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WORH Earns National Innovation Award for EMS Program

The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health proudly announces that on September 20, 2023, it was honored with the 2023 Innovation Award by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), in recognition of its outstanding Rural EMS Outreach program. The Innovation Award is presented to a State Office of Rural Health that has exemplified creativity and dedication in their community outreach, programs, and activities aimed at advancing rural healthcare.


Wisconsin’s Rural EMS Outreach program, launched in July 2022, has garnered acclaim for its efforts to enhance access to Emergency Medical Services in the state’s rural communities.  The program formulates tailored strategies to local governments and their EMS services through one-on-one technical support, works collaboratively with industry associations, and brings 30+ years of expertise to the legislature upon request.


A pivotal study conducted by the EMS Outreach program revealed the extensive strain placed on Wisconsin’s emergency response system, with a staggering 41% of emergency services struggling to maintain 24/7/365 ambulance staffing.


The program also includes comprehensive leadership training for EMS personnel, ongoing initiatives to expand the EMS workforce, and dedicated advocacy for the needs of our invaluable emergency responders.


For further information and inquiries, please reach out to Rural EMS Outreach Program Manager, James Small, at 608-265-8221 or via email at

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