Cumberland Times-News

November 20, 2013

Rural Health Day a time to note accomplishments, challenges

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— This Thursday, Nov. 21, has been designated by Gov. Martin O’Malley as Maryland Rural Health Day. Please join the Rural Maryland Council, the Maryland State Office of Rural Health and other stakeholders as we highlight health care in our rural communities across the state.

Rural Maryland is characterized by small, close-knit communities where citizens often know their health providers as friends and neighbors. Local physicians, nurses and other professionals work hard to provide excellent care. We celebrate and thank these individuals for their service to our communities.

Unfortunately, our rural areas also face considerable challenges in the delivery of health care due to lack of providers and lack of public transportation. Often, the doctor’s office or hospital is quite a distance away or patients must travel many miles to reach a specialist needed to address a specific health concern. Our aging rural population suffers from a greater number of chronic conditions and larger percentages of rural residents are under- or uninsured.

Maryland Rural Health Day is a day to work together and find ways to address these and other challenges. Advocating usage of new technology like telemedicine and increased investment in rural health are some of the ways we can improve health care and the quality of life for rural Marylanders.

Please join the Rural Maryland Council on Nov  21 in commemorating this day as we work toward quality health care everywhere in Maryland.

Charlotte Davis

executive director

Rural Maryland Council