Celebrating National Rural Health Day

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:07

    Newton — The first-ever National Rural Health Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, Nov. 16. Neighborhood Health Services Corp., the Center for Prevention and Counseling along with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other New Jersey and Sussex County rural organizations will be joining to celebrate. NOSORH created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues. Plans call for National Rural Health Day to become an annual celebration on the third Thursday of each November. Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and “Celebrating the Power of Rural” are being planned throughout the nation. In Sussex County, Neighborhood Health Services Corp. and the Center for Prevention and Counseling are planning to mark the occasion by holding a Rural Health Fair at Newton High School in the gymnasium from 4 to 7 p.m. with fun family activities, healthy treats and a skit by local youth and feature many Sussex County agencies and businesses. Approximately 62 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,” notes NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. 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 underinsured citizens,” Eisinger says. 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 the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities. In Sussex County for example, Neighborhood Health Services supports rural citizens through programs by providing medical and dental support to Sussex County’s adolescent population, including those who are uninsured or under insured in the community while the Center for Prevention and Counseling provides counseling services as well as prevention programs including the annual Anti-Bullying Summit and The Coordinated School Health program, which provides nutrition, fitness and whole-school wellness, funded through the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Service’s Child and Adolescent Health Program Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found on the Web at www.celebratepowerofrural.org. To learn more about NOSORH, visit www.nosorh.org.