|Rural health coalition forms|
A new coalition of rural health officials has banded together to speak “with one voice” on issues affecting rural health care.
The announcement was made official at a membership kick-off event on March 26 at the annual Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health in Fargo, N.D. The North Dakota Rural Health Association (NDRHA) intends to bring together diverse interests and provide a unified voice to promote and enhance the quality of rural health through leadership, advocacy, coalition building, education and communication.
“Health care is a hot issue, especially this year with the presidential elections,” said Pete Antonson, NDRHA president and administrator of the Northwood Deaconess Health Center. “We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work collaboratively to improve the health status of North Dakotans.”
The NDRHA will be governed by a board of directors and organized by committees of member representatives in seven key areas: advocacy, membership, community relations, annual conference, executive, nominating and finance.
Officials from the National Rural Health Association spoke at the kick-off event, which was open to anyone involved with rural health interests, including legislators, health care professionals, consumers and economic development representatives. George Miller, past president, and Brock Slabach, senior vice president for member services, shared national perspectives of rural health care issues.
“We’ve seen the challenges to rural health care become greater in recent years,” said Antonson. “By partnering together, we will be able to have a much stronger impact on educational and legislative efforts."
The NDRHA is a chapter of the National Rural Health Organization (NRHA). The NRHA is a national nonprofit organization with more than 18,000 members that provides leadership on rural health issues. The Association’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans and to provide leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education, and research. The NRHA membership is made up of a diverse collection of individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.
-- Wendy Opsahl, Communications Coordinator, Center for Rural Health, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-0871