FORT WAYNE — Parkview’s Dr. Eric Reichenbach was recently named this year’s winner of the Outstanding Rural Health Provider Award by the Indiana Department of Health.
The recognition comes as part of the state Critical Access Hospital Awards, recognizing providers and organizations serving Indiana’s smaller rural communities. The awards are presented in collaboration with the Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana Rural Health Association and Qsource.
“It is our honor to announce Eric Reichenbach, MD the recipient of the Outstanding Rural Health Provider Award selected by the Indiana State Office Rural Health,” said Joyce Fillenwarth, rural health manager for the Indiana Department of Health. “This award is to recognize an individual that demonstrates outstanding rural health performance. Dr. Reichenbach was selected for his initiatives to address barriers his community encountered to fill medications, his volunteerism, and innovation to streamline processes and procedures to support his colleagues.”
Reichenbach, a family medicine physician at the Parkview Wabash Health Clinic in North Manchester, serves as the section chief for 30 family medicine providers in a four-county area in the Parkview Health South market. He also oversees seven advanced practice providers and, this year, accepted oversight of the new Parkview Physicians Group clinic that opened in Peru in August.
Reichenbach has worked diligently to build and support primary care in his hometown. He has actively worked to increase availability of mental health services, improve access to care and address provider shortages in rural communities.
“Eric is a model of commitment to rural care and to the people who live in Wabash County,” said Dr. Joshua Kline, Chief Medical Officer for Parkview Physicians Group, during the recent award presentation in North Manchester. “When I look at Eric as a part of the team, he’s really been committed to what can healthcare, and what can primary care, be in a way that serves the local community.”
Within the last three years, Reichenbach has led several efforts to bolster access to and quality of care in Wabash County. Those efforts have included:
- Launching the Olive Pilot Project, a program making it easier for patients to call in and obtain medication refills.
- Securing nurse navigators in the rural health clinics in Wabash and North Manchester, who can help provide patient education on common chronic illnesses and relieve a backlog among specialists.
- Championing mental health care access and helping to bring a licensed counselor to Wabash County.
- Leading efforts to secure multiple grants during and following the pandemic to help fund purchases of a new generator and new vaccination refrigerators, renovation of the patient education room and expansion of pediatric and adult vaccination education programs.
Reichenbach has also taken an active role in fostering new generations of healthcare providers. He has participated in provider recruitment events and spends time talking with and answering questions from prospective candidates, has accepted medical students on rotation every year and has taught residency courses in Fort Wayne, which helped directly lead to recruitment of a recent new family medicine physician in Wabash County.
Outside of work, Reichenbach serves on local boards and committees in Wabash County, including the Wabash County Health Department and volunteers with the 85 HOPE free clinic. He enjoys acting in community theater productions. He and his wife, Jennifer, have lived in North Manchester for more than 20 years after moving there following his medical residency, and have raised four children in the community.
“I should get my whole staff in here to be celebrated as well, because this kind of thing doesn’t just happen in a vacuum,” Reichenbach said when accepting his award. “There’s a lot of teamwork that happens at Parkview, and this is really an honor.”