STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., Nov. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mary Wakefield, administrator of the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), will be among the featured speakers during a series of webinars being presented by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) on November 17 in conjunction with the first-ever National Rural Health Day.
NOSORH created National Rural Health Day to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health (SORHs) and others in addressing those issues. "Approximately 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – live in rural and frontier U.S. communities," notes NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. "These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are wonderful places to live and work. The hospitals and providers serving these communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.
"Unfortunately, these communities also face accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un-/underinsured citizens," Eisinger says. "Rural hospitals, clinics and other providers also face declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that make it challenging to serve residents."
SORHs play a key role in addressing those needs. All 50 states maintain a SORH, each of which fosters relationships, disseminates information and provides technical assistance that improves rural citizens' access to quality health care. SORHs collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities in the past year alone.
National Rural Health Day events are being planned nationwide by SORHs and others on November 17. NOSORH's scheduled webinars that day – all free and open to the public – include:
- 11:30 a.m. EST – Supporting Farmers and Farm Safety (Natalie Roy, Executive Director, AgriSafe Network);
- 12:30 p.m. EST – Rural Health 101 (Tom Morris, HRSA Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy; Kristine Sande, Associate Director, Rural Assistance Center; Rebecca Davis, Executive Director, National Cooperative of Health Networks);
- 2:00 p.m. EST – Caring for Rural Veterans (Mary Beth Skupien, Director, Veterans Health Administration Office of Rural Health);
- 3:00 p.m. EST – Being a Rural Health Provider is a Great Thing (Natalie Gonzalez, National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network); and
- 4:00 p.m. EST – Quality of Care in Rural America/Partnership for Patients (Mary Wakefield, HRSA Administrator; Sue Sheridan, President/Founder, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety; Dennis Wagner, Co-director, Partnership for Patients Initiative, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
Anyone interested in joining any or all of the November 17 webinars can do so by visiting https://eval.webex.com/eval/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=923323291. To learn more about National Rural Health Day, visit http://celebratepowerofrural.org; to learn more about NOSORH, visit www.nosorh.org.
SOURCE National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health