Louise Kiessling, MD, FAAP, (shown above with Jill D’Errico, Director of the State Office of Rural Health and Newell Warde, Executive Director of the RI Medical Society) was named a 2013 Rural Health Champion at a celebration of National Rural Health Day at the N. Scituate Community House on November 21st.
After retiring from the Neurodevelopmental Center at Memorial Hospital where she worked with distinction, Dr. Kiessling began volunteering with the Washington County Coalition for Children. Since 2006, she has organized 88 local study group sessions on children’s mental health topics for area medical and mental health professionals at local hospitals. In addition, she has organized 24 dinner/lectures for wider audiences in our community. Through these professional development activities, Dr. Kiessling has not only brought experts in the field and best practice information to local providers, but offered a forum for networking and multi-disciplinary understanding. To expand the reach of these sessions to local schools and health care providers on Block Island and other rural areas, Dr. Kiessling partnered with RI Net and OSHEAN to begin videoconferencing and webstreaming and archiving sessions so anyone anywhere with a broadband internet connection can now participate, especially those in rural areas. This ambitious volunteer project is clearly a labor of love for current and future generations of primary care and behavioral health providers and the children they treat.
Dr. Kiessling is a local champion and we are pleased to see her recognized by the RI Dept. of Health for her tireless dedication to children. Congratulations Dr. Kiessling!