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Kurt R. Loveless, M.B.A.

Kurt R. Loveless, MBA, has been working in healthcare since 1991 after he graduated with a BA from UT Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. His first experience in healthcare was as an auditor, auditing the Edinburg Hospital. Mr. Loveless quickly discovered a passion for healthcare and went to work for the Edinburg Hospital in 1993. He went on to earn his MBA from Emporia State University, in Emporia, Kansas. Mr. Loveless has worked as a hospital CFO for 15 years, Regional Vice President for 8 years, CEO for seven years, and is currently serving as the CEO at Kane County Hospital in Kanab, Utah.

Throughout his career, Mr. Loveless has served on numerous Boards of Directors. He served as President of the UT-Pan American Alumni Association, Secretary for the Wichita American Red Cross board, and President of the Two Rivers Youth Soccer Association. In addition, Mr. Loveless was a Rotarian, where he was both Secretary and President. Mr. Loveless has served in several board leadership positions for HFMA, the Healthcare Financial Management Association. In his role as Regional Vice President, Mr. Loveless sat on 21 separate hospital and surgical center boards ranging from private equity companies to District, County, and 501c3 nonprofit boards.

Mr. Loveless and his wife Taffy Loveless, reside in Kanab, Utah where they enjoy their work and service in the community. They also enjoy the outdoors and hiking. Mr. Loveless considers himself a servant leader and finds that being available to help others be successful is his greatest personal success in business. He loves being a coach and mentor to young professionals who are building their careers.

RHAU Board President

Dr. Ivette Lopez, Ph.D.

Ivette Amelia López, PhD, MPH is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Utah Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. She is also the Director of the Utah Area Health Education Centers. Dr. López was born and raised in Caguas, Puerto Rico, and came to the United States mainland to pursue an advanced education. She is, and has been for over two decades, a dedicated professional in pursuit of health equity for Latinos and other disadvantaged populations in the United States. From AIDS (the epidemic that drew her to public health) to diabetes, and obesity causal explanations among minority women, to Latina breast cancer survivorship, her research and service are dedicated to engaging minority communities in finding solutions to their health burdens.

She resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and daughter.

Board Member

Dr. Colten Bracken, M.D.

Colten Bracken was born and raised in Enterprise, UT.  He spent his childhood working on his family hay farm before going to SUU for his undergraduate education.  He is a proud product of the Rural Health Scholars program where he worked intricately with Rita Osborn who helped prepare him for medical school at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Minnesota.  After residency, he worked in Richfield, UT for 3 years, where he still moonlights in the ER, before opening his practice in his hometown of Enterprise, UT last year.  He couldn’t be more excited to help take care of the town that “made him who he is”.  Recently his practice was designated as an NHSC service site and he is actively working on transforming his practice into a Rural Health Clinic.  I look forward to sharing my experience in becoming an RHC with other interested clinics and am excited to serve on the RHAU board to help other rural communities.

Board Member

Dr. GJ Wilden, M.D.

Dr. G.J. Willden grew up in the Gunnison Valley. He graduated from Snow College; and then continued his undergraduate education at the University of Utah where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He graduated from the University Of Utah School Of Medicine in 2004. He subsequently completed a Family Medicine residency at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah before returning to the Gunnison Valley in 2007 to begin his medical practice. In 2012 Dr. Willden began practicing exclusively in the Emergency Department at Gunnison Valley Hospital and continues to enjoy providing medical care to those who present for emergency services.

When not in the emergency room, Dr. Willden enjoys spending time with his wife, Emily, and their four children, working on his father’s farm, and living an active lifestyle.

Board Member

Dr. Glen S. Olson, D.D.S.

Dr. Glen S. Olson has been Practicing General and Family Dentistry in Mt. Pleasant for 19 years, after returning to his rural Utah roots in July of 2003. Dr. Olson is a Graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry class of 2000. He then was commissioned a Captain in the United States Air Force and completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at Ehrling Bergquist Hospital at Offutt AFB, Omaha NE. Dr. Olson then completed his military service at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota.

