Dr. Wendel Ellis announced as Rural Health Practitioner of the Year


The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) recently announced its 2015 National Rural Health Award recipients, and Dr. Wendel Ellis, D.O. of Greeley County Health Services was selected as NRHA’s 2015 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year. Ellis, along with other winners around the nation will be honored on April 16 during NRHA’s 38th Annual Rural Health Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“In my 30 years of working in healthcare organizations, I’ve worked with many physicians. Dr. Ellis is the most dedicated and positive provider that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. He is very deserving of this recognition. He is so dedicated to our local communities and has such a positive influence on patients and the people he works with,” Lee Rhodes, CEO said, “In addition to his excellent clinical skills, Dr. Ellis is very knowledgeable about how the entire healthcare system works, from Medicare reimbursement to the hands-on patient care, his scope of understanding is very rare for physicians in today’s world.”

 As part of the NRHA selection requirements, Ellis was selected as NRHA’s 2015 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year because of his devotion to rural health and his vital role in the communities he serves. Ellis has dedicated his life’s work to the Greeley and Wallace County residents. He is a model of community involvement in western Kansas in providing free school physicals and serving as Wallace County medical director a nursing home medical director and EMS medical director for Greeley and Wallace counties, and as the deputy district coroner. His role has extended to mentoring and teaching students of all ages, combining professionalism, skill and patient concern with his easy-going personality and wry sense of humor.

“Dr. Ellis is really a cornerstone to our health system, and therefore, our entire community. He has enriched the lives of so many western Kansas residents, and through his years of service, has become not only a wonderful doctor, but an irreplaceable joist to people’s lives. He has delivered babies into these communities, and held the hands of others as they left. He has touched several generations of patients, and enabled them to live healthier, happier lives, and for this, we owe him much gratitude,” Katelyn Reynolds, Human Resources Director said.

Ellis and his wife Elby moved to Tribune in 1993 and joined a private practice partnering with Dr. Robert Moser. Ellis has continued to serve the healthcare needs of the Greeley and Wallace county communities for last 22 years.

“It is really by the grace of God, the support of my wife and the collaboration of my partners that I have been chosen as a representative of rural healthcare providers for this award,” Ellis said, “It is due to the fact that I have such quality patients, excellent staff and the community support that I am able to be recognized in this manner.”

The NRHA conference will attract 650 rural health professionals and students to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Conference is the largest gathering of rural health professionals in the nation. NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and wellbeing of rural Americans and providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research.

“Every year, rural Americans come together to gain education and raise awareness on behalf of the 62 million Americans who live in rural areas and desperately need access to affordable health care,” said Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO.

“We’re especially proud of this year’s winners,” said Morgan. “They have each already made tremendous strides to advance rural health care, and we’re confident they will continue to help improve the lives of rural Americans.”

Greeley County Health Services is proud to announce that Dr. Ellis has earned national recognition for his valiant efforts in the Greeley, Wallace and surrounding counties.

“Dr. Ellis is a tremendous example for family medicine.  He takes great pride in caring for families, their health and personal concerns.  The countless hours he shares with patients in our region undoubtedly takes a toll on his personal and family life but Dr. Ellis rarely complains or tries to shift the burden of care onto another.  Dr. Ellis exhibits a dedication to family, dedication to community, and a dedication to the individual which is a true example for any healthcare professional,” said Chrysanne Grund, Project Director.

For more information on the NRHA, please visit their website at RuralHealthWeb.org. For additional information on Dr. Wendel Ellis, D.O. and his practice please visit his profile on this site or call Greeley County Family Practice Clinic at 620-376-4251 or the Wallace County Family Practice Clinic at 785-852-4230.

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