An online brochure, created by the Southwest Rural Policy Network (SWRPN) and distributed by the Arizona State Office of Rural Health, aims to provide quick and easy information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for a rural audience there.
The brochure was a response to a W.K. Kellogg Foundation initiative called Rural People, Rural Policy and was developed by the SWRPN’s Health Action Team, according to Joyce Hospodar, AZ SORH Health Systems Development Manager and SWRPN Action Team Chair. Using money from that initiative, the AZ SORH was able to make printed copies to distribute in the state, which so far it has distributed to many organizations including AHECs, FQHCs and hospitals. “All the other material we are seeing on the ACA is so complicated,” Hospodar said. “We’re trying to get the information more understandable to people living in rural communities. As people become more aware of the ACA, we’ll be able to increase their participation in what they’re eligible for, so more people will be getting insurance and be involved with the benefits of the ACA.”
Feedback on the brochure has been positive, Hospodar said. “The momentum is increasing, more people are wanting it. It has been lauded for ease of use.” By popular demand the brochure is being translated into Spanish, and public service announcements are being written from it in both English and Spanish, which will be targeted for national distribution.
Funding for development of the brochure came from the Kellogg Initiative. Despite the up-front costs of web development and printing, Hospodar said, she thinks it will be a good investment. “So many organizations are working to get the word out about the ACA that there’s lots of duplication. We’re trying to streamline it. The brochure can be used to answer questions that patients—and citizens—have about the ACA quickly and easily.”
Hospodar said that both the online and print brochure versions can be modified and used by other State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs), but it will require some funding for the modifications. The New Mexico members of the Health Action Team have tailored the brochure for their state and have made it available online. To access the Arizona and New Mexico ACA brochures, visit the SWRPN Affordable Care Act page. SORHs that are interested in adapting the brochure for their use can contact Hospodar for more information, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520- 626-2432.