During the 2018 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, NOSORH presented Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities: Identified challenges, opportunities and available resources. This work was done in partnership with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) with funding from HRSA. Participants learned about challenges to multi-sector rural Networks, were introduced to joint ASTHO/NOSORH resources, and discovered ways that their State Office of Rural Health (SORH) and State Health Official (SHO) could assist in their efforts.
“This was a great opportunity for the public health sector to learn about the value of a SORH and begin thinking about what connections need to be made,” said Chris Salyers, NOSORH Education and Services Director. “Very few people in the room were familiar with SORHs, so I feel like we hit the exact audience that needed to learn about them.”
Numerous other presenters at the conference also pointed to the importance of a SORH during their presentations, including County Health Rankings community coaches, NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, and the Indiana Rural Health Association. Melinda Merrell of the South Carolina Office of Rural Health presented her dissertation research related to the impact of rural hospital closures. Congratulations, Melinda!