Emanuel-McClain receives 2018 John Gilbert Award

AIKEN, S.C. – Carolyn Emanuel-McClain, MPH, chief executive officer of Rural Health Services, Inc., was honored with the 2018 John Gilbert Award by the National Association of Community Health Centers on Aug. 27 in Orlando, Florida.

“This award was made possible by all the lives that I have been able to touch and shape along with way,” Emanuel-McClain said. “I am grateful to the patients, the staff, the board members and each of the communities.”

Each year, NACHC honors outstanding men and women of the Community Health Center Movement. The 2018 NACHC Community Health Care Awards of Excellence were presented during the NACHC 49th Annual Convention & Community Health Institute general session. These awards span the spectrum of health center service and honor those whose accomplishments best exemplify excellence in community health care and contributions to the health center mission.

The John Gilbert Award was established in recognition of John Gilbert’s outstanding contribution to NACHC and the community health care field prior to his death in 1974. The award is presented to an individual who, as a member of either the board or staff of a health center, has demonstrated a level of excellence in the community health care field.

“I’m also grateful to the torch bearers who instilled in me the desire to serve, and who fueled my passion to help the helpless and those who felt hopeless,” Emanuel-McClain said. “It has been my purpose in life to nurture and mentor those in need of health care, those seeking an entry into the primary care workforce and those desiring to take a leadership role in Community Health.”

Emanuel-McClain graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in public health administration. She founded the Lumbee Medical Center, now Robeson Health Care Corporation, in Pembroke, and was responsible for obtaining the first PHS Section 330 funding for a health center in Robeson County.

For 15 years, Emanuel-McClain served as the executive director of Family Health Centers, Inc. in Orangeburg, South Carolina where she led the organization to become the first Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations-accredited health center in South Carolina. Her experience includes work with the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association, Management Solutions Group, Inc. and numerous health centers in the southeast, as well as a past Chair of NACHC and past President of SCPHCA.

On Aug. 14, 2009, Emanuel-McClain became the CEO for RHS. She has an abundance of experience in turning around troubled health care organizations and bringing resources to provide health care to rural, underserved areas.