variety of seminars on healthy eating and self-care, taught by dietician Patti Kuniak, RD, LDN.

In recent months, due to COVID-19, these classes have gone virtual with online telehealth options. The Rural Monitor took notice to how efficiently and smoothly BHS was able to transition during this global pandemic and applauded the Health System for their outstanding work. Erin Stewart, HRSA Program Officer, RN, BSN credited this to the hospital’s prior telehealth experience gained through a previous HRSA Outreach Program Grant from 2015-2018. It took coordination between multiple teams and departments across the health system to make the transition and due to services already in place, the transition moved very quickly.

To read more about the grant and BHS’s transition during the pandemic go to If you would like to learn more about Lifestyle Coaching visit