Washington County Hospital & Medical Group will join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 17, 2016.
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. Plans call for National Rural Health Day to become an annual celebration on the third Thursday of each November.
Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and “Celebrating the Power of Rural” are being planned throughout the nation.
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. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”
These communities also face unique healthcare needs. “Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens,” Eisinger said. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”
State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those 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.
It is important to our rural community to have access to emergency care 24/7 and the services offered every day at WCH. Since 2010, 78 Rural Hospitals have closed throughout the country. Supporting healthcare services offered at Washington County Hospital is a vital key to maintaining access to emergency care for the people of our community. The second benefit of WCH is having access to excellent providers and specialists close to home. WCH also supports the rural citizens of Washington County through programs such CPR & First Aide classes, Diabetes Education, Blood Pressure Clinics, and many more.
Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found at nosorh.org/nrhd. To learn more about NOSORH, visit www.nosorh.org; to learn more about Washington County Hospital & Medical Group visit www.washingtoncountyhospital.org.