The New York State Association for Rural Health (NYSARH) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization working to preserve and improve the health of the citizens in rural New York State. NYSARH membership includes representatives of all facets of the rural health care industry, as well as individuals and students. On many different levels, NYSARH serves individuals, consumers, patients, non-profit organizations, government agencies and officials, health care facilities, emergency medical service providers, long-term care organizations, businesses, universities, foundations, associations, and other stakeholders in rural health.
Rural communities have unique healthcare needs
Today more than ever, rural communities must address inadequate transportation, limited access to broadband, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, a lack of healthcare providers, and larger percentages of underinsured citizens. Rural hospitals – which are often the economic foundation of their communities in addition to being the primary providers of care – struggle daily as declining reimbursement rates and disproportionate funding levels make it challenging to serve their residents.
Rural Americans are a population group that experiences significant health disparities. Health disparities are differences in health status when compared to the general population, often characterized by indicators such as higher incidence of disease and disability, increased mortality rates, lower life expectancies, and higher rates of pain and suffering. [www.ruralhealthinfo.org]
The 2016 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report found that Rural counties have consistently had the highest premature death rates and nearly one in five Rural counties has experienced worsening premature death rates over the past decade.
Call to Action
The health of rural New Yorkers is in jeopardy.
NYSARH members are doing our part by applying a rural lense to public policy issues, working in collaboration with community –based organizations to strengthen grass-roots initiatives, enhancing opportunities for students and mentoring the healthcare workforce of the future.
Please enjoy this video by Sally Hartwick:
Please support community health initiatives in your community which are outlined in the Community Health Improvement Plans that have recently been developed in every county throughout New York State.
Did you know?
Rural communities in New York provide a wealth of essential products. New York is the #2 producer of apples and the #3 producer of dairy products in the United States. New York is the leading producer of fruit [apples, grapes, cherries & peaches] and vegetables [cabbages, cucumbers, peas, onions, beans, corn & tomatoes] in the eastern part of the country. New York is also a large producer of flowers and maple syrup. New York is the only state that mines wollastonite, used in heat-resistant ceramics. New York is also a leading supplier of garnets, zinc, salt, sand, limestone and gravel.
New York Counties designated as rural by the U.S. Office of Rural Health Policy are:
Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Lewis, Montgomery, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Sullivan and Wyoming.
We know there is work to be done, but we also believe there is plenty to celebrate –
we invite you to join the celebration of National Rural Health Day!