Updated November 18, 2021
Today, in celebration of National Rural Health Day, Provide joins the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) in honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit that prevails in rural America, and recognizing the innovation, quality of care, and dedication of health professionals and volunteers in America’s rural communities.
1 in 5 Americans live and work in rural areas.
An estimated 57 million people live in rural and frontier communities throughout the US. “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,” says Teryl Eisinger, NOSORH CEO. “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 under-insured citizens,” Eisinger says. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that make it challenging to serve their residents.”
State Offices of Rural Health play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a SORH, 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.
Like SORHs, Provide works where health care choices are limited and difficult to locate, and health and social service providers are over-taxed and under-resourced. Widespread stigma, organized opposition, and a shortage of providers make meeting needs related to unintended pregnancy especially difficult, particularly for those seeking abortion. Our vision is rooted in the belief that everyone should have access to safe reproductive health care, regardless of where they live. We ground our work in our own communities across the U.S. Southeast and reach into rural communities where there are many challenges, but even greater opportunities.
We are grateful for all of our site champions and over 10,000 professionals who have participated in our Referrals Training to better serve those experiencing unintended pregnancy. We hope that you’ll join us in celebration of individuals and organizations working every day to close gaps, open doors, address challenges, and develop solutions through collaboration, education, innovation, and communication.
Together, we can make a bigger impact and transform healthcare.
Learn more about how you can support National Rural Health Day by visiting www.PowerofRural.org.