Taking the “Small” Out of Small Towns: Working in Rural America to Promote BIG Health Changes
According to the CDC, rural Americans are more likely to die from heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke than their urban counterparts. Sustainable change and reducing health disparities is difficult work so many public health entities focus on larger population centers, but we must be intentional about our rural populations.
In Louisiana 1.2 million residents (26%) live in rural areas and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) has successfully worked to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, reduce overall use of tobacco products, and reduce health disparities throughout the state. TFL has led advocacy efforts that resulted in 33 municipalities adopting comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinances. This session will walk you through the conventional, and sometimes unconventional, processes that must happen to take the “small” out of small towns by making sustainable changes toward healthier outcomes.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
1.Explain the unique importance of working with rural communities
2. Identify steps involved in securing rural partnerships
3. Identify potential obstacles and opportunities when working with rural communities