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Exploring radical rural health flexibility

Rural health care often conjures images of shuttered hospitals and the slow exodus of the young to urban areas. Yet each rural community has its own unique identity with its own challenges and opportunities. The independent spirit that fuels rural America presents opportunities to develop unique and innovative solutions to the obstacles faced by rural health care providers.

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Talking pandemic challenges and podcasts with NRHA President Beth O’Connor

NRHA recently sat down with NRHA President and longtime NRHA member Beth O’Connor to learn more about her rural health priorities, her goals as NRHA president, and why she is excited to attend NRHA’s Annual Rural Health Conference in Albuquerque. A passionate rural health advocate, O’Connor has attended her fair share of Zoom calls and virtual meetings during the pandemic and is ready to see everyone in person.

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Helping rural health care providers cope with pandemic stress

A big factor contributing to rural health care worker burnout is the all-encompassing job of responding to the pandemic with resources that are already stretched thin. Identifying and responding to burnout is so vital because the consequences of ignoring it can be devastating for providers and patients alike.

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The future of NRHA advocacy

Fresh faces and new tools have bolstered NRHA’s advocacy efforts over the past year, with new Government Affairs staff aiming to revitalize member outreach and make it easier to promote rural health during the pandemic and beyond.

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NRHA’s Rural Health Fellows: Where are they now?

The next generation of rural health leaders has a growing influence on where rural health is heading. They have the dynamic skills and diverse perspectives needed to shape the health care systems of the future. To harness this potential, the National Rural Health Association’s Rural Health Fellows program provides a springboard for turning ideas into action through health policy. Alumni of the Fellows program have gone on not only to shine in their fields but to transform them.

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The COVID-19 pandemic: Where we stand now

Nearly two years after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, science is still revealing new facts about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, who’s most vulnerable, and how well vaccines are working to stem its spread. But in rural America, several key understandings have emerged: Rural residents have been hit harder by infection rates and deaths than urban dwellers, while also facing regionspecific challenges related to vaccine uptake.

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Rural resourcefulness: How communities are innovating in the face of COVID-19

When the pandemic hit, health care professionals were faced with a new world. They set to work, mapping resources from scratch, improvising networks and procedures and nodes of communication, all to help their communities stay safe.

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In rural oral health, equity starts with workforce diversity

Building a diverse dental health workforce is a key component of health equity, which is critical to improving oral health access in rural America. We can all be part of this mission when we nurture opportunities for diverse groups in dental health professions.

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‘Not a drill’: COVID vaccination efforts boosted by pharmacists in training

The pandemic has put intense pressure on communities to find public health solutions, combining people and resources for emergency response and vaccine distribution and education efforts. In North Carolina, students and faculty from UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy-Asheville campus joined forces with Buncombe County Health and Human Services (HHS) to train a volunteer workforce for the COVID-19 vaccination effort.

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Experiencing COVID-19 as a doctor and patient

As a rural doctor on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, Karl Viddal, MD, recognizes the overwhelming stress health care workers are under. He also understands what it’s like to be a patient with COVID-19 fighting for his life. Viddal survived his own battle with COVID-19 last spring. The 46-year-old spent 55 days in the hospital, including 28 days in a medically induced coma, and 34 days on a ventilator.

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