Hospital employee honored with Rural Health Ambassador Award

Aug 8, 2023

Robin Korneff’s volunteer efforts and work contributions recognized

Richland Center, WI – Richland Center resident Robin Korneff was honored recently with a Rural Health Ambassador Award. Created by the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, the award is presented annually to a hospital employee who has “gone above and beyond the call of duty in promoting their respective organizations and made significant contributions to rural health care in general.” Korneff works in the finance department at The Richland Hospital and Clinics and is an active volunteer with several organizations within Richland County, including Richland Area Rescue and the Lions Club.

Korneff was nominated by coworker Karen Gilbertson. Gilbertson said she views Korneff as an unsung hero, listing her warmth and professionalism at work and her extensive volunteerism as qualities that make her stand out from many other dedicated employees at the hospital.

Born in the Baraboo area, Korneff spent most of her adult life in Pennsylvania. In 2016 she moved back to Wisconsin to care for her aging parents. The decision to uproot her life in the Pittsburgh area and move across the country wasn’t an easy one, but she describes the opportunity to be close to her parents at the end of their lives as “a gift.” Her husband found work in Richland Center, and the couple relocated here, bringing her parents with them to local care facilities. Korneff began working at The Richland Hospital and Clinics in 2017, and it was the support she received from co-workers at the time of her mother’s passing that solidified her commitment to the Richland Center community. Korneff describes being moved by the presence of her co-workers at her mother’s funeral service, that they had traveled from Richland Center to Baraboo meant a great deal to her. “I thought, now I know why I ended up in Richland Center,” she said. “You can tell that the community lifts people up when things are going wrong.”

In the years since her parents’ deaths, Korneff has dedicated much of her time to lifting others up through her volunteer efforts. She’s served as president and now treasurer of the local Lions Club, been an active member of Richland County United Givers, Greater Richland Area Cancer Elimination (G.R.A.C.E), and is a passionate board member of Richland Area Rescue, a nonprofit animal rescue organization serving Richland Center and the surrounding areas. Korneff says volunteering is a great way to become a part of the community and give back. She encourages others to consider donating time or resources to the groups listed above, as there are significant needs in the area.

Korneff was humbled to receive the Rural Health Ambassador Award, citing the list of past recipients as a group of people she admires and The Richland Hospital and Clinics as a place she’s happy to work: “They treat people like family.” The hospital is proud to recognize an employee like Korneff whose commitment to the community and helping others is a reminder of the difference a single person can make.

The Richland Hospital and Clinics is a nationally awarded health care facility dedicated to caring, educating, and healing. Providing compassionate care for nearly 100 years to residents of the greater Richland County area, TRHC operates an independent, integrated group medical practice in three locations, including rural health clinics in Spring Green and Muscoda and a critical access hospital at its primary health center in Richland Center, WI.

Photo: Robin Korneff

The Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) has established the Rural Health Ambassador Award to recognize employees at member hospitals or collaborative partners who have gone above the call of duty in promoting their respective organizations, and made significant contributions to rural health care in general. The award criteria do not necessarily emphasize job performance or years of service – although these may be used as secondary factors in your internal selection process. Any organization that is a current member of RWHC is encouraged to select one employee to receive this annual award. The ideal candidate should demonstrate a history of fostering positive communication and relations within the hospital’s respective service area – and beyond.