MACON, Mo. — Dr. Robert Jackson, of Kirksville, was the 2018 Medical Honoree at the Arthritis Foundation of Missouri's awards gala in December.
Jackson is the founder and president of Premier Specialty Network. The organization provides quality health care to rural locations throughout the United States.
"We focused our specialty care, predominantly to the rural market, where patients have less access to specialists, and for the last 10 years we've been trying to outreach to the majority of the small hospitals throughout the state of Missouri,” said Dr. Jackson.
Jackson was born and raised in Brookfield, Missouri, and he went to medical school in Kirksville and the University of Missouri Columbia.
Upon graduating, Jackson returned back to Kirksville and continues to work with rural hospitals in Missouri and 12 southeast Iowa locations as well.
"I got involved with the small hospitals when Brookfield itself got in trouble, like many hospitals with the financial status and that's when we helped create a model called, The Critical Access Hospitals. Which is true of Brookfield, and here in Macon where we are today. We've helped establish the critical access designation which has kept those hospitals viable in a rural market and we didn't wanna see the towns lose their hospitals, so we went out there to try and help them with that process,” said Dr. Jackson.
The outreach program has been around for 10 years.
Just last year, over 6,000 clinicals were performed with hospitals all over the United States.
Nurse practitioner Shawnee Kellison has worked with Dr. Jackson for over 20 years and says his efforts don't go unnoticed.
"It's been quite an honor to be able to see him working with patients who otherwise wouldn't have access to rheumatology care. It's really a joy to be able to see patients that have had chronic issues or chronic pain issues related to rheumatological diseases get that services provided by Dr. Jackson and Premier Specialty Network," said Kellison.