In recognition of National Rural Health Day on Nov. 17, the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) and Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) are celebrating Illinois’ rural hospital community for their tireless efforts to provide high-quality care to their patients and address healthcare challenges facing rural communities across the state.
“IHA and ICAHN are proud to represent Illinois’ rural hospitals and thank our healthcare heroes for the incredible impact they are making in the lives of their patients,” IHA President and CEO AJ Wilhelmi said. “Illinois’ rural hospitals are embedded in the fabric of their communities and are continuously looking for ways to expand access to healthcare, offer new services and improve the health and overall well-being of their neighbors.”
More than 1.4 million Illinoisans live in rural communities and rely on their local hospital as an important—and often only—source of healthcare. Illinois’ rural hospitals are continuously identifying new ways to serve their patients. A few examples include:
- Sparta Community Hospital in Sparta has a new mobile healthcare clinic fully equipped with two exam rooms and a wheelchair lift to help improve access to healthcare.
- FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport partnered with the Northern Illinois Foodbank to provide nutritional food to at-risk communities, while also offering mobile medical screenings.
- Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln collaborated with Lincoln Elementary School District 27 to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy habits from a young age, and also helped the school add more fresh and local foods into kids’ meals, improving overall well-being.
- The Rural Home Hospital Project at Blessing Health System in Quincy implemented an innovative program that allows certain patients to receive hospital-level care in their home that includes twice-a-day nurse visits and a daily telehealth check-up with a physician. Patients also wear a patch monitoring vital signs, which their physician can check via computer or phone.
“ICAHN is proud to partner with IHA to celebrate all the many accomplishments and innovations our member hospitals have created or enhanced to make rural healthcare even better. Sparta Community Hospital and Lincoln Memorial Hospital are two of 58 critical access and small, rural hospitals in our membership that should be lauded for their efforts to make their communities healthier,” said Pat Schou, ICAHN Executive Director.
For more information about National Rural Health Day, visit https://www.powerofrural.org/.
The Illinois Health and Hospital Association, with offices in Chicago, Naperville, Springfield, and Washington, D.C., advocates for Illinois’ more than 200 hospitals and nearly 40 health systems as they serve their patients and communities. IHA members provide a broad range of services—not just within their walls, but across the continuum of healthcare and in their communities. Reflecting the diversity of the state, IHA members consist of nonprofit, investor-owned, and public hospitals in the following categories: community, safety net, rural, critical access, specialty, and teaching hospitals, including academic medical centers. For more information, see team-iha.org. Like IHA on Facebook. Follow IHA on Twitter.
Quite simply, the mission of our organization is – and always has been – to strengthen critical access and small, rural hospitals through collaboration. Better together, ICAHN and its 58 member hospitals make it their overarching goal to preserve access to rural healthcare while improving the vibrancy and viability of the communities served. ICAHN accomplishes this goal by:
- Ensuring appropriate funding and financial resources
- Continuing efforts to be a recognized resource on critical access hospitals and rural healthcare in Illinois
- Promoting efficient use of information technology services for the network and members alike
- Maintaining and further developing specific-type peer networks, activities, and listservs that promote hospital operational efficiencies and connectivity
- Offering ongoing educational opportunities and resources
- Developing and offering projects that are self-sustaining and that add value to the organization and its members
- Developing and offering shared services that offer value to members
- Establishing an institute that specializes in rural health population management