National Rural Health Day (NRHD) was celebrated on November 15, 2018, with a record number of nationwide events held by State Offices of Rural Health, rural communities, providers and stakeholders. Activities this year included Walk with a Doc walks, Twitter chats, and a call to action to use the #PowerofRural on social media to create a coast-to-coast conversation on rural health. The #PowerofRural generated over 7 million impressions and over 2,200 tweets on November 15, surpassing 2017’s impressions by over 3 million!

NRHD received broader national attention and reached new audiences with many new partners engaged this year. Teryl Eisinger, NOSORH Executive Director, was interviewed on Cerner’s The Value of National Rural Health Day podcast, and she wrote a blog post, The Power of Rural to Improve Health, that was featured on the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Prevention Policy Matters blog. In addition, Karen Madden, Director of the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health, and Dr. David Sabgir, Founder & CEO of Walk with a Doc, joined Eisinger for a Rural Matters podcast on the topic of NRHD and the Power of Rural.

Now in its fourth year, the 2018 Community Stars e-book was published on NRHD with inspirational stories of individuals and organizations who truly embody the Power of Rural. Over 100 nominations were received with 29 different states represented. Thanks to all who took the time to submit a nomination to formally recognize the work of the many unsung heroes of rural health!

There were many opportunities to participate in NRHD, including three live NOSORH webinars on rural health hot topics: A Conversation on Rural EMS, Policy and the Power of Rural, and Rural Networks: Making a Difference in the Opioid Epidemic. The presentations and recordings can be found here on the NOSORH website. A Telehealth Twitter Chat was hosted by HRSA and an Access to Healthcare in Rural Communities Twitter Chat was co-hosted by NOSORH and RHIhub. In addition, NOSORH partnered with Walk with a Doc to encourage rural communities to host a special NRHD Walk with a Doc, resulting in 17 walks held across 12 different states!

As always, NRHD wouldn’t be successful without support from all 50 State Offices of Rural Health and partners across the nation! Along with countless events promoted by national partners, many State Offices participated in NRHD activities, including obtaining Governor’s proclamations, visiting rural providers and partners, holding contests, producing videos, distributing press releases, hosting rural health conferences, presenting special awards, and much more.

Be sure to mark your calendar for Thursday, November 21, and join the Power of Rural movement throughout 2019!

For more information on NRHD, contact Ashley Muninger, NOSORH Communications & Development Coordinator.

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