The efforts of the combined organizations center around Policy, Communications, Education, and Research, with the goal of spreading awareness and highlighting technical solutions to foster a healthier rural population. As obesity and chronic illness afflicts individuals throughout rural communities, this initiative is designed to enhance the access to quality care and bolster the public perception of the value of wellness.

The specific purpose of the Rural Obesity and Chronic Disease Initiative is to: significantly reduce the rates of obesity in children; diminish the stigmatization around chronic diseases and obesity; expand publicly funded health coverage for individuals who suffer from obesity and chronic disease; prompt public health authorities in the public health space to disseminate and inform the public on the severity of obesity and chronic illness; and improve the public perception of the value of wellness to overall health.

The initiative is focused on:

  • Policy: Develop a Rural Obesity and Chronic Disease Interest Group to provide policy recommendations/analysis that target regulatory and legislative barriers.
  • Communications: Disseminate Information about Rural Obesity and Chronic Diseases and a compendium of best practices via NRHA.
  • Education: Integrate Dedicated Rural Obesity and Chronic Disease tracks within educational events and provide technical assistance to State Rural Health Associations.
  • Research: Develop dedicated Rural Obesity and Chronic Disease related research and policy. The research will have explicit intent on combating stigmatization and illness.

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