CLIK Participant Named Director of KY Office of Rural Health
HAZARD, Ky. (June 26, 2023) — Matthew Coleman has been named director of the Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH) at the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH), effective July 1, 2023.
The KORH was established in 1991 through federal legislation to support the health and well-being of Kentuckians by promoting access to rural health services. The program provides a framework for linking small rural communities with local, state and federal resources while working toward long-term solutions to rural health issues.
Coleman has more than a decade of experience across both the health care and public education sectors and has served in various roles at the KORH since 2021, working as a rural project manager and a rural program specialist. In 2018, he was selected as a participant in the Community Leadership Institute of Kentucky to complete a project focused on substance use disorder prevention and life skills training at Lee County Middle School.
In his new role as KORH director, Coleman will oversee a number of federally-funded programs, including the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program, the Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program, the Kentucky Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, and a variety of other services and activities geared toward veterans, emergency management leadership, rural health clinics and critical access hospitals.
“We are pleased to welcome Matt into his new role as a strong leader who possesses the education, knowledge and experience to bring leadership to the KORH and UK CERH as we strive to improve the health and well-being of the Commonwealth,” said Fran Feltner, director of the UK CERH, which serves as the federally designated KORH.
“During my time at KORH, I have been fortunate to work with a great team and to collaborate with hospitals, clinics and many community partners. I look forward to building upon this foundation to continue engaging with rural stakeholders with a focus on advancing rural health across the state,” said Coleman.
Coleman holds a master's degree in strategic management from the University of the Cumberlands and a bachelor's degree in education from Morehead State University. He lives in Beattyville, Kentucky, with his wife Glenna and their four children.
About the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health: The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health was established by state legislation in 1990 to address health disparities in rural Kentucky and the unique challenges faced by our communities. The mission was and still is today to improve the health and well-being of rural Kentuckians. For more than three decades, the center has partnered with communities, providers, students and individuals to provide health professions education, health policy research, health care service and community engagement toward reaching this mission.
About the Kentucky Office of Rural Health: The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH), established in 1991, is a federal-state partnership authorized by federal legislation. The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health serves as the federally-designated Kentucky Office of Rural Health. The mission of the KORH is to support the health and well-being of Kentuckians by promoting access to rural health services. The program provides a framework for linking small rural communities with local, state, and federal resources while working toward long-term solutions to rural health issues. The KORH assists clinicians, administrators and consumers in finding ways to improve communications, finances, and access to quality health care while ensuring that funding agencies and policymakers are made aware of the needs of rural communities.
by Beth Bowling