Individuals in rural communities often face barriers to health stemming from economic factors, environmental differences, and feelings of isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a generational challenge and exacerbated these concerns, revealing a critical need for rapid response efforts. With the support of a generous grant of $200,000 from CoBank, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is helping rural health care providers overcome barriers they face through the creation of the Rural COVID-19 Technical Assistance Center.
The Technical Assistance Center will focus on two key areas: finance/reimbursement and operations/supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE) sourcing and distribution, testing and contact tracing, and long-term care collaboration. NRHA will assess and triage needs from across the country to ensure rural communities are equipped with knowledge, connections, and resources throughout the pandemic. This is being accomplished through various partnerships and collaborations with organizations such as Project N95, Project C.U.R.E., Heart4Heroes, and NRHA Platinum Partner Intalere.
“With more than 84,000 COVID-19 cases in rural counties and more than 3,200 rural deaths, the need for rural assistance is growing,” says NRHA CEO Alan Morgan. “Through the generous support of CoBank, NRHA is proud to collaborate with so many dedicated stakeholders to provide technical assistance and critical support to rural health care providers across the country.”