She has served Eastern Shore Rural Health as board president for 17 years through June 25, 2019. When Eastern Shore Rural Health first began in 1976, the organization’s focus was to make primary care more accessible to people living on the Eastern Shore. Today, its eight locations offer a wide range of services including primary medical care, dental care, behavioral health services, pharmacy assistance services, pediatrics, and a robust school dental program.
Ms. Bland has been actively engaged in the organization’s growth and has been instrumental in helping it expand from a $2 million to a $24 million organization. She actively meets with local, state, and national legislators to advocate for funding and support. She has worked on policies that have enabled more access to care for the people of the Eastern Shore. She stays current on health policy, health legislation, community health center trends, and leadership best and promising practices by participating in activities and trainings offered by the Virginia Community Healthcare Association, the Virginia Health Safety Net Partners, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. She is an active member of her town council and her church, where she continues to share the mission of Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. with the community.
“I am so very pleased that Denise has been recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of Eastern Shore Rural Health, Inc.,” said Nancy Stern, Eastern Shore Rural Health CEO. “Denise’s impact on our health centers is immeasurable because the ripple effect of her efforts expounds in numerous ways, directions, and degrees. Her methodical work and dedicated leadership have strengthened a culture within Eastern Shore Rural Health – the mission; the wellbeing of our community, the constant assessment and improvement of policies and procedures, and the highest regard for integrity and ethics. I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Denise.”