National Rural Health Day 2019

Happy National Rural Health Day! Each year the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and its partners set aside the third Thursday of November to celebrate National Rural Health Day (NRHD). NRHD is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural.”

Nearly 60 million people live and work in rural America. It is a great place to live and work, however, it produces unique health care challenges. NRHD helps educate about these challenges and highlights the innovation and collaboration used by health care providers to improve quality of care. Over the years, the fifty State Offices of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health have worked to improve health care in rural America. This past year we hoped to transform NRHD from a single day event into a sustainable movement. With your support, we can keep matters of rural health top of mind and in the hearts of those who can, and are, making a positive difference.

 Join the Montana Office of Rural Health in Celebrating the Power of Rural!!!

Congratulations to our 2019 Dr. Frank Newman Rural Health Award Winners!

In honor of National Rural Health Day, the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC and Montana Rural Health Association requested nominations for the Dr. Frank Newman Rural Health Award.  Dr. Newman represented the spirit of Montana in nearly 50 years of service to rural communities and healthcare in our state.

Dr. Newman was instrumental in founding the Montana WWAMI Medical School Program, the Montana Office of Rural Health, the Montana AHEC, the Montana Family Medicine Residency Program, and many other programs.  He served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, and was the founder of the Wind Drinkers running club. Dr. Newman counseled hundreds of young people interested in a career in medicine and other health professions.  He was actively teaching in the WWAMI Targeted Rural Underserved Track at Montana State University, and working at the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC until his death at age 80 on Veteran’s Day, 2011.


Rural Health Leadership:  Janet Bastian, Montana Health Network, Inc.

Janet (Jan) Bastian was instrumental in establishing the Montana Health Network, Inc (MHN) at the request of several eastern Montana hospital CEO’s. This organization works to pool resources for meeting the unique challenges of frontier healthcare. Jan has been recognized by the National Cooperative of Health Networks for “Network of the Year” in 2010 and is being awarded the first ever lifetime achievement award. She has been asked to provide consulting to other health networks and has continually demonstrated her dedication to rural healthcare.

Read full nomination letter here!

Rural Health Education:  Christina Marchion, MD, Central Montana Medical Center

Dr. Marchion is a Family Practice & Obstetrics physician at Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown, MT. She was a former WWAMI TRUST student at CMMC and chose to come full circle back to her training site to practice medicine… a true example of how the WWAMI TRUST program can be so beneficial. Dr. Marchion is a thoughtful educator and gives back the same exceptional learning experience that she had to new students. She truly sets up medical students for success and her dedication to rural healthcare is evident.

Read full nomination letter here!

Rural Health Clinician Leadership:  Jay Taylor, MD, Pondera Medical Center

Dr. Taylor is a living, breathing example of dedication to rural healthcare. As the MD at Pondera Medical Center (PMC), he provides coverage for the Emergency Department, sees clinic patients, performs endoscopy services, and serves as the Chief of Staff. In addition to all of these duties, Dr. Taylor takes part in all of PMC’s community events. Dr. Taylor has a great reputation for quality and compassion and demonstrates a life-long dedication to rural health.

Read full nomination letter here!

We’re proud to recognize these award winners and, in the spirit of Frank Newman, their dedication to rural health.


Congratulations to our 2019 National Rural Health Day Photo Contest Winners!

Ali Kenny, Roberta Kronebusch, and Anna Berg!


The National Rural Health Day Photo Contest is an opportunity for individuals to be creative, and show us what rural means to them! Our three winners submitted photos that highlight their favorite Montana pastimes or showcase the beauty of their rural community!


Congratulations to our 2019 National Rural Health Day Photo Contest winners!

1st: Alexis Kenny

2nd: Roberta Kronebusch

3rd: Anna Berg

View a slideshow of all 2019 submissions here!


Montana Legislators Show Support for National Rural Health Day!

A huge thank you to Senator Tester and Congressman Gianforte for showing their support of National Rural Health Day. Watch their statements on National Rural Health Day here:

Senator Tester

Congressman Gianforte


Host National Rural Health Day Activities for a Chance to Win $100!

The Montana Office of Rural Health invites health organizations, schools and rural communities to sponsor National Rural Health Day Activities to celebrate the power of rural and help transform this day into a movement!

Share photos and descriptions of the activities your organization sponsored for NRHD to be entered into a drawing for $100.

Submit activities to  by November 20th! The winning organization will be announced on November 27th! 

Ways to celebrate:

  • Host a Walk with a Doc and register the activity with NOSORH. Learn more here! 
  • Invite everyone in your organization to Take the Pledge! The Pledge to Partner was designed to help NOSORH strategically align with people like you who want to achieve higher performance and visibility, optimize our collective contributions, and realize complementary objectives that advance the rural health mission.
  • Display NRHD posters and spread the word on your organization’s social media accounts! use #powerofrural on all of your posts!
  • Host an employee appreciation luncheon
  • Have a community wide photo contest, health career interview contest or coloring contest!

For more ideas of how to celebrate check out