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Wakefield proud to be part of NRHA’s “robust agenda” for 25th annual advocacy event

Mary Wakefield, PhD, Health Resources and Services Administration administrator, used to attend the National Rural Health Association’s Policy Institutes as a participant. Nowadays, she’s at the podium, still singing NRHA’s praises like she did today on the first day of the 25th annual event in DC. Wakefield told 430 attendees “I don’t know how they did it, but congratulations to NRHA. They’ve got an incredibly robust agenda lined up for you, and I’m not talking about me; I’m always here.” She pointed to a recent statistic that rural residents live an average of 2.4 fewer years than urban dwellers. “This finding speaks to the tremendous importance of what you do and the tremendous importance of us at HRSA and the Office of Rural Health Policy to stay focused on rural so we’re leveraging all our assets to impact the health status of people who live in rural communities,” she told the rural health professionals gathered for the advocacy event. Wakefield said her goal is to “ensure rural America is a clear focus in virtually every one of our programs at HRSA” and highlighted efforts in telemedicine, behavioral health, early childhood services, workforce, insurance and more. For more on the nation’s largest rural advocacy event, visit RuralHealthWeb.org/pi.

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