Every year on the third Thursday of November, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) celebrates the “Power of Rural” by observing National Rural Health Day. This day serves as an opportunity to honor and bring attention to the tireless efforts of rural healthcare providers and community organizations. Their dedication and unique approach to addressing the challenges faced by rural citizens highlight both the resilience and the vibrant spirit of rural communities. These communities are not only wonderful places to work but also to call home.
What PHN is Doing to Recognize National Rural Health Day
This year to recognize National Rural Health Day, we asked our CEO, Dr. George Garrow, what we are doing to provide optimal care to our rural patients throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio!
Our challenges in rural healthcare
“Our patients in rural communities may face challenges accessing healthcare due to a provider shortage, the downsizing or closure of local community hospitals, and limited availability of specialty services. Additionally, challenges like the lack of broadband internet and cellular service, as well as limited transportation resources, further complicate access to necessary care.”
Our strategies for rural healthcare
“Even before the COVID pandemic, Primary Health Network was actively engaged in offering telehealth services in rural communities. Our expansion in telehealth has significantly improved our reach to patients in these areas. Additionally, many of our rural communities benefit from our assistance with transportation. Looking forward, we’re excited about enhancing our mobile health presence. By deploying our mobile health unit, we aim to extend care to communities where access may be limited.”
How we collaborate to better serve Rural communities
“PHN actively participates in workforce development through partnerships with our state association, as well as through local, state, and federal programs. We understand the critical role our Health Center plays in recognizing and addressing social factors that may create barriers to our patients achieving optimal health.”
Our long-term vision for Rural Healthcare
“We are steadfast in our commitment to exploring innovative ways to improve health outcomes in the communities we are honored to serve. I am particularly focused on expanding our understanding of environmental factors and their significant impact on vulnerable individuals. This includes those facing disparities, particularly in rural areas, where environmental challenges often exacerbate existing health issues.”
National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to celebrate the “Power of Rural.” Let’s use this day to highlight the unique healthcare challenges that our rural communities face and celebrate the hard work of the healthcare heroes who strive to overcome them.