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.

Top rural and community hospitals announced

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has announced the 20 highest-ranked prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals in the country based on an evaluation by the Chartis Center for Rural Health. The hospitals are identified using the Hospital Strength Index, the most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural PPS hospital performance. These hospitals will be recognized May 6 during NRHA’s virtual Rural Hospital Innovation Summit.

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Why rural hospitals should consider international nurses

The pandemic has brought much attention to the national nursing shortage. Hospitals have felt the pressure of limited resources to maintain safe staffing ratios while combating the devastating effects on patients and weary full-time nurses. Concurrently, the cost of travel nurses has risen sharply due to higher hourly rates demanded by companies that ration their clinical workforce to the highest bidder. Embracing an international recruiting strategy not only opens up a channel to bring in...

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NRHA Secures Big Wins for Rural Health in Latest COVID-19 Relief Package

Today, President Biden signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Thanks to the advocacy of NRHA and its members, the package includes a number of provisions to protect and promote rural health.

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NRHA announces 2021 Rural Health Award recipients

The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is proud to announce the association’s 2021 Rural Health Award recipients. NRHA’s Rural Health Awards are given each year to individuals and organizations in the field of rural health who have dedicated their time and talents to improving the health and well-being of others. “We’re extremely proud of this year’s winners, particularly because of the extra challenges rural health care providers have faced since the COVID...

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Workforce development after COVID-19

COVID-19 has provided many lessons for the nation’s rural hospitals, including that leadership and the right skills for the tasks at hand are key to navigating difficult times. Recognizing that an educated workforce is essential, many rural hospitals are looking for ways to transform traditional approaches to workforce development. They want cost-effective programs that equip staff to meet real-world challenges and provide measurable results.

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How will a virtual Rural Health Policy Institute work?

A raging pandemic, a new administration in Washington, the ongoing rural hospital closure crisis – the stakes are high for rural health in 2021. As individual rural health professionals and advocates, every day we work hard to ensure our community has access to essential care and resources – but our voices are louder together. Our next step as rural health stakeholders is NRHA’s virtual 32nd Rural Health Policy Institute Feb. 9-11. Here's how we'll make an impression...

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NRHA announces leadership elections results

Leadership for the National Rural Health Association is secure for 2021 and beyond, thanks to recent Board of Trustees and Rural Health Congress elections. The Rural Health Congress is NRHA’s policy-making body. Elected representatives from the association's constituency groups, State Association Council, State Office Council, issue groups, and officers serve on the Congress, giving broad grassroots representation that reflects the expertise and passion of NRHA's membership.

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Diagnosing and managing mild TBI in rural kids

A family hike takes a scary turn when a two-year-old trips and strikes his head on a rock. When he arrives at the closest medical clinic, he is acting disoriented and lethargic. Neuroimaging services are an hour drive away. His parents are pushing for a head CT. Should the attending health care provider conduct in-office observation and see if his symptoms improve or call for emergency transport? Decisions like these are all too common for rural providers caring for a patient with a traumatic...

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HHS Administrator Seema Verma's Rural Open Door Forum speech

"It’s a pleasure to speak to you on this tenth annual Rural Health Day. Let me start by thanking all of you on the frontlines for your hard work and dedication at this difficult time in history. It’s not lost on me how much rural providers have sacrificed. You are heroes in this war. Coronavirus has not spared any part of the world, and it has been particularly challenging for rural providers, which already faced considerable difficulties going into this pandemic."

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Nation’s leading rural health orgs unite

NRHA is proud to announce on National Rural Health Day the formation of the Rural Health Action Alliance (RHAA), a coalition of the nation’s leading health care organizations representing providers and facilities that provide millions of Americans with high-quality, evidence-based care – particularly those living and working in rural and underserved areas.

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