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Posted on: November 19, 2020

County, Health Care Partners Mark Rural Health Day on Nov. 19

An info-graphic highlighting the medical institutions service rural areas of America.

HONESDALE -- The Wayne County Commissioners and Wayne Tomorrow! along with Wayne Memorial Hospital and The Wright Center celebrate National Rural Health Day on Thursday, Nov. 19.

They join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state and national partners in showcasing rural America, increasing awareness of rural health-related challenges and promoting efforts to address those challenges.

An estimated 57 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,” 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 like accessibility issues, a shortage 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.

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 Pennsylvania, the Office of Rural Health provides significant assistance to the PA Department of Health on the implementation of the PA Rural Health Model. This innovative Model focuses on rural health care transformation, in conjunction with hospital global budgets, to increase rural Pennsylvanians’ access to high-quality care, improve health, and reduce the growth of hospital.

The Model is the first of its kind in the nation, and Wayne Memorial Hospital is among the first to pilot the program to target rural hospital global budgeting, transformation, and population health.

Along with the Commissioner’s Proclamation, Wayne Tomorrow! encourages everyone to Celebrate the Power of Rural with a webinar, Nov. 19, from 2 to 3:15 pm, called “100% Community: Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving.”

“Their work aligns with a lot of what Wayne Tomorrow! is working to accomplish here in Wayne County,” explained Community Network Specialist Kim Rickard.

Authors Katherine Ortega Courtney, Ph.D., and Dominic Cappello will discuss their groundbreaking research and the roadmap they have created to help rural counties press reset and learn how to work together in new ways to create local systems of health, safety, education, and economic stability.

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