Dr. Olson was born and raised in Ephraim, graduating from Manti High School in 1990. After serving as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Montana and Wyoming he continued his education at Snow College, graduating with an A.S. degree in 1995. While at Snow College, Glen met his wife, AnnJeanette Kellett, from Moroni Utah. Dr. Olson and His wife then attended Southern Utah University in Cedar City, where AnnJeanette earned her B.A. in Elementary Education, and Glen earned an early acceptance to UNMC, College of Dentistry. Dr. Olson had a goal of returning to rural Utah to Practice Dentistry, as he and his wife come from multi-generational Sanpete Families. They were thrilled with the opportunity to return to Sanpete after serving at Grand Forks AFB. 

Dr. Olson has always been involved in community service and activities, including providing free dental screenings for Sanpete Head Start Pre-school for the past 18 years. Dr Olson and His wife are the parents of 4 boys, they enjoy gardening, hiking, fishing, and tending their small orchard.

Board Member

Dr. Russell Sorenson, Ph.D.

Russell Sorenson, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist providing mental health services through integrated healthcare at a rural family medicine clinic in Richfield, Utah, where he sees patients from Sevier, Wayne, Millard, Piute, and Sanpete counties. He practices from an integrated approach by utilizing humanistic, psychodynamic, developmental, cognitive, and behavioral approaches to tailor treatment to best fit the needs of his patients.

Dr. Sorenson earned his undergraduate degree in psychology at BYU-I, his master’s degree in community counseling at the University of Oklahoma, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at Pacific University. Through practicums, internships, residencies, and post-educational employment, he has gained experience in settings that include domestic violence centers, inpatient hospitals, outpatient community care centers, college/trade schools, pre-doctoral intern supervision, neuropsychological assessment teams, and family medicine practices. He enjoys a wide variety of activities, including BBQ/smoking, hiking, gardening, camping, disc golf, fishing, board games, beard growing, and just about anything with family and friends.

Board Member

Dr. Melissa Hinton, DNP, FNP-BC, CARN-AP

Melissa J Hinton, DNP, FNP-BC, CARN-AP, is a Doctorate Nurse Practitioner with board certifications in Family and Addiction medicine (subspecialty) and training both Pulmonary and Pain Medicine. A nurse for over 35 years in emergency, critical care and Life Flight, Dr. Hinton had a strong foundation in health care and completed her Masters (2009) and Doctorate (2011) degrees at the University of Utah. Melissa's experience owning a private practice with an emphasis in addiction recovery and mental health, and as the medical director of an inpatient addiction recovery facility in southern Utah has drawn her to work as an advocate in underserved populations.

Dr. Hinton champions women in healthcare, mental wellness, working as an influence for indigenous persons to obtain a college degree, essential to Native American/minority autonomy. Melissa is the Utah Nurse Practitioners Legislative Chair and has served on the board as President/Immediate Past President. She has actively worked for equitable care and removal of legislative restrictions to practice for Utah’s nurse practitioners, winning monumental legislation from 2019 to 2023 for patient choice and access to care.

Board Member

Logan Reid, LPS, MS, MSW

Logan is a Licensed Prevention Specialist, and the Director of Prevention for the Southwest Behavioral Health Center as well as a Regional Prevention Director for the state of Utah. He started in prevention as the president of a college prevention club while attending Utah Tech University, and has worked as a Program Supervisor in Youth Corrections. His undergraduate degrees are in Criminal Justice & Psychology, and he has graduate degrees in Sociology & Mental Health & Wellness. Logan is a Co-Founder of the Utah Prevention Coalition Association emeritus Chair of the Utah Prevention Network, and a graduate of the National Coalition Academy. He also teaches sociology at Utah Tech University. Logan has worked for the Southwest Behavioral Health Center since 2008, and absolutely loves his job and his colleagues!

Board Member

Dr. Matt McCullough, Ph.D.

Dr. Matt McCullough is the Rural Hospital Improvement Director for the Utah Hospital Association. In this role, he serves as the Director of the Rural 9 Network and Flex Program Coordinator for the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. From 2020 to 2023 he was the Director of Telehealth Services for the Utah Telehealth Network (UTN), where he was responsible for telehealth services, operations, strategic planning, and development of new sites and services. He was also the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC), which is an HRSA-funded program that assists healthcare providers with telehealth program implementation, training, and education in the seven-state region of AK, WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, and UT. From 2017 to 2020 he was the Director of the State Office of Primary Care and Rural Health. In this role, he supported all of the rural hospitals and clinics in the state with federal and state resources to improve quality of care, financial and operational capacity, and workforce development. He also worked in local government at the City of Farmington, Utah where he was the GIS and IT Administrator for over 9 years. In 2021, he received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Utah in Health Geography.

