Gov. John Bel Edwards has proclaimed November 17, 2016, is Rural Health Day in Louisiana.

“Louisiana’s rural communities are vital to the strength of our state,” said Gov. Edwards. “Meeting the unique healthcare needs of the hardworking men and women who call rural Louisiana home can be challenging. It is important for us to recognize the rural healthcare providers, health care organizations and volunteers who work diligently to offer comprehensive, compassionate, patient-centered care to these communities.”

Rural communities in Louisiana and throughout the country are wonderful places to live and work. Still, there are concerns as rural communities are faced with an aging population, healthcare accessibility issues, high poverty and larger percentages of uninsured and under insured citizens. 

There are many departments and organizations that play a distinct and critical role in addressing the needs of our rural citizens. They include the Department of Health’s Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health, the Louisiana Rural Health Association, the Louisiana Rural Hospital Coalition, the Louisiana Hospital Association, the Louisiana Primary Care Association and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health.