In a letter to Dr. Robert Rich, medical director at BMA, an association spokesperson announced the practice's selection for the national award.
The outstanding practice award recognizes a community-oriented rural health care delivery practice that has improved health care access to rural people through innovative, comprehensive approaches, the letter states.
Factors taken into consideration include outreach efforts, preventive health and educational programs, quality and efficiency of care, and strong community support and involvement.
The presentation of the award is set for May 16th during the association's 25th Annual Conference to be held in Kansas City. Practice Manager Linda Brisson and Rich are scheduled to accept the award.
In a Friday interview, Brisson said she was delighted to hear that BMA had been selected for the award. She said the announcement came as a welcome surprise.
"It's even more meaningful because we learned about it just as we were preparing to celebrate our seventh birthday as an organization," said Brisson.
Bladen Medical Associates was established by a group of local physicians with the help of Bladen County Hospital who backed the loan that got the group practice up and running.
Though getting the practice organized and operating was challenging in the early days of the practice, it has prospered almost from the day it opened, Brisson said. Most of the early difficulties related to melding the staffs of the previously independent practices into one cohesive unit.
Since that time the practice has grown and added physicians to the staff. Seven physicians are presently on the staff and two others are under contract to join the practice soon.
The National Rural Health Association is headquartered in Kansas City and has an office in Washington, D. C.
It has member organizations throughout the country.