National Rural Health Day 2022

National Rural Health Day Logo



National Rural Health Day was on Nov. 17, 2022. Throughout the week of Nov. 14-18, we shined a light on the rural hospitals and health systems working tirelessly to provide local access to care for the 63 million Americans who live in rural areas.

To follow along on social media, use the hashtag #PowerofRural

Rural hospitals have implemented new, bold ideas and practices to continue providing quality care to patients and communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and as they face new, daunting challenges.

The AHA produced a variety of resources dedicated to helping rural hospitals and health systems as they address these challenges, including innovative solutions to improving access to care, maternal health outcomes, staffing shortages, eliminating health inequities and disparities, preventing burnout and more.

#PowerofRural Resources

National Rural Health Day Community
Engagement Toolkit

Wright Lassiter

The Chair File

The Powerful, Positive Impact of Rural Hospitals 
AHA’s Board Chair, Wright Lassiter, CEO of CommonSpirit, discusses some of the unique challenges facing rural hospitals today and the solutions that AHA is putting forward to address them. Read more  

Shareable Graphics Illustrating
Rural Health Issues

Rural Health Day Sharable Graphics Image

The AHA created shareable graphics to highlight the unique challenges facing rural communities and illustrate the important work rural hospitals and health systems do to protect local access to care.


2023 AHA Rural Health Leadership Conference

36th Annual AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference. February 19–22, 2023. San Antonio, TX. JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country.

In honor of National Rural Health Day, AHA has produced and shared a compendium of resources for hospital and health systems. These efforts include:

Nov. 16, 2022: Rural Health Literacy Twitter Chat

In recognition of National Rural Health Day on Nov. 17, AHA participated in a Nov. 16 Twitter chat on rural health literacy hosted by the Rural Health Information Hub and National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. Shannon Wu, AHA senior associate director of policy, was one of six experts from across the country who answered questions about health literacy and rural health. Catch up on the conversation here or by searching #RuralHealthChat on Twitter.

Case Studies

Using "Z Codes" to Improve Health Equity in Rural Indiana

Hospitals can capture data on the social needs of their patient population by using the ICD-10-CM "Z codes," which identify nonmedical factors that may influence a patient’s health status. Learn how Cameron Memorial Community Hospital began using Z codes to improve health equity for the community they serve. Read more


New Podcast Series: Building Capacity for Behavioral Health Services in a Rural Community

In this two-part podcast series, you’ll hear from hospital leaders of two rural communities that have successfully built behavioral health capacity by collaborating with stakeholders to supply resources and address the profound demand for behavioral and mental health care.

Behavioral Health Success Part 1: Combating a Suicide Surge Through Rural Community Collaboration Listen now

Behavioral Health Success Part 2: Expanding Beds in a CAH Using a Historic Regulatory Exemption. Listen now


Rural Hospital Closures Threaten Access: Solutions to Preserve Care in Local Communities

This recently released AHA report, highlights the variety of causes that resulted in 136 rural hospital closures from 2010 to 2021 and examines how hospitals continue to explore strategies that allow them to remain viable within the community. Read more


Rural Medicare Extenders

Learn about the policies the AHA supports to allow rural hospitals to remain viable within their communities. View here

Obstetrics: U.S. Rural Hospitals

This AHA infographic outlines threats to rural hospitals’ abilities to provide obstetric care, and includes statistics on national rural community hospitals and the number of maternity care deserts in the U.S. View here



Dr. Roxie Wells Talks Hospital Resilience in the Face of Change

AHA’s John Supplitt speaks with AHA Board Member Dr. Roxie Wells, president of Cape Fear Valley Hoke Hospital, about rural hospital resilience in the face of change and the value AHA provides. Watch now

Webinar, Playbook Explore Rural Health Care Investment Models

This new webinar recording explores new rural health care partnership models developed by the Build Healthy Places Network to invest in community health. Watch now 
For more on the models, see the network’s playbook.

Blog Posts

25th Anniversary of Critical Hospital Designation: Helping Keep Rural Hospitals Open

Rich Rasmussen, former president and CEO of the Montana Hospital Association, celebrates the many successes of Critical Access Hospitals, which were established a quarter century ago and have been improving rural health access ever since. Read more