Celebrate National Rural Health Day

i Jun 9th No Comments by

Looking for ways to celebrate National Rural Health Day this year?  Here’s a brief glimpse at what some other folks are planning on or around November 16 – and a few additional ideas we came up with ourselves!

 General Ideas:
  • Answer your phone on November 16, 2017 by saying “Hello … Happy National Rural Health Day”
  • Visit one of those morning news shows and hold up a sign that says “Happy National Rural Health Day!”
  • Wear a National Rural Health Day T-shirt to school or work
  • Plan a group run or some other kind of fitness activity
  • Do something “healthy” that day – eat more vegetables, bike instead of drive to work, get your blood pressure or cholesterol checked, etc.
  • Write a letter to the editor or contact a local legislator to stress the importance of addressing the health needs of rural communities
  • Thank a rural health provider for all they do!
State Offices of Rural Health and Partners:
  • Obtain gubernatorial/legislative proclamation recognizing National Rural Health Day
  • Present rural health awards/honor rural (or community) heroes
  • Host conference “Celebrating the Power of Rural” on National Rural Health Day
  • Present a series of themed lectures/presentations by state rural health leaders or advocates via Webinar on National Rural Health Day
  • Produce rural health-related videos, fact sheets and other educational materials
  • Visit community/state leaders to educate them on rural health issues and tout the work of State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those needs
  • Contact local/state media; arrange National Rural Health Day interviews
  • Link to National Rural Health Day website from your website
  • Plan a field trip to a local hospital or rural health provider
  • Invite rural health providers to speak in the classroom
  • Host and/or encourage students to participate in a rural health-related community service project (plan a health information fair, helping paint a rural health clinic, etc.)
  • Have rural-themed poster essay contests
  • Host a National Rural Health Day “Fun Day” to promote health and wellness – kids participate in fun physical activities, sample healthy foods and receive health information
  • Host “Health Careers Day” in career development centers/guidance offices
  • Teach special rural-themed courses on National Rural Health Day (rural history, rural economics, etc.)
Hospitals/Rural Health Providers:
  • Plan/host a community health fair
  • Give tours of your facilities
  • Share your story – speak at a local school or community event
  • Display National Rural Health Day banners/posters
  • Have a “staff appreciation” luncheon
  • Link to National Rural Health Day website from your website


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About Rural Health in America

i Jun 9th No Comments by





General Statistics:

  • Approximately 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier areas.
  • Rural Americans reside in 80 percent of the total U.S. land area but only comprise 20 percent of the U.S. population.
  • There are 4,118 primary care Hrban share of one-thirdealth Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in rural and frontier areas of all U.S. states and territories compared to 1,960 in metropolitan areas.
  • The average median income for rural U.S. residents is $40,615 compared to $51,831 for urban residents.
  • Approximately 15.4 percent of rural U.S. residents live in poverty compared to 11.9 percent of urban residents.

Rural Health Workforce:

  • There is a more holistic, patient-centered approach to health care in rural communities – providers have the opportunity to provide more comprehensive care to their patients.
  • Despite this opportunity, only nine percent of all physicians and 12 percent of all pharmacists practice in those settings.
  • There were 55 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents in rural areas in 2005, compared with 72 per 100,000 in urban areas – a figure which decreases to 36 per 100,000 in isolated, small rural areas.
  • There are only half as many specialists per 100,000 residents in rural areas compared to urban areas.
  • Rural areas average about 30 dentists per 100,000 residents; urban areas average approximately twice that number.
  • Only 10 percent of psychologists/psychiatrists and 20 percent of masters-level social workers work in rural areas.

Healthcare/Health Insurance Accessibility:

  • While nearly 85 percent of U.S. residents can reach a Level I or Level II trauma center within an hour, only 24 percent of residents living in rural areas can do so within that time frame – this despite the fact that 60 percent of all trauma deaths in the United States occur in rural areas,.
  • Approximately 21.9 percent of residents in remote rural counties are uninsured, compared to 17.5 percent in rural counties adjacent to urban counties and 14.3 percent in urban counties.
  • Rural residents spend more on health care out of pocket than their urban counterparts; on average, rural residents pay or 40 percent of their health care costs out of their own pocket compared with the urban share of one-third and cheap drugs. One in five rural residents spends more than $1,000 out of pocket in a year.

Rural Hospitals:

  • Rural hospitals are sources of innovation and resourcefulness that reach beyond geographical boundaries to deliver quality care. They are also typically the economic foundation of their communities – every dollar spent on rural hospitals generates about $2.20 for the local economy.
  • Twelve percent of rural hospitals indicate they are not considering HIT investments because of cost concerns compared to 3 percent of urban hospitals.
  • Critical Access Hospitals care for a higher percentage of Medicare patients than other hospitals because rural populations are typically older than urban populations.

