Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

A national rural health organization announced recently its 2021 Community Stars — a list of 50 individuals, coalitions and organizations that have shown resilience and resolve over the past year. Among those recognized was Lesley Ogden, chief executive officer of Samaritan Health Services’ two coastal hospitals.

Each November, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health accepts nominations

and selects top recipients for Community Star recognition on Rural Health Day and produces a

book with their stories to inspire others who are working to improve the lives of rural Americans.

Ogden was nominated for exceptional leadership during wildfires that threatened one

hospital and impacted services at the other hospital, and for her hands-on approach to handling

the ongoing pandemic, including active participation in community vaccination efforts, Samaritan said through a press release.

“These Community Stars teach us lessons and provide positive examples of what can be accomplished, even during a public health crisis,” said Teryl Eisinger, National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health CEO. “Their stories tell the tale of keeping resolve, maintaining and growing relationships, ensuring readiness in communities and never giving up on being resilient. These are extraordinary people making rural life better every single day.”

Ogden and the other Community Stars were recognized on Nov. 18 for National Rural Health Day and celebrated during a virtual gathering of people from across the country. has no paywall and to keep it that way, we rely on voluntary memberships. If you’re already a member, thank you for contributing. To join our community as a member or to make a one-time contribution, please CLICK HERE.