November 19th is the 10th annual National Rural Health Day! Each year this day is celebrated on the third Thursday in November with events and outreach organized by the National Organization of States Offices of Rural Health, all 50 State Offices of Rural Health, and many partners, sponsors and stakeholders in rural communities.
According to the Census Bureau, rural areas are defined simply as being “not in an urban area,” or, more specifically, having a population less than 2,500 people. In the United States, over 60 million people (nearly 1 in 5 Americans) live and work in a rural area. This presents patients with unique healthcare needs that wouldn’t be as obvious in a more urban setting. Rural areas have greater numbers of un- and underinsured patients, and a larger aging population with chronic conditions. Public transportation is limited and rural hospitals have disproportionate funding compared to their urban counterparts, resulting in a lack of healthcare providers.
National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the community-minded spirit of those living and working in rural areas, as well as a time to shine a light on the healthcare challenges they face.
Eight of the twelve counties Caring Communities serves are considered “mostly” or “completely rural,” meaning 50% or more of their inhabitants live rurally. For our clients living with HIV, we try our best to remove any barriers to care and help them better maintain their health. This might look like providing transportation to medical appointments, getting medications delivered to their door, having a mental health counselor accessible, and even providing emergency assistance for things like housing or food costs. We also offer telehealth services for our HIV and STD clinic patients.
If you or anyone you know might be in need of these services, please feel free to contact us and find out how we can help!