National Rural Health Day 2021 Activities

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 18th, 2021 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day. National Rural Health Day is an opportunity to “Celebrate the Power of Rural” by honoring the selfless, community-minded, “can do” spirit of that prevails in rural America. It also gives us a chance to bring to light the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face – and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare workers. In honor of National Rural Health Day, the Montana Office of Rural Health & Area Health Education Center is holding contests and awards to help raise awareness about the importance of rural health!

Dr. Frank Newman Rural Health Award 

In honor of National Rural Health Day, the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC and Montana Rural Health Association are seeking 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.  The nominees who most exemplify what Dr. Newman represented will be announced in late November to celebrate National Rural Health Day.

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.

Nominations for the Award should reflect Dr. Newman’s commitment to rural health in Montana, his support for health professions, his belief in the young people of our state, and his optimistic view of the future.  Dr. Newman traveled to every corner of Montana, worked with rural hospitals and healthcare providers, and believed that communities had the capacity to support high-quality healthcare.  He helped many people persevere in their goals and hopes and inspired many young people to pursue their dreams.

Awards will be given in three categories:

  1. Frank Newman Rural Health Leadership Award
  2. Frank Newman Rural Clinician Leadership
  3. Frank Newman Future of Rural Health Award
    • This award recognizes an outstanding young leader (high school, college or early career) who is from a rural community, is pursuing a health science educational opportunity and/or who is working on rural health issues and has shown a commitment to improving the health of Montana.
Application deadline: November 6, 2021

If you have questions, please email Cindra Stahl at or call 406-994-6499.

The award recipients will be announced on the Montana Office of Rural Health/AHEC website on National Rural Health Day (November 18, 2021).  (

Submit an application here!

National Rural Health Day Photo Contest!

The National Rural Health Day Photo Contest is an opportunity for you to be creative, and show us what rural means to you! You may choose to do this by snapping a photo highlighting your favorite Montana pastimes or showcasing the beauty of your rural community!

Citizens within Montana are eligible to enter the contest. Each photo/caption is one submission, you may submit up to 3 photos. All photos must have been taken in Montana and must be taken by you.Horseback riding

Submitting Photos or videos

To submit a photo, send as a high-resolution version of the photo in a .jpeg, .gif, png, or .tif file format to: Include a caption of the photo, where the photo was taken, your name, e-mail address, and phone number.

Submissions are due November 6, 2021 – Winners will be announced on National Rural Health Day! (November 18, 2021)


Each person who submits a photo will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Amazon gift card

1st Place – $75 Amazon gift card

2nd Place – $50 Amazon gift card

3rd Place – $25 Amazon gift card

If we are unable to reach the winner, the entry will be forfeited and the selection committee may choose a different winner. All photos will be posted on the RHI Facebook and Instagram page.

By submitting a photo you agree to RHI’s

Terms of Use:

Images submitted must be royalty-free. By submitting a photo, you understand you give the rights and permission of the photo to be used by the RHI and AHEC offices. Photos not meeting this requirement will not be eligible for prizes and will be disqualified from the National Rural Health Day Photo Contest.

For questions or concerns, please contact

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 12th! 

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