NCDHHS Joins Nationwide Observance of National Rural Health Day on Nov. 19


The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Rural Health is proud to recognize the innovation, quality of care and dedication of health professionals and volunteers in communities during National Rural Health Day 2020. National Rural Health Day falls on the third Thursday in November each year and recognizes the efforts of those serving the health needs of an estimated 57 million people across the nation. 

Rural populations continue to lag behind their urban counterparts on many health measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found rural communities had a higher rate of unhealthy behaviors, less access to health care and less access to healthy foods compared with urban areas. In North Carolina, where 41 percent — or 4 million people — live in rural areas, the study has larger implications. 

"Health disparities have devastating consequences. People in rural communities are dying at a higher rate than some of our other communities," said Maggie Sauer, director of the state’s Office of Rural Health.

Lowering the rate of death in rural areas will take a variety of interventions, including reducing the number of uninsured people, increasing access to healthy food and affordable housing, and addressing economic factors that contribute to disease.  

"North Carolina’s rural communities are resilient and strong. They face adversity head on and show up for their neighbors. That is the power of rural we are celebrating," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

You are invited to participate in the following planned National Rural Health Day activities to celebrate the “Power of Rural.”

The Power and Joy of Rural 
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, 11 a.m.– noon

As part of National Rural Health Day, this virtual event will "Celebrate the Power and Joy of Rural" by honoring the selfless, community-minded, "can do" spirit that prevails in rural America. This event will spotlight the responsiveness and resiliency of rural communities and highlight the joy and benefits of choosing to live in a rural community. 

A special presentation of the National Rural Health Day Gubernatorial Proclamation will be made, and Matthew Hoagland, author of "Think Small: A Millennial’s Guide to Building a Meaningful Life in Rural America" will speak, among others. The event is sponsored by the NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance, NC Office of Rural Health, NC Rural Center and Hometown Strong.

Surviving and Thriving: The Power of Rural is 100% Community 
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2 – 3:15 p.m.

Katherine Ortega Courtney, Ph.D., and Dominic Cappello, authors of "100% Community: Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving," will discuss their groundbreaking research & roadmap they've created to help rural counties learn how to work together in new ways to create local systems of health, safety, education and economic stability. 

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