Every year the Minnesota Rural Health Awards are announced at Minnesota’s annual Rural Health Conference. As the 2020 conference was canceled due to the pandemic, conference hosts announced this year's awards during Minnesota’s Rural Health Week, November 15 to 21.

The Minnesota Rural Health Conference is hosted by the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC), the  Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA), and the National Rural Health  Resource Center (The Center). 

The Minnesota Rural Health Awards are given to individuals and groups who have made a significant contribution to improving rural health in Minnesota. 

See the full announcement here.

2020 Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award 

  • This year, the Minnesota Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Family Medicine/OB physician, Deborah J. Erickson, MD, at the Altru Clinic in  Warroad, Minn.
  • Dr. Erickson got her start as a medical student on the Duluth campus. 

2020 Minnesota Rural Health Hero Award 

  • This year’s Minnesota Rural Health Hero Award goes to Family Medicine physician, Kim Kruger, MD
  • Dr. Kruger also started her medical education journey on the Duluth campus. 

2020 Minnesota Rural Health Team Award 

  • This year’s Minnesota Rural Team Award goes to Rural Family Medicine Preceptors.
  • The shortage of rural physicians is a well-known challenge across the country. As part of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus, the Rural Medical Scholars Program involves practicing family medicine physicians in rural Minnesota and Western Wisconsin who mentor medical students that live and train with their preceptors and experience hands-on learning with patients of all ages.  

We thank them for their service and critical work!