Karen Madden, director of the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health for the state of New York, received the 2012 Distinguished Andrew W. Nichols Award from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) during a ceremony held October 17 as part of the organization’s annual meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.
NOSORH presents the Distinguished Andrew W. Nichols Award each year to an individual who has made a significant contribution to NOSORH, is a member of the organization, and is actively involved in a State Office of Rural Health. The award is named in memory of Andrew W. Nichols, MD, MPH, the ideal embodiment of the citizen legislator who combined his medical and public health knowledge with political savvy and persistence to better the State of Arizona and its citizens. Dr. Nichols spent his life working for justice in health care and generated numerous programs that provided access to high quality health care for all, particularly in rural and border communities.
Madden was praised in the award nomination submitted on her behalf for her countless contributions to NOSORH and for being “a committed and knowledgeable rural health advocate and voice of leadership among her SORH peers.” She has served in numerous NOSORH leadership posts, including President, Secretary, National Rural Health Association State Office Council Chair, and the TASC Advisory Committee. She also helped establish the NOSORH Flex Committee and currently co-chairs the NOSORH Communications Committee. Beyond NOSORH, Madden serves on the prestigious National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.
Madden is also the brainchild behind National Rural Health Day. She continues to provide leadership for the annual event that this year received proclamations from more than 2/3 of all governors, was covered by over 700 media outlets and was carried out by the hard work of all 50 State Offices of Rural Health.
“It hardly seems as if one should receive an award for doing work that they love,” Madden noted upon receiving the award. “Andy Nichols led a mission-driven life, and I share the passion that he had for rural health and for creating access to quality health services for all of our communities. Receiving this award in his name and serving NOSORH is a highlight of my career.”
Photo Caption: Karen Madden (second from left) receives the 2012 NOSORH Distinguished Andrew W. Nichols Award from NOSORH Past President Mark Schoenbaum, NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger, and NOSORH President John Barnas.