In honor of New Hampshire’s rural health providers, the New Hampshire Hospital Association is proud to join the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), as well as other state and national rural stakeholders, in celebrating National Rural Health Day.
National Rural Health Day was created to recognize and honor those rural healthcare providers who serve the vital needs of our most vulnerable patients, working tirelessly to address the barriers patients face in accessing healthcare when they need it. And like so many others across the country, our rural hospitals and frontline workers have responded with strength and resilience to the COVID-19 crisis on behalf of their patients and communities. Today and every day, they exemplify the Blue and White H of health, healing and hope, and the promise it makes to its community during these challenging times.
New Hampshire has 13 Critical Access Hospitals throughout the state that support their communities by delivering high quality healthcare in very rural, underserved areas of the state. These hospitals engage in innovative programs with partners statewide to address accessibility issues, a shortage of healthcare providers, the needs of an aging population suffering from a greater number of chronic conditions, and larger percentages of un- and underinsured citizens to improve the health status of the communities they serve. Beyond the issue of caring for the patients and communities who depend on them, rural hospitals also serve as economic engines for the communities they serve, often existing as the largest employers in their communities for generations of families.
In honor of National Rural Health Day, NOSORH highlights rural health providers across the country for delivering excellence in rural health settings over the past year through its Community Star recognition program. We’re pleased to congratulate Keith Shute, MD, MMM, FAAP Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, NH, for being honored as New Hampshire’s 2020 Community Star for his tireless efforts, dedication and commitment to improving the health of his patients and community, and for his innovative work on a regional education program for the New Hampshire Stroke Collaborative. You can read more about Dr. Shute's story at the PowerOfRural.org.
It is because of the dedication and commitment of New Hampshire’s rural health care leaders to ensure their communities have access to healthcare, and the compassion with which they deliver that care to their patients and families, that we honor New Hampshire’s rural healthcare providers today and every day.