NRHA's Rural Health Voices blog offers informed commentary on the latest news in rural health care from NRHA staff and editorials from selected contributors.

We are winning the COVID-19 fight, not the war

In the struggle against COVID-19, vaccines are our best weapon. We must continue the push to increase vaccination rates. Many people wonder if they need a vaccine if they already had COVID or if the infection itself makes them immune. These are reasonable questions – but a definite answer is not known. Here is what we do know.

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NRHA joins HHS' COVID-19 Community Corps, more

To reinforce the association’s dedication to health equity in the midst of the pandemic, NRHA has recently joined several national coalitions aimed at communicating vaccine safety and efficacy. HHS’ COVID-19 Community Corps aims to establish a network of trusted voices to promote vaccines. The Made to Save Coalition is a public education and grassroots effort to increase vaccine access in communities of color. And the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project includes...

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NRHA continues work with All of Us Research Program

Each year, National Rural Health Day offers an opportunity to celebrate the power of rural by highlighting the unique health care challenges facing rural America and the many efforts underway to address those disparities. Better data is an important first step toward evidence-based interventions that consider the multiple dimensions of health – but obtaining, using, and sharing data continues to be a struggle.

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NRHA's Slabach on the crucial merits of wearing a mask

From the outset, face covering as a measure of protection against SARS-CoV-2 virus infection seemed to brew controversy. Even today rural populations appear less compelled to wear masks and this may in part explain the rapid increase in both Covid infections and fatalities. These trends are even more disconcerting as we look ahead to the holidays with increased risk of exposure and illness.

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How health partnerships can help rural communities prep for COVID

With stark images of urban hospitals overrun with patients, the national media coverage of COVID-19 has focused largely on cities. Less discussed and less understood is the impact on rural communities, which have been grossly underprepared for a pandemic. As we contemplate an additional wave of the virus, now is the time to assess how rural communities can achieve greater resilience.

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Rural child social workers offer pandemic perspective

The allure of being a child social worker in a rural area is strong. Social workers who decide to work in smaller communities may forgo an abundance of resources to support families, but they gain slower-paced, socially supportive neighborhoods with strong connections to the natural environment. So what happens during a first-in-our-lifetime pandemic in communities already lacking in resources? It gets complicated.

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NRHA launches Rural COVID-19 Technical Assistance Center

Individuals in rural communities often face barriers to health stemming from economic factors, environmental differences, and feelings of isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a generational challenge and exacerbated these concerns, revealing a critical need for rapid response efforts. With the support of a generous grant of $200,000 from CoBank, NRHA is helping rural health care providers overcome barriers they face through the creation...

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NRHA Statement Condemning Racism

NRHA stands in solidarity with communities of color as we fight against the systematic, individually mediated, and internalized racism deeply embedded within our country and its institutions. Structural racism is a public health crisis, and its effects are detrimental to the physical and mental health of all individuals and communities. It is an underlying condition contributing to health inequities and the disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality borne by racial minorities.  

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NRHA COVID-19 response and event updates

NRHA takes seriously the impact COVID-19 could have on our members and rural communities nationwide. We are closely monitoring new developments regarding the coronavirus and will always place first the safety and well-being of our members, event attendees, and all rural Americans. NRHA staff are equipped to provide continuity of service throughout this period. We will continue to provide education, advocacy, and communications to ensure your rural community has the knowledge and resources to...

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Addressing community wellness with physical therapy

To ensure that we are addressing population health issues, innovative interventions that reach across disciplines is crucial. Utilizing physical therapy as a vehicle for safely transitioning individuals with multiple chronic conditions to a long-term wellness plan establishes a culture of health within the community and can reduce the financial burden on both the patient and the hospital.

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