Pennsylvania Rural Health Leadership Celebration to be held Nov. 15

October 31, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- At the request of the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health (PORH) at Penn State, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has declared Nov. 12-16, to be Pennsylvania Rural Health Week in order to increase awareness of the unique health care issues faced by Pennsylvania’s 3.4 million rural citizens. PORH is a joint effort of the College of Health and Human Development, Penn State Outreach and Penn State Extension that to aims improve the health of rural communities and their residents throughout Pennsylvania.

As part of Pennsylvania Rural Health Week, PORH will host a Pennsylvania Rural Health Leadership Celebration on Nov. 15 to coincide with National Rural Health Day. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Celebration Hall in State College, Pa. It will provide an opportunity for attendees to engage in productive dialogue about addressing health care issues that affect rural communities.

The celebration will include a presentation by keynote speaker Dennis Berens, former president of the National Rural Health Association and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health. It also will include the annual Pennsylvania Rural Health Awards, which will recognize one rural health program and four individuals who have made substantial contributions to rural health in Pennsylvania.

“Nearly 59.5 million Americans, including 3.4 million Pennsylvanians, live in rural communities,” said Lisa Davis, director of PORH. “These small towns, villages and farming communities continue to be fueled by the creative energy of ordinary citizens who historically have been willing to step forward and take risks in order to provide a wealth of products, resources and services. Unfortunately, these communities also face unique health care concerns, including a lack of providers; accessibility issues, particularly in terms of transportation and technology; and affordability issues as the result of larger percentages of uninsured and underinsured citizens and greater out-of-pocket health costs. And rural hospitals and health care providers, who are frequently the economic backbone of the communities they serve, face already disproportionate and rapidly declining funding levels that make it difficult to meet the needs of their residents.”

To register or to learn more about the Pennsylvania Rural Health Leadership Celebration, click on the “Annual Pennsylvania Rural Health Leadership Celebration” link on the PORH website at To learn more about National Rural Health Day, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 31, 2012