About Us

Discover the purpose of the
Texas Rural Health Association

Who We Are

The Texas Rural Health Association (TRHA) was established in 1984 by a steering committee of representatives from various West Texas entities, including county governments, public health departments, and educational/healthcare institutions. Efforts were encouraged by the Texas Tech University Regional Academic Health Center in Odessa, which also provided a convenient operational base in the early stages. Many other organizations also supported TRHA with meeting space, travel costs for representatives, materials, and supplies.

Most of the early membership and enthusiasm was cultivated in West Texas, where TRHA was based. In fact, it was initially named the West Texas Rural Health Association. As the group grew and evolved, other regions of the state provided interest, participation, and membership, bolstered by an active board of directors and core members to ensure that rural health concerns were represented for the whole state.

Today TRHA continues to broaden the potential for leaders to unite, promoting strong rural health policy, advocacy, and education. We hope you will join us!

What we do

What We Do

  • Promote rural health as a major concern in Texas.
  • Serve as a strong, unifying voice for those working to improve rural health statewide.
  • Advocate for rural health and improved health systems for rural Texans.
  • Provide a forum to exchange information and ideas for rural health improvements.
  • Help develop appropriate health resources for medically underserved areas of rural Texas.

TRHA’s primary forum for the exchange of information and ideas has been the annual conference, where professionals from diverse backgrounds have generated enthusiastic and fruitful dialogue. Countless informal, networking relationships emerged from these conferences, as they identified overlapping missions and strategies to deal with shrinking resources. Through TRHA, health professionals, academics, and policymakers share information, expand knowledge, and develop collaborative, streamlined solutions.

Mark your calendar for TRHA’s major events in 2020! Read more here.>

Board of Directors

Mike Easley, President
Austin, Texas

Gayla Quillin
Parmer Medical Center
Friona, Texas

Paula Winkler
South Central AHEC
San Antonio, Texas

Ann Smith, Secretary
UNT Health Sciences Center
Fort Worth, Texas

Candy Powell
Collingsworth General Hospital
Wellington, Texas

Bel Flores
South Coastal AHEC
Corpus Christi, Texas

Courtney West
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, Texas

Katherine McDonald, MBA, PA-C
Radiology Partners
Conroe, Texas

David M. DeShan, M.D.
Midland Women’s Clinic
Midland, Texas


TRHA Staff

Kelly Cheek
Abilene, Texas

Terra A. New
325-672-0495 (Phone)
3702 Loop 322
Abilene, TX 79602

If you would like to speak to a member of the board, please send us a message and we’ll contact you.

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Join us in improving the health of rural Texans