Contact: Sasha Dull
Crossing Rivers Health of Prairie du Chien will join other state and national rural stakeholders in celebrating National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 20, 2014.
National Rural Health Day and ‘Celebrating the Power of Rural’ serves as a way to showcase rural America; increase awareness of rural health-related issues; and promote the efforts of the National Organization, 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 of each November.
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,” notes Teryl Eisinger, National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health Director. “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. 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. In the past year alone, State Offices of Rural Health collectively provided technical assistance to more than 28,000 rural communities.
Bill Sexton, Chief Executive Officer at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, commented, “We’ve worked to answer some of the needs of our rural communities, including accessibility issues, a lack of healthcare providers, as well as reinvested in a new facility that will ensure access to quality care for generations to come. The healthcare team at Crossing Rivers Health and Clinics in Prairie du Chien and Fennimore are your friends and neighbors and take great pride in providing care to the citizens of the communities we serve in Southwest Wisconsin and Northeast Iowa.”
Since 1957, Crossing Rivers Health has provided the local, rural communities with necessary healthcare programs as well as health and wellness education. In 2013 alone, the organization has provided patients and the communities a total of $3.4 million in care at cost, charity care for those who qualify, prevention education and other community benefit programs. Bill Sexton adds, “It’s our mission to serve the health and wellness needs of the people of our communities, and we take that seriously.”
Additional information about National Rural Health Day can be at www.celebratepowerofrural.org. To learn more about Crossing Rivers Health, visit crossingrivers.org.