Director of Orchard Hospital's Medical Specialty Services Kirsten Storne-Piazza has recently returned from San Antonio, Texas where she passed a national exam to become a Certified Rural Health Clinic Professional, one of just 50 chosen in the nation.

Storne-Piazza started the six month program in the fall which consisted of courses in administration, finance, billing, coding, human resources, quality risk management and health maintenance management.

The course was offered through the National Association of Rural Health Academy and the certification lasts two years. In order to maintain the certification Storne-Piazza must have Continuing Education Units, attend four days of in person rural health updates and participate in conference calls.

"Education is very important to me and I plan to maintain this certification and serve the community to the best of my ability," Storne-Piazza stated.

She has worked at Orchard Hospital since 1993.

Just last week, Storne-Piazza was asked to serve on the California State Rural Health Association Board.