Rural Health Network would like to welcome Lenore Boris as our new Board President! We recently spoke with Ms. Boris about her new role on our Board. Lenore Boris, JD, PhD, is currently Associate Dean at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
1) What about our agency and mission contributed to your decision to accept a position on the Board of Directors?
My organization was a partner organization for the Rural Health Service Corps for about 6 years before I was offered the opportunity to be on the Board of Directors for the Rural Health Network. I was impressed with the commitment of the people who work at RHN, and also felt that the mission of RHN was very important. I have worked in healthcare for a long time, and I believe that the RHN has an important role in insuring that a specific population, the rural population, receives the same level of services in health care as other people. Living in a rural area should not be the factor that determines the quality of care an individual gets, or their ability to access care.
2) Can you tell me about something that influenced your community involvement?
I have had a career of service. In addition to working full time, I was a member of the Air Force Reserve, so I sort of had a part time job in service to our country. When I ended my military career, that gave me the opportunity to devote my time to something a little more local, and get involved in community agencies, particularly ones that I was familiar with because of the work in my current role at SUNY Upstate.
3) What experience do you bring to your role as Board President?
I've been in a multitude of leadership positions, both in my military career as Chief Nurse of a medical clinic and in my civilian role, so I have the leadership and management experience that is helpful as Board President. I also have an in depth understanding of healthcare in our country, and have been on the steering committee for the Broome County Community Health Assessment. In addition to that I became involved in the healthcare reform effort, DSRIP. This has given me an understanding of the changes that are occurring in the healthcare arena and the experience to help RHN position itself to be an active participant in the reformed healthcare delivery system.
4) What is your vision for the direction and future accomplishments of RHNSCNY during your time as Board President?
I want to ensure that RHN continues its advocacy for the rural population as healthcare reform is unfolding, that it is an active participant in helping shape that reform, and that it is able to position itself to be sustainable in the new healthcare world.
This is an exciting time to be involved in healthcare. There are a lot of uncertainties, but RHN and other community based organizations who work in the health arena have an opportunity to help shape and influence the direction of healthcare. Now more than ever, RHN's role in advocating for the rural population is an essential voice that must continue.