We are almost there folks, National Rural Health Day is tomorrow! National Rural Health Day (NRHD) is special because we are so busy doing the work that needs to be done that we don’t actually take a step back and look to see what has come out of that work. NRHD gives us that chance to take a breath, look around, and give ourselves, our partners, and our communities, a collective pat on the back for a job well done. It has been amazing to watch all of the different events, such as handing out awards, farmer’s markets, governor’s proclamations and signing ceremonies, photo contests, blogs, press releases,  and rural health videos, being announced and distributed. That, by no means, covers everything that is being planned, but it goes to show that not only do we have a passion for the work being done, but that there is a need to shine a light on all of these accomplishments. When reading these rural health success stories, I’m sometimes taken aback by how diverse and innovative we can be when dealing with the healthcare needs of our rural communities.

We celebrate NRHD each year with the hopes that we will bring attention to the 62 million people who live, work, and play in rural communities across America. I know that even though I will be sitting here in my office working on the webinars on Thursday, I’ll be wearing my NRHD button with pride, answering my phone with, “Happy National Rural Health Day!” and tweeting and posting to Facebook with the hashtag #powerofrural. I will be looking forward to seeing all of the events pan out and all of the celebrations enjoyed by those participating.

We have a full day of webinars planned to highlight all the great work being done in the state offices and with our partners around the country. We will be joined by our partners at AgriSafe, RAC, 3RNet, and NCHN to name a few. We will also have Dr. Mary Wakefield joining us for the “ACA and You” webinar highlighting the start of open enrollment and the partnerships that ORHP is currently a part of. We will also be joined by several SORHs from around the country who will be calling in to talk about the events they have planned and about the partnerships and great work being done in their states and how they have positively impacted the lives of those in their states. That is what this day is about, and I hope you will take the time to join us and pass along the word. Again, thank you all for everything you have done to make National Rural Health Day 2014 a success.

Matt Strycker

Special Projects Coordinator, NOSORH