Happy New Year NOSORH friends!

Thank you for your support in my new role as your NOSORH President. I am honored to serve you. Thank you, Scott Daniels, for your leadership over the last two years, and welcome to Melissa Van Dyne, NOSORH’s President-Elect. I look forward to working with you and all NOSORH members and staff as we embark on a new adventure.

Many headlines present 2016 as one of the worst years in history. It’s an extensive list including terrorist attacks, Brexit, Zika virus, police shootings, Syrian refugees, Standing Rock, divisive elections and loss of beloved celebrities. The year wasn’t as bad as the headlines would like us to believe. Progress was made on many fronts. Angus Hervey with Future Crunch compiled 99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year. The following are a few excerpts from the article:

Political and economic progress in many parts of the world: World hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years (New York Times); black incarceration rates fell in the United States (Washington Post); and homelessness in the United States declined by 35% since 2007 (CS Monitor).

Giant strides forward for world health: Harvard scientists created a new platform for antibiotic discovery that may help solve the crisis of antibiotic resistance (GEN); the number of cigarette smokers in the US dropped by 8.6 million since 2005 and will be accelerated by a tobacco tax just passed in California (NPR); and mobile phones made significant inroads in the fight against rabies, a disease which kills more people annually than all terrorists combined (The Conversation).

Signs of hope for a life-sustaining economy: By August, every major grocery and fast-food chain in the United States had pledged to use only cage-free eggs by 2025 (Washington Post); and good science and simple economics have started a reversal in overfishing in the United States (New York Times).

The world got more generous: 2015 was America’s most generous year ever, with charitable donations from individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reaching record highs. 2016 is on track to be even bigger (Associated Press).

And last but not least, 2016 saw the biggest celebration yet for National Rural Health Day! Twenty-two states reported participation in National Rural Health Day activities, such as community events and media outreach, and 16 states had a signed governor’s proclamation. Engagement on social media reached an all-time high as people from across the country, including many legislators, promoted the “Power of Rural”.

Not all our efforts are a walk in the park, but with perseverance, a smile and a positive attitude, we can help the families that live in our rural communities thrive in good health.

Blessings to you and happy 2017!

Sharla Allen
NOSORH President

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