Thank you to all who participated in our virtual live event!

For Rural Communities
Responding to COVID-19

Listen Now

This Impact! Live Listening and Learning Session is a collaborative web-based community leader and stakeholder education effort between Matt Probst, PA-C and Michelle Rathman, President and CEO of Impact! Communications, Inc., and host of Rural Matters Podcast.

Rural America During a Pandemic

Different Crisis Same Challenges

COVID-19 is a global health crisis, unlike any other in over 100 years. As the virus began to wreak havoc in America’s cities, many rural leaders from health, education, business, economic, and civic sectors braced themselves for impact because they understood what was coming. A pandemic packed with overwhelming hardship that other places in America would not experience.

Rural America is especially vulnerable to a population health crisis. It has been battling an opioid epidemic, persistent poverty, joblessness, closing hospitals, lack of broadband, food insecurity, and other inequalities for decades. What will be the full impact of a highly infectious virus on rural populations under these conditions without a coordinated, well-sourced response plan?

With all the uncertainty and harder times to come looming, there is a remarkable group of rural community leaders that organized to meet the mammoth challenges of the moment together, and they did so before coronavirus arrived.  

The time to prepare for a crisis is not in the middle of one.

The book that inspired a rural primary care provider to build a coalition to fight COVID-19.

100% Community

From the authors of Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment, Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello’s new book 100% Community: Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving is a comprehensive guide for ensuring that all states, cities and communities become crisis-proof.

100% Community demonstrates how leaders can, and are right now, ensuring that ten vital services in their communities are fully working and accessible. Ortega Courtney and Cappello call these services that no one can do without, the “surviving services.” These begin with accessible medical care and include behavioral health care, safe housing, secure food and transport to vital services.

“Everyone thrives! That’s the big picture and we get there through unprecedented collaboration, courage and creativity. The 100% Community is a framework that is guided by data and empowered by technology and collaboration. With alignment of all local leadership, both elected and informal, each county can become an engine for local problem-solving to ensure all residents are healthy, safe and resilient.”


Discover 100% Community

Community Organizer

Meet Matt Probst, PA-C

100% Community San Miguel Community Organizer

Matt Probst, PA-C is the medical director of El Centro Family Health serving northern New Mexico, featured in the documentary The Providers, and is serving as the 100% Community San Miguel County community organizer. Matt read 100% Community and took on the mission with his community to help put an end to childhood trauma. What they got was a playbook for a pandemic.

100% Community San Miguel was already organized and mobilized and what they’ve been able to accomplish during the pandemic is nothing short of remarkable. How they are responding to COVID-19 can teach rural counties across the country a lot about moving from crisis to community, all in it together!


The following is an excerpt from Matt’s Foreword from the newest edition of 100% Community.

“100% Community is a comprehensive guide to big picture systems change; one we have been needing for decades to address health disparities. With my county team guided by the book, we’ve been empowered to mobilize all family-serving service sector leaders and elected officials, united in creating a system of care across the entire county that I believe will serve as a model for the entire country. “
Matt Probst, PA-C
Event Highlights

A Response and Recovery Plan that is Right Sized for Rural

Join the authors of 100% Community, members of the San Miguel COVID-19 response team, and Matt Probst, PA-C, as they share details about San Miguel’s journey to creating a small town yet massive community coalition to combat coronavirus and the devastation it brings beyond a health crisis.

Authors, Dominic Cappello and Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD, will discuss the origin of their book and explain the premise of the second edition and what they hope it will do to help aid rural counties across the country through COVID-19 and beyond.


Who Should Register?

Civic Leaders | Public, Mental, and Behavioral Health Professionals | City and County Managers | Higher Education and School Superintendents | Transportation, Housing and Food Agencies

Event Highlights

About the Event Hosts

Michelle Rathman is the President & CEO of Impact! Communications, Inc., Impact! is a leader in healthcare strategy and communications specializing in critical access and rural health systems, hospitals, clinics, and provider practices. She is also a speaker and facilitator, as well as the host of Rural Matters, the nation’s leading podcast that aims to increase awareness, inform discussion, and promote intelligent dialogue on the most important issues facing rural stakeholders today.

Michelle met Matt Probst, PA-C during her work with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health for National Rural Health Day 2019. When Matt shared is 100% Community San Miquel County news with her, she felt that every rural community would benefit from learning what he and his collaborators were doing to respond to COVID-19.

Michelle will guide this ImpactLive discussion featuring Matt Probst, authors, Dominic Cappello and Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD, Sheriff Chris Lopez, 100% San Miguel co-director, Senator Pete Campos, and Kim Blea, Dean of Students at the New Mexico Highlands University, all key 100% Community San Miguel County partners.


Guest Panelists

Matt Probst, PA-C

Chief Quality Officer and Medical Director at El Centro Family Health

Michelle Rathman

President & CEO of Impact! Communications, Inc. and Host of Rural Matters Podcast

Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD

Author, 100% Community

Dominic Cappello

Author, 100% Community

Chris Lopez

Sheriff, San Miquel County

Pete Campos

Senator, New Mexico

Kimberly Blea, Ed.D.

Dean of Students at New Mexico Highlands University
Rural is Stronger Together

Add Your Voice to the Conversation

Impact! Communications Inc., thanks the following organizations for sharing information about this rural leadership and community stakeholder event.