Although the coming months are sure to bring uncertainty and changes for rural health as policymakers in Washington D.C. address our nation’s fiscal challenges, the Colorado Rural Health Center and rural providers still have much to celebrate. CRHC, in conjunction with the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center in Walsenburg, CO is very proud to announce a new funding award from the Office of Rural Health Policy. One of just 40 Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (RHITND) awards, this funding will be used to develop a virtual data center network and IT staff support cooperative for rural providers across the state. This has been on the drawing board for a long time, and it is gratifying to see it finally come to fruition. Congratulations to all involved and to Telluride Medical Foundation for also being an RHITND award recipient in Colorado. To read more about the grant program, click here.
For several months I have traded phone calls and e-mails with the staff of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), including Teryl Eisinger, NOSORH's Executive Director. I finally was able to meet Teryl and other fine representatives of the organization at the NOSORH Annual Conference, held in Denver last week. It was a privilege and pleasure to host this conference in our own state and to welcome representatives from across the nation to Denver. Cari Fouts and I had the honor of opening the conference with our greeting and welcome and facilitating several sessions throughout the two-day event. Those in attendance benefitted from the presentations and the connections with staff of other State Offices of Rural Health. The theme throughout the conference was "Celebrating the Power of Rural!"and building moment to the National Rural Health Day, November 17, 2012. Now more than ever, state offices and our national partners must band together to ensure rural programs remain intact and support the amazing care being provided to vulnerable communities.
At our Annual Rural Health Conference last month we were pleased to celebrate our 20 year history as the State Office of Rural Health with our members, collaborators and supporters. If you were unable to attend the conference, please take a moment to view our 20th Anniversary Video and an artists rendition of our 20 year timeline through the "Long and Winding Road" resulting in where we are today. We cannot begin to thank all of our funders and members who have supported us and guided us throughout the years, and it's incredible to look back on how much our office and rural healthcare has changed from 1991 to now. Rural healthcare providers and communities are strong and vibrant and we know that together we can ensure 20+ more years of vitality and access to care for rural Coloradans. Please take our annual survey today to help us shape our legislative priorities for the future.