TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) signed a proclamation declaring November 15th as Rural Health Day in the State of Kansas.
National Rural Health Day was created as a way to showcase rural America and increase awareness of rural health-related issues. More than 820,000 people call rural Kansas home. These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are fueled by the creative energy of ordinary citizens who historically have been willing to step forward and take risks in order to provide a wealth of products and resources for the rest of the country. They continue to be places where everyone knows each other, listens to/respects each other and works together for the greater good.
Kansas Health and Environment Secretary Robert Moser, M.D., said he’s impressed with the way rural health care providers can turn geographical and resource-related challenges into opportunities for advancement in the health care industry. Before coming to KDHE, Secretary Moser practiced family medicine in his native Tribune for more than 20 years.
“Rural Kansas can be a powerful force for addressing the health needs in all regions of the state,” explained Moser. “We applaud and appreciate the great work of our rural health care providers and their staff, not just on Rural Health Day, but every day.”
Moser also announced today that KDHE’s Office of Rural Health has awarded 11 rural communities in Kansas each a grant to support their local community health assessment and improvement planning efforts. Grantees will bring together community members, their health care providers and the local hospital to assess and prioritize the health needs of the community and identify ways to address those needs.
The counties receiving these community health assessment and engagement grants are Brown, Dickinson, Jackson, Marion, Ottawa, Phillips, Republic, Rice, Russell, Wilson and Washington. Each county will receive up to $4,000 to be used for activities like holding town hall meetings or conducting community surveys.
In addition, KDHE has awarded a regional community engagement grant to Lower Eight Public Health Region serving Chautauqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho and Wilson counties. Since January, KDHE’s Office of Rural Health has awarded $119,000 in grants to 32 counties plus one regional group.
“KDHE is committed to supporting these initiatives through investments like this where communities are not just taking a closer, comprehensive look at their health indicators but are focused on partnering to help leverage available resources,” said Moser.
For more information on the State Office of Rural Health, go to http://www.kdheks.gov/olrh/rural.html