On October 26th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted its inaugural Rural Health Symposium at their campus in White Oak, MD. The meeting hosted a number of stakeholders representing rural and tribal communities. The discussion focused on the areas of telemedicine, rural tobacco use, and the opioid crisis in rural and tribal communities with representation from FORHP on most of the panels. “The session raised awareness among a new audience about FORHP programs and how State Offices of Rural Health partner in their states,” according to Chris Salyers, Education and Services Director, who attended the meeting.

Though most of the representation was from various other federal agencies, many partners are interested in connecting with a resource on the state level for different projects. “This can be a great opportunity for NOSORH members; I will send emails to link State Offices with federal projects occurring in each state based on connections made at the meeting,” said Salyers. The FDA plans to continue to expand their rural-focused work, and plan to host a Rural Health Symposium on an annual basis.

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