Board Member

Dr. Robbie Gurr, PharmD

Dr. Robbie Gurr is a Beaver native, where he spent many after-school hours in his local pharmacy which was run/owned by a family member. Dr. Gurr was always fascinated by what went on behind the counter, along with a keen interest in math and science. Upon graduating, he attended Southern Utah University and was a member of the Utah Health Scholars Program (Formerly Rural Health Scholars). He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Ghana, West Africa during the middle of his undergraduate. Upon returning he had the opportunity to attend trips with UHS to the Four Corners area and the Dominican Republic, fueling his passion to serve.

Dr. Gurr received an acceptance offer to multiple Pharmacy programs, but elected to attend his top choice, the University of Utah. He completed his four-year pharmacy program, graduating at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. After completing his degree, Dr. Gurr began his career as a Pharmacist at Smith’s Food & Drug in Vernal, Utah. He spent over a year and a half in Vernal before relocating along with his wife and two young children to Cedar City Utah. Dr. Gurr, now the father of three, is excited about being back in Southern Utah and being involved in his community.

Board Member

Revina Talker, PA-C

Revina grew up on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. She speaks her language and considers this a blessing, especially when providing patient care. She received her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and graduated from the University of Utah Physician Assistant program (UPAP) in 2008. She was assigned a clinical rotation with Utah Navajo Health System (UNHS) in Montezuma Creek not knowing it would become her dream job. She’s been with UNHS for 15 years and feels it has been a tremendous opportunity to work with a tribal health organization that strives to improve the gaps in healthcare and disparities for Native communities and rural areas. Revina has been married for 13 years and has four children and 2 grandchildren. Revina loves to spend time with family at home or outdoors. Revina feels blessed to work in healthcare and fulfill her dream of working with her people on the reservation.

Board Member

Phillip Estes, MHR

Phillip currently serves as the Project Manager over Healthy Relationships Utah, a multi-project, multimillion-dollar, statewide initiative through Utah State University Extension. He has several years of project management experience in both corporate and government entities and started a private consulting business in 2022. Having an educational background as well as professional experience in data sciences and strategic human resources, Phillip strives to maximize the balance of data-driven people management & strategic organizational development. This breadth of experience makes him a unique individual with a broad skill set and a champion of the employee & customer experience. He also regularly attends national conferences to stay up-to-date on the latest management & leadership strategies.

Phillip grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and is the 9th out of 10 kids. He has been happily married to his beautiful wife Julie for over 13 years, is a father of five and grandfather of two! Thanks to his father, Phillip is a handyman that can fix just about anything around the house and credits his mother for his love of books. He enjoys anything outdoors, especially the north Idaho wilderness, ATV trail riding and fishing for bass!

Board Member

Kirk Benge, MPH

Kirk Benge is the Health Officer and Director of the TriCounty Health Department, serving Daggett, Duchesne, and Uintah Counties in Utah. Benge has worked in public health for over 19 years, including 11 years in the infectious disease laboratory, 5 of which were as Section Chief of Virology and Immunology. Benge has also worked  in informatics and as Health Officer and Director of the San Juan County Health Department, as Chair of Utah's Health Advisory Council, and as Transition Team Advisor for the Office of Utah Governor-Elect Spencer J. Cox. Benge currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at, on the Utah Healthcare Workforce Financial Assistance Program Advisory Committee, and as a board member for Mountainlands Community Health Centers.

Board Member

Advisory Board Members 

The Rural Health Association of Utah takes our mission to provide a unified voice to promote and enhance the quality of rural health very seriously. We believe that to accomplish our goal we must maintain a diverse RHAU Board which includes voices from all disciplines and all geographical areas of rural Utah. Though not every small town or credential can be represented on a small board, we work to carefully select and maintain a board that ensures that all voices can be heard in our efforts to serve rural Utah. 

Our governing board directs our association and informs the association about issues around our state regarding rural health. They work hard to stay involved and be sure that our communities have access to the services. If you see an area that needs our attention or know of any projects we can work to support please reach out! We love being involved in our rural communities!

Board Members

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