Health Equity Council Member Application

  • The National Rural Health Association’s Health Equity Council is not currently seeking applications for individuals interested in serving on the council board. Terms for open positions of the Editorial Board will begin Jan. 1, 2022.
    The council meets once annually in conjunction with NRHA's Annual Health Equity Conference and via teleconference each month. Members pay their own travel and lodging expenses for the annual meeting. Potential candidates must have significant rural health experience and an established record of work. Council members must also be members of NRHA and active participation in council events is required for the duration of their term.

    Requirements- Applicants to the Health Equity Council must be NRHA members or willing to join before the start of the program.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the health of all people residing in rural America through the provision of equitable health care services. This commitment must be demonstrated in the personal statement, as well as the curriculum vitae/resume of the applicant.
  • Applicants must be willing and able to commit to monthly conference calls as part of the program and the in person meeting prior to the Health Equity Conference.

Online applications are no longer being accepted.

The current council roster consists of the following individuals:

David Line,Ph.D. (chair)
Eastern Washington University 
Associate professor

David L. Albright, Ph.D.
University of Alabama
Endowed Chair in Mental Health

Agnes Attakai, M.P.A.
University of Arizona
Zuckerman College of Public Health
Director of health disparities outreach
Sarah Beehler, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota Medical School
Dept. of Family Medicine
Assistant professor
Sarah Brinkman, M.B.A.
Stratis Health
Program manager

Carla Gibson
REACH Healthcare Foundation
Vice president of programs

Carrie Henning-Smith, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota
Rural Health Research Center
Deputy director
Sarah Huling
Forks Community Hospital
Hospital board, RHLR board

Susan Kunz, M.P.H.

Mary-Katherine McNatt, D.Ph., M.P.H.
A.T. Still University
College of Graduate Health Studies
Dept. chair & professor

Joni Nelson, Ph.D.
Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine Division of Population Oral Health
Assistant professor
Bryan Price
University of Virginia Cancer Center
Outreach and Education Specialist

Jan Probst, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina
Distinguished professor emerita

Julie St. John, Dr.Ph.
Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center    
Associate dean

Mina Tanaka, M.D.
Northern Navajo Medical Center
Internal medicine physician

Kay Miller Temple, M.D.
Rural Health Information Hub
Physician writer and journalist

Matthew Tobey, M.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Rural medicine programs director
Harvard Medical School
Assistant professor
Maricela Vallejo
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Medical student

Heather Whetsell, M.B.A.
Southern Illinois University Medicine Office of Population Science and Policy
Administrative director


The Health Equity Council’s mission is to promote and enhance physical and mental well-being for rural and frontier underserved populations through national leadership, representation and advocacy for accessible, affordable, high-quality health services that result in an improved quality of life. The council will bring these issues to the forefront of discussion at the annual NRHA Health Equity Conference. NRHA encourages all who are interested to attend this conference to learn and engage with experts in health equity, view research posters and network with peers.
With the Health Equity Council and Conference, NRHA remains committed to issues impacting underserved populations in rural and frontier communities. With more than 21,000 members, NRHA continues to provide leadership on rural health issues through communications, advocacy, research and education. Your participation in presentations and contributions to the dialogue of best practices would be of great value for this national audience.

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