Tester Receives 2024 Rural Health Champion Award Recognizing His Work Fighting for Health Care in Rural and Frontier Communities

Senator was honored for his work standing up for rural hospitals, rural health care workforce

U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced today that he has received the 2024 Rural Health Champion Award from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). Each year, NRHA presents this award to one Senator and one Representative to showcase champions working to addressing the most pressing health care issues in rural communities. 

The NRHA named Tester as the recipient of this annual award citing his work standing up for rural hospitals, health care workforce, and access to critical resources in rural and frontier communities like long-term care and local pharmacies.

“As a third-generation farmer that lives 12 miles off the main strip of a town of about 600 people, I see firsthand the consequences of policies being made in Washington that don’t take rural America into account,” said Tester. “That’s why I’ve fought back against one-size-fits-all mandates that don’t work for Montana, and why I’m honored to receive the 2024 Rural Health Champion Award. Together, we can make sure our health care system works for everyone – no matter where they live.”

NRHA is a non-profit membership organization with more than 21,000 members nationwide that provides leadership on rural health issues. Membership includes nearly every component of rural America’s health care, including rural community hospitals, critical access hospitals, long-term care providers, doctors, nurses, and patients.

“The National Rural Health Association applauds Senator Tester for his continuous attention to the needs of rural communities across Montana, and the entire country, through leadership on issues related to rural hospitals, health care workforce supply in rural areas, and access to critical services like long-term care and local pharmacies,” said Alan Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Health Association. “Senator Tester is a champion for rural health within Congress, bringing critical issues facing rural providers and patients to the forefront and helping to develop solutions. It is for that reason, NRHA is excited to present Senator Tester with as our 2024 Congressional Rural Health Champion for his work advancing rural health priorities in Congress.” 

Tester has been a consistent voice for bolstering rural health care access. He has successfully fought to lower drug prices through measures in his Inflation Reduction Act, and by closing a loophole in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that allowed Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to retroactively charge excessive fees. He also re-introduced his bipartisan Rural Physician Workforce Production Act with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to incentivize young physicians to build their careers in rural hospitals, and ensure those facilities have the resources they need to recruit and retain doctors for the long haul.