The Presidential Leadership Scholars program welcomed Hana Hinkle, interim director of the National Center for Rural Health Professions at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford, on January 18.

Dr. Hana Hinkle

Hana Hinkle, PhD, MPH

Hinkle is a member of the seventh PLS class, which brings scholars together with former US presidents, key former administration officials and leading academics to learn about leadership and create meaningful change in the US and around the world.

After a rigorous application and review process, Hinkle was chosen based on her leadership growth potential and the strength of her personal leadership projects aimed at improving the civic or social good by addressing a critical challenge or need in a community, profession, or organization. She is one of 60 scholars selected for this year’s class.

A dynamic researcher, educator and leader who has dedicated her career to improving health outcomes for underserved populations, Hinkle has held leadership positions with the National Center for Rural Health Professions since 2013. She has also served as associate director of the Illinois Area Health Education Centers Network since 2015 and as co-director of NCRHP’s World Health Organization/Pan-American Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Developing and Sustainable Human Resources for Health and Medical Education. She is a UICOMR research assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and a department affiliate in the UIC School of Public Health’s Department of Community Health Sciences. She holds a master’s degree in public health with a focus on community and behavioral health and a doctorate in health sciences with a focus on addressing the training needs of the healthcare workforce through an innovative model of culturally appropriate healthcare delivery.

Currently president-elect of the Illinois Public Health Association and a member of the Centers for Disease Control’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, Hinkle recently was appointed by Governor Pritzker to serve on the State Health Improvement Planning Council. She previously served as the President of the Illinois Rural Health Association.

“I am looking forward to the skills and network that I will gain as a Presidential Leadership Scholar that will enhance my work in addressing health disparities in rural and underserved populations, culturally appropriate practice, healthcare policy and public health interventions and evaluation through translational research,” says Hinkle. “It’s an incredible opportunity to learn from such a diverse and accomplished group and then be able to apply that knowledge to create positive change.”