(Neb)-Jonnie Kusek Of Panhandle Trails is NE Community Star 2018
ALLIANCE - Last Thursday was Rural Health Day, set aside annually to highlight rural communities and areas as wonderful places to live and work, as shown by the nearly 60-million Americans who live there now, and to increase awareness of and answers to rural health-related issues.
For the last 3 years, it has also recognized as Community Stars those hospital and emergency first responder teams, community health workers, and volunteer service heroes on the front lines of rural health who are making a positive impact on rural lives.
One individual is recognized from each state each year and Nebraska's Community Star this year is Jonnie Kusek of Alliance, transit director for Panhandle Trails Rural Public Transit - part of Senior Services, Inc.
For many Panhandle residents, Panhandle Trails is their only transportation to health care or government services in other cities in the Panhandle.
Senior Services President Donald Smith says Kusek's vision, hard work and perseverance combine with her passion for helping others is why Panhandle Trails continues to grow. Smith points to Kusek driving her own car more than 30,000 miles in the name of public transportation.
Kusek says she can't help but be dedicated to Panhandle Trails because she's seen "the looks in people's eyes and the desperation in their voices" when they realize they are literally landlocked with no way to get to doctor's appointments or treatments except Panhandle Trails.
The online book National Rural Health Day Community Stars 2018 has a page on Jonnie Kusek. It's available at the PowerofRural.org website, the official hub for National Rural Health Day and the Power of Rural movement
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