Dr. Pusey continues to invest in rural Oklahoma healthcare


OKLAHOMA CITY -- Rural Wellness Anadarko, Inc. and Rural Wellness Stroud, Inc. announced the acquisition of two Oklahoma hospitals last week -- The Physicians’ Hospital in Anadarko, and Stroud Regional Medical Center. The Rural Wellness companies will retain management company Avem Health Partners, formerly First Physicians Capital Group, which currently manages the day-to-day operations for both hospitals.

Rural Wellness Fairfax, Inc. purchased Fairfax Community Hospital -- also managed by Avem Health Partners -- in Fairfax, Okla. in March of 2020. The Rural Wellness healthcare investment companies are led by founder and president Dr. Elizabeth Pusey.

“Rural hospitals are vital to positive, long-term medical outcomes for the residents of Anadarko and Stroud and the surrounding areas,” Pusey said. “The jobs that affect the livelihood of community residents and their families are important. I am focused on closing the health disparities in rural areas compared to our urban colleagues and improving healthcare for rural Oklahomans.”

Avem Health Partners Chief Executive Officer Jeff Hill said: “The growing partnership with Dr. Pusey and Rural Wellness provides consistency and continuity among the hospitals we serve. We are thrilled with the continued partnership and committed to ensuring these rural communities thrive.”

Dr. Pusey is a physician with more than 30 years’ experience in both hospital-based and private practice settings. She has an active medical practice primarily focused on breast cancer detection in California.

Pusey’s extensive education at top-ten schools prepared her for a vocation dedicated to wellness and community health. She studied physics before receiving a bachelor's degree in food and nutrition science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to her doctor of medicine degree from the University of California, San Francisco, Pusey completed a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in public health.

Her own small-town roots inspired Pusey to serve in rural healthcare. She became aware of healthcare delivery gaps in rural Oklahoma and the impact of Critical Access Hospital programs in the state through a colleague.

The management organization’s leadership will remain the same and all current employees will retain their positions. There will be continued investment into each community, including potential new and expanded services and jobs.

Rural Wellness, Inc. now owns three Critical Access Hospitals managed by Avem Health Partners. The management group oversees day-to-day operations including back-office services, case management, the Swing Bed program, clinical services, information technology, finance, payroll, all clinical and ancillary services, and human resources -- including employing all staff and most providers.

Avem Health Partners leadership also recently announced a new name for the organization.

“We are excited to celebrate a new name and brand identity that aligns with our mission to improve rural healthcare,” Hill said.

Avem is Latin for “bird” and birds in flight move together as one, skillfully navigating various situations. Alongside Rural Wellness, Inc. and employees and community leaders in Anadarko, Fairfax and Stroud, Avem Health Partners are navigators advancing rural healthcare.