Sparrow Clinton Names Rural Health Professional of Year

Published: May 4, 2023

ST. JOHNS, MI – Sparrow Clinton Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Mariah Hesse has been honored as 2023 Rural Health Professional of the Year for a lifetime’s work in promoting and improving health services in rural areas.

Hesse was recognized at a recent luncheon of the Michigan Center for Rural Health (MCRH). John Barnas, MCRH Executive Director, noted during the award ceremony that “while many are worthy of the award, it’s apparent that Mariah’s commitment to not only the health of her rural community, but the health of the entirety of rural Michigan made her a top choice in 2023.”

Hesse has not only made significant contributions to Sparrow Clinton but to Michigan’s rural health infrastructure through her role as President of the Michigan Critical Access Hospital Quality Network (MICAH QN), a position she has held since 2018. In addition, her contributions extend beyond the state of Michigan, as she serves on numerous national committees that help shape the patient safety and quality landscape for Critical Access Hospitals across the nation.

Mariah Hesse, Rural Health Professional of the Year - May 2023

Sparrow Clinton Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Mariah Hesse (right) is congratulated by Sparrow Clinton President Kris McCarty on her Rural Health Professional of the Year award.

“To see Mariah’s recognition for her professional lifelong advocacy is heartwarming as Mariah is an inspired advocate for rural healthcare,” said Sparrow Clinton President Kris McCarty. “Her passion for quality, safety, and patient experience and commitment to lifelong learning and collaboration make her a wonderful mentor for those who surround her.”

During her tenure, Hesse has made many contributions to Sparrow Clinton, with highlights including leading a journey to ACCN Pathway to Excellence and increasing access to care by leading the implementation of many new specialty services.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Michigan Center of Rural Health as the 2023 Health Professional of the Year,” Hesse said. “I have had the privilege to collaborate with many rural health professionals who advocate for Michigan communities to provide compassionate, quality, safe care in a rural setting. All of them are deserving of this recognition as well.”

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Sparrow Health System is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. Johns, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group and the Michigan Athletic Club. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit