October 18, 2018
Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Community Health and Prosperity. Rural stakeholders have until Monday, November 5th to offer comment on the Surgeon General’s efforts focusing on how local investments have the potential to improve the health and prosperity of communities. This opportunity for public comment provides a way to ensure that the broader national effort includes a specific focus on rural issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working with the Surgeon General’s Office on this effort and the goal is to use the information from the public to help guide this effort. Rural stakeholders are encouraged to submit written views, recommendations, and data about how investing in communities can improve health and prosperity and unique characteristics of rural communities that need to be taken into account in the larger effort by the Surgeon General.
New Report: Life in Rural America. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) published a report this week with findings from a survey of rural adults “to understand the current views and experiences of rural Americans on economic and health issues.” Respondents were optimistic overall, citing positive job prospects and connection with their communities. Of the challenges in rural areas, more than 25 percent of those surveyed cited drug abuse as the biggest problem facing their local community. The second largest concern, at 21 percent, was economic, including poverty and the availability of jobs. The report challenges the idea that all rural Americans are the same and examines major differences between young and old, those with and without a college degree, and between White residents and minorities. Earlier this year, RWJF issued its annual County Health Rankings. That report included an explicit call to action for community leaders to examine local data and learn more about the social and economic factors in each community that impact health outcomes. Continue reading “Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements”