STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- For the third consecutive year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and all 50 State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs) will join forces with other local, state, and national rural healthcare providers and stakeholders to celebrate National Rural Health Day. This year's celebration will take place on Thursday, November 21.
America's rural communities face unique healthcare concerns: a lack of healthcare providers; accessibility issues, particularly in terms of transportation and technology; and affordability issues as the result of larger percentages of un-/underinsured citizens and greater out-of-pocket health costs, to name a few. Meanwhile, rural hospitals and health systems face declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that make it challenging to meet the physical, social and economic needs of their communities.
NOSORH launched National Rural Health Day in 2011 increase awareness of these issues and highlight the efforts of SORHs and others in addressing those issues. "National Rural Health Day provides the opportunity to 'Celebrate the Power of Rural' and tout the good work being performed by, and on behalf of, America's 59.5 million rural citizens," notes NOSORH Executive Director Teryl Eisinger.
SORHs in particular play a key role in addressing those needs, Eisinger explains. All 50 states maintain a SORH, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to quality health care for rural citizens. "Together, these State Offices provide technical assistance to nearly 30,000 rural communities each year," she says.
National Rural Health Day events are being planned nationwide by SORHs and others on November 21. As in year's past, NOSORH will host a series of free webinars on National Rural Health Day. Scheduled topics, times, and speakers include:
- AgriSafe: Protecting the People Who Feed America (Noon EST) – Natalie Roy, Executive Director and Carolyn Sheridan, Clinical Director, AgriSafe Network
- Rural 101: The Basics of Rural Health (1:00 EST) – Kristine Sande, Program Director, Rural Assistance Center
- Population Based Health and Health Promotion in Rural (2:00 p.m. EST) – Lynda Bergsma, Program Director, Arizona Center of Rural Health; Caroline Ford, Former Director, Nevada State Office of Rural Health
- The Affordable Care Act in Rural America (3:00 p.m. EST) - Tom Morris, Associate Administrator, Deepti Loharikar, Public Health Analyst, and Aaron Fischbach, Public Health Analyst, Federal Office of Rural Health Policy
- Resources for Recruitment, Networking, and Telehealth (4:00 p.m. EST) - Mike Shimmens, Executive Director, National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network; Rebecca Davis, Executive Director, National Cooperative of Health Networks Association; Kathy Hsu Wibberly, Director, Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center
NOSORH is also planning to host a National Rural Health Day Press Conference/Celebration at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. at 10:00 a.m. EST on November 21; details will be forthcoming. To learn more about National Rural Health Day, visit http://celebratepowerofrural.org; to learn more about NOSORH, visit www.nosorh.org.
Media Contact: Teryl Eisinger, National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, 586-850-5257, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health