Thursday, November 16, 2017
Liberty, NY – Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why over 60 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call them home. These small towns and farming communities are places where neighbors know each other, listen to each other, respect each other and work together to benefit the greater good.
Rural communities also have unique healthcare needs. Today more than ever, rural communities must address 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 residents.
That is why the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 16, 2017 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day. First and foremost, National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit that prevails in rural America. But it also gives us a chance to bring to light the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face – and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to address those challenges.
The Sullivan County Rural Health Network, led by Sullivan County Public Health Services, brings together community partners to improve the health of our County residents, and to help create a new culture of health in Sullivan County. The Rural Health Network’s Drug Prevention Task Force was instrumental in the creation of a new addiction information and referral line and obtaining grant funding for community drug prevention education through our community partners, providing much needed resources and information for county residents.
Sullivan County Public Health Services and its Rural Health Network partner organizations were also instrumental in advocating and supporting the county legislature to adopt a Tobacco 21 Purchasing Law in Sullivan County, a law which will help to improve the health of younger county residents. In addition, the Rural Health Network supports those wishing to quit smoking by providing free smoking cessation classes, coaching and education for all residents, as well as providing free nicotine replacement patches for those who qualify by calling (845) 292-5910.
On National Rural Health Day, the Sullivan County Rural Health Network would like to thank all of the community partners who work hard every day to make Sullivan County a healthier and happier place to live, work and play. We know there is work to be done, but we also believe there is plenty to celebrate – and we invite you to join the celebration!