Dr. Rattananont recognized during Doc Hollywood Day event

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Dr. Rattananont, pictured front row center, is honored at the "Rural Physician of Excellence Awards." Rattananont is one of 12 physicians honored at the event.

The Illinois Rural Health Association presents the fourth annual "Rural Physician of Excellence Awards" to 12 physicians keeping rural Illinois healthy, including Dr. Prasop Rattananont of Aledo.

The Rural Physician of Excellence Award is an opportunity to recognize rural physicians who were nominated by their communities for going above and beyond the call of duty to provide health care to rural and underserved residents throughout the State of Illinois. Twelve such physicians were honored Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008 at a reception and award presentation at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

The challenges faced by health care providers and patients in rural areas differ from those in urban areas. Rural Americans face a combination of factors that create disparities in health care such as less employer-paid health-care coverage, higher numbers of individuals which live below the poverty level and only about ten percent of physicians practice in rural America, even though nearly one-fourth of the population live in these areas.

Despite these challenges, Illinois is fortunate to have many rural physicians who are dedicated to the health and welfare of their patients as well a committed to improving the access to health care in their communities. Each of these recipients has demonstrated the partnership and leadership it takes to really improve health care in rural areas.

Doc Hollywood Day was created in 2005 by the National Rural Health Association to honor rural physicians and raise awareness of the need for additional rural health care providers. Award winners were nominated by local community leaders who wanted to demonstrate their appreciation for the contributions made by their hometown physician.

"Illinois rural physicians work tirelessly to serve our residents and are the cornerstone for health care in each of their communities," said Roger Holloway, president of the Illinois Rural Health Association.  "Rural Illinois depends on these physicians to provide quality health care services that all citizens deserve."

The recipients of the 2008 Awards are:  Dr. Thomas Benson of Olney; Dr. Dennon Davis of West Frankfort; Dr. Terrence Glennon of Herrin; Dr. Larry Jennings of Mt. Carmel; Dr. Ryan Jennings of Effingham; Dr. Galen Lueking of Flora; Dr. Michael McFadden of Stockton; Dr. Patrick Molt of Fairfield; Dr. Randall Mullin of Geneseo; Dr. Nash Naam of Effingham; Dr. Prasop Rattananont of Aledo and Dr. Preecha Tawjareon of Salem.

Dr.  Rattananont, a Family Practice/Surgeon, Mercer County Hospital, was nominated by Tim Putnam, CEO-Mercer County Hospital.  Dr. Rattananont has provided 30 plus years of service to the Mercer County community both as a physician and surgeon. He has contributed to the successful recruitment and retention of new clinic physicians as well as the expansion of healthcare services in Mercer County. Dr. Rattananont has served as Chief of Staff for the Mercer County Hospital and continues to provide training and education to the staff at Mercer County

Hospital. He has provided his time and expertise concerning how to better the health care and education of local residents.

Dr. Rattananont's tireless commitment and devotion to serving the needs of his patients can best be summed up by his first surgical patient that will soon be celebrating his 88th birthday..."I am ever so grateful to him, his gracious manners and caring for the patients goes above and beyond."

Dr. Rattananont and his wife are involved in community affairs, giving of both their time and financial support to the local hospital, YMCA and local schools. In addition to serving the citizens of Mercer County, Dr. Rattananont frequently returns to his native homeland of Thailand on medical service trips. He spearheaded a fund-raising drive when a natural disaster hit Thailand several years ago, as well as providing medical and financial assistance.