Iowa will join dozens of other states in recognizing Thursday as the first-ever National Rural Health Day. Dr. Deb Romberger is a pulmonologist in Omaha/Council Bluffs who works with rural health issues.
“National Rural Health Day is an important day for us to think about health issues in communities, including safety,” Dr. Romberger says. “Rural communities have special challenges, especially around safety related to motor vehicle accidents and to accidents on the farm.”
Romberger says the day reminds all Iowans, especially those in rural areas and the ag community, about the dangers being faced every day.
She says, “We want to remind people of the kinds of disorders that they might face, things that we can do in terms of protecting ourselves, using protection for our ears and sunscreen for our skin and a mask when we’re going into dusty work environments.”
Romberger works at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She says the hospital is taking part in National Rural Health Day because it has a close connection with people in the ag sector.
“It’s important that we’re partnering with rural communities,” she says. “We are an institution that helps train providers going back to the communities and we need to make sure they’re being trained to address special concerns in rural communities.” About 60-million people, or nearly one in five Americans, live in rural or frontier communities.
The goal of National Rural Health Day is to increase awareness of health care issues in those areas.
By Karla James