Do you know an individual, consortium, or organization whose contributions are making a big difference in the health of rural communities in Kentucky?

If so, the Kentucky Office of Rural Health encourages you to nominate them for recognition as a Community Star, an annual award, sponsored by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, which draws attention to the health professionals, volunteers and organizations that close gaps, open doors, address challenges and develop solutions through collaboration, education, innovation, and communication.

One Community Star from each state will be featured in a publication released on National Rural Health Day, an annual, nationwide, one-day celebration to honor those who serve the unique health needs of the country’s nearly 60 million rural residents. National Rural Health Day will be celebrated this year on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Past Community Star nominees have included physicians, nurses, allied health providers, hospital administrators, board members, health department staff, volunteers, community health workers, and first responders. Other nominees have included coalitions and collaborators working together on initiatives that address a specific health crisis or need or drive large-scale health and wellness programs.

In 2020, Purchase Area Health Connections, a Paducah-based coalition of for-profits, nonprofits, government agencies, law enforcement, school systems, mental health providers, and more, was recognized as Kentucky’s Community Star for its efforts to address social determinants of health and improve the lives of those in its region.

Nominations are open through Monday, August 2. Eligible nominees must live, work or volunteer in a designated rural part of the Commonwealth.

Additional details about the Community Star Recognition Program and the nomination form can be found online at:

The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH), established in 1991, is a federal-state partnership authorized by federal legislation. The UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health, located in Hazard, serves as the federally-designated Kentucky Office of Rural Health. KORH works directly with clinicians, clinic and hospital administrators, policymakers, and other stakeholders to improve the accessibility of health care services for the Commonwealth’s rural and underserved residents. The office connects communities and health care organizations to local, state, and federal resources while working toward long-term solutions to financial, quality improvement, and workforce challenges.

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