All posts by sjessfrey

Head For the Hills Update

Due to the rise of COVID cases following the Delta Variant and in light of vaccine rates not yet sufficient to create a safe environment for face to face interaction among our very needed medical professionals, the conference has moved online. Deadline for registration is October. Please register by clicking the link below. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EMAIL YOU SEND THIS INFORMATION FROM WILL BE THE EMAIL THAT RECEIVES THE ZOOM LINK.

Rural Population on the Decline

Between 2000 and 2010, the nonmetropolitan areas in the US gained more than 1 million residents, but in the last decade, the population fell by 260,000 residents. The decrease from 2010 to 2020 was slight — about half a percentage point, but what is interesting about this change is that it was fueled by increased domestic migration — movement of people from nonmetropolitan counties to metropolitan ones — not by the number deaths and births.

Check out the link below to learn more.

Declining Volunteers in EmeRgency SErvices Threaten Rural Community Health

In rural America, it’s increasingly difficult for ambulance services to respond to emergencies. One factor is that emergency medical services are struggling to find young volunteers to replace retiring EMTs. Another is a growing financial crisis among rural volunteer EMS agencies: A third of them are at risk because they can’t cover their operating costs. For more information, click the link below!

Digital Navigators: A Telehealth Game Changer

With the introduction and abrupt shift to telehealth over the past year, the technology required to support telehealth visits is only the first hurdle that needs to be overcome. The user interaction and experience is perhaps the more important hurdle that we must turn our attention to. Over 4 million rural homes have no access to the Internet, and basic computer skills are often lagging behind. Another million technically has broadband – but it may not be strong enough to power telehealth. The introduction of Digital Navigators will help to solve for both of these problems! To learn more, check out the link below.

The Fall of Pediatric Care in Rural Settings

Over the past 10 years, we have seen a steep decline in pediatric hospital care for illness such as asthma, pneumonia, viral infections, and other serious illnesses. The number of inpatient units fell 19%, and beds decreased by 12%. Approximately 34 pediatric units were closed and 300 beds were removed each year on average. Nearly 1 in 4 children would now have to travel farther to access inpatient hospital care than they did a decade ago, the researchers found. To learn more, check out the link below.

How to talk about vaccinations in rural communities

It would appear that most of the country is returning to life, a new normal in this post-pandemic world, but not all communities have been so lucky. Many of the small and rural towns across the country are still quietly dealing with COVID-19. Increasing cases and lower vaccination rates are part of the reason rural health care providers need resources that will help them talk to residents about the vaccine, according to the National Rural Health Association. The NRHA has created a resource library to help do just that. To learn more, check out the article below!

Pride of Rural Virginia

Pride of Rural Virginia is a grant-funded initiative to address LGBTQIA+ health & healthcare priorities in rural areas across Virginia.  The June 12th kickoff will be a virtual event to invite community members and health providers from around the state to learn more about “The Pride of Rural Virginia” project and the opportunity to attend a virtual “Pride of Rural Virginia” community chat in your area.

RHIhub Rural Maternal Health Tool

Introducing the new Rural Health Maternal Health Toolkit! This toolkit is designed to support rural communities implementing maternal health programs across the United States, by compiling  evidence-based and promising models and resources.

The modules in the toolkit contain resources and information focused on developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining rural programs to address the factors that affect and influence maternal health.

Vaccinating Rural America: Q&A with Dr. Amanda Cohn

Dr. Amanda Cohn, MD serves as the Chief Medical Officer of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) and Executive Secretary of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. She additionally just completed service as Chief Medical Officer on CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. In the attached article, Dr. Cohn discusses challenges that rural communities face in getting the COVID-19 vaccination and explains how the CDC is providing funding, creating resources, and partnering with other organizations to increase vaccination rates in underserved communities such as rural, tribal, and communities of color.

Head for the Hills Registration is now open!

GMEC is delighted to offer a special homecoming Head for the Hills in a luxurious setting. COVID has changed many things. Head for the Hills normally enjoys circulating between state parks. This year, because of pandemic restrictions, parks would require us to bring our own linens and limit capacity at gatherings. We are THIS YEAR ONLY going to the Martha Washington in Abingdon, November 4-6, 2021. Lectures will be November 5 and 6, 2021 from 8-12:30.

Because of the additional costs associated with this beautiful setting, it is essential that you provide accurate information on accommodation and meal needs for everyone in your party, as well as babysitting information for those with children.

PLEASE NOTE HOUSING POLICY: If you plan to stay Thursday night or Friday night, a $100 per night check to GMEC will be required to offset room charges and guarantee use. Checks not received within 45 days of registration will result in room cancellation. Registration deadline is July 31, 2021.