FHLI Brings Rural Health Stories to Capitol Hill

FHLI’s Community Voice team attended the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) 34th Rural Health Policy Institute in Washington, DC, from February 7 – 9, 2023. 

The Rural Health Policy Institute is an annual opportunity for rural health leaders across the country to bring community stories to Capitol Hill, guiding the future of rural health policy with NRHA leadership and advocating for important issues with new and returning members of Congress and the presidential administration. 

NRHA is a national nonprofit and nonpartisan membership organization with a diverse membership of more than 21,000 individuals and organizations, all of whom share the goal of improving rural health. NRHA strives to improve the health of the 60 million people who call rural America home. FHLI is home to the NC Rural Health Association (NCRHA), the official state affiliate of NRHA.  

Returning to an in-person gathering for the first time since 2020, Donald Hughes, FHLI’s Director of Community Voice and the NC Rural Health Association, led a delegation of 18 attendees from across North Carolina to the Rural Health Policy Institute. The group included representatives from the NC Healthcare Association (NCHA), NC Rural Center, American Psychological Association, ECU Health, Atrium Health, Duke, UNC, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).  

During their time at the nation’s capital, the NCRHA delegation met with several members of Congress and their staffs to discuss the state of rural health in North Carolina, educate them on their respective organizations’ work, and advocate for policies that support rural health providers, organizations, and community members. In 2023, attendees met with Representatives Don Davis (NC-01), Deborah Ross (NC-02), and Jeff Jackson (NC-14). Attendees also met with staff for Representatives Greg Murphy (NC-03), Valerie Foushee (NC-04), Chuck Edwards, Richard Hudson (NC-09), Patrick McHenry (NC-10), and Chuck Edwards (NC-11).

NCRHA is a collaborative network of associations, organizations, and individuals representing healthcare, education, economic development, local government, and a variety of rural stakeholders invested in supporting rural health. It is committed to amplifying the voice of North Carolina’s rural communities with the intention of improving the health and well-being of all citizens. Learn more about NCRHA and how to become a member at https://foundationhli.org/ncrha/.