Today, November 15th, the New Hampshire Hospital Association is proud to join other state and national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day.
National Rural Health Day was created to recognize those who serve the vital health needs of nearly 60 million people residing in America’s rural communities, and the importance of rural healthcare providers who work tirelessly to address the barriers patients face in accessing healthcare when they need it.
New Hampshire has 13 Critical Access Hospitals throughout the state that support their communities by delivering high quality healthcare in very rural, underserved areas of the state. These hospitals are engaging in innovative programs like telehealth medicine that allow New Hampshire’s rural health providers to coordinate care, stay connected with each other and urban tertiary care centers. In addition, they partner with the state’s tertiary care hospitals to bring expert, specialty care to rural patients where they live through a variety of collaborations. They collaborate with the State Office of Rural Health, rural healthcare providers and others to create partnerships that improve the health and well-being of their communities.
Beyond the issue of care, rural hospitals also serve as economic engines for the communities they serve, often existing as the largest employers in their communities for generations of families. New Hampshire’s rural hospitals recruit and sustain physicians, specialists and other clinicians to provide care, and the availability of that care is an important factor in attracting business and industry to our state.
It is because of their efforts in ensuring access to care and status as community and economic anchors, that the Rural Health Coalition (RHC), which helps to coordinate the work of New Hampshire’s 13 critical access hospitals, is being honored with the 2018 Community Star recognition from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), along with colleagues across the country for delivering excellence in rural health settings over the past year. The RHC is led by a CAH CEO each year and we were fortunate to have Maria Ryan, Ph.D., CEO at Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, NH, who served in that role this past year. Mike Peterson, President of Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, NH, will serve as Chair in the coming year.
It is because of the dedication and commitment of New Hampshire’s rural health care leaders to ensure their communities have access to healthcare, and the compassion with which they deliver that care to their patients and families, that we honor New Hampshire’s rural healthcare providers today and every day.
The Rural Health Coalition recognized as a 2018 Community Star by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH)