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The rural areas of the United States are deeply rooted in community and connected through relationships that have been fostered for generations.

Limited access to healthcare facilities, provider shortages, and a growing aging population are all challenges faced by those who need health services but live in rural areas.

National Rural Health Day seeks to recognize and show support to the more than 65 million people who live in rural areas throughout the US, pursuing better ways and tearing down the barriers to getting their healthcare needs met.

History of National Rural Health Day

This event was first observed in 2011 when it was founded by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH).

Celebrating the theme “the Power of Rural,” the event is meant to honor the dedication of those who work in the rural health sector, regularly tackling the challenges faced by these communities.

National Rural Health Day is recognized annually by several states across the US and the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

How to Celebrate National Rural Health Day

A wide range of people are encouraged to show support and participate with National Rural Health day, including some of these activities:

Attend Local Rural Health Day Events

One excellent way to get involved with National Rural Health Day is to participate in various events and activities throughout the community.

This might include health fairs put on by local hospitals or medical centers, getting involved with job fairs that work to hire more health workers in rural areas, or participating in an online photo contest that many states hold each year in celebration of this day!

Share News and Information About Rural Health Care

Get people in the community more involved, educated, and informed about National Rural Health Day and all throughout the year!

Hospitals and medical centers can start a media campaign that encourages local rural community members to sign up to get health information and tips through email blasts, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and more.

Share information about how to connect with medical providers and encourage rural residents to share their own stories or photos about what they love about rural living!

Understand Challenges Faced By Rural Communities

People who live in rural areas often encounter several different barriers to their health. Medical professionals, community leaders, educators, and community members will all be more effective in promoting health if they can understand some of the issues that people in rural areas contend with.

In honor of National Rural Health Day, consider the following facts.

When compared to people who live in urban areas, some of the common health issues faced by people living in rural areas include:

  • Higher rates of certain substance abuse, such as cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco, as well as misuse of opioid drugs and methamphetamines 
  • A higher percentage of elderly people who are more likely to have chronic health problems 
  • More residents who do not have health insurance
  • Higher rates of chronic health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes 

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