State Offices of Rural Health:

  • All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health (SORH).
  • SORHs serve as a clearinghouse of information and innovative approaches to rural health services delivery; coordinate state activities related to rural health in order to avoid duplication of efforts and resources; and identify Federal, State and nongovernmental programs that can provide technical assistance to public/private nonprofit entities serving rural populations.
  • Collectively, SORHs provided technical assistance to 22,349 clients, totaling 71,868 transactions
  • Click here to learn more about SORH.


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About National Rural Health Day

i Jun 7th No Comments by

Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why over 60 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call them home. These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are places where neighbors know each other, listen to each other, respect each other and work together to benefit the greater good. They are also some of the best places to start a business and test your “entrepreneurial spirit.” These communities provide the rest of the country with a wealth of services and commodities, and they are the economic engine that has helped the United States become the world economic power it is today.

These rural communities also have unique healthcare needs. Today more than ever, rural communities must address accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens. And rural hospitals – which are often the economic foundation of their communities in addition to being the primary providers of care – struggle daily as declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels make it challenging to serve their residents.

That is why the National Organization of State Offices of Rural sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 15, 2018 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day, WorldMedicalGuide. First and foremost, National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit that prevails in rural America. But it also gives us a chance to bring to light the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face – and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to address those challenges.

We know there is work to be done, but we also believe there is plenty to celebrate – and we invite you to join the celebration!


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5th Annual National Rural Health Day Success

i Dec 1st No Comments by

The 5th Annual National Rural Health Day was a complete success. Governors Proclamations, Congressional recognition, nationwide events, community engagement, live webcasts and a slew of webinars dominated the day. NOSORH wants to thank the State Offices of Rural Health who planned and celebrated in a myriad of ways and truly showed just what it means to celebrate the power of rural. A special thanks also goes out to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy for pulling together a broad array of speakers and topics including Acting HHS Deputy Secretary, Dr. Mary Wakefield and Jim Macrae, the Acting Administrator at the Health Resources and Services Administration. Also joining NOSORH from the Administration was Chad Maisel with the White House Rural Caucus.  Chad discussed the Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive Demonstration project.

Another thank you goes to our partners – 3RNet, NCHN, and NRHA for collaborating together to make our partners webinar the most attended webinar hosted by NOSORH on National Rural Health Day.  Please click here to find all of the presentation and recordings of the webinars.

New this year NOSORH compiled a collection of stories from across the nation highlighting providers and communities addressing community health needs in a publication called “Real Doc Hollywoods and Community Stars”, which is published here.  SORHs have participated in the success of these stories from conducting the community needs assessment and helping develop programs to promoting the success of the program to other communities.  These stories are also great examples of programs that could be replicated across the nation.

Remember that State Offices of Rural Health need to fill out the NRHD activities form from this year, please do so by clicking here.

The NRHD evaluation will be released soon. Again, NOSORH wants to thank everyone who helped to make this National Rural Health Day the best yet.


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5th Annual National Rural Health Day Webinar Information

i Nov 10th No Comments by

NRHD 2015 Webinar Flyer

11:30-12:00 PM EST Press Conference & Live Webcast: Introducing the Rural Health Information Hub

Listen in as the Rural Assistance Center announces their launch as the Rural Health Information Hub. Speakers will discuss the reasons for the change and what it will mean for users.
Click here to register. Click here for more information.

12:00-1:00 PM EST AgriSafe: Healthier is Here

Join AgriSafe staff to learn how to recognize and respond to emerging issues that impact the health and safety of farm families and access a live and OnDemand webinar training library to increase your professional competency.

Click here to register. Click here for more information.

1:00-2:00 PM EST Live Webcast: Rural Health Delivery System Reform

Join our expert panel for a discussion of changes that are occurring in rural healthcare delivery, how rural facilities can ensure they’re not left behind and what works in rural healthcare.

Click here to register. Click here for more information.

2:15-3:15 PM EST Partners Best Practices: Advocacy, Networks, and Workforce

Talk with rural health association leaders and State Offices of Rural Health about partnerships and best practices in relations to Advocacy, Networks, and Workforce.

Click here to register. Click here for more information.

3:15-3:45 PM EST White House Rural Council

Join Chad Maisel, advisor to the White House Rural Council and leaders from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy as they discuss child poverty in rural areas and a new program designed to connect families with health and human services.

Click here to register. Click here for more information.

4:00-4:30 PM EST Federal Investments and Collaboration Models

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell will make opening remarks in a discussion of federal investments in rural health and the federal, state and local collaborations initiated by the White House Rural Council.

Click here to register. Click here for more information.

4:30-5:45 PM EST Collaborating to Meet the Healthcare Needs of Rural Veterans

Join leaders of the Veterans Administration and Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, North Dakota to learn more about collaboration to serve rural veterans.

