Rural Health Week Spotlights Unique Health Challenges

By: Follow South Jersey Staff

SOUTH JERSEY — Recognizing the unique challenges of healthcare in rural areas, the New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has declared November 15 through 19 Rural Health Week which corresponds with National Rural Health Day on Thursday, November 18.

According to the governor’s proclamation, New Jersey’s rural communities represent 700,000 residents making up nine percent of the state’s population that face health disparities, aging populations, high rates of chronic diseases, substance use, and transportation issues.

As part of the observances to mark the week’s theme, “Power of Rural,” which brings to light the unique healthcare challenges facing rural New Jerseyans, the Atlantic County Division of Public Health will host the “Health/Wellness, Emergency Preparedness, Get Vaccinated” event series; Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers will host “Beating COVID-19 in Rural Communities” and Southern NJ Perinatal Cooperative will host “Rural Mom’s Meetup-Nutrition & Healthy Eating.” NJDOH’s Office of Primary Care and Rural Health will host a statewide social media campaign and encourage community stakeholders to post messages and pictures celebrating rural health providers using the #powerofrural hashtag.

The week culminates with the 3rd Annual Rural Oral Health Virtual Conference on November 19. The conference will be hosted by Zufall Health Center in partnership with NJDOH and other partners to address the oral health needs of marginalized populations in New Jersey rural communities. Those interested can register at

In addition, the website,, has been established for rural health stakeholders to explore, showcase individuals and organizations selected as 2021 Community Stars. The site also provides visitors with various tools, including social media posts, The website also shares how rural communities across the country will be celebrating National Rural Health Day.

For more information about National Rural Health Day, visit

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