National Rural Health Day Date in the current year: November 21, 2024

National Rural Health Day National Rural Health Day is observed in the United States on the third Thursday of November every year. It focuses on the medical resources offered by rural communities and their impact on small towns and their residents.

Healthcare needs of people living in rural areas are different from those in urban areas due to a combination of various demographic, geographic, personal health, socioeconomic, and workplace factors. For example, many rural communities have relatively few people of working age and a significant proportion of children and elderly people. People living in rural areas also tend to be poorer than their urban counterparts, and it has been proven that poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor health.

One of the main healthcare challenges in rural is less access to medical practitioners, healthcare facilities, and mental health programs, which often means longer response times in case of medical emergency and a lack of preventative care. Fewer job opportunities also play a role; a lot of professions available in rural areas are physical in nature and associated with various health and safety hazards.

Rural areas also tend to have higher rates of smoking (including exposure to second-hand smoke), alcohol consumption, and obesity, as well as higher rates of interpersonal violence and death by injury, poisoning and suicide than urban areas. In many countries, rural health is heavily impacted by a lack of development and critical infrastructure.

Since the mid-1980s, national governments and international organizations have been paying increasing attention to addressing rural health issues and improving access to healthcare in rural areas. Some countries have set up research centers to study rural health statistics and single out the most important problems that can be solved by developing and implementing various policies and programs.

In the United States, rural health is one of the areas of focus of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a government agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tasked with improving access to healthcare services for uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable people. HRSA’s Office for Rural Health Policy funds the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) program to solve rural health problems.

National Rural Health Day was created in 2010 by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the membership association of 50 State Offices of Rural Health across the United States. Its main goal is to educate various stakeholders and the general public on the healthcare challenges in rural communities where more than 60 million Americans live and work, address their unique healthcare needs, and honor the contribution of rural healthcare providers.

You can get involved with National Rural Health Day by raising awareness of the health needs of rural communities on social media with the hashtags #NationalRuralHealthDay, #RuralHealthDay, and #PowerOfRural. If you live in a rural community, reach out to your healthcare provider to show your appreciation.

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