PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey declared today, November 21, 2019, Rural Health Day in Arizona to recognize the economic contributions of Arizona’s rural communities and affirm the state’s commitment to ensuring access to high-quality health care for all of the state's residents.
“Arizona’s rural communities are vital to the state’s strong sense of community and economic growth,” said Governor Ducey. “Arizona is committed to continuously improving quality of life for all residents, including enhancing high-speed internet and improving access to prenatal care. In recognition of rural communities, their evolving health care needs and their contributions to the entire state, Arizona is proud to celebrate Rural Health Day.”
In combined state and federal dollars for graduate medical education, rural areas across Arizona will receive $5.6 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, $11.1 million in FY 2021 and $16.7 million in FY 2022. Additionally, Governor Ducey in April 2019 signed SB 1089, expanding insurance coverage for telehealth and telemedicine services. In October, the state also expanded telemedicine coverage in the state’s Medicaid program AHCCCS to ensure that low-income Arizonans living in rural Arizona have increased access to health care services.
Arizona has taken a number of additional measures to enhance the quality of life of rural communities throughout the state. The state’s recent investments include:
$3 million to enhance broadband services,
$1 million to improve access to prenatal care,
$28 million to widen U.S. 95 in Yuma to five lanes,
And $2.8 million to repair Jesse Hayes Road Bridge in Globe.
View a PDF of the proclamation HERE.
WHEREAS, rural communities in Arizona and throughout the United States are wonderful places to live and work - they are places where people know each other, listen to each other, and work together to benefit the community; and
WHEREAS, Arizona's rural population is growing at a rapid rate; and
WHEREAS, rural Arizona is an important economic engine that helps to drive Arizona as a national leader in its recognition and contributions to rural residents; and
WHEREAS, rural residents possess a selfless, creative, community-minded spirit; and
WHEREAS, meeting the unique healthcare needs of those residents is constantly evolving, as rural communities face accessibility issues, a shortage of healthcare providers, an aging population, and larger percentages of uninsured and underinsured citizens; and
WHEREAS, ambulatory and emergency medical services are especially critical in rural Arizona; and
WHEREAS, rural health education services are vital to preparing a rural health workforce; and
WHEREAS, rural hospitals and rural clinics are often the economic foundation of these communities in addition to being their primary providers of healthcare; and
WHEREAS, rural healthcare systems create valuable opportunities that offer more comprehensive, compassionate, patient-centered, and holistic care to patients; and
WHEREAS, the Arizona Rural Health Association plays a distinct and critical role by leading community and state-wide efforts to address the unique healthcare needs of our rural citizens; and
WHEREAS, the Arizona Rural Health Association supports pioneering partnerships that promote the health and well being of rural Arizona; and
WHEREAS, Arizona's rural residents, the health care systems that serve them, and the friends who advocate for them are recognized herein.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby proclaim November 21, 2019, as
RURAL HEALTH DAY
and further encourage citizens to recognize the unique contributions and selfless “can do” attitudes of our rural communities, the unique health care needs, opportunities that exist in these communities, and the Arizona Rural Health Association for the valuable representation and support it provides to rural people and rural services that address the needs and opportunities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Arizona
DONE at the Capitol in Phoenix on this fifteenth day of October in the year Two Thousand and Nineteen and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and Forty-Fourth
SECRETARY OF STATE