Rural Health Day set for Thursday


Staff Report



RIPLEY, W.Va. — Jackson General Hospital will host a National Rural Health Day event on Thursday with the theme of Celebrating the Power of Rural.

Local organizations around the country, such as Jackson General, are joining with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) to celebrate the day and showcase rural health.

According to a news release, NOSORH created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues.

Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and “Celebrating the Power of Rural” are being planned throughout the nation. In our area, Jackson General is planning to mark the occasion by hosting an event which is to include the reading of National Rural Health Day Proclamation which was signed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, and comments from W.Va. Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Jackson General CEO Stephanie McCoy. A tour of the facility will also take place, as well as an ice cream celebration.

Approximately 62 million people — nearly one in five Americans — live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. “These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work; they are places where neighbors know each other and work together,” said NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”

These communities also face unique healthcare needs. “Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle 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,” Eisinger said. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”

State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a State Office of Rural Health, each of which shares a similar mission: to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to, and the quality of, health care for its rural citizens. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.

Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found at nosorh.org/nrhd. To learn more about NOSORH, visit www.nosorh.org.

Staff Report