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For the 10th year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) is celebrating National Rural Health Day with activities across the country.

Held the third Thursday of November, National Rural Health Day is an opportunity, organizers say, to say thank you to rural health professionals and to honor the “can do” spirit of rural America. The day is also a way to shed light on some of the unique healthcare challenges rural Americans face, as well as what efforts organizations like NOSORH are doing to help.

During this year’s event, authors Katherine Ortega Courtney, Ph.D., and Dominic Cappello joined New Mexico state Senator William Soules and members of several New Mexico community action teams to discuss their groundbreaking research featured in their book 100% Community: Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving. The book provides a roadmap to help rural counties learn about working together in new ways that creates local systems for health, safety, education and economic stability.

“One of the many areas State Offices of Rural Health excel in is convening stakeholders with common goals for addressing the social determinants of health,” said Teryl Eisinger, NOSORH CEO. “100% Community is a great focus for our main event in 2020.”

NOSORH also released its 2020 Community Stars, healthcare providers, coalitions or organizations that have been nominated for the honor, during the Rural Health Day. Rural Health Day organizers said the Community Stars represent “the faces and grassroots initiatives that are working to address the social determinants of health and improve the lives of those who call rural their home.”

The Community Stars include people like Kerry Trapnell, CEO of Elbert Memorial Hospital, who kept his rural hospital from closing by getting his hospital categorized as a critical access hospital – even going so far as to work with the Georgia Department of Transportation to confirm that the hospital met the mileage requirements set out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Other events throughout the weekend include an online screening of “The Providers,” a documentary about three rural healthcare providers working to make a difference in their communities against overwhelming odds.