National Rural Health Day is Thursday
Washington County Public Health is joining the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Office of Rural Health in celebrating National Rural Health Day on Nov. 15. National Rural Health Day in Iowa is an opportunity to honor health care facilities and providers in small towns, farming communities and rural areas, and also to highlight the unique health care challenges the individuals who live in these areas face. In Iowa, 90 percent of the land mass is considered rural, and nearly half of Iowans live in an area that is considered rural.
About 21 percent of Americans live in rural areas, but only about 10 percent of all physicians and 11 percent of all pharmacists practice in rural areas. The Iowa rural health work force reflects much of the national trend; however, in Iowa there are 19.5 physicians per 10,000 persons compared to 25.7 per 10,000 in the United States.
Rural communities face challenges that differ from urban communities. Rural communities face a lack of health care providers, an aging population with a greater number of chronic conditions, lack of public transportation, and larger percentages of uninsured or underinsured residents.