“Celebrating the Power of Rural”

10/30/2015

Amery Hospital & Clinic will join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 19, 2015.
 
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.  
 
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,” notes 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 says. “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.
 
In Polk and neighboring counties for example, Amery Hospital & Clinic supports rural citizens through programs such as community education events, behavioral health screening for teens, patient emergency fund relief, health benefit and social services, patient transportation services and subsidized health contributions.  Amery Hospital & Clinic recently launched a community –wide initiative called PowerUp. PowerUp is committed to working in partnership with the Amery community to help kids be healthy today and reach their full potential in life. This initiative also makes it easy, fun and popular for kids and families to eat well, be active and grow up healthy.
 
“Building and forming lasting relationships with community members, patients and families is one of the main reasons I chose to live in a rural area,” says Debra Rudquist, President and CEO of Amery Hospital & Clinic. “Since 1956 our hospital has grown and evolved because of community support; now that is truly the “power of rural.” I’m proud and honored to serve our local area and look forward to helping improve the health of its communities,” adds Rudquist.

Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found on the Web at www.celebratepowerofrural.org.  To learn more about NOSORH, visit www.nosorh.org.

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