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Illinois Rural Health Associaton Awards Scholarships to OCC Students

Leah Hinkle Photo                        KATY ERICKSEN PHOTO

                          LEAH HINKLE                                                   KATY ERICKSEN

Olney Central College students Leah Hinkle, of Flora, and Katy Ericksen, of Lawrenceville, are recipients of the Illinois Rural Health Association’s Medical Billing and Coding scholarships.

The pair was among four students selected for the honor, which drew applicants from across the state.

Due to the complex nature of compliance requirements for rural health clinics and critical access hospitals, there is a growing demand for Medical Billing and Coding experts in rural areas. The association offers the scholarships to address the shortage and encourage students to enter the field.

Upon graduation, Hinkle plans to work in either Clay or Wayne counties while Ericksen hopes to begin her career in Lawrence County.

Founded in 1989, the IRHA is a collaborative association comprised of more than 700 members including hospitals, rural health clinics, public health departments, practitioners, consumers and public officials, whose mission is to strengthen health systems for rural residents and communities through advocacy, education, networking and leadership.

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