Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Webinar Thursday to focus on high mortality rates in rural areas

The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services (NACRHHS) is hosting a webinar at 2 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday to discuss high mortality rates in rural areas. The webinar, open to the public, will focus on the the organization's policy brief, "Mortality and Life Expectancy in Rural America: Connecting the Health and Human Service Safety Nets to Improve Health Outcomes  over the Life Course." (NACRHHS graphic)

"The brief examines a broad range of issues contributing to a mortality rate for rural Americans that is 13 percent higher than in urban and suburban areas according to recent data," states NACRHHS. "Among these is the rising rate of opioid use and overdose, lack of primary care and behavioral health services and federal policy and programs that do not take into consideration the challenges unique to rural areas."

One of the event's speakers is Wayne Myers, who was head of the federal Office of Rural Health Policy during the Clinton administration, Tim Marema and Shawn Poynter report for the Daily Yonder. Myers told the Yonder, “Several million people dying too soon is as important as a terrorist attack, but it’s not on the candidate debates or the evening news. I hope the webinar will get some more people wanting to know why too many rural people are dying young. Eventually I’d like to see a group convened to sort out what is scientifically known about the impact of social and economic change on people’s health and what actually works to improve the health of groups of people.”

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