National Rural Health Day

By Tonja Dodd
Family walking in field for National Rural Health Day - Vitality

Today Vitality “celebrates the power of rural” as part of National Rural Health Day and “honors the selfless, community-minded spirit that prevails in rural America.” Nearly one in five Americans live in these powerful communities that are lovely places to live, work, and play. Small towns, farming communities, and frontier areas power our country with many services and commodities – for example, providing food and fuel – and watch over our beautiful landscapes. Additionally, entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive keeping these communities vibrant. However, rural communities are often faced with unique health, wellness, and healthcare challenges which makes it especially important to take time to celebrate them and reflect on how we can all help to make their communities healthier.

If you live in a rural community, consider celebrating a health and wellness hero close to you such as your doctor, a public health official or fitness provider. Thank them with a written note or post a positive message on one of their social media pages. If you don’t live in a rural area, consider celebrating rural health by participating in a rural activity like enjoying a road trip to the country or visiting a roadside farm stand, park or trail and post it on social media with #POWEROFRURAL. Or simply celebrate health and wellness in your own way and choose a healthy activity like skipping the sweets, bicycling instead of driving, or volunteering to make your community healthier.

Learn more about the power of rural communities and how you might be able to help champion this cause here.

Tonja Dodd, MPH, is a Senior Health Strategy Analyst at Vitality Group where she translates clinical guidelines into risk-appropriate health promotion strategies to engage members in healthy behaviors. Her background is in public health with 25 years of experience designing, developing, and delivering health and wellness programs and products. Tonja finds her healthy place is being active outdoors and spending time with family, friends, and pets.

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