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PCH partnering to celebrate National Rural Health Day

Monday, November 14, 2011

Putnam County Hospital will join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and other state/national rural stakeholders in celebrating the first-ever National Rural Health Day on Thursday, Nov. 17.

National Rural Health Day has been created as a way to showcase rural America, increase awareness of rural health-related issues and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others in addressing those issues.

Plans call for National Rural Health Day to become an annual celebration on the third Thursday each November.

Events recognizing National Rural Health Day and "Celebrating the Power of Rural" are being planned throughout the nation.

Putnam County Hospital is planning to mark the occasion by hosting a public presentation with State Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin.

Dr. Larkin, himself a former Greencastle resident and Putnam County physician, will speak to the role of rural hospitals in the state.

Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray will join in the celebration by declaring Nov. 17 as National Rural Health Day in a city proclamation.

Putnam County Hospital invites all community members to share in the day by joining the medical and community professionals for Dr. Larkin's presentation at 9 a.m. in the PCH third-floor classrooms.

Area third-graders have been asked to share their artistic skills in illustrating "What being healthy means to me" to continue building awareness for the small town healthcare providers.

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," NOSORH Director Teryl Eisinger notes. "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 healthcare needs.

"Today more than ever, rural communities must tackle 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 citizens," Eisinger says. "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.

Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be found at www.celebratepowerofrural.org. To learn more about NOSORH, visit www.nosorh.org; to learn more about Putnam County Hospital visit www.pchosp.org.

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