Tuesday, November 10, 2020

National Rural Health Day, Nov. 19, is a chance to spotlight inequalities and local health issues in rural areas

National Rural Health Day, coming up on Nov. 19, is an excellent opportunity to shed a spotlight on rural health inequalities and local health issues in rural areas. Newspapers could take the opportunity to produce special sections, spreads or pages underwritten by local health-care providers -- and insurers, since the observance falls in the open enrollment period for Medicare and Affordable Care Act plans.

It is the 10th annual observance, coordinated by the Health Resources & Services Administration's Office of Rural Health Policy. They say nearly 57 million Americans, or 17 percent of the population, live in rural areas; they frequently face problems getting health care and the best health outcomes, and as a whole they are older and sicker than the general population. That's especially noteworthy as the pandemic burns through rural areas.

The Payson Roundup in central Arizona did a good job of using the observance For resources and statistics that can help with coverage, visit the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health website or the National Rural Health Day website.

HRSA will host a variety of events next week to call attention to rural health issues. All are open to the public, though registration is required for some. Click here for a list of webinars, recordings, and virtual workshops on topics such as HIV, coronavirus testing at rural health clinics, death-rate disparities in rural areas, telehealth, Native American health, a virtual job fair, and more.

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