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RWHC Advocacy Director presented the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative Rural Health Ambassador Award to the Tomah Health Emergency Preparedness director.

Newlun Receives Rural Health Recognition

Tomah Health Emergency Preparedness director James Newlun is among a select group of health care professionals in Wisconsin recognized for making a significant contribution to rural health and the local community.

Above: Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) Advocacy Director Jeremy Levin, left, presented the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative Rural Health Ambassador Award to Tomah Health Emergency Preparedness director James Newlun during a ceremony May 14 as part of National Hospital week.

Newlun received the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative’s (RWHC) Rural Health Ambassador Excellence award during a ceremony at Tomah Health May 14 as part of the hospital’s recognition of National Hospital Week.

“Often you see health care employees doing a lot and I think that is even more so indicative of rural health care employees,” said Jeremy Levin, Director of Advocacy for the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, who presented the award. “We’ve been doing this (award) since 2004 because there are so many rural health care employees that are deserving of being honored.”

As the Emergency Preparedness specialist at Tomah Health, Newlun is responsible for planning and directing all disaster response and crisis management activities for the hospital.

“Throughout his short three-year career at Tomah Health, James has been devoted to careful planning and effective crisis communications that have positioned the organization into a unique position to handle various situations,” hospital marketing & public relations director Eric Prise said. “Considering the past year with COVID activities, James has clearly demonstrated the characteristics that comprise the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative Ambassador Excellence Award and make him an outstanding representative for Tomah Health.”

In addition to his duties at Tomah Health, Newlun is also the Juneau County village of Camp Douglas Fire Chief and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief. He also serves as the chair of the region 4 area Healthcare Emergency Readiness Coalition (HERC) and is vice chair of the statewide HERC advisory board.

The HERC is a group of health care organizations, public safety and public health partners that join forces for the common goal of making communities safer, healthier and more resilient. The HERC Region 4 includes seven western Wisconsin counties, including Monroe, Buffalo, Crawford, Jackson, LaCrosse, Vernon and Trempealeau along with the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Levin said about 20 people across the state will receive the cooperative’s award this year.

Incorporated in 1979, RWHC receives national recognition as one of the country’s earliest and most successful models for networking among rural hospitals. RWHC serves as a catalyst for regional collaboration and as an influential and creative force on behalf of rural communities and rural health. Owned and operated by 43 acute, medical-surgical hospitals, including Tomah Health, RWHC offers its members a wide range of shared services that meet local community health needs, including staffing, consulting, management, networking and education.


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