National Rural Health Day

National Rural Health Day is today, November 15!

National Rural Health Day was created in 2010 to support the ongoing efforts and collaborations occurring in more remote communities, as well as to address the unique challenges in accessing and delivering health care services in rural areas.

Did you know that 19% of the US population lives in rural areas? That’s around 60 million people! And of that population, 64% of them live east of the Mississippi River [1]! Rural communities have unique healthcare needs. There is frequently a lack of providers, low levels of accessibility, and larger percentages of un- and under-insured citizens and populations that suffer from chronic conditions [2].

This is why rural outreach is such a vital part of the Caring Communities mission. Nearly 3.4 million people, or 27% of Pennsylvania’s population, live in rural counties [3]. Of the 12 counties we serve, 10 are classified as rural by the US Census Bureau. Our 12-county coverage area has, on average, a 63% rural population [4].

For those living with HIV, our Case Managers try to handle any issues that might arise with rural healthcare. These can range from mail-order pharmaceuticals to securing transportation for appointments to providing emergency financial assistance. We try to do anything within our means to help our clients better take control of their health.

We ensure accessibility to STD and HIV tests by keeping them free and confidential for all and provide free condoms in all our offices, as well as at various locations that we have partnered with through our Condom Distribution Program.

As the world continues to progress and become more accessible than ever, it is imperative that we not forget about the rural populations that can benefit greatly from new strides in technology and medicine.

[1] https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/reference/ua/Defining_Rural.pdf

[2] http://www.powerofrural.org/about-nrhd/

[3] http://www.rural.palegislature.us/demographics_about_rural_pa.html

[4] https://gis-portal.data.census.gov/arcgis/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=7a41374f6b03456e9d138cb014711e01