Why do we advocate for rural communities?
Rural communities face many unique challenges, including social isolation and barriers to accessing transportation, healthcare, nutritious food, and other essential services. Advocacy involves speaking up for people who may not have the ability to speak for themselves, and providing people with the tools to be able to advocate for themselves. Rural Health Network has advocated for the right of rural residents to have equal access to affordable health care, transportation, and nutritious food at all levels of government for over twenty years. Although our focus is on addressing the unique needs of rural communities, the reach of our programs extends to suburban and urban communities as well.
How do we advocate for rural communities?
Rural health Network engages in advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels by representing the rural voice. Every year, we develop an Advocacy Plan that will guide our advocacy actions and goals for the year. Advocacy can involve educating elected officials on community specific needs, collaborating with other regional and local organizations, conducting community-wide needs assessments to determine changing and emerging needs, and communicating with the public to gauge thoughts and feelings on current policies and programs. These goals can be met in a variety of ways, such as presentations, reports, needs assessments and surveys, participation in workgroups, and engagement on social media and in community events.
Fostering collaborative partnerships is an important component of advocacy. Collaborating with other local and regional service providers allows us to enhance service provision by identifying and filling service gaps.
How can you become a rural health advocate?
Watch for Rural Action Alerts here – None at this time
Contribute your talents through volunteer or internship opportunities. If you are interested please contact us.