Annual Monato Rural Essay Prize



This year the Essay Prize went to Amanda Lam (UWSMPH Class of 2018) for "Māēhnowesēkiyah: We Will All Be Well” that can be found at

The Hermes Monato, Jr. Prize of $2,500 is awarded annually for the best rural health paper. It is open to all students of the University of Wisconsin (any campus) as well as those who will be recent graduates at the time of submission. Students are encouraged to write on a rural health topic for a regular class and then to submit a copy to the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative as an entry by June 1st. Previous award winners as well as judging criteria and submission information are available below.

$2,500 Award

For the University of Wisconsin’s Best Rural Health Paper

Given by the Hermes Monato, Jr. Memorial Fund

Write on a rural health topic for a regular class and submit a copy by June 1st.

Note for UW Departments and Program Faculty & Administrative Staff: Please help us publicize this annual award by posting this poster (8.5" x 12").


Prior Prize Recipients 



The writer of the winning essay will receive a check for $2,500 paid from a trust fund established at the University by RWHC, family and friends of Hermes.

The Essay Prize, established in 1993, is open to anyone who has been a student at the University of Wisconsin within the preceding year (all campuses, programs, graduate, under graduate, part-time, nondegree included.) The competition was established to honor the memory of Hermes Monato, Jr., a December 1990 graduate, as well as to highlight the importance of rural health. Hermes worked at the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative for only a few years but his infectious spirit and creative mind left rural health an enduring legacy.

The winning essay will be about rural health with some of the following attributes: relevant to rural communities, innovative, practical, multi-disciplinary, improves quality of care, team/relationship oriented, applicability to networking, cooperatives.

There are no rigid requirements for the length, format, etc.. To date, winning papers have ranged from first person essays to formal "journal ready" articles. Please note that essays already written for a class or others purposes during the previous twelve months are also eligible for this competition.

Note: any commentary related to an experience in or for a healthcare organization should respect patient confidentiality as determined by that organization.

All entries (no copies needed) must be submitted by June 1st c/o Monica Seiler, RWHC, 880 Independence Lane, Sauk City, Wisconsin 53583 or electronically to <>. Please include the writer's name, contact information (address, email, phone), academic program and expected date of graduation on a separate cover sheet. Please do not add your name to any of the essay pages.

The Review Committee, comprised of UW and RWHC representatives, reserves the right to not award the Prize in any given year.

Prior Prize Recipients


2015, Amanda, Lam, "Māēhnowesēkiyah: We Will All Be Well"

2014, Woojong Lee, "Microbial Perspective on Soil in Agriculture: How Soil Microbial Communities Can Be Used for Better Rural Health in the 21st Century"

2013, Jonathan Fricke for "The Small Town Healer"

2012, Andrea Kremsreiter for "Agriculture's Impact on Water Quality in Rural Communities"

2011, First Place ($2,000) to Jeyanthi Bhaheetharan for “Dental Health Care Access in Rural Communities” and Honorable Mention ($1,000) to Caitlin Rublee for “Addressing the Physician Shortage Epidemic One shot at a Time."

2010, Heidi Busse, "Children First: Using Community Food Systems to Improve Early Childhood Nutrition in Rural Wisconsin."

2009, Elizabeth Larsen, 
“Rural Health System: Healthcare and Education"

2008, Christi Barden,
 “The Flu, An ER Nurses Perspective”

2007, Pam Myhre, 
“Thank you, nurse”

2006, Terese Gierach, 
“Why Do You Work Here? Intrinsic Benefits of Working in Rural Health Care."

2005, Briana Calore, 
“Reflections on a Primary Care Clerkship”

2004, Rachel Quinn, 
“Recognition of Childhood Overweight and Disease Risk among American Indian Caregivers”

2003, Amy Schnettler, 
"Living Histories: Wisconsin's Rural Physicians of the 20th Century"

2002, David Eric Kepler, 
"Risk Perceptions on Skin Cancer and the Role of Community Pharmacies in Preventative Strategies"

2001, April Eddy,
 "Life in the Box"

2000, Carol J. Hermansen,
 "A Day in the Life of Rural Pharmacist Mitch"

1999, Rochelle Frounfelker, 
"Baby Campaigns: Child Welfare Work in Wisconsin, 1919-1928"

1998, Steve Bartig, 
"A Proposal to Decrease the Occurrence of Adverse Effects Caused by Medications in the Rural Elderly"

1997, Julie Whitaker, 
"Off-farm Work and the Wisconsin Family Farm: Moonlighting for the Health Insurance"

1996, Irwin J. Epstein, 
"Health Status and Healthcare: A Critical Evaluation of the Determinants of Health in North Dakota"

l995, Mary Lee, 
"ER in the Country"

l994, Michael (Mick) Joyce, 
"The Rural Hospital in Transition: Opportunities and Options"

l993, Tom Ryan, 
"A Closer Look at the Primary Care Physician Recruitment..."

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