Award established to recognize rural hospital innovation and transformation

November 13, 2018

University Park, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) has established the Baronner Rural Innovation and Transformation (BRIT) Award to recognize rural hospitals and health systems that have implemented a robust and sustainable initiative to significantly impact the health status of the communities they serve.

Larry Baronner

Lawrence Baronner

IMAGE: Provided

The award honors the legacy of Lawrence Baronner, who served as PORH’s rural health systems manager and deputy director, who retired in August 2018. During his career, Baronner was a leading rural health care advocate, applying his diverse and extensive background in rural health to serve as an invaluable resource for health care transformation in Pennsylvania and across the nation. His understanding and focus on quality reporting, data collection and population health were the hallmarks of the federally-funded Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility program in Pennsylvania and supported visionary leadership to the state’s Critical Access Hospitals and other rural health care facilities and providers.

“We are so pleased to honor Larry and his significant contributions to rural health. Through his leadership, health care innovation in the state’s smallest hospitals has increased,” noted Lisa Davis, director and outreach associate professor of health policy and administration. “We look forward to recognizing rural hospitals that have embraced transformation and increased the quality of care provided to the patients they serve.”

Award recipients will have demonstrated a commitment to promoting effective change in health care through new approaches to delivering and paying for rural health care, improving quality of care, collaborating to develop innovative solutions to address rural health care issues, and advancing consumer engagement.

Nominations may be made by any health care provider, organization, association or individual. Hospital leadership is encouraged to submit a nomination on behalf of their facility.The award information, including the nomination form can be found, at Nominations are due by Jan. 18, 2019.

PORH, a partnership between the U.S. Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Penn State, was established in 1991 to enhance the health status of rural Pennsylvanians and strengthen the delivery and quality of care in the communities in which they live. PORH provides technical assistance, coordination, and partnership development to agencies and organizations at the local, state, and national levels to advance the health status of rural residents. To learn more about the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, visit  

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Last Updated November 13, 2018