Happy New Year NOSORH family!

Thank you for your support in my new role as your NOSORH President. I am humbled and honored to serve you. I would like to send a special thank you to Sharla Allen, for her leadership over the last two years, and a warm welcome to Corie Kaiser, NOSORH’s President-Elect. I look forward to working with you and all NOSORH members and staff as we embark on a new adventure.

When reflecting back on 2017, the constantly surprising political environment definitely caught the attention of everyone while creating most of the headlines and talk of the year.  However, even in the mist of all the political fire that was blazing, health care (and not just the ACA buzz) still caught the attention of the people.  As many rural areas are seeing the decrease in OB services in their areas,  NPR had two articles hit their top 50 viewed articles of the year pertaining to maternal mortality. Angus Hervey of Future Crunch once again compiled why the year was a good year. Here are a couple of the 99 Reasons 2017 Was a Good Year:

  • Cancer deaths have dropped by 25% in the United States since 1991, saving more than 2 million lives. Breast cancer deaths have fallen by 39%, saving the lives of 322,600 women. Time
  • Soft drink sales in the United States dropped for the 12th year in a row, thanks to consumer education and new sugar taxes aimed at stemming obesity and diabetes. Reuters

Once again, we saw many increases in participation for National Rural Health Day!  There were 44 (double from last year!) states that reported participating in an activity on NRHD.  At least 25 had governor’s proclamations, which is also an increase from last year. The #PowerofRural was tweeted over 2,000 times on NRHD!

By continuing to focus on the good and innovative activities in our rural communities we can help those communities improve their health outcomes.

Many blessings to you and happy 2018!

Melissa VanDyne
NOSORH President


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