National Rural Health Day Celebrates #PowerofRural |  daily life there

National Rural Health Day Celebrates #PowerofRural | daily life there

While the Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on some of the disparities between rural and urban health, National Rural Health Day organizers hope that November 17, 2022 will shine a light on all the good that is happening in rural health.

Created in 2007, the day is a way for rural health professionals to showcase what they bring to their communities. The day is organized by the National Organization of State Rural Health Offices (NOSORH) and all State Rural Health Offices across the country.

The day was born because of a poster, said Karen Madden, acting director of the Center for Health Care Policy and Resource Development at the New York Department of Health.

Karen Madden, one of the founders of National Rural Health Day. (Photo submitted)

“I was with the National Organization of State Rural Health Offices in Washington, DC, taking the time to meet with some of our partner organizations, and saw a poster for National Public Health Week” , Madden said. “I was looking at this poster and I thought, ‘You know, we [rural healthcare] don’t even get a day.

Later, at lunch with her peers, she raised the idea of ​​a national day to celebrate rural health. At first she thought they would all reject the idea. To his surprise, everyone was on board, and the following year was their inaugural event.

“Very quickly, all the states jumped on the idea,” she said. “It gave people – states and community providers – a day to celebrate the things they do.”

And it comes at a time, Madden said, when the challenges facing rural health are increasing.

“One of the challenges facing rural health today is the workforce,” she said. “It’s a problem in healthcare, but it’s a much worse situation in rural areas because those healthcare facilities can’t compete with large urban facilities in terms of remuneration.”

And, she said, rural health care is difficult because the flexibilities are so thin. It’s not just that there aren’t as many people to care for, she said, but it’s harder to break even because there aren’t as many capable people. to pay for the services.

Those who seek rural health care tend to be older, poorer and sicker, she said.

“There may be fewer people, but they have more needs,” she said. “A lot of times they’ll delay getting services (to save money) so when they come in it’s so much worse.”

That’s what makes National Rural Health Day so special, she says.

“Rural health care is tough – it’s just challenge after challenge,” she said. “But that…that’s fun.” It’s a way to show the innovation that’s happening in rural health care, as well as the collaboration that’s happening.

This year’s event will once again feature a presentation of Community Stars — a recognition program to honor individuals and groups whose efforts and activities in rural health stand out.

On November 17, NOSORH will present “Carpooling Collaboration: Conversations with Mission-Conscious Rural Stakeholders,” which will feature a panel of guests sharing their stories about what they are doing to collaborate with others to improve rural health care.

Panelists from agriculture, broadband, public health, philanthropy, and rural and community health clinics will discuss ways health care providers and the rural community can join forces to help the more than 60 million people living in rural America.

So far, National Rural Health Day has helped elevate the topic of rural health, organizers said. In 2021, the #PowerofRural hashtag garnered over 14 million impressions during NRHD week, and averaged over 60 tweets per hour. The #RuralHealthChat on digital equity in rural health has had over 2 million impressions on Twitter.

NRHD is a day when local rural health providers and rural health facilities can also honk their horns. NOSORH provides a digital toolkit for rural health actors to raise awareness of their role in the celebration. Last year, the toolkit was downloaded over 5,000 times.

But more than anything, Madden said, this year is about bringing people together. She hopes this year’s Rural Health Day will help rural health care providers and others to come together and act as a team to move rural health care forward.

“We want to bring everyone together and talk in one place,” she said. “If we want to be successful, we need to get everyone talking to each other.”

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