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Grand Rounds Guest Lecturer: Maggie Sauer

Maggie Sauer’s lecture, NC Rural Health: Rural is the New Urban focused on the health issues in rural areas of North Carolina and the resources the NC DHHS provides to address the issues. (Pictured L-R: Karen Gliarmis, Dr. Victoria Kaprielian, Maggie Sauer, Shawanda Fields, Stephanie Nantz)

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Rural Health Director, Maggie Sauer, addressed Campbell Medicine faculty, staff, students, and invited guests on July 31st at the first Grand Rounds of the 2019-2020 academic year.

A native of the rural eastern plains of Colorado, Sauer shared how her childhood experiences fostered her passion to work and serve in rural communities. She told the story of how her hometown rebuilt their clinic after it was destroyed by a tornado and added the innovation of telehealth to expand its services.

"At the office of rural health, we don't focus on what rural communities don't have – we focus on what they do have. Tremendous passion, heart and a sense of community."

"You have the opportunity to make some of the biggest impacts in your career by making rural part of what you choose to do in the future," said Sauer. "The mission of Campbell is rural, and thank you for making the choice to serve people in rural areas."

Speaking about the vision of NC DHHS under the direction of Mandy Cohen, Sauer reminded them that health doesn't just happen in the clinic.

"Health is about transportation, housing, food security, and economic development. North Carolina was the first state to have an Office of Rural Health and is the only state in the nation to currently use a waiver program to pay for these kinds of needs so they can achieve the kind of health we all deserve."

Sauer introduced the programs and services the Office of Rural Health offers including health workforce placement services and provider loan forgiveness programs.

"It’s never too early to engage with our office - get to know us early and often! When you are ready to go into practice, we know places that would love to have you – whether it is near the beach, central or the mountains."

Maggie Sauer joined the Office of Rural Health as director in June 2017, after serving as the President/CEO of the Foundation for Health Leadership and Innovation (FHLI), in Cary, N.C., for over five years.

During her tenure at the FHLI, the foundation doubled its size and staff and increased its presence in North Carolina and nationally. Prior to Sauer’s work at FHLI, she served as the Associate Executive Director of the N.C. Medical Society Foundation, directing programs to strengthen and expand primary care in North Carolina.

She received her Master of Health Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master of Science from Colorado State University.

— SARAH BOWMAN