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November 16, 2017 Is National Rural Health Day

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The following newsletter on National Rural Health Day was created by California Critical Access Hospital Network and sent to CCAHN members.

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. National Rural Health Day is the third Thursday of each November.

Approximately 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. “These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” said NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger.

“Rural communities also have a number of challenges such as a lack of accessibility and healthcare providers, an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens,” said California Critical Access Hospital Network Executive Director, Carolyn Bruce. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels which make it incredibly difficult to remain sustainable and provide local care. Fortunately for hospitals and healthcare providers in our region, the California Critical Access Hospital Network addresses these challenges with the power of collaboration.”

Your participation in the California Critical Access Hospital Network (CCAHN) helps to ensure your organization’s independence and sustainability. Through this collaboration you have access to programs and services including revenue cycle solutions focusing on financial and operational performance improvement, purchasing, education, and more.

State Offices of Rural Health also play a key role in addressing these needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.

Here’s to rural healthcare and here’s to you, CCAHN members!

Barbara Truitt, Former Foundation Director and Outreach Dept, Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District