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Idaho State University School of Nursing, partners to Celebrate National Rural Health Day

November 14, 2017

POCATELLO – The Idaho State University School of Nursing will join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has declared Nov. 16 National Rural Health Day in Idaho. National Rural Health Day is a nationwide celebration of the power of rural health.

Idaho's rural communities are great places to live. National Rural Health Day is a chance to celebrate those in our communities that work to keep us healthy and strong - our providers, clinics, hospitals and all who care for those in our local communities.

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,” said NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger. “The hospitals and providers serving these rural communities not only provide quality patient care, but they also help keep good jobs in rural America.”

These communities also face unique health care needs. “Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle accessibility issues, a lack of health care providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens,” Eisinger said. “Meanwhile, rural hospitals are threatened with declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels that makes it challenging to serve their residents.”

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.

Rural Health Clinics (RHC) and Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) are responsible for the bulk of health care services in rural areas of Idaho.  Although Bannock County is considered an urban service area the counties surrounding us have RHCs and CAHs providing health care for our rural populations.

The mission of ISU School of Nursing is to provide educational opportunities for rural communities.  The School of Nursing is focused on the needs of rural people.  Faculty and students have developed a research trajectory to assess the healthcare needs of rural citizens and assure care options are available to meet their needs.