Rita Osborn, MBA, has been honored with the prestigious title of Outstanding Educator by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) this year. The award recognizes individuals who have devoted their time and expertise to enhancing the health and wellness of communities. Osborn, along with other recipients, will be celebrated during the NRHA’s 47th Annual Rural Health Conference on May 9, 2024, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

NRHA CEO Alan Morgan expressed pride in this year’s recipients, emphasizing the unique challenges faced by rural health professionals. He commended Osborn and her peers for their significant contributions to advancing rural healthcare, expressing confidence in their continued impact on the lives of rural Americans.

Based at Southern Utah University (SUU), Osborn serves as the Executive Director of the Utah Center for Rural Health. Additionally, she leads the Rural Health Association of Utah and oversees the Southwest Utah Area Health Education Program. Over the course of twenty-five years, Osborn has been pivotal in promoting health education initiatives. She founded the Rural Utah Health Scholars Program, facilitating the journey of students pursuing careers in healthcare. Furthermore, Osborn actively supports medical professionals seeking to practice in rural regions.

SUU Media Relations
SUU Media Relations

Expressing gratitude for the recognition, Osborn humbly acknowledged her colleagues’ nominations and the support of her team. She highlighted her fulfillment in guiding students towards healthcare professions, particularly when they opt to serve rural Utah communities.

The Utah Center for Rural Health, under Osborn's leadership, works tirelessly to elevate rural healthcare standards through leadership, advocacy, coalition building, and education. Their efforts extend to influencing policy and legislation, ensuring the ongoing improvement of rural healthcare access and quality.

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