Marie Barry currently serves as the Director of Community Economic Development at the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative where she leads RWHC's efforts to utilize one of rural communities' greatest assets - their hospitals - as a driver of economic development. RWHC is a cooperative of 44 rural hospitals across Wisconsin that has provided shared services and acted as an advocate for our member hospitals for over 40 years.
Marie has an undergraduate degree from UW-Madison and a graduate degree in Community and Economic Development from Pennsylvania State University. She previously worked for two senators in the Wisconsin legislature and successfully shepherded bipartisan bills from drafting to being signed into law, including during split party control of the legislative and executive branch.
Rural Hospital Engagement in Economic Development: Why and How
A body of research supports the idea that both the financial health of rural hospitals and the physical health of patients is largely influenced by the local economy. However, healthcare leaders face aq multitude of pressing problems more closely linked to the daily operations of their hospitals. How do you make the case to your Board
of Directors and other local leaders that it is worth the hospital's time and relevant to their operations to engage in local economic development efforts? And how can a small, rural hospital with few financial resources make a demonstrable impact on their local economy? This session will provide a comprehensive case for rural hospital involvement in economic development alone with actionable, practical strategies for engagement in local economic development efforts that hospital leaders can take back to their organization and implement.