February 28, 2018
HRSA Recognizes Rural Health Champions. Today, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced seven rural community-based organizations for outstanding work through their grant programs funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Visit HRSA.gov to learn more about how these Rural Health Champions adopted sustainable, best-practice models for increasing access to health care.
CDC: Rural-Urban Differences in COPD. In the most recent edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at 2015 data for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and found that prevalence, Medicare hospitalizations, and deaths were significantly higher among persons living in rural areas than among those living in micropolitan or metropolitan areas. Higher burdens of COPD among rural residents highlight the need for continued tobacco cessation programs, policies to prevent COPD among smokers, improved access for adults with COPD to treatment strategies, and comprehensive chronic disease self-management programs. Read the COPD National Action Plan developed by the National Institutes of Health to learn more about the strategy to reduce the burden of one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
Overdose Death Data Visualization Tool. The CDC updated 12-month counts for overdose deaths in each of the 50 states and District of Columbia. The interactive tool provides the number of deaths for the 12-month period ending July of 2017 and graphs the percent change from the previous 12-months for each jurisdiction. The National Vital Statistics Survey reported 66,972 deaths in the U.S. overall, up 14 percent from the previous year. States with the highest increase in deaths include Pennsylvania with 43 percent more deaths, and Florida and Ohio each with a 39 percent increase. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a new website for rural communities hit hard by the opioid epidemic, with grant programs and models for their use to help address the crisis.