The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) created National Rural Health Day as a way to showcase rural America, increase awareness of rural health-related issues and promote the efforts of NOSORH, State Offices of Rural Health and others addressing those issues.
"We want to draw attention to the asset of a rural hospital in the community," Chief Executive Officer, St. Vincent Clay Hospital, Jerry Laue said.
Approximately 62 million people -- nearly one in five Americans -- live in rural and frontier communities throughout the United States. Ambulatory and emergency medical services are critical to rural America, where nearly 60 percent of all trauma deaths occur.
Laue said not only do rural hospitals bring healthcare benefits to communities, but they bring economic benefits as well.
Rural hospitals are typically the economic foundation of their communities, with every dollar spent generating about $2.20 for the local economy.
The NOSORH plan to have National Rural Health Day become an annual celebration on the third Thursday of each November.
Clay County will be celebrating at St. Vincent Clay Hospital Thursday, Nov. 17, with cake and punch. Laue said he hopes to show the hospital workers they are appreciated.
Laue explained the hospital has partnerships with the local YMCA, school athletics to take care of student athletes, health fairs and programs for uninsured and underinsured community members.
"Through the board's efforts, the technology and knowledge we have now is really significant," he said. "We want people to recognize that."
The proclamation Bradshaw signed encourages citizens to recognize the unique healthcare needs and opportunities that exist in the community and recognize St. Vincent Clay Hospital for the valuable services they provide to address those needs and opportunities.
"From the board perspective, we want to reevaluate how we see ourselves in the future -- our vision for what we aspire to be," Laue said. "We see ourselves as doing the work that Jesus did -- taking care of the sick and poor."
All 50 states have a State Office of Rural Health, each sharing 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.