Celebrating the Power of Rural
by Michael Topchik, National Leader, Chartis Center for Rural Health
The Chartis Center for Rural Health (CCRH) team is proud to partner with the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) to celebrate National Rural Health Day on November 17th. As part of this celebration of rural health, we’ve teamed up with iVantage Health Analytics to recognize top performance in quality, outcomes, patient perspectives and financial stability.
Recently, I had the honor of recognizing the Top 20 hospitals in each of these categories at the National Rural Health Association’s Annual Critical Access Hospital Conference. At the awards breakfast, we looked at the exemplary performance of this cohort of rural hospitals – and considered the incredible challenges they face as they serve communities that are typically older, poorer, face greater health disparities and have less access to healthcare.
As these top performing hospitals move outside of their “four walls” to become more deeply engaged in population health, they have the potential to make an even greater difference in their communities. Opioid addiction and abuse are heavy burdens for any community, but particularly in rural America, where resources – if they exist – are stretched thin.
Bridgton Hospital in Maine is one of this year’s NOSORH Top 20 Hospitals and they’ve developed a powerful community response to opioid addiction. A counseling center, physician practice and local hospital all work together to combat opioid addiction. This team overcame regulatory barriers and financial burdens to create an integrated program to support their community.
We recently hosted policy makers, departments of health, and hospital leadership from around the country as the team from Bridgton shared their story. You can listen to their presentation here. This is a powerful example of leadership and innovation in rural healthcare.
Today, let’s take a moment to recognize the incredible leadership exemplified in these top performing rural hospitals. We believe there is enormous potential for many other rural communities to examine their success and, together, to tackle the numerous health disparities seen in rural populations.
To learn more about the characteristics of top performing rural providers, reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.