Click here to register. Click here for more information.

National Rural Health Day: Collaborating and Telling the Story of Rural Doc Hollywoods and Other Healers

i Oct 1st No Comments by

NOSORH and our partners are moving forward with plans for National Rural Health Day (NRHD) by planning webinars and webcasts to be offered on November 19th.  The Rural Assistance Center (RAC) and FORHP will announce  a RAC  name change.  Additional webcasts and webinars will feature the work of SORH, FORHP and communities on the following topics:

  • Integrated services,
  • Community health needs assessments,
  • Community paramedicine and
  • Innovative rural health projects
  • Delivery system reform

New this year:  NOSORH is collecting the “Real Doc Hollywood and Other Healer” stories to honor health professionals who have made a positive impact on their local community, brought services that may not have been there before, has shown local leadership, or has been a dependable partner that has helped make a change for the better. SORHs, please help us identify individuals in  your state that have made a difference, so that  we may showcase these individuals to promote all of the amazing Real Doc Hollywoods and other Healers around the nation. Please take the time to fill out the form to provide the following information, showing what makes your choice.  SORHs may enter as many individuals as they would like, this is not limited to one submission per SORH. NOSORH will work on media stories and a publication to honor their work. To make your submission, click here.

NOSORH has already received several submissions.  Click here for an example of one of those submissions from the great state of Iowa.

The deadline for ordering any National Rural Health Day t-shirts, buttons or banners is October 23rd (5pm ET)

Click here to order now.

SORHs may enter as many individuals as they would like, this is not limited to one submission per SORH. NOSORH will work on media stories and a publication to honor their work. To make your submission, click here.

NOSORH has already received several submissions.  Click here for an example of one of those submissions from the great state of Iowa.

The deadline for ordering any National Rural Health Day t-shirts, buttons or banners is October 23rd (5pm ET)

Click here to order now.


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Introducing the 5th Annual NRHD Logo

i Jun 1st No Comments by

Introducing the new 5th Annual National Rural Health Day logo. We hope you will use this logo to connect with your state partners to promote National Rural Health Day on November 19th.  Many thanks to the NOSORH Communications Committee for their input on the design.  Help promote NRHD.  JPEG versions will be available shortly that can be used in your communications about the day.  Post on your social media pages and put in your newsletters.  Starting in July, NOSORH will provide regular updates on NRHD.  Let Matt Strycker know how you are promoting the upcoming 5th Annual National Rural Health Day in your state.


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Success of National Rural Health Day

i Jan 6th No Comments by

Many thanks to SORHs and partners for making National Rural Health Day (NRHD) a huge success.  NOSORH wants to build on this success and asked members to respond to an evaluation survey just before the end of the year.  Below are some of the initial results.  If you have any additional suggestions, please email Matt Strycker at

NRHD by the Numbers:

Impact of NRHD for SORHs:

  • 29 SORH recognized by governor or state leader
  • 26 reported strengthened collaboration with partner
  • 13 reported gained attention of new partner

Top 3 Roles of SORHs on NRHD:

  • Disseminate information
  • Planned or hosted an event
  • Participated in NOSORH webinars

Top 3 Resources Used by SORHs on NRHD:


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NRHD 2014 Webinar Flyer

i Nov 6th No Comments by

NRHD Webinar Flyer – Click here to register!


NRHD Webinar Flyer


The NOSORH Communications Committee

i Sep 2nd No Comments by

It has been said that “communication is key”, and no one knows that better than the members of the NOSORH Communications Committee.  Co-chaired by Karen Madden, New York SORH Director, and Kylie Nissen, Senior Project Coordinator with the North Dakota state office, the committee is responsible for getting the word out on what’s happening in rural health care.

“Our main focus is external communications for NOSORH and working to send a consistent message out to the world,” Madden said. The committee also communicates with state offices to “ensure they are hearing what they need to hear in order to do their jobs better.”

The committee primarily uses email, the NOSORH website, Twitter and Facebook pages to get the message out. “NOSORH is working to develop our blog page and create a more visible presence on social media,” NOSORH Special Projects Coordinator Matt Strycker said.  “We also developed webinars in the last few years that are very popular,” added Madden.

Madden and Nissen agree the crowning achievement of the committee has been the creation of National Rural Health Day (NRHD) four years ago.  “National Rural Health Day actually takes most of our time,” Madden said. “It started as a way to bring awareness to rural health by dedicating one day to rural issues. It was very successful from the first year. The states just grabbed on to it and it took off in ways we never expected.” Nissen agreed. “It’s a great way to let people across the country know that there are providers out there working every day to keep people in our rural communities healthy.”

The Communications Committee invites anyone interested in developing messages on rural health care to join the committee. “We raise awareness on rural issues and we’re just a fun committee to be a part of!” Nissen laughed.


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