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Rocky Mountain University Earns Three 2024 Best of State Awards

Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMU) has been honored with three prestigious 2024 Best of State awards for overall institutional excellence, elite leadership, and academic success.

As a testament to RMU’s vision of advancing the quality, delivery, and efficacy of healthcare, the University received medals and accolades from the Best of State organization, Utah’s premier recognition and awards program, for the following categories:

  • Best Educational Institution: RMU
  • Best University Administrator: President Cameron K. Martin
  • Best University Student: Kirsten Thornhill, PhD student

“Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions is a graduate healthcare university dedicated to excellence while meeting the healthcare workforce needs of Utah,” said Dr. Malissa Martin, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost. “For the past 25 years, RMU students, faculty, academic programs, and the institution as a whole has been laser focused on advancing knowledge and advancing healthcare to improve the human condition. The entire RMU community is grateful and honored by the recognition of the prestigious Best of State award.”

Since 2010, the Best of State awards annually recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses that exemplify excellence, use innovation, and contribute to a better quality of life in Utah.

“Utah is extremely fortunate to have so many outstanding individuals, institutions, and organizations across our amazing state, and I’m deeply honored to be included with this distinguished Best in State award,” President Cameron K. Martin said. “I am grateful for the privilege of serving with phenomenal faculty, staff, and students to continue the inspiring mission laid out by RMU’s Founders 25 years ago to love and lift those in need.”

Best Educational Institution: RMU

Since its humble beginnings as a small physical therapy institution in 1998, RMU has prepared thousands of students to excel as clinicians, educators, researchers, and healthcare leaders with a noble mission and passion for humanity. Improving the human condition one person at a time is at the heart of RMU.

In conjunction with its 25th anniversary in 2023, the University moved into the former Novell Tower in Provo. This move enhances and expands needed instructional space and state-of-the-art facilities for students, while positioning for future growth. RMU now provides a first-class hub where education, healthcare, and the community come together.

RMU offers 10 doctorate degrees, 14 master’s degrees, and 20 certificates through a blend of flexible online, hybrid, and on-campus residential programs. This variety of pathways leads to professions spanning from physician assistant, nurse practitioner, physical therapist, speech-language pathologist, counseling, optometrist, occupational therapist, and medical and health sciences.

In October, RMU experienced a pivotal moment when Dr. Cameron K. Martin was inaugurated as the institution’s second president.

Best University Administrator: President Cameron K. Martin

President Martin has been busy since taking the helm as President & CEO of RMU on January 1, 2023. Through inspiring and unifying university stakeholders, he serves as the chief visionary and champion of the institution, a role model for the university’s values and behaviors. He brings together constituencies to fulfill RMU’s mission collectively. The President is accountable for aligning resources and strategies to ensure fiscal stability, maintain accreditation standards, lead progressive change, and promote continuous improvement.

President Martin leads by example with his community work. He has served on many local boards, including the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Utah County, and Utah Valley Hospital. President Martin served on the Executive Board of America’s Freedom Festival at Provo, including a term as President of the Board. He is actively involved in his church volunteer work.

Best University Student: Kirsten Thornhill

Along with being a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences (PhD) student, Kirsten is also a teaching assistant, researcher, and adjunct professor. During her undergrad years, she pursued a career in bodybuilding, facing life-altering sports injuries and eating disorders that prompted physical and mental rehabilitation. This journey, characterized by resilience through pain, relentless pursuit, and unwavering passion, has significantly shaped Kirsten’s narrative.

Today, Kirsten shares her authentic experiences in exercise, health, and wellness. Her influence extends to faculty and students at RMU and Utah Valley University. Specializing in Human and Sport Performance, Kirsten’s doctoral dissertation focuses on exploring the use of cannabis for physical and mental exercise performance and recovery in active adults

All three awards will be presented at the Best of State Gala this May in Salt Lake City.