McAlester native wins rural health service award

Courtesy photoLucy Muller receives the Rural Health Advocate of the Year award from the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma at the Annual Awards Luncheon held at the Edmond Conference Center in Edmond, Okla.

Lucy Muller said she is grateful to be recognized for her work and plans to continue advocating for rural healthcare.

The Executive Director of Human Resources, Education, and Volunteer Services at McAlester Regional Health Center recently received the Rural Health Advocate of the Year honor at the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma's Awards Luncheon in Edmond. Muller said she feels honored and wants to continue promoting rural healthcare.

"You really need rural health in the community because a lot of our population can't travel to big communities," Muller said.

Oklahoma's Rural Health Association, which advocates for rural health being a priority for legislators, awarded several during the banquet and has a mission of “serving as a united voice for rural health in Oklahoma.”

Muller is a 14-year healthcare professional who earned a master's in human resources in 2016. She serves on the Southern Workforce Board of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Project Woman McAlester Pink Ribbon Committee, McAlester Kiamichi Technology Center Foundation Board, and Leadership McAlester Committee, among other community service projects.

MRHC CEO David Keith said at the event he believes Muller will be leading a hospital in the near future, according to the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma.

Ashley Kennon, an MRHC spokesperson, said Muller is passionate about her profession.

“Lucy shines with passion, loyalty, and dedication," Kennon said in a press release. "Anyone who has the pleasure of working with her sees her devotion to improving the workplace culture.”

Muller said she believes in the rural health community and inspiring employee educations. She a focus on recruitment and retention in a rural setting, and employee wellness in the workplace.

She said another of her responsibilities is recruiting volunteers for various projects. Muller said a partnership with AARP will help provide resources through volunteer programs and she hopes to work more.

Muller said she also advocates for all 838 employees at MRHC — "especially those who don't have a voice," she said.

"It's been an honor to advocate for those employees, especially those on the frontlines busy giving patient care," Muller said.

Muller said the hospital is working to build a pipeline for students to enter the medical field through MRHC.

MRHC is hiring for several positions in clerical, housekeeping, dietary, nursing and other areas.

Muller said MRHC partners with the Pittsburg County Health Department for vaccine clinics.

Contact Adrian O'Hanlon III at aohanlon@mcalesternews